Friday 31 December 2010


Posted at Radical Press
June 28, 2010
Reposted: December 30, 2010

The Internet is fraught with worried liars seeking to confuse and mislead independent thinkers.  Their motive is clear ~ scatter decoys and throw people off the path of discovery.  They want to obscure the real news, knowing that truth has a flavor.

Once you get a taste of truth
~  you’ll know what it is.

Today’s media stands at the threshold of cataclysm.  The modes of media that survive, even thrive, shall be those who make bringing truth to the people their hallmark.  High-impact writing, devoid of slant, spin and evasive mumbo-jumbo is what today’s reader expects from a journalist.  Gone are the days of the news room team-player.

Gone are the days also of controlling 
who can and cannot access information.  
Get yourself a Macintosh.

There is a new awareness on the streets today.  It comes to the chagrin and worry of those who would bar the ordinary citizen from the power of knowledge.  

This “thought police” has published their concerns in an academic journal whose words fly 200 miles above the Middle American radar.  The writers of this discussion are worried about new technologies that are not just cheap but sometimes even free.  

These technologies are user-friendly, 
accessible, and fast.  
More harrowing, they are global.

Based on these new developments and digital technologies, the average citizen, given the desire to learn, can educate himself to threatening new heights.  This makes the news reader of the future a different animal.  He will expect more from his news media because with access to high speed Internet, he will be able to get translations of news from around the world.  

Conducting his own research, 
this new animal can compare notes,
check facts and bounce what he has learned 
off the daily feed of his local media.

The fog of the last century is lifting.  But there is a gathering storm encroaching on every major newspaper.  Their readerships are getting their news from all over the world now and it does not jibe with what they are reading in their local papers.  The billion dollar question for the mainstream media is “and why is that?”

“A journalist’s credibility, 
once lost, is gone forever,” 
a professor recently taught.  

So too is gone forever the reputation of one whose character has been assassinated by the press.  The professor added, “A journalist is in the business of truth-telling.”

If it is the truth, we get to print it.  There are basic elements of a news story that should always be answered.  

Given the answers to who, where, what, when, and how,
the “why” may be discerned.

In the local paper there was a story about how Palestinian refugees had been taken in by Chile. The Spanish-speaking, predominantly-Christian country embraced these Muslims with a warm welcome. The refugees joined an already thriving population of 300,000 other Palestinians who now call Chile home. 

There were several quotes from one Palestinian family that the story featured. They spoke of their two-year ordeal living in squalid tents, fearing for their lives from harassment and attacks. 

They fled after one of their neighbors was killed in front of them. In each quote describing the atrocities suffered by this Palestinian family, the pronoun “they” was used to describe their attackers.  This leaves a reader curious as to who “they” were.  Never once were “they” identified. 

What kind of news-writing is this?  
Today’s reader demands all the facts 
~ not just some of them. 
He does not want the doctored facts 
or the censored facts.  
He wants the unaltered whole of it 
and he wants it now.

A concern for those who own today’s news media is what Howard Rheingold refers to as “smart mobs” in his new book.  Rheingold’s phrase has been adopted by sociologists who discuss in their journals the  threat of self-educating new citizens who might begin to think for themselves.  

This could bring about a social revolution.  
Why such an upheaval is not good news to everyone is piquant.  
Why would such a revolution not be good news?  
It entails none of the carnage of the French, Cuban 
or Bolshevik revolutions, for example, 
so what is not to like about it?  
Why would it not be good news to have a smarter readership?  
What sinister efficacy would ignorance
serve the captains of industry?  
Perhaps this is a feature story 
that mainstream newspapers could take for action.

No doubt aiding the media’s tailspin are exposes about historic news spanning the last century.  This historic “news” is full of holes.  What is watertight; however, is testimony.
People who have been heretofore silenced, imprisoned and smeared by the press are coming out of the woodwork to tell their stories.  Some of them have grown old and infirm enough to no longer have anything to lose.  So they have given recent interviews.  The fear of death has loomed over such witnesses as the truth has been kept from the world.
Was the news media in cahoots with those to whom truth is a threat?  

What passed for news on such matters suggests that this is the case.  If so, it is a scandal worthy of more than public pillory.  

That is not the kind of media Lady Columbia wants in her news rooms.  This is at the heart of why newspapers are taking a nosedive.  

They have lost credibility with their readerships on a global scale.

The muckraking that is going on today outshines Nellie Bly in that it transcends the hack-mentality of a beat reporter.  There seems a higher purpose to this movement.  It has taken on a life of its own, like MicroSoft-ware, except it works for the good of the people.  

A force to be reckoned with, the modern muckraking movement is rocking the foundations of the world’s belief systems, infiltrating every knowledge-base.  There is no stone it leaves unturned.  The literate world is experiencing a shockwave of illumination devoid and despite of the mainstream media.

It appears that this phenomenon is beyond the scope, reach, policing and control of the current establishment ~ and much to their dismay.  

It has gone too far, too fast for retraction.  It has flung forth like a strike fighter from the catapult.  It has been launched like an Exocet or righteous, rollicking round.  

To the jailers of truth, to the gatekeepers of knowledge, to the barons of education ~ the Internet is the biggest nightmare of their lives.  

The World Wide Web makes what used to be viciously-guarded available to anyone who can read. 

For purveyors of half-truths, propaganda and filler gibberish, it tolls the knell of their sinking ships.  

The Internet 
has awakened 
the sleeping lion of lucidity.

Newspapers who want to survive will need to walk a straighter line.  What has passed for news is no longer holding water.  People have stopped buying lies, subterfuge, ruses, cover-ups and propaganda.  

Hearst’s snow-jobs have gone the way of the whale-bone corset.

People want a media with credibility.  

Americans are waking up, wising up and bucking up.  They are hungry for new caliber.  

People are tired of a press who couches and breaks bread with corrupt politicians.  And crawls up the bomb-bay of Bilderberg. 

Good writing is a craft, but lying should not be.  
America does not need another Stephen Glass.

Today’s mainstream press is in deep kimchi.  People are being informed by maverick muckrakers that big media has lied to them on the hard news for not just a decade, but for over 50 years.  

Things are coming out in the wash to the disgrace of big news organizations.  

The government is likewise losing credibility with an increasingly research-savvy and skeptical public.  

When it comes to the press and the government these days, people are questioning everything.

Unlike the years prior to 1995, people are no longer limited to their sources of information.  The world is now at their fingertips.  If they can read and have time, they can learn about anything without setting  foot into a library or leaving their homes.

Perhaps it is time for a media renaissance.  
Change is good when things are bad.  

The time has come for a strident evaluation of the Federal Reserve.  No private bank should masquerade as a Federal anything.  

So too should an in-depth analysis of our mass media be conducted by neutral outsiders who have no vested interests.

Citing the castes of Indian princes Buddha, Krishna, and Mahavira, for example, their credibility was heightened by having nothing to lose or gain by what they taught.  They were born into wealth and could not be bought.  So too should evaluators of a system be enlisted, lest the truth be compromised or twisted.

The bottom-feeders of the press who hound celebrities and smear non-threatening famous people are what The Project for Excellence in Journalism calls “exploitative jackals.”  

These same jackals know better  than to snap at the heels of a Rockefeller or shoot telephoto of a Rothschild.  

One must pose the question, “why do you think that is?”  

Such jackals hounded Princess Diana and Dodi al Fayed to their deaths.   

What made Fayed a yellow press target whilst Mr. Rockefeller enjoys immunity?

A plausible factor for the yellow press’s inconsistencies about whom they hunt, harass and lampoon is either a secret loyalty to those they leave alone or a fear of tit for tat in the shooting game.  What paparazzi gadfly wishes to find himself in the cross-hairs of Heckler and Koch?

Some people are clearly above the law and the press knows it.  Not exposing what they know to be the truth does not win the mainstream media points with a public who is growing more informed every day.  

Ask those babies they burned at Waco.  Where was the press when they needed them?  

You want a story?  Go interview Janet Reno.  She should have more time to give interviews these days.  Burning all those innocent people should not only be fresh on her mind, it will hound her for the rest of her days.  If this was our Department of Justice at work what does it say about the rest of our government?

There is enough real news breaking in the world without prying into the personal lives of public figures for sport and lampoonery.  If some people are game for scrutiny then they should all be game for scrutiny.  Inconsistencies like these are a telling wall for the dishonesty and corruption that drive today’s media.  Let the tailspin of the press be a sign of the times.  Let it write into the sky poetic justice for a  media gone wrong.

The press has long lavished a pillory on certain people while giving others a wide berth.  

Vicious character assassinations have been made of people on flimsy premise while more questionable folks get away with murder.  

William Randolph Hearst’s newspaper helped sentence a man to death in a speedy trial ~ a man whose widow protested his execution unto her death of old age.  Hearst’s “news” deliberately fanned the flames of suspicion against a man who has never been proven guilty.  Once the press drags a name through the mud, it is indelibly mired.  The uneven hand of the media is suspicious in a profession where blind justice is required.  

Why would anyone spend two cents on a newspaper like that?

Given all “this news” it is less difficult to figure out why the entry lobby of the Miami Herald employs maximum security and uses a decoy building to distract visitors from its location.  

Why would a newspaper office have to resort to the security of Fort Knox?  

What does it have to fear from its public that merits this kind of fortification?  

The answer to these questions will reveal what can be done to save the sinking ship of today’s mainstream media.



I prefer movies.

I prefer cats.

I prefer the oaks along the river.

I prefer Dickens
to Dostoyevsky.

I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.

I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand,
just in case.

I prefer the color green.

I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.

I prefer exceptions.

I prefer to leave early.

I prefer talking to doctors about something else.

I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.

I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.

I prefer, where love’s concerned, 
nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.

I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.

I prefer cunning kindness 
to the over-trustful kind.

I prefer the earth in civvies.

I prefer conquered to conquering countries.

I prefer having some reservations.

I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.

I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales 
to the newspapers’ front pages.

I prefer leaves without flowers 
to flowers without leaves.

I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.

I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.

I prefer desk drawers.

I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here
to many things I’ve also left unsaid.

I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.

I prefer the time of insects 
to the time of stars.

I prefer to knock on wood.

I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.

I prefer keeping in mind 
even the possibility that existence 
has its own reason for being.

~ Wislawa Szymborska ~


Surprise, surprise! A professor at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles has studied the Bible and come to the conclusion that, in the creation of Eve, Adam was transgendered!  Another Talmudic ploy to lower the moral backbone of that most hated religion ~ Christianity?  A subtle way to promote "alternative sexuality"? Whatever it is, such "scholarly wisdom" should just be tossed out as the trash it is.  

I found this piece at Killing the Buddha, an anti religion, pro atheist  site which has in its manifesto, the following: "We refuse to accept the internet as a world wide shopping mall. We know intuitively it can be a sort of TALMUDIC CATHEDRAL, a tool of transcendence made of words. We are here to build it. If the end result looks more like Babel than the city of God, so be it. Babel came close.".

Keep that Bible out of reach of children.
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and He took the bone of Adam’s penis and made him a woman.”
Er, wait, wasn’t it from one of Adam’s ribs that Eve was created?

Not according to Ziony Zevit. A professor of Semitic languages at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles Zevit posits that the Hebrew word tsela (literally “side,” but traditionally translated as “rib”) employed in Genesis refers in fact to Adam’s member.

Zevit, author of the forthcoming What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden?, argues that, etiologically, “rib” doesn’t make much sense in a story pregnant with sexual innuendo; nor is there precedent in ancient Near Eastern mythology for it to feature as an instrument of creation. Instead,tsela was likely a euphemism for the baculum, or “penis bone,” found in the males of most mammals. 

The Bible uses various euphemisms for male genitalia but never a specific word: two of them, “bone” and “flesh,” in the pertinent verse may be double entendres when Adam welcomes Eve as “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23).

Despite macho boasts of having a “boner,” there’s of course no bone in the human male’s reproductive organ. According to John Kaltner, Steven L. McKenzie and Joel Kilpatrick’s recently published compendium of titillating biblical tidbits, The Uncensored Bible, where Zevit’s suggestion receives prominent treatment, the authors of Genesis believed that the human male lacked this specific part of his anatomy precisely because the first man’s had been removed to create Eve.

We already know that the authors of the Bible are hardly trustworthy in matters of biology. Leviticus, after all, attributes only four, not six, legs to insects and appears to classify bats as birds. But Zevit’s interpretation also indicates that scripture isn’t nearly as chaste as we’re normally led to believe.

Books like The Harlot by the Side of the Road (1997) by Jonathan Kirsch and The X-Rated Bible (1999) by Ben Edward Akerley have done much to shed light on scriptural ribaldry.

The Uncensored Bible, written by a pair of Bible scholars at Memphis’ Rhodes College and a satirist, now furthers the cause with additional examples of sexual escapades unearthed by scholars from beneath the ambiguous expressions and euphemisms of biblical Hebrew.

The new hypotheses come with varying degrees of plausibility (Was Joseph a drag queen with his “coat of many colors”? Did Ishmael molest Isaac?), yet on the whole they ensure the Bible is more risqué than ever. Notwithstanding Bible-thumping puritans who claim scriptural authority for their censorious prudery, the Good Book is replete with lewd metaphors, sexual innuendo, and outright obscenities, often starring some of the Bible’s most famous characters.

To win the hand of Michal, King Saul’s daughter, the young David must prove his manliness by performing posthumous circumcision on a hundred slain Philistines. The episode recalls the ancient Egyptian practice of keeping dead enemies’ manly appendages as trophies of war.

In a memorable putdown elsewhere, the Prophet Ezekiel derides Egyptians as priapic fornicators whose “emissions are like those of horses” (Ezk. 23:20).

In court we swear to tell the truth with a hand placed on the Bible. But in the book itself, Jacob, nearing death in Egypt, asks Joseph to swear an oath not to bury him there by “put[ting] your hand under my thigh” (Gen. 47:29). Earlier in Genesis, Jacob wrestles with God, who touches “the hollow of his [Jacob’s] thigh” (32:25).

“Thigh” happens to be a biblical euphemism for male genitalia; it’s from Jacob’s “thigh” or “loins” that his numerous offspring sprang. The practice of swearing an oath while touching one’s or someone else’s testicles was common in the ancient Near East (Abraham also orders a servant to do just that in Genesis 24:2). Its linguistic memory survives in our word “testify”—testis being the Latin both for “witness” and the male generative gland.

Far from being embarrassing anachronisms in a timeless tale, the naughty bits do much to enrich biblical stories by affording us insight into the beliefs and ideas of ancient Israel. As literary depositories of antiquity’s customs and beliefs, the biblical texts are fascinating documents. It’s when antiquated religious prescriptions and practices are treated as an enduring moral authority that trouble starts. Taken together, the Bible advocates a rather curious set of “family values.”

Take incest. Adam and Eve’s sons and daughters couldn’t have perpetuated the human race without it. And while early Israelites prized virginity, they also considered it a mark of hospitality to offer their wives and daughters to male guests for complimentary sexual services, just as it was a father’s right to sell his daughter to be a “maid servant” (Ex. 21:7).

In the famous story of Sodom, Lot, the nephew of Abraham, volunteers his virgin daughters to placate randy Sodomites seeking to “know” his male guests—two angels in disguise, as it happens. Later, while he’s in a drunken stupor sheltering in a cave after God’s destruction of Sodom, Lot is raped by these same daughters to “preserve the seed of our father” (Gen. 19:32).

Deuteronomy, meanwhile, prescribes the amputation of a woman’s hand for grabbing a man’s family jewels, or “secrets”—even those of an attacker as she comes to the rescue of her husband (Deut. 25:11-12).

A biblical scholar, Jerome T. Walsh, has argued that the text in fact stipulates another punishment: the shaving of the offending woman’s pubic hair to shame her.

Either way, incapacitating an attacker in a tried-and-tested method would seem preferable to letting your husband perish lest you overstep the bounds of propriety. Not by the lights of the Bible, though.

Not even the most devout can afford to interpret the Bible too literally—selective reading is inevitable. Yet many people still think that without the Bible (and religion in general), we’d all be morally adrift in a sea of licentious barbarism. Judging from many a biblical passage, the reverse is true: sexual civility requires ignoring scripture.

The biblical books were products of their times. Across the barren lands of the ancient Near East, fertility cults proliferated and erotically-charged fecundity was a mainstay of creation myths. In a Sumerian epic of the third millennium BCE, the water god Enki fertilizes the land with his ejaculate. Not to be outdone, the Egyptians’ hermaphroditic sun god Atem generated lesser deities through masturbation.

In Genesis too, fertility is a divine gift, and infertility a curse. The Creator’s first words to Adam and Eve are the instruction to “be fruitful and multiply” (1:28). Soon, God also promises Abraham to make him “exceedingly fruitful” (17:6) and orders him to seal their covenant with circumcision—in other words, to tamper with his reproductive organ.

One of my favorite scholarly theories is that the prototype for the idolatrous Israelites’ Golden Calf may have been Apis the Bull. Often represented with an enormous wiener in line with the phallic-centrist norms of the time, the Egyptian idol was the centerpiece, so to speak, of a popular cult that incorporated a 40-day festival, during which female worshipers would expose themselves before his statue in hopes of divinely-assisted conception—a kind of frenzy which, I guess, would help explain the intensity of Moses’ rage at Mount Sinai.

And let’s not forget Onan. An enduring byword for masturbatory tendencies, this son of Judah is condemned to death for “wast[ing] his seed.” But he wasn’t masturbating, an act that is never directly addressed in the Bible; he was engaging in coitus interruptus, which “was displeasing to the Lord” (Gen. 38:9-10), with his dead brother’s widow out of fraternal obligation.

In the end, it’s elderly Judah himself who unwittingly impregnates his daughter-in-law when she tricks him into taking her for a prostitute, thereby siring the grand dynasty that leads to David (and thereon to Jesus). Some family values.

It’s time to face up to it: Just as the unadulterated originals of popular folk tales collected by the Brothers Grimm were often sadistic, scatological and pornographic (no, Prince Charming didn’t wake up Sleeping Beauty with just a kiss), so too the Bible is no innocent bedtime story. It isn’t a fount of moral clarity, either.

Currently based in Bangkok, Tibor Krausz has written about a variety of subjects for The Christian Science Monitor, The Jerusalem Report, The Washington Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, The South China Morning Post, The Guardian Weekly, and other publications. The mysteries of life puzzle him, not least how he’s ended up in Southeast Asia.


December 26, 2010


The Malegaon blast probe threw up 37 audiotapes in which ultra-Hindu groups plot terror attacks. These tapes expose a shocking nexus between Military Intelligence men and the outfits. Two years later, why is this still unexplored, asks Rana Ayyub

Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, Military Intelligence officer ~The man who procured the RDX that was used for the Malegaon blast. He is the first serving officer to be arrested in a terror case

HATE IS one of the obvious and evident yields of the Hindutva worldview. But few had imagined it could spawn a terror network until investigations into the 2008 Malegaon blast led to a series of startling arrests that included Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Lt Col Shrikant Purohit of Abhinav Bharat, an ultra-right Hindu group. Since then, the issue of ‘saffron terror’ has entered national discourse as a fractious and heated debate.

Last week, the issue erupted once again, triggering livid responses across the political spectrum. First, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh claimed that Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare — who had been investigating the Malegaon blast — had called him hours before he died on the fateful night of 26/11, saying he was being threatened by those opposed to his probes. Singh was speaking at the launch of a book by Aziz Burney, controversially titled 26/11 — A RSS Controversy? and both sections of his own party and the BJP were dismayed that his “irresponsible” remarks would play into Pakistan’s hands.

Maj (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay Military Intelligence officer ~ He is suspected of training those who assembled the bomb that went off in Malegaon. He also headed BJP’s ex-servicemen cell

A few days later, in its ongoing exposé, WikiLeaks released a cable in which US Ambassador Timothy Roemer claimed that Rahul Gandhi had told him that ultra-Hindu terror was probably a greater threat to national security than Islamist terror. In all the furious exchanges that have followed, a crucial issue was overlooked. With the capture of Ajmal Kasab, it is undoubtedly an absurd stretch of imagination to believe 26/11 was engineered by ultra-Hindu groups, but the truth is the ‘saffron terror’ story is indeed far from being a closed book.

TEHELKA has found that, in the two years since the Malegaon blast, investigators have left many leads unexplored. Most alarmingly, they have failed to pin down eight Indian Army officers allegedly involved with the terror network. Why haven’t they been questioned by the army or sufficiently tracked? How far has the network penetrated sections of the army? To understand the full implication of this, it is important to recall the whole story.

Sadhvi Pragya Thakur Self-styled godwoman ~ Her cell phone call records proved to be a minefield of information about those involved in the Malegaon blast

IT WAS a low-intensity bomb fitted in a motorbike, but its impact was powerful. It exploded in the small town of Malegaon in Nashik district, Maharashtra, on 29 September 2008, leaving six dead and several injured. The only clue was a mangled number-plate. Forensic lab officials used a 25 MP camera for a magnified view of the number-plate. They managed to get three sets of possible numbers. Then the ATS began the chase. The first combination took them to Badayun, Uttar Pradesh, where the vehicle bearing the number still existed. The second was tracked down to Gujarat. Here too the vehicle was still in use. In October 2008, the last number-plate took them to the bike owner, a self-styled godwoman called Sadhvi Pragya Thakur

Pragya’s interrogation and call information from her cell phone opened a Pandora's box. Shamlal Sahu, 42, a commerce graduate, was first to be arrested on charges of planting the bomb. Shivnarayan Kalangasara Singh, 36, a science graduate, was arrested for setting a timer device in the bomb. Another science graduate, Sameer Kulkarni, 32, was arrested for his role in procuring chemicals for the bomb.

But the story did not end with these arrests. Five days after Pragya’s arrest, the ATS caught a major fish: Maj (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, 64, a resident of Pune. He had worked in the Indian Army’s Military Intelligence (MI) unit and was suspected of training those who had assembled the bombs. He had also headed the BJP’s ex-serviceman’s cell in Mumbai.

On 2 November 2008, three more arrests were made — Ajay Rahirkar, 39, for raising funds for Abhinav Bharat; Rakesh Dhawde, 35, a weapon consultant in the movie The Rising; and Jagdish Mhatre, 40, who had paid money to Dhawde for buying weapons. All these men were from either Nashik or Pune. Then came the biggest arrest. On 5 November, the first ever serving army officer, Lt Col Purohit, 37, was arrested for procuring the RDX used in the blast. The MI officer was posted at the Army Education Corps Training Centre and College in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh, where he was studying Arabic at the time of his arrest.

Terror on board The Samjhauta Express blast in 2007 killed 68 people

Purohit’s role as a prime conspirator became clearer with the arrest of self-styled seer Swami Dayanand Pandey alias Shankar Acharya alias Shukhakar Dwivedi, 40, on 14 November. Pandey had a habit of recording all his conversations with his co-conspirators on his laptop.

The ATS retrieved three videos and 37 audiotapes. These proved to be an unprecedented source of information. On 21 November, Karkare questioned Pune’s RSS leader Shyam Apte, named in the tapes.

Purohit himself wasn’t an easy case to crack. During his interrogation, he asserted that his job as an MI spy included interacting with both Hindu and Muslim extremists. At first, the army seemed to rally behind him. Soon after his arrest, the army spokesman claimed he had only been detained, not arrested. Pragya, however, disclosed that she had met Purohit in Pachmarhi, where Purohit had told her that he had executed two blasts in the past. The ATS officials suspected Purohit was hinting at the Samjhauta Express and Ajmer Sharif blasts, but this was not made public because of its diplomatic implications.

Cycle of violence The Malegaon blast in 2008 left six people dead

THE AUDIOTAPES revealed a chilling landscape. A godwoman, a seer, political bigwigs and retired and serving army officers all seemed part of the conspiracy. They spilled vitriolic hate for Muslims and even Hindus who did not subscribe to their ultra right-wing communal vision. They had set up Abhinav Bharat with the intention of infiltrating and subverting every institution in the country. This, for instance, is an excerpt of what Purohit says on the tapes about the nation they dreamed of creating:
“We must aim for militarization of the organization (Abhinav Bharat). Every member at all levels must have a basic knowledge of weapons. We haven’t done it so far. We should indoctrinate them with our ideology. We should establish an academy for ideological indoctrination. At the end of the course, each member will be tested and only those who pass will be finally admitted to the organization. The level of testing is when he will be tried in ‘action’. Then our organization will propagate establishment of all-India Hindu rashtra called Abhinav Bharat. There will be a uniform code of conduct irrespective of any caste. Reporting channels like those in the armed forces will be established. This will ensure the smooth flow of information and passing of orders. An Honour Court Committee will exist at all levels. This will ensure strict adherence to moral and ethical behaviour as decided by the core group by all the members based on our Vedas.”
The conversations were alarming. The then Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil was briefed by senior ATS officials. Other national agencies like the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and, later, the National Investigating Agency (NIA)were brought in. Initial investigations suggested that Purohit was an aberration. The investigators found it odd that despite their mentors in the army, the attackers behaved like novices. “They were so dumb they used their own motorcycle to plant the bomb. It took us just a month to catch all of them. The police have never taken such a short time to arrest terrorists,” says a senior home ministry official, requesting anonymity. How could anyone take them seriously? he asks.

After Purohit’s arrest, there was a lot of pressure to downplay the role of the army, reveals an ATS officer

So the sleuths deemed the Malegaon blast to be a freak incident. Over the next two years, however, a larger pattern began to emerge. First Malegaon. Then Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif. The Abhinav Bharat cell was found to have a hand in all these blasts. It obviously had deeper roots.

TEHELKA first scooped and wrote about the tapes in 2008. Subsequently, a few other media organization accessed and published parts of the tapes. However, through all this, at no point has there been sufficient focus on the army officers who figure on the tapes. They remain the big unturned stone in the investigation.

There are a total of eight army officers, retired and serving, named in the tapes. At least four of them have an MI background. Apart from Lt Col Purohit and Maj Upadhyay, who are now in jail, topping the list is Col (retd) Hasmukh Patel. A JNU graduate, Patel was commissioned into the Infantry Jat Regiment and later detailed with the MI. After 25 years in service, he retired in 2007 and joined Reliance. His LinkedIn profile says he is a specialist in threat analysis, background checks, physical- electronic-aviation security, vigilance, investigations, disaster management, negotiation and loss prevention. The NIA is understood to have questioned him recently but let him off under surveillance.

Col Shailesh Raikar is a retired commandant. He is said to be a brilliant officer who belonged to the Maratha Regiment. According to the tapes, Raikar was commander of the Bhosla Military Academy in Nashik. He allegedly provided academy facilities to Purohit and other Abhinav Bharat members for weapons training. He too is under the NIA scanner.

Others named in the tapes are Col Aditya Bappaditya Dhar (Parachute Regiment, now retired); Brig Mathur (full name not known, but he was apparently posted at Deolali Cantonment near Nashik); Maj Nitin Joshi and Maj Prayag Modak (in both cases, regiment not known).

The NIA has reportedly established contact with Col Dhar; it is yet to initiate investigations against the rest. Apart from these men, there is a Brig Lajpat Prajwal, apparently posted with the Nepal Army. According to the tapes, Purohit and he had trained together at IMA and that Purohit was in constant touch with Prajwal for logistic support. In one of his conversations with Col Purohit on the tapes, Col Dhar asks: Did you see one of my messages?

LT COL PUROHIT: Yes... About how this country should be taken over by the army?

COL DHAR: Yes, yes. I have written three lakh letters... I distributed three lakh letters among the jawans... It is not a political stunt... And I distributed 20,000 maps of Akhand Bharat among the jawans on 26 January... It is my humble attempt to sow the seeds.

Given these alarming ambitions and self-confessed acts of sedition, why haven’t their roles been probed more seriously yet? Why has the army itself not acted on them?

Maharashtra ATS chief KP Raghuvanshi, who was accused of going slow on the Malegaon probe, says: “We acted on the basis of evidence. The case against these armymen was not watertight. We did call some of them in, including Col Dhar, for questioning but there was nothing on the basis of which we could detain or arrest them.”

‘I gave 20,000 maps of Akhand Bharat to the jawans. It is my humble bid to sow the seeds,’ says Col Dhar

Interestingly, Raghuvanshi admits to a major handicap while interrogating the officers. “A MI official was always around monitoring our questioning. In the beginning, in fact, it was difficult to get hold of Lt Col Purohit because even though we presented a dossier of evidence against him the army insisted it’s their internal matter and they’d look into it themselves,” he says.

Finally, pressure from the home ministry worked and Purohit wa arrested. The army, however, has still not initiated action against its officials and court martial proceedings against Lt Col Purohit are yet to take off. Sources say the proceedings have been postponed under Section 7 of the Indian Soldiers Litigation Act, 1925. Since Purohit was serving under ‘special conditions’, the Act says a postponement is necessary in the interests of justice.

ANOTHER ATS official says, “Most of what Purohit says on the tapes about sending people to Nepal and Israel for training wasn’t taken seriously. That is the biggest blunder. The job of a MI officer posted along the Jammu & Kashmir border is to spread his net of informers, spies and get crucial information. Imagine what damage Purohit has already done while posted there. The entire truth on Purohit is still not out.”

That seems a very disturbing probability. The armymen named on the tapes are not mentioned casually. Sample snatches of this conversation between Lt Col Purohit, Maj Ramesh Upadhyay, Col Dhar, Dayanand Pandey, BL Sharma Prem, a twotime BJP MP, and RP Singh, an endocrinologist at Apollo Hospital and president of the World Hindu Federation.

LT COL PUROHIT:We have done two operations which have been successful and I got material support for them. On 24 June 2007, Col Lajpat Prajwal, now a Brigadier, had arranged our meeting with King Gyanendra Nobody in this country will be able to figure who is doing the work. If Major Saheb (Upadhyay) has 20 people, we (read Prajwal) will train them.
Terror taint RSS’ Indresh Kumar was linked to Ajmer blast

RP SINGH: King Gyanendra’s close relative sat with us in Gorakhpur... We are constantly in touch with them... Maj Prayag Modak was the one who came to our meeting. There are Col Raikar and Col Hasmukh Patel, who are helping us in the training. Prajwal is from the side of Rani Aishwarya.

Col Dhar enters the room…

LT COL PUROHIT: Namaskar Dharji… (To the others) He has been in the army since 23 years and has been with me. He’s with the Parachute Regiment. I was also posted with him. Dhar sahib, let me introduce you to the people here. We are all on the same plane, Hindu rashtra…

LT COL PUROHIT:We also have General JJ Singh, he’s from the Maratha Regiment. As you know I have also been part of the Maratha regiment…


LT COL PUROHIT: Swamiji, we haven’t spoken about certain things, but two operations have been done by us. One of our own captains has visited Israel for training and meeting and there was a very positive response… We demanded four things from Israel — continuous and uninterrupted supply of arms and training, our office with a saffron flag in Tel Aviv, political asylum and support for our cause of a Hindu Nation in the UN. Israel has asked us to show something on the ground and have promised at least a supply of arms and political asylum... I have a state-wise population of Muslims in each state but I have only three AK-47s. We couldn’t buy much earlier because we didn’t have funds.

MAJ UPADHYAY: AK-47 is available at Cox Bazaar in Gorakhpur, but mostly jihadis sell the weapons…

LT COL PUROHIT: You will get very expensive AKs…

PANDEY: Arrey, you get many AK guns.

LT COL PUROHIT: The Israelis ask us to give them proof of our involvement. What more proof do they need? We have completed two successful operations.

MAJ UPADHYAY: The Hyderabad blasts were executed by our man. Colonel will tell you about that.

PANDEY: What if this organization is banned?

APTE: We will give it an international aspect... and a covert name. We have to fight. See, if you aren’t a Hindu, you are my enemy. I will be unsafe if you are alive…

Obviously, this was not just empty bragging. Purohit goes on to talk of Khetomi Sema, a leader of the banned insurgent group, Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland. Purohit says he had saved his life and Sema has issued a letter to all his generals to support Purohit’s cause. “He has promised to give us seven years of logistic support,” Purohit tells Pandey.

Purohit’s conversations further reveal that he had been using the army machinery to serve Abhinav Bharat. He says he was in the process of indoctrinating like-minded army officers who could serve in Abhinav Bharat. He also admits to catching and killing two Maoists in cold blood in Delhi.

LT COL PUROHIT: “I bought weapons worth Rs. 4 lakh in Assam. A police officer got me the weapons. It costs a lot. I had 3 lakh and I borrowed one more. I kept one pistol with me. I sent some weapons to Nepal. Our study is on… We will soon start action. We have got a list of top 5-6 Maoist financiers. We’ll kill them first…You know one Assam DIG had informed me about two Maoists who had arrived in Delhi to kill me. We caught them at the Vasant Kunj Civic Centre. We kept them in a place at Munirka through the night. You know we have encroached upon a property in Munirka that has sewer lid inside the house. We got the information out of them, then killed them and threw them in the gutter.”

PUROHIT’S CONVERSATIONS also suggest an alarming shared mindset among sections of the army. At one point he tells Pandey, “There was a captain and a major posted in Delhi. I managed to do my work with them over the phone. This work otherwise would have taken more than three months. It happened because I belong to Sangh and he was also from Sangh. I didn’t even know him. He was from UP and he did the work in one day. Tapping such people (with Sangh background) is important.”

Sample another chat between them:

PANDEY: I have to attend a programme organised by one editor of Organiser, Deepak Rath, in Orissa on 17 February. This is his personal function.

LT COL PUROHIT: Is it in Bhubaneshwar city? Let me know, I will arrange my Orissa commander to receive you…

PANDEY: Do you know Narendra Modi?

LT COL PUROHIT: I have met him once or twice, but I don’t know him well.

PANDEY:Will you be interested if I arrange your meeting with him?


PANDEY: In fact, there is one Swami Aseemanandji.... He has good relations with Narendra Modi… I can arrange your meeting through him.

(Swami Aseemanand, a Kolkata native known as Jatin Chatterjee before he donned his ochre robes, came to the Dangs district of Gujarat to start a campaign to bring Christian converts back into the Hindu fold. A RSS man, he is said to be very close to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Aseemanand was arrested recently but the police have not shared any information gleaned from his interrogation.)

Elsewhere in the tapes, Purohit elaborates on other sinister strategies the Abhinav Bharat group plans on adopting against Muslims — including shooting people under false identities to create mayhem.

“I know that the army and the BSF don’t complement each other’s action,” says Purohit. “Nor there is any coordination between the BSF, CRPF and state police. So if I buy two army vehicles from the scrap and paint them with army colours and send them along with our people in army uniform into Meerut, they can just fire and come out of the situation easily. There is so much confusion in this country.”

The conversations on these tapes demand extreme vigilance. These statements were not recorded under police custody or during interrogation. They were voluntarily recorded by Pandey. Therefore, there can be no accusation of coercion or manipulation with regard to them. So the question is, how far did Lt Col Purohit’s influence run in the army? How vast was the network he had succeeded in building? Was he only a small link in a bigger, more dangerous, chain within the army?

In the Mecca Masjid blast, which brought the Abhinav Bharat under the scanner, the accused had used a combination of TNT and RDX. An IB official based in Mumbai raises a pertinent question: “Do you think Purohit can smuggle RDX and weapons from Jammu Army depot on his own? Can he alone sponsor sending men for military training to Nepal and Israel?”

This question has even more alarming implications when one recalls that in the narco reports of Nanded blasts accused, Himanshu Panse and Sanjay Bhaurao Chaudhury, first published by TEHELKA in 2006, the men clearly talk of how an army man named Mithun Chakrabarty had trained them to make the IEDs for the blasts at the Sinhagad Fort. The identity of this army man is yet to be established.
Going slow? ATS’ Raghuvanshi says the army tried to meddle

A senior ATS Official told this reporter that after Lt Col Purohit’s arrest, there was a lot of pressure on them to downplay the role of the army. “We were told we couldn’t lower the morale of officers posted in sensitive positions. It could have a backlash. But with more cases involving military intelligence officials coming out, we could be overlooking a dangerous trend.”

The MI is a small but important corps, and a relatively new addition to the army structure. It is currently headed by Gen Lumba. MI officers are tasked to track spies and other security threats and, outside the country, are mostly active in China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Japan, USA and Russia. Many MI cadre officers (Lt Col Purohit was one of them) do not wear uniforms and work in conjunction with the IB, BSF (‘G’ Force) and other intelligence agencies. MI officials work in field formations and report to their respective commanders. Nobody, except the commander, would know they are part of MI.

What makes the story of Lt Col Purohit so dark is that the Indian Army has never been suspected of any communal overtones. But as an IB official says: “There was a time when the army would not think twice about religious identity when they entered the Golden Temple to arrest the terrorists holed inside. But after the 1992 Ayodhya movement, things have changed. The political climate has affected the army too in a big way, especially among officers posted along the border. Look at Lt Col Purohit. His indoctrination happened during his posting in Kashmir.”

THE UNMAPPED SCALE of the army connection, however, is not the only missing piece in the ultra-Hindu terror puzzle. In December 2007, Sunil Joshi, an RSS man suspected of a key role in the Ajmer blast and of being a link between several ultra-right groups like Abhinav Bharat, Vande Mataram and other fringe elements was mysteriously murdered. His family said he had been bumped off by his own organization. Sadhvi Pragya confirmed this. According to her, a man named Mayank had probably killed Joshi. Despite these clues, the MP Police closed the case.

Clued in Hemant Karkare pursued the ‘saffron terror’ angle

Earlier this week, however, the MP Police finally accepted that Joshi was murdered by his own friends in the RSS. They charged Mayank, Harshad Solanki, Mehul and Mohan from Gujarat, Anand Raj Katare from Indore and Vasudev Parmar from Dewas with Joshi’s murder. While Mehul and Mohan are still on the run, Solanki was brought before the Dewas court last week and confessed to the murder. (Solanki is also an accused in the infamous Best Bakery case, Gujarat 2002.) This development validates what TEHELKA had reported back in 2008.

However, even these arrests don’t join all the dots. The MP Police have claimed internal rivalry as the motive for the murder. The CBI though believes the real culprits in the RSS behind Joshi’s murder are also the men responsible for the blasts. Their hunch is, if Joshi were alive today, most of the masterminds would have been unmasked. Joshi was known to be close to senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar. Their question is why did the two fall out?

The MP Police, Rajasthan ATS and CBI are all looking into the Ajmer, Mecca Masjid and Samjhauta blasts. However, their investigations do not have the same conclusions.

This October, the Rajasthan ATS filed a chargesheet linking Indresh to the Ajmer blasts. They said he attended a secret meeting in Jaipur on October 25, 2005 in which the conspiracy for the Ajmer blast was drawn up. The meeting was allegedly attended by Indresh, Pragya Thakur, Sunil Joshi, Ramji Kalsangra, Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma and Sandeep Dange. The chargesheet hinted the same people were responsible for the Samjhauta blast. The chargesheet, however, did not list Indresh as an accused. And Dange and Kalsangra are still on the run.

The CBI, which is also probing the case, blames the Rajasthan ATS for not making sufficient headway in pinning down the role of the RSS. “They have helped RSS men like Indresh create an alibi by alerting them with witness statements that are not credible evidence in the court of law. This has allowed him time to concoct documents to prove he was not physically present at various places,” says an investigating official.

Confusingly, however, Lt Col Purohit and his co-conspirators on the tapes also curse Indresh as a sell-out and wish they could kill him.

Where, then, does the truth lie? And how far does the network sprawl? Less heated debate and more ground work might provide some real answers.
Posted by c-info at Sunday, December 26, 2010