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Antulay’s vote bank politics

December 22, 2008

Abdul Rehman Antulay, the Union Minister for Minorities, thought that by saying that the death of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare in the recent terror attacks was suspicious, he could be a hero to Indian Muslims . However, I rather doubt that Antulay has impressed his vote bank. For one thing he has not done much for Indian Muslims despite being the Minorities Minister. Perhaps it was to cover up his dismal track record that he went out of his way to say that he wondered why the ATS Chief went in the direction of CST station and then Cama hospital (where the terrorists ran) instead of the Taj and Trident where a major attack was on. On the face of it, a rather dense statement by Antulay considering that the Taj and the Trident were attacked a good half an hour after CST station. And even Leopold Cafe was attacked about 15 minutes after CST. In the CST massacre, around 60 people were randomly gunned down and then the terrorists ran away.  It was most logical for Karkare to rushto the spot to follow them! But like MJ Akbar says, Antulay was not interested in the truth or saying anything intelligent. He wanted to please his vote bank.

The Congress is Maharashtra is in deep trouble and in the coming elections it is thought that the Congress will crash out – after a decade long rule in the state. Antulay was trying to keep his seat hot…no matter if his statement flew in the face of logic, no matter if it was a slap in the face of his own government. At least now (he thought) he could a hero to his community.

It would be indeed a cause for worry if Antulay really pleased his vote bank by talking like this. If  some sections of the Muslim community actually believed that some Hindus opposed to Karkare decided to take this opportunity to lure him into the lion’s den. But it’s a ridiculous premise (that Karkare’s enemies lured him) because Karkare wanted to follow the terrorists, that was his very aim! In any case, no one knew exactly where the terrorists were. So, if Antulay was trying to say that elements in the radical Hindu parties who would have liked to see the end of Karkare were in cahoots with the Pakistanis (perhaps in wireless touch with them?), this is the joke of the year. Well, Antulay’s remarks may be stupid, but some sections of the Urdu press are supporting him. But only some sections. The Urdu press  is divided on the issue and in fact many have also called Antulay’s statement “irresponsible.” The Urdu daily Inquilab slammed Antulay in it’s 19th December editorial titled `Ek bayan do nuksaan (One statement, two losses),’ said:

…by raising doubts over the circumstances of Hemant Karkare’s death, Antulay not only unwittingly rejuvenated the Sangh Parivar who were on the defensive but also harmed the Muslim cause. “After the massacre in Mumbai, Muslims had joined the country in denouncing terrorism. They justifiably received wide acclaim from the national media. It was a positive wave of national solidarity against terrorism which Antulay tried to spoil with his irresponsible statement…

Yes, the Sangh Parivar (Shiv Sena and co.) has always cast aspersions on the patriotism of Muslims, and now Antulay has given them fodder. So not only did Antulay not think of his party, his government, or his country, he also failed his fellow Muslims in his desperate bid to save himself in the next general election. This is the stuff of communal riots.

I personally have no respect for Antulay. Way back in 1982 when he was chief minister of Maharashtra he was convicted of extortion. In fact it is well known that he is corrupt – he had collected Rs 30 crore from businesses (by exhortion) dependent on state resources like cement and kept the money in a private trust! However this man was taken back in the Congress party after some years and even made a Union Minister!

And funnily this happened even though Antulay was known to have a good relationship with Balasaheb Thackeray of the Shiv Sena and had almost joined the party once!

And as mentioned earlier, Antulay has also been accused of not doing much for his own community, always more interested in his own perks and position rather than improving the welfare of his community. He has faced criticism for delaying important projects.

While everyone is free to give his views in a democracy, telling deliberate lies to create a communal divide is not acceptable. But in India this happens all the time. And playing vote bank politics and using religion to garner votes also happens in India all the time. One would have hoped that the Congress party would have desisted from playing vote bank politics at a time when the nation is at threat.

The Antulay crises may have blown over but communal tensions have been stoked. It’s not the international community that we need worry about because everyone knows the truth. What we need to worry about is about relationships between communities in this country.

(Photo is from Telegraph India)

Related Reading: Political interference in the Malegaon blasts investigation
Other posts on Indian Politics.

66 Comments leave one →
  1. Vinod permalink
    December 22, 2008 9:10 am

    This is a cheap and sickening move by the minister.

    ps – I think I’ve become a stalker now, Nita. I know at what times you make your posts now. Mwahahahaha.

    Well, I am not regular!🙂 But you are welcome.🙂 – Nita.

  2. December 22, 2008 9:46 am

    Sometimes i wonder if people such as this gentleman shouldn’t be tried for anti national activities for adding a ridiculous religious twist to a tragic event.

    A twist that can only incite all sections of society, and in extreme cases, lead to riots.

    I think he should face trial for creating communal tension. – Nita.

  3. December 22, 2008 10:04 am

    A R Antulay is also known for the cement scandal when he was the Chief Minister. Infact, even today, people refer to buildings built during those years as having used “Antulay cement”.

    “Indira Gandhi Prathisthan” was the trust where he salted away the funds and expectedly Indira Gandhi disowned him and his idea of fund raising leaving him in the woods for years.

    He could have been a leader of national staure and could have worked to strengthen and lead the Muslims out of their ghetto mentality.

    Alas!!! that was not to be we expected too much from this man of straw.

    He has finally said the unthinkable. Funnily enough, there are many Muslims who believe that it was an inside job and was being covered up.

    An insidious falsehood, unfortunately endorsed by a senior politician for unfathomable reasons.

    Congress does these kind of things, but I was not expecting Antulay’s remarks. I think Congress has stabbed itself in the back. Yes it does seem as if Muslims believe it, which just shows that they do not see the issue objectively by looking at the facts. The facts of the events are there for everyone to see. It was all televised. And satellite imagery has also captured the boat from Karachi and the 10 terroists alighting from the dingy. Also Pak media itself has interviewed Kasab. But if even then there are people who feel that Hindus have done this, I highly doubt their rationality. – Nita.

  4. Sudhir Jatar permalink
    December 22, 2008 10:20 am

    Antulay’s antics show to what horrible depths the Congress party has gone. Nothing happens in the Congress without the blessings of the Queen. In this case, Antulay-speak is at the instance of the Queen. Until she tells him to withdraw the statement, he would not. And in case, he is in a rebellious mood, he would get the sack after enough votes have been garnered.
    What else do you expect from a VIII standard (Italian equivalent to Indian matric as the Congress persons say!) illiterate?

    True, I think Sonia Gandhi has made a huge mistake. The Congress could suffer the consequences. – Nita.

  5. Nimmy permalink
    December 22, 2008 10:54 am

    I would have felt a pinch of compassion or sense,to his remarks,if he had done anything to the minority of which he is a custidian and authority..I would have felt more good if Advani or Karat or like made this statement,but not bloody hypocrites like this.(I don’t mean that the rest aren’t hypocrites,but this man is in charge of something and he acts irresponsible to the core)

    Lemme check what had this holy minister for minorities,have done for the sake for minorities..And then will come back to slap him more.

    Nimmy, actually the point is not whether we can forgive Antulay if he has done soemthing good in the past. What he has done now is unforgivable. I think he has become senile if he cannot see the impossibility of what he said. He is not fit to be minister. – Nita.

  6. December 22, 2008 11:24 am

    And why can’t such people be hanged? What’s the difference between jerks like these and those behind bars?

    As far as I am concerned he is a criminal. He should have been behind bars anyway. – Nita.

  7. December 22, 2008 11:50 am

    Nita, Antulay should be awarded Nishan-e-Pak, Pakistan’s highest civilian award. He has done what not even a Pakistani could do, give credibility to their conspiracy theory.
    The worst part is that Digvijay Singh, the Left and Paswan are talking in his favour. Other than the BJP(for political reasons) Shabana and Javed Akhtar have condemned him.

    Prerna, I agree, Antulay has no love for this country. In fact I too think he should get a prize from Pakistan. As for the Left, they have proved to which country their loyalties lie a long time ago. – Nita

  8. Chirag permalink
    December 22, 2008 11:55 am

    Cheap Publicity Stunt!

    Yeah, and more! – Nita.

  9. December 22, 2008 12:55 pm

    I dont know what went on in Mr. Ministers head, when he asked for probe.
    Initially i also had same questions, and explantion given by Govt. to Press and to common People were enough. After that there is hardly any doubt.
    In Case entire govt. machinery is trying to hide something and Mr. Minister has some points, he should have gone to press first hand.
    As very rightly said, it looks to me a political stunt which has gone all wrong for Mr. Minister. Being people elect, they should know social and political responsibility of thier statements.

    Thanks Sunny. As you said, our politicians do not bother as to what effect their statement will have. How many seeds of evil they sow. I have no doubt in my mind that Hindu zealots will use this statement to prove their point. – Nita.

  10. December 22, 2008 1:26 pm

    That said,how do we know if Anthulay is completely wrong?Afterall,all we know is what media fed us..There hasn’t been any investigation on this matter right?So how do we jump into conclusions that Karkare died coincidently? Shall not we wait for some investigation to happen rather than just coming to our own assumptions based on what we hear and see.Afterall,lot of our tax is wasted on ‘securing holy lives’ of our holy politicians etc etc causes..Let some money be spent on a cause so that people can get rid of conspiracy theories and thereby getting rid of prejudices in our minds so that we can fight this menace in a better way. Again, we never know if he is right or wrong,do we? Its just mine and yours assumption,based on facts aware to us.What is there is something beyond?Now that a people people,let them be dumbos or not,have raised issues,why not look into it and make things transparent.Afterall,we have enquiry commission for each and everything,so why not this?…

    I maybe wrong,but then again,i am not jumping into any conclusions.Again,I am not in support of this old man who did nothing good,rather than just eating crores of money.

    There hasn’t been an investigation? That is the first time I heard that Nimmy. Even international agencies like Scotland Yard and FBI have been shown the evidence. Do you expect that evidence like satellite transcripts which show that Pakistanis came here to be shown to the media? Do you think pics of satellite phones will be released to the media? That is never the practice in any investigation. Do you think that confession of a terrorist will be released to the media? It will come out in court. Ofcourse if people have no faith in the govt, no faith in even observers who have always been friendly to Pakistan, then I have nothing to say. People will believe what they want to believe. After all there are people who believe that the twin towers were blown up by the Americans despite evidence to the contrary. So if people want to believe that Pakistani terrorists (Antulay has admitted it was a Pak terrorist who killed Karkare, even in his first statement) were hand in glove with Hindu radicals, this is something quite ridiculous and does not make any sense all. Enquiries are not held about just anything Nimmy, there has to be some logic to it. Unless ofcourse you want to question that Pakistanis came here to terrorise us, something that as I mentioned above, not even Antulay has questioned. – Nita.

  11. December 22, 2008 2:00 pm

    I have no clue why we still have such people at the top of our country…

    I know why. Because of voters.🙂 – Nita.

  12. Vinod permalink
    December 22, 2008 3:50 pm

    Nita, you said ‘people will believe what they want to’. This is equally applicable to Indians as it is to Pakistanis. I’ve noticed that Indians are more than ready to take evidence that incriminates Pakistan and dismiss any scepticism of the evidence that Pakistanis raise. Pakistan, needless to say, does the same. That is why, in evaluating evidence, I’d take the evaluation proffered and/or corroborated/validated only by the third parties (FBI, Scotland Yard), not by the Indian investigative agencies or the Pakistani ones. Even in that, I’d be fully confident only of those that they (the third parties) have discovered, not that that have been shown to them, perhaps selectively, by the Indian govt. The two countries cannot be trusted to objectively evaluate evidence in these matters. Both have their own axes to grind. I fully understand Nimmy’s scepticism in waiting till a court decision is made before holding an opinion on the matter.

    Vinod, the satellite evidence as well as phone intercepts are there with the FBI etc, but frankly I do not need American and British agencies to validate us. I have far more faith in the Indian agencies than the Pak ones as we have a democratic govt while Pak also has other power centres, like ISI and the Army. Also the United Nation has accepted the evidence. But this is besides the point. Nimmy has not questioned pak involvement as far as I know, although I clarified to her incase she had. Even Antulay did not say that there was no Pak involvment. He just questioned as to why Karkare went after the terrorists and said he should have gone to Taj instead! A stupid statement. If you are questioning whether Pakistani terrorists have attacked India, then I prefer not to disucss it. thanks. – Nita.

  13. Vinod permalink
    December 22, 2008 4:00 pm

    Oh…and I personally would wish that that court be the ICJ.

  14. December 22, 2008 4:53 pm

    It is sad that for no reason, Antulay has managed to 1. communalize the issue , by trying to be a muslim spokesperson, 2. Managed to legitimize the Pakistani claims.. It just goes on to show how corrupt and cheap some of our politicians are.. And yes, I agree with you that there is no need for any other country’s investigating agencies to validate our investigation. We have to have that much trust in our machinery. Also, since nobody is questioning the fact that the terrorists were from Pakistan – it takes a long stretch of imagination to say that there was ‘terrorism + something’. Lets just hope that the UPA govt accepts his resignation..

    I hope so too, but what’s worrying me is that others are picking up his rhetoric. I feel depressed when I hear such things. – Nita.

  15. December 22, 2008 5:31 pm

    🙂

    You missed my point and went overboard by infering that i am one of those dumbo who is busy beliveing in conspiracy theories that this is a whole drama by so-called hindu zionists bla bla bla..

    Ofcourse if people have no faith in the govt, no faith in even observers who have always been friendly to Pakistan, then I have nothing to say.

    I don’t understand what did you really mean,that i am one among them?

    This is a post on Anthuley and KAraker and it is obvious that i am talking about them and not mumbai blasts.I am talking about enquiry on his death in particular..But whatever,I am least bothered as he has already passed away and it is better to take bit concern atleast on people who are still breathing.

    And finally,we are going overboard by reacting as “he is not fit to be minister” and all…there are more holy people doing even more holier stuff..When they all are roaming around with Z ++++ security and all,this man’s comment is of not much concern..

    p.s :Do not take comments personally..I am a least informed person,so i may make mistakes..Pls bear with me..

    Sorry Nimmy. Even when I re-read my comment I felt I had gone overboard. I know you will forgive me.🙂 But yeah, I do feel he is not fit to be minister. You see, I had this opinion of him even before this controversy. But what he said now made him go down in my eyes even further. I was very much an adult when he was CM of Maharashtra. He is corrupt, and sure, others are also corrupt! That I agree! In fact I would say to you that please don’t take this personally. I detest antulay and it’s nothing to do with his religion. – Nita.

  16. Vinod permalink
    December 22, 2008 6:35 pm

    If you are questioning whether Pakistani terrorists have attacked India, then I prefer not to disucss it. thanks.

    Nope. I’m not talking about any specific conclusion on the terrorist attack per se. I’m talking about our approach to evaluating evidence. Let’s show a little bit more scepticism towards our govt agencies, which we usually do in our internal matters, even in matters where Pakistan is involved. Something about dealing with Pakistan triggers us to lose that.

  17. Vinod permalink
    December 22, 2008 6:39 pm

    O, I must credit you, Nita for constantly highlighting those aspects of the investigative methods that does generate confidence in me on the govt reports. Thanks

  18. December 22, 2008 7:39 pm

    I think Antulay’s comments should have been left ignored. Irrespective of the situation Karkare would have found himself in on 26/11, he made the right decision to go to Cama Hospital where terrorists were trying to flee. The ones at Taj and Oberoi were not going anywhere since the area might have been cordoned off by then. Raising a question which is completely devoid of logic, the minister did the nation a huge disfavor.
    But what concerned me more was the media instead of correcting Antulay, chose to expand it and evolve it to what it has become now. Antulay was purely making a publicity stunt when he made the comment and the media by following him just fell to his trap.

    I think in a way you are right Arby, because I too thought that the media kind of twisted his statement as if he was questioning that Karkare was shot by a Pakistani. But I heard Antulay speak on tv, he clearly said he did not doubt that. – Nita.

  19. Sharath permalink
    December 22, 2008 7:59 pm

    After the Mumbai attacks ,I thought Raj Thackerey would have burnt a new fire again.Surprisingly that didn’t happen..I was first happy that the fat and idiotic mouth of Hindutva was not functioning ,maybe I assumed so,maybe the media did consider that they shouldn’t be given enough coverage.
    But I was wrong.The BJP had no match boxes to start a fire , they had only oil..Fortunately for them someone lunatic in the name of Antualy started a fire so the right wing Hindutva groups can sustain the flames in the nation..
    Did that minority affairs minister have a little idea what he is talking about?..A man’s intellectuality always follow a poisson’s distribution curve.When a child is born it doesn’t know the consequence of its actions..The intelligence reaches its peak at an age and further reaching down an old man’s intellectuality is akin to that of a child,as in our case Mr.Antulay may be saying to himself that he is a hero,but he doesn’t have an idea of the consequence of his statement which proves the Poisson’s theorem..

    Well, yes you have said it well, now the BJP has a stick to beat the Congress with. What a huge mistake Antulay made! And as you said he could well be senile. – Nita.

  20. Sharath permalink
    December 22, 2008 8:19 pm

    Maybe Antulay should visit some Websites ,particularly Pak sites like daily.pk.. They honestly believe that the saffron wing activists in India are responsible for the Mumbai attacks .There is a terrorist called Zahid Hussain in Pakistan who styles himself as a defence Analyst.He openly blabbers that the BJP activists are responsible for the attacks because the captured terrorist -who was also caught on CCTV -wore an orange band in his arm.In a recent interview he called for a jehad with India and that too was aired on TV..

    http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/showthread.php?t=65536&page=2&pp=50

    Mr.Antualy should realise that most of the Pakistanis are not gonna accept the truth even if it stare at them right before their eyes.Whatever we prove about LeT they will say that the proof is inadequate and that the the the entire Mumbai carnage is just an eyewash.So it seems that Mr.Antualy had decided to stand up to these Pakistani people just because he wanna gain some Muslim votes .

  21. December 22, 2008 9:03 pm

    Nita, I am impressed about the details about the time of each event that you have presented and several other past “accomplishments” of ARA. But this sentence differentiates you from us all: “Antulay was not interested in the truth or saying anything intelligent.” You are so kind!
    We would have called him scheming, senile, absolutely mad and whatever…
    And in the very next sentence you have summed it up: “He wanted to please his vote bank”.
    Our politicians stoop to new lows each day! They even beat our Sensex at that!

    Thanks Gopinath. But I guess as Nimmy said, we have worse politicians in this country than Antulay!🙂 – Nita.

  22. December 22, 2008 10:51 pm

    It is true that people will believe whatever they want to believe. Our sources of information are not reliable, our investigating agencies are not reliable, one is never sure what to believe.

    Until it was conclusively proven that the terrorists had indeed come from Pakistan I wasn’t sure what to think, either.

    Now I just wish we’d stay united as Indians and NOT fall for any political gimmicks … yes there’s a lot that is wrong with us, but if we have peace and stability we can go so far … (just some unhappy ramblings)

    Well, I do have a certain amount of faith in the investigative agencies, or rather I have faith that in India one cannot hide the truth for long. True, investigative agencies do cover up but when they do either everyone knows it immediately or it’s found out within the year!🙂 But ofcourse I agree with you that investigative agencies are often up to hanky panky! If the truth comes out I think the reason for this is that we are a democracy, have various acts like the RTI, have a lot of NGO’s working to ferret out the truth, human rights organisations functioning properly, strong opposition political parties, a free press etc. – Nita.

  23. December 22, 2008 10:56 pm

    Nita, very well, very logically explained.
    I agree with Sharath also.

  24. Manoj J permalink
    December 22, 2008 11:04 pm

    Its True whatever Antulay is talking about is only to gain some political advances in Muslim vote bank. But apart from his baseless remark on Sir Karkare’s death, there shall be a debating issue on Hindu terror. We all shall condem the Hindu terror as we all expect from Muslim community to do same for Muslim terror which they are doing quite strongly. It shall make sure that Karkare’s death wont hamper the investigation of Hindu terror links and all the truth shall come out in public and all the people behind it shall be prosecuted.

    I think everyone is condemning the terror. And I feel that the probe into Malegoan will continue. I think it’s too late to turn back now. – Nita.

  25. December 22, 2008 11:40 pm

    I was thinking of doing a post on this and had written a draft too but somehow I was not able to keep out the colorful language out of the post.
    Even after seeing such widespread public anger against the foolishness of the politicians, they are like the dog’s tail. If they don’t have the brains to run the nation, can they at least keep their mouth shut? Did he even realized what he was doing?

    Dog’s tail huh. Nice comparison. You must have seen Antulay’s tail wagging today (tuesday evening) when he was trying to eat his words!🙂 – Nita.

  26. December 23, 2008 1:49 am

    I think making fun of such people is the best thing to do. Read this really hilarious article:

    http://www.iwebie.com/antulay-vs-ekta-kapoor

    True, that’s what they deserve!!🙂 – Nita.

  27. Sucheta permalink
    December 23, 2008 1:56 am

    Nita, very well written article and facts placed in right logical order. When I see someone find some sense in his holiness Antulay or someone waiting to see there is indeed a conspiracy theory, I seriously doubt if they have followed the events correctly or have a logical thinking.
    Also to those who are demanding a probe on who sent Mr. Karkare to the opposite direction theory – will they eat crow if it turns out that it was not saffron but somebody who knew where terrorists are hiding. Had BJP or Saffron been doing things this cleverly, then I doubt if there has been any terrorism in India.

    Thanks Sucheta. As you said Antulay’s theory defies logic. It is clear that people are not thinking, they are just reacting. – Nita.

  28. Sucheta permalink
    December 23, 2008 2:00 am

    I also lived in an apartment in Mumbai that was built during Antulay time and was built with “Antulay Cement”. When they were doing a balcony extension of that house an entire wall fell off beacuse of slight pressure on another side. Thank god I was away. Otherwise I would not have been here to read another Antulay misdeed…

  29. December 23, 2008 2:18 am

    It is over-reaction. You can call him irresponsible but calling him anti-national is ridiculous. Asking for a probe in those three deaths, even if it is a weird theory, can’t be crime.

    No vote bank. It’s a BJP propaganda. Antulay is already out of political limelight. Some of those who have commented on the post, ought to be sensitive. Pronouncements like anti-national and Pakistani are the worst form of abuse.

    Adnan, I understand your point, but you see this guy being the Union Minister caused this stink. I agree it’s not a crime to ask for a probe, even if it’s not a logical demand. But the problem is that the time he made it, and about what he made it on, that is a problem. I wonder if someone put him up to it. That is the only answer. Maybe someone in the Congress. One will never know. – Nita.

  30. December 23, 2008 2:37 am

    Nita,
    Antulay’s thoughtless and untimely remark is symptomatic of a systemic failure:

    a) He has been convicted, as you point out, and yet served in a public office (political failure, as much ours as his party’s. We didn’t throw him out of public life, did we?).

    b) After Karkare’s death, we haven’t heard much about the investigation he headed. That causes people to worry about where these investigations are headed (a justice/police system fails to assure its people that the investigation will be concluded fairly and perpetrators punished).

    c) And indeed, why did Karkare have to head after the terrorists on the field? He is a lead investigator, no?
    Hats off to him for leading his men from the front, but he shouldn’t have had to be on the field himself shooting. An anti-terror chief needs to have a trained anti-terror squad. The terrorists have successfully chopped of the head — a man, I hear, was known for his integrity.
    (Our failure to put a working security system in place).

    What can I say about Antulay? He’s the product of a system we have fed and kept in place. For too long.

    SS

    SS, I agree with you about the system failure point. Our system has failed us.
    However, some minor points:- I have read at least 3 separate reports on Karkare’s probe into the Malegaon blasts after the Mumbai Terror attack. True, it was on the inside pages and also one cannot say how the probe is going from the reports. However, let me point out that when the Malegoan probe started to come into the limelight, press reports on the Indian Mujahideen investigation slipped on to the back pages. As a result some people from some “Hindu” parties accused the govt. of sidelining the Indian Mujahideen probe. That time I thought this wasn’t fair as naturally the current and fresh problem will get the attention. Anyway, as I said one never really knows how the investigations are going.
    Also Karkare going into the field shows him to be a good leader. In fact the mumbai police chief Gafoor and also his colleague Roy were almost sacked because they sat in the police control room instead of leading from the front. They are supposed to do that but most people simply sit far away from the action. Ofcourse the fact as to whether Karkare was physically fit is another matter, but that he led from the front makes him a hero. – Nita.

  31. December 23, 2008 5:01 am

    So, some people still have doubts about the terrorist after reporters have found Kasav’s village and his parents, and even Nawaz Sharif has publicly admitted that Kasav is a Pakistani? While skepticism is good, to not accept facts and instead ponder some far-fetched theory of RSS or RSS-LeT joint operation in Mumbai as a more viable explanation – either these people are really smoking something good or have snorted the pixie dust, or they are fools who are best left with their fairy tales.

    🙂 – Nita.

  32. ram permalink
    December 23, 2008 7:44 am

    Antulay has democratic freedom to say what he said, and good that he said it ,,,
    at least someone in politics did it openly instead of saying it hush hush like many very secular politicians did behind closed doors…
    There are no regrets or even condemnation from many parties , even the communists have commented about the timing of it all…

    may be it is vote politics or a well thought out plan of the congress hi command to garner to the islamists …
    Time will tell if he benefits or not from this strategy
    This man was once a driver of another congress politician who rose to be a politician himself , and was voted in constantly because he got good roads n infrastructure for people of albaug …

    No one but time will tell if his gamble will pay!

    True, time will tell! One can never guess about the electorate but my guess is that it won’t pay! – Nita.

  33. raghav permalink
    December 23, 2008 9:09 am

    I am sick of all this politics. Enough!!
    Will not read Indian newspapers for some days.

  34. December 23, 2008 10:40 am

    Its a classic case of “rassi jal gai par bal nahi gaya”

    This idiot is a minister, without any trace of proof how can a cabinet minister start speaking about murmurs and give them undue importance.

    Its alright if there is some proof, no nothing, this man has no proof.

    How responsible the cabinet minister this is who starts speaking about so so sensitive topics without any conviction.

    What takes the Cake is this idiot after having angered the entire nation wont even bow down, will not see his mistake and not repent one bit.

    Its like go jump in the lake I wont change.

    His adamant approach and smile angers me so much I feel like smashing his face.

    Think what you want, say what you want its Democracy !!!!!

    Dhiren, I am not sure that he is an idiot. That is giving him too much credit!!🙂 – Nita.

  35. Sudhir Jatar permalink
    December 23, 2008 11:10 am

    One does not carry out inquiries when military, para-military or police personnel are killed in action. One does not carry out inquiries to prove their valour. One does not carry out inquiries to substantiate grant of gallantry awards. One does not carry out inquiries to find out why they went into battle.
    All one needs is a single witness to evidence that the person concerned was killed in enemy action. Some times, even this is not possible and one has to depend on circumstantial evidence as in Ladakh when the entire company of 13 Kumaon Battalion was wiped out leaving no witnesses. The questions, ‘who ordered Karkare to go to place A and why he did not go to place B’, is an exercise in futility because he is no more. Also, he was a very senior officer and he would certainly not have waited for ‘instructions’ (as perhaps Antulay has done open his dirty mouth) to act, especially in an emergency. At the outside, he could have informed the DGP, Maharashtra that he is going along with the other two senior officers and that too on the radio once he boarded the vehicle.
    Antulay and all those who support him directly or indirectly are anti-national to say the least and are playing ‘vote-bank’ politics at the cost of the honour and integrity of the country.
    One carries out inquiries only when there is cowardice in the face of the enemy. In this case, we need an inquiry to find out why and at whose behest (the Queen or Pakistan) that Antulay has made an outrageous statement.

    Thanks. As you have experience in the field, you perspective is helpful. – Nita.

  36. December 23, 2008 2:52 pm

    but wasnt Karkare getting death threats from VHP – BJP ppl?? cos he was nabbing them in the Malegaon blasts case & Samjhauta express case. Whats wrong if a proper inquiry is done on Karkares death.. although the chances are slim.. India isnt great yet..😦

    True he was getting death threats. But if the cause of the death of a man who is getting death threats is clear and obvious and seen by the whole world then it’s different. – Nita.

  37. December 23, 2008 6:49 pm

    When I heard this news I was not surprised. Because this is the kinda thing which is being done by our politicians for the past 30 to 40 years. What worried me most is the inaction from the congress party. They are just fearing that they will lose the votes of muslims. If a party worker makes an illegal statement the head of the party didn’t thought about sacking him but thinking about the consequences in elections. No politicians in our country are brave enough so as the people who are electing this criminal..
    when I read a report about how MLAs elected in the recent elections have criminal background, I am shocked. Above 40% of them have criminal record. This is way above percentage. No party cares about it. All they want is power.

    Kanagu, well today (tuesday evening) the congress party made antulay clarify his statement. But I doubt whether the BJP will forget it. – Nita.

  38. December 23, 2008 8:40 pm

    Hi Nita,

    there isn’t a need for apology and all dear..We are just sharing ideas and neither you nor me needn’t feel offended about remarks me make while talking…So pls take back your sorry🙂

    I am really very sad that you made a religious reference in the end..I dn’t know who this guy is,until he appreaed in newspaper..I didn’ t know he is a muslim,until i knew that A R stands for ABDUL rahman..even if he was a hindu or jain,i would ahev said the same..It is really a sick feeling to see me associated with people,simply bcoz they belong to my communtiy.Even Osama is a ‘muslim’..Did you forget that I talkd for Raj Thakarey,and worte a 2 km length post for him..He will stone me if he knows that,but i stand by what i feel is right..

    And in this old amn’s case,all i was saying is that we are overeacting over a small thing.What is Karkare is killed by so called Hindu zionists or by bloody Paki terrorists? Now that Karkare is resting in peace,and since some ‘holy’ people in our nation is raising issues about his death,either ignore it or make a investigation and push the report down his throat so that he never makes such irresponsible rants again.Instead,by aksing him to resign,by brading him anti-nationalist etc etc,we are infact adding more fuwl to those minds who are already is state of dilemma knowing not whom to belive and not..If there had been an investigation,since issues raised,the doubt is cleard..now,this conspiracy seed will remain in hearts of people and will germinate to form trees of hatred and mistrust..

    See,today this budda said “All my doubts are cleared”.Bullshit,what about the seeds of doubt he threw in others minds? they will start weaving theories on their own and as you said “Belive in what they like’..I still say that,if there had been an investigation,it would ahve atleast helped in future for such dumbos not to make allegations,simply as such and instead,make a feel that they are accountable for what they said…But sadly,it just ended like that..Afterall,who should be afraid of an enquiry,afterall its those pak terrorirts who made an evil dance in our land and took many lives of ours..Atleast, a little time and money would ahve helped to stop such acts in future..Nevermind,its just the way things are🙂

    I have no much idea what did i rant.Sorry for spelling and grammar mistakes..I am little busy,but i wanted to reply to you as you may think that i am offfended and hence not replying🙂 Sorry if i hurt your feelings..Nothing personal..

    One request,Pls don’t make such religious associations🙂

    Good day.

    • December 23, 2008 9:02 pm

      Nimmy, now you are making me want to say sorry again! I didn’t mean anything by the religious inference. I tend to be very blunt in my talk and I guess when it’s written down it comes out all wrong. There is nothing wrong in feeling a little defensive about someone’s from one’s own community though! In fact as far as Antulay is concerned, I see him as a Maharashtrian, and I think that is why I slammed him the way I did!🙂 Just yesterday while talking about Antulay I was telling a friend how terrible all the politicians from MH are.
      And yes I think it is sad that Antulay stirred up a hornet’s nest and now he is all cosy and fine!! And you are welcome to rant Nimmy. I love to have you commenting on my blog. Your comments are so from the heart. And my feelings are not hurt at all! I just feel that somehow yours are! – Nita.

  39. December 23, 2008 9:00 pm

    Thanks Nita for replying.

    Though I don’t like this sort of self-promotion but I have written at my blog the circumstances and the possibly reason that gives rise to such suspicions and conspiracy theories. You may have a look at the post.

  40. Nimmy permalink
    December 23, 2008 9:05 pm

    🙂

    This is a weird world with lot of dumbos..We shouldn’t spoil our sense arguing for them..lol..((hugs))

    Good day..

  41. December 23, 2008 9:30 pm

    I have seen that. But I think it’s too late. It came after lots of bashing from opposition parties and media. Why they didn’t done that in first place? They thought if they do that means their muslim vote bank will get a hit. With the strong criticism from them also, congress has made this decision.

    They are doing things or taking decisions on whether it is right or wrong. They are doing things if it may fetch some votes. A very irresponsible comment made by a minister and it was supported by some section of the party at first. And others have shut their mouth. Nobody is ready to speak or fight for justice. That is the pity state of our Indian Politics.

    I agree with you that Antulay withdrawing his comment is of no use. The damage is done. – Nita.

  42. December 23, 2008 9:46 pm

    /*They are doing things or taking decisions on whether it is right or wrong. */
    take it as
    They are doing things or taking decisions not on whether it is right or wrong.

  43. December 24, 2008 2:55 am

    Nita,
    Just a few clarifications so I am not misunderstood🙂

    a) The reason Malegaon investigation is so important in the aftermath of 26/11 is more circumstantial than anything else. The man who was heading the case and getting closer to wrapping it up, died. And it was quite a controversial investigation, to say the least. Which is why assuaging fears that justice may be denied is absolutely important, at least to me, as a citizen.

    b) “Also Karkare going into the field shows him to be a good leader. …Of course the fact as to whether Karkare was physically fit is another matter, but that he led from the front makes him a hero.” — Nita

    O absolutely! And I said so, too. But his actions speak more to his personal integrity than the system’s success. First, from what I understand, he was more of an intelligence guy, being the head of the ATS.
    Second, India has been dealing with terrorism for far too long not to have field-ready anti-terror squads in at least the urban centres, which seem to be the prime targets of such attacks.
    In both cases, Karkare, or whoever headed the ATS, should have had such a squad — akin to the NSG — at his or her or ATS’ command, his/her physical fitness notwithstanding.

    Terror is not a simple law and order situation. The local cops can’t and shouldn’t have to handle this.
    We have suffered this for far too long not to know it. It’s just that our leaders didn’t (have to?) care enough.

  44. December 24, 2008 5:30 am

    The reason Malegaon investigation is so important in the aftermath of 26/11 is more circumstantial than anything else. The man who was heading the case and getting closer to wrapping it up, died.

    SS, I’m not in on how exactly the ATS conducts an investigation, but I’d think that whatever evidence Karkare collected, or whatever theories he had, would also be available to whoever takes over the investigation. Or are you suggesting that Karkare took all the evidence with him, or that eliminating him got rid of the evidence? Or that whoever replaces him won’t be honest in pursuing the case? I’m just trying to understand the thinking here.

  45. December 24, 2008 6:15 am

    @ Amit, I am not sure I understand your question.
    How did I imply that he was the only one with all the evidence and that he took it with him? Ummm..not sure…
    But I’ll try to clarify: In any organization, the leader or head, sets the trend, standards, what gets priority and what doesn’t. In this case, Karkare was heading a crucial and controversial investigation.
    I do not know what the next-in-command will do. But for a country already weakened by the loss of the chief of an anti-terror squad — who was also known for his integrity as much for his acumen, a quality fairly hard to come by in a system ridden with political agenda — I would think a strong statement from the government or whoever concerned that ATS is back in action and Karkare’s work will not go in vain, is only appropriate and will calm many nerves.

    Does that clarify it somewhat? Hope so!

    Sorry Nita, this discussion has jumped from Antulay to Karkare and other things😦
    My only contention is, this is not a problem that can be fixed in a piecemeal manner. We need a systemic change.

    SS, this discussion is very much about how Karkare died so you are very much on topic.🙂 However I tend to slightly disagree with you here. Sure, people are feeling insecure, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to make wild accusations or raise issues which should not be raised. Karkare’s death at least was not circumstantial. It was obvious and there were several eye-witnesses plus phone conversations plus a logical sequence of events. If there had indeed been some unknown factor in Karkare’s death, yes some people could have been suspicious, but not the way things have happened now. And about your other points about the system, ofcourse you are absolutely right! – Nita.

  46. December 24, 2008 10:10 am

    “Sure, people are feeling insecure, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to make wild accusations or raise issues which should not be raised. Karkare’s death at least was not circumstantial. It was obvious and there were several eye-witnesses plus phone conversations plus a logical sequence of events.”

    Oho! Now I see what’s happening. No Nita, I wasn’t defending Antulay’s statement about Karkare at all. If my comment implied that in any way, I am sorry, but I thought I had made it pretty clear in my first post that his comment was thoughtless and untimely, especially since he was a minister.
    But Antulay is just one of our many problems. He is symptomatic of a deeper malaise. We have much work to do.
    THAT was my point.

  47. December 24, 2008 1:32 pm

    Nita, your analysis of the situation is very unbiased and frank. I agree.

    But the communal angle being played in press is very disappointing.

    Anchors and newspersons are implying that he has embarrased the Indian Muslim. Isn’t this making it communal? I think his statements were an insult to all Indians, Muslims and Hindus alike.

    How about saying that he embarrased all Indians in the wake of the current crisis with Pakistan?


    I think you are bang on! I agree with you entirely. – Nita.

  48. December 24, 2008 1:37 pm

    But rather, the comparison drawn between Indian Muslims and other Indians is very very communal when it should be between Indians and Pakistanis.

  49. December 24, 2008 2:40 pm

    It is so sickening when the system is flushed with corrupted politicians. He should be punished as a civilian in the court of law. Unfortunately, voters are equally responsible for allowing such triad.

    Yeah, flushed is the right word. These people need to be flushed out. Hopefully they will lose their seats in the coming elections! – Nita.

  50. Nil permalink
    December 24, 2008 8:25 pm

    His comments were reckless and politically driven. Mindless conspiracy theories just to divert from the real matters at hand (the Mumbai blasts, Pakistan-based terrorists).

    Congress politicians like himself only make such statements when it suits them (in the wake of atrocities, election campagains…).

    Channels like NDTV love his kind of rhetoric. I’ve always found them a slightly elitist, Congress-biased channel (news ought to be impartial!).

    I think the Congress too likes to create a divide between communities, they thrive on it. Only they do it more subtly than the BJP. – Nita.

  51. vasudev permalink
    December 24, 2008 11:25 pm

    antulay…where was he all this while? he was never in the news for last so many years…suddenly he appears and challenges the congress with some wild proclamations and the elections are just round the corner and it leaves bjp with a stink and congress is semingly trying hard to tell antulay to be a good boy…ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!…

    nice publicity for a minister who was being ignored! – Nita.

  52. Sucheta permalink
    December 25, 2008 1:10 am

    Now that a lot of reports fact sheets already appeared in the newspaper, no one having the ability to read or listen will ever raise a conspiracy theory to Karkare’s death. What annoys me most is when Antulay hypothesis appeared in the newspaper, there was clearly a division among the public, where the muslims almost always supported Antulay’s hypothesis so also a few pseudo secular hindus. But the reamining population always criticised what Antulay has said. Even most of the MPs that belong to a particular community supported Antulay, for which he beacame defiant and never in clear words say what he said was totally wrong. Now if to this the TV or newspaper give a communal color, I don’t see anything wrong in it. It was heading that way anyways. Thanks for the eye witnesses now atleast almost every vertebrate believes there was no conspiracy.

    I don’t understand why there is so much reference to Malegaon blast where as the number of people killed was much less than the series of blasts that took life of so many. Nobody is even talking about it anymore. What should you call this?

    Well you are certainly right in the sense that Antulay himself was being communal and pandering to the gallery. I admit I too think Antulay’s comment was anti-national even though I have not used those exact words. I have put it a little diplomatically. – Nita.

  53. Nil permalink
    December 25, 2008 4:44 am

    On a side note, NDTV appear to be trying to support Anutaly’s cause.

    It sickens me how hypocritical they are (Barkha Dutt all self-righteous as usual!)-labelling the Malegaon blasts an act of Hindu terror, Saffron terror, the Saffron Brigade. Yet when the Mumbai blasts happened, they were calling for solidarity among Indians and not to blame Muslims or any other religious group for it.

    NDTV might as well be a Congress sponsored channel.

    This Hindu terror thing was indeed uncalled for. Those criminals who were behind the Malegaon blasts at no time did it in the name of Hinduism but did it out of some sickening sense of revenge and justice. Even I was a little shocked that the government and this includes the Left, who made strong noises against the term Islamic terrorism, were quite willing to call this Hindu terrorism. These kind of double standards will not be accepted by voters. – Nita.

  54. December 25, 2008 9:55 am

    @ Nita : Antulay did probably mean that, but the media need not have added on to it. When RR Patil made his infamous comment he was taken to task over it and Antulay could have been given treatment because his statement also lacked logic. If Antulay was told right to the face by the media u r wrong because ur statement lacks logic, the whole situation could have been neutralized without raising any eyebrows.

    Yes, that’s true, they could have made fun of Antulay and ridiculed his statement. – Nita.

  55. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    December 25, 2008 10:44 am

    @ Sucheta:

    //I don’t understand why there is so much reference to Malegaon blast where as the number of people killed was much less than the series of blasts that took life of so many.//

    Ditto I about Taj and Oberoi … CST was not found worth reporting on as extensively.

  56. vasudev permalink
    December 25, 2008 1:24 pm

    antulay’s sad joke or the publicity given by a sick and ever degenerating press is not what worries me (i stopped watching tv news and stopped buying newspapers more than a year ago).

    what worries me is that three brave and very senior policemen with top-class service records allowed themselves to be taken SADLY unprepared even though they were just returning from the scene of a major crime. in contrast, i would any day stand-up and salute those unsung heroes who caught a terrorist with just lathis as weapons (while one of those poor policemen lost his life really BRAVELY in the process).

    or does antulay believe that bjp had asked these senior officers to allow themselves to be shot dead?

  57. December 25, 2008 9:15 pm

    @Nil
    CNN-IBN showed the OM symbol in association with the Malegaon suspects. Would they use any Islamic or Christian symbols? I dont think so.

    Why does Hinduism get such treatment from the mainstream media?

  58. Nil permalink
    December 26, 2008 4:09 am

    Thanks Nita and Trailblazer for understanding what I mean! All religious groups in this country deserve equality. I wouldn’t have been so angry if the media condemned the Malegoan blasts as a pure act of terrorism like they did with Mumbai or anything else. It’s sneaky and divisive by the media just like the government. The higher ups thrive on India being divided.

    While I don’t follow any religious practices myself, I can see, as an objective viewer, how unfair they have been.

    • December 26, 2008 7:46 am

      Nil, Trailblazer,
      I think the reason why the media does it is to make everything sensational. Also I think these channels lack proper leadership. And they don’t do it to Muslims or Christians because it is not politically correct to say so. In fact even the Left parties have called the Malegaon blasts thing “Hindu” terrorism, and these hypocrites are the first people to denounce “Islamic” terrorism. I do not even believe in Islamic terrorism so I find this Hindu terrorism thing absolutely ridiculous. Those who say it are saying it to appease those who hate Hindus. On the face of it the channels doing this is ridiculous as the majority of our country consists of Hindus! But I think the modus operandi of the channels is first please this group, then please that one, attack this group, then attack this one…there is no objectivity. – Nita.

  59. December 27, 2008 4:30 am

    Nita, I am a proud Indian today, after reading this news🙂
    And this about rule of law.

    The point I was trying to make about calming nerves and continuing to function as an effective democracy that we are proud of, has been put to rest at least for now.
    Yippie!!!
    Also, I’d like to point you to this interesting debate going on at Desicritics(you may know about this already) about Ajmal Kasab’s defence.

    • December 27, 2008 8:11 am

      SS, I think overall people have a lower image of India than it what really is. I am not saying you, but a lot of people. In India the justice system as a whole is fairly sound with all its flaws. People do get justice and our investigative agencies too are fairly good. True once the facts are out the political parties try to pressurise but there are a lot of people who do stand up to it. The fact that the facts came out about the Malegaon case itself is an evidence of that facts come out. We have had plenty of exposes by even the press about crimes committed by senior govt people, kind of done by secret cameras. So if the police fail, the press takes over!🙂 If the Malegoan blasts were not solved earlier and blamed on Muslims groups it was because of stupidity, prejudice and inefficiency, not a deliberate cover up. Now that the can of worms is out nothing can stop the due process of law. But I am glad you put these links here, for those who have no idea what India really is. We are the world’s largest democracy with great institutions.

  60. December 29, 2008 6:50 pm

    Yes, Nita. I agree. I believe it’s all down to vote bank politics. The media, which portrays itself as a uniter is actually fundamentally divisive. Raising questions of division among communities itself is being divisive.

    I feel for the plight of Hindus in the country, as much as I feel for Muslims and Christians. Segments of society feed one community’s rise, but AT THE COST OF THE OTHER. I am neither Hindu, nor Muslim nor Christian. And I am also not an atheist.

    We need equality among religions and their representation. If the majority is the Hindus, then it is not supposed to become a subject of persecution in defence of the minorities. At the same time, rogue elements in the majority must also not engage in minority oppression.

    Peaceful India, One India. Want. Need.

  61. December 30, 2008 5:25 pm

    I dont understnd what u mean by saying “if the cause of the death of a man who is getting death threats is clear and obvious and seen by the whole world then it’s different” ?? do u mean 2 say since no 1 knows that Karkare was catchin BJP guys no1 knows that he was targetted … im sure im getting u wrong. I just dont understd y the heck we cant have an enquiry on Karkares death, forget Antulay usko goli maro hes a criminal himself, but atleast give some logical reason not to do what he says.

    Assem, the cause of Karkare’s death is clear and obvious and logical. There is no mystery or doubt in it. If you study the events you will understand what I mean. There is no way that Hindu radicals could have teamed up with LeT. No one doubts LeT’s role, not even Antulay. – Nita.

  62. Vinay permalink
    February 17, 2009 3:59 am

    Dudes, Antulay is no stranger to controversies. He’s been involved in the Cement Scandal in ’82, followed by his comments about the Nanded blasts and a speech in Aligarh. And now this in 2008.

    It all comes down to the fact that we dudes are gonna forget about this matter (last post was made in Dec’08) and even after his resignation (though lacking the approval of the PM), our sterile Antulay will return to power in some form or the other.

    Though reports claim that he is no longer going to contest elections. However, it has not been confirmed.

    Nita, who are we kidding? These dudes always get away. I haven’t learnt about a single politician whose actually gone down even after getting caught in a big scandal.

  63. February 18, 2009 6:13 pm

    It is on record that politicians get away with..whatever.It is a very sorry state of affairs butis’nt that the reality?
    I wrote about Antuley in my blog on 24th Dec.You may want to read it.

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