Author Archives: François Gautier

A propos of #Congress celebrations for #Nehru’s 125th birth anniversary . A look at his legacy.

Nehru, writes French historian Alain Danielou, “was the perfect replica of a certain type of Englishman. He often used the expression ‘continental people’, with an amused and sarcastic manner, to designate French or Italians. He despised non-anglicised Indians and had a very superficial and partial knowledge of India. His ideal was the romantic socialism of 19th century Britain. But this type of socialism was totally unfit to India, where there was no class struggle and where the conditions were totally different from 19th century Europe.” (Histoire de l’Inde p. 349)

It should be added that Nehru was not a fiery leader, maybe because of his innate “gentlemanship” and often succumbed not only to Gandhi’s views, with which he sometimes disagreed, not only to the blackmailing of Jinnah and the fanatical Indian Muslim minority, but also to the British, particularly Lord Mountbatten, whom history has portrayed as the benevolent last Viceroy of India, but who actually was most instrumental in the partition of India, whatever “Freedom at Midnight” a very romanticised book, says. (Remember Churchill’s words on learning about Partition: “At last we had the last word”). It may be added that the British had a habit of leaving a total mess when they had to surrender a colony, witness Palestine, Ireland, or India.

Nehru has also been made into a myth by foreign writers, such as French Catherine Clement, who wrote a ridiculous and pompous novel depicting the loves between Nehru and Lady Mountbatten. The problem is not whether they had sex or not together, the problem rather, is that this “affair” only symbolizes the fatal attraction which Nehru had for the White Skin – for Edwina Mountbatten was certainly not a beauty, but was in fact renowned for her nymphomania and inconsequence – an attraction for the White Skin which the Congress perpetuated faithfully and still incarnated today by Sonia Gandhi, who was, till Mr Narendra Modi came on the scene, able to woo the masses, when she has absolutely no qualifications to lead India. The problem is not whether Mountbatten was made a cuckold or not – but that it was India which was cuckolded, for Nehru was unfaithful to India by letting his weaknesses influence him in accepting partition and the terms dictated by the British.

The Congress has today made an icon out Nehru, and is trying to perpetuate it through its pompous 125th birth anniversary celebrations, which will not evoke much international interest, for Nehru belongs to India’s past: the Soviet model, the denigration of India’s ancient spirituality and anything Hindu, the huge elephants of nationalized industries, the creating of a privileged caste of VIP politicians answerable to nobody, the pampering to the Muslims for selfish electoral motives, the devastating Hindi-Chini bhaibhai policy, the huge bureaucracy and corruption, the mistrust of America, etc.

Thus, Nehru did tremendous harm to India by initiating movements and patterns, which not only did vast damage in their times, but continue to survive and weigh down the Indian nation, long after their uselessness has been realized.


William Dalrymple has always been a great fan of Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir, India’s sixth Mughal emperor (1658-1707). In his two previous books, The Last Mughal and White Mughals, Dalrymple reenacted the British’s fondness for the Mughal period, by directly and indirectly praising the longest reigning emperor after Akbar.

In his forthcoming opus magnum, which will be solely dedicated to Aurangzeb, Dalrymple says he will go further: “Aurangzeb was absolutely fascinating, very self aware, very Shakespearean. By the end of his life, Aurangzeb does becomes a monster of myths, but his final letters are full of regret and awareness about how much he destroyed of what he had inherited”. And he concludes: “What is little spoken is that he was an extremely generous donor of various ashrams and maths. Just the sheer data that can be gathered about his donations to Hindu monasteries is extraordinary”….

Was the emperor such a pious man? Well, just look to what he did to his own family: Aurangzeb, who was neither the eldest, nor the favorite son of his father Shah Jahan, killed his two brothers to ascend the throne, dispatched his father to jail and subsequently murdered him by sending him poisoned massage oil. He later had his own son imprisoned (in his will, he admonished: “never trust your sons”). He was also very cruel to the majority of his subjects, the Hindus, ordering all temples destroyed, such as the Kashi Vishwanath, the rebuilt Somnath temple, the Vishnu temple (replaced with the Alamgir mosque now overlooking Benares), or the Treta-ke-Thakur temple in Ayodhya. He also made sure that deities of Hindu Gods and Goddesses were buried under the steps of the mosques (like the Jama Masjid in Delhi) so that future generations of Muslims would trample upon them.

Sikhism, the youngest religion in the world, owes its initial phenomenal growth to the persecutions of one man: Aurangzeb Alamgir. The Mughal emperor not only had the Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur beheaded, because he objected to his forced conversions, but he also viciously persecuted the followers of Guru Gobind Singh, whom he had never forgiven for having supported his brother Dara.

The sad thing is that today the Sikh world seems to be growing closer to Aurangzeb and drifting away from its Hindu brothers and sisters, forgetting that their order was originally created to defend them. Indeed, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Amritsar, has not uttered a word against Dalrymple’s forthcoming book.

More serious even, the Central Government always eager to please ‘minorities’ has set up a dangerous precedent by removing from its ‘blacklist’ the names of 142 wanted Sikh terrorists and their associates, some of them now in Pakistan.

Among those: Lakhbir Singh Rode, nephew of dreaded slain terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and chief of International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), Ranjit Singh, alias Neeta, a native of Jammu and Kashmir who heads Khalistan Zindabad Force, Wadhawa Singh, chief of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Paramjit Singh Panjwar, chief of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF). Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) It is said that President Paramjit Singh Sarna lobbied hard with Sonia Gandhi for this decision.

Aurangzeb’s deadly legacy of murderous fanaticism is still alive in parts of the world; such as Kashmir or Pakistan. The Sikh community should protest Dalrymple books and remember how much they suffered at the hands of Aurangzeb.

The #Godhra Riots Postscript: The Masterminds Nicole Elfi October 2014

Note: This is a postscript to The Godhra Riots:
Sifting Fact from Fiction, July 2013, by the same author.
In May this year, the people of India chose their Prime Minister. Over twelve
years, several inquiry commissions — the Tewatia Committee (2010), the
Nanavati Commission (2008), the Special Investigation Team (2011) under the
Supreme Court — cleared Narendra Modi of all charges of having
masterminded or, at least, encouraged the Godhra riots.1 Still, his detractors —
politicians and ideology-driven activists in India, the US and Europe — have
continued to label him “merchant of death”, “butcher”, “Nazi”, “fascist”,
“murderer”, etc.
Let us examine the facts and see whether they can point to the riot’s real
The Role of Congress Members
On 27 February 2002, when a coach of Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya
went up in flames at Godhra railway station, a Congress member of the Godhra
municipality, Haji Balal, led a mob and stopped the fire-fighting vehicle on its
way to the station. The fire crew reported that “he had been visiting the fire
station at night for the past few days on the pretext of watching films on
television.” Haji Balal got the fire-fighting vehicles sabotaged beforehand: one
of the main vehicles had its clutch plates taken out a few days earlier; also
removed was the nut connecting the pipe with the water tank on the other
Haji Balal who, according to locals, proudly proclaimed himself the “Bin
Laden of Godhra”, is among eleven people convicted for criminal conspiracy
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 2
and murder and sentenced to death by a special fast track court in the highsecurity
Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad on 22 February 2011.3
Other Congress members were also “booked for the carnage”.4 The
attack on the pilgrims was carried out “according to what was planned earlier
under the directions of [the late] Maulvi Umarji”,5 a religious leader of the
Ghanchi Muslims of Godhra.6 “All the acts like procuring petrol, circulating
false rumour, stopping the train and entering in coach S/6 were in pursuance of
the object of the conspiracy,” concluded the Nanavati Report. “The conspiracy
hatched by these persons further appears to be a part of a larger conspiracy to
create terror and destabilise the Administration.”7
“Destabilise the Administration”: Narendra Modi had assumed office as
Gujarat Chief Minister on 7 October 2001, four months earlier. Incidentally,
Maulvi Umarji got a ticket to campaign for the Congress in December 2002 state
election in Gujarat.
In order to quickly gather a crowd of angry Muslims to the Godhra
station and attack the train, so that no one would guess who was pouring petrol
in the S6 and S7 coaches, rumours that a Ghanchi Muslim girl had been
abducted by the Kar Sevaks were spread by the Jamiat-Ulema-E-Hind (JUH), a
long-standing ally of the Congress.8
From the start of the crisis, Narendra Modi appealed to the people to
remain calm and exert self-control. On five occasions between 27 and 28
February, “CM addressed Media, Assembly and General public and
everywhere the genesis and intention was one and the same, to punish the
culprits responsible for the Godhra incident in an exemplary manner, so that it
did not recur ever again.”9 He announced an ex-gratia payment of 200,000
rupees to the next of kin of those killed in the Godhra incident and ordered a
high-level inquiry into the incident.10
On 1st March, less than two days after the tragedy and while riots were
raging, Modi requested the chief secretaries of neighbouring states of Madhya
Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan to send ten companies of armed police
from each state to assist the government in “handling law and order situation”.
As the sociologist and author Madhu Kishwar points out,11 all three states then
had Congress governments, and all three turned down the request.
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 3
The Campaign
Let us recall that the BJP-led NDA alliance had been in power at the Centre
since 1998, confirmed by fresh elections in 1999. A 15-million-rupee campaign
by journalist-activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, funded by
the Congress Party and Communists to “politically isolate the BJP”,12 failed to
convince the Indian people, who voted the BJP to power. And the crusaders
had to swallow the obvious — that the streets of India remained peaceful
during the NDA regime.13
They however found a fertile ground in the US, especially with the
evangelical lobbies.14 On 1st April 2002 Teesta Setalvad created “Citizens for
Justice and Peace” (CJP), an NGO “outsourced by the Congress to the job of
attacking Modi”, as Madhu Kishwar put it.15 The activists approached the
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a U.S.
government-funded body, with known roots in the evangelical movement,
whose “original intention was to protect Christians around the world … to
review facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom
internationally — and to make policy recommendations to the President,
Secretary of State, and the Congress”.16 Testifying before the USCIRF, Teesta
Setalvad alleged that the BJP had conducted:
successful pogroms and attacks against the countries religious
minorities, … recent state-sponsored Genocide of the Muslim
Community in Gujarat … Brutal destruction of life, through rape,
quartering of bodies, urinating on them and incarcerating [sic] them so
that there is no trace or evidence of their remains … desecrating over 270
religious and cultural shrines belonging to the community … through
systematic planning and targeted action by armed militias ideologically
driven by the vision of a supreme and exclusive Hindu rashtra (state). …
Over 2,000 lost their lives, 500 are missing and 250-300 girls and women
were gang-raped before being quartered, burned and killed.17
This “testimony” from India is what fed countless self-styled human
rights organizations and intellectuals in India and in the West. They drank in
Setalvad’s words and regurgitated them as articles and “reports” with a
plethora of gory details.
As regards the number of riot victims, invariably quoted in thousands,
the then Police Commissioner P.C. Pande, in a statement to the Special
Investigating Team, declared,
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 4
… it was incorrect to say that 1000 people lost their lives in Ahmedabad
City during the riots of 2002, whereas the actual number of deaths
between February 28th 2002 and April 30th 2002 was 442, of whom 113
were Hindus and 329 Muslims. … All offences committed were duly and
properly registered including by sending police officers to relief camps
and therefore, no important crime remained unregistered.18
According to the Congress-led UPA government’s statement in
Parliament on 11 May 2005, the final figures of those killed in the Godhra riots
are 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus.19 In any case, the endlessly repeated figure of
“2000 Muslim victims” has no basis in actual fact.
The SIT and Sanjeev Bhatt
Facts cannot so easily be wished away. And they were nailed by the Nanavati
Report and the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT),
headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief R.K. Raghavan in
response to a petition filed by Jakia Nasim, Ehsan Jafri’s20 widow, and Teesta
Setalvad, which alleged criminal conspiracy by Narendra Modi’s government.21
Jakia Nasim’s testimony before the Nanavati Commission and Supreme Court
in 2002 and 2003 was that “the mob would have lynched all of them but for the
timely action by the police”. Four years later, her praise turned into complaint
— except that the poor lady was not even aware of what she complained or
petitioned about: “She has no personal knowledge of the allegations mentioned
in the affidavits filed by R.B. Sreekumar during the years 2002, 2004 and 2005
on his own”, said the SIT.22
Let us explain: The SIT, appointed on 23 March 2008, investigated two
retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, one of them being R.B. Sreekumar
just mentioned, to whom we will shortly return. The second one, Sanjeev Bhatt,
then Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence in the Gujarat government, claimed
after years of silence that he was present at a law and order meeting convened
by the Chief Minister on 27 February night at his residence. At this meeting,
which lasted 15-20 minutes, Sanjeev Bhatt claims that the Chief Minister said
that “for too long the Gujarat police had been following the approach of
balancing the action against Hindus and Muslims … that the situation
warranted that the Muslims be taught a lesson, … it was imperative that Hindus
be allowed to vent out their anger….”23
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 5
As it turned out, none of the officials present even remembered the
presence of Sanjeev Bhatt. Interrogated independently later, they denied any
such talk by the Chief Minister, who, they asserted, said instead that the
Godhra flare-up was very unfortunate and should be handled with a firm hand.
The discussions centred around maintenance of law and order in view of the
call for a bandh on the next day and the availability of forces. Ahmedabad
Police Commissioner P.C. Pandey categorically stated that no instructions to
allow any freedom to law-breakers were given by the Chief Minister. According
to Prakash S. Shah, then Additional Secretary (Law & Order), the Chief Minister
instructed all the officers that “communal peace and harmony be maintained at
all costs and all possible steps be taken to control the possible communal flareup.”
As for Sanjeev Bhatt’s testimony, the SIT called fax messages produced
by him “not genuine”, “forged document, fabricated subsequently by someone
with a vested interest.”25 “This conduct of Shri Sanjiv [sic] Bhatt in arranging,
prompting and controlling the witness [a witness produced by him] to
corroborate his statement is highly suspicious and undesirable.”26 And from the
location of his mobile phone, his claim of being present at the said meeting at
the Chief Minister’s residence proved to be false. “Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is a tainted
witness and therefore, cannot be relied upon keeping in view his background in
the police department as he was involved in criminal cases of serious nature
and departmental inquiries are also in progress against him.”27 Cases against
him included inflicting torture in custody leading to death, abduction, extortion
and unprovoked firing, killings and planting narcotics with a view to blackmail.
SIT head R.K. Raghavan concluded that Bhatt had lied and brought in tutored
witnesses to falsely implicate Modi.28 The Gujarat Vigilance Commission
recommended his suspension twice (on 15-07-2002 and 19-10-2006) for
professional misconduct, but each time he managed to evade prosecution.29
A last brush stroke on Sanjeev Bhatt’s erratic comportment is given by
senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani in a Sunday Guardian article. The man “handed
over charge and his official computer, leaving all his emails in an unprotected
mode for all to read”… The state government forwarded the material to the SIT
for investigations, and thanks to this irresponsible gesture, authorities
harvested details of his “hobnobbing with the Opposition Congress party in a
thoroughly illegal and almost seditious manner to concoct evidence against the
Chief Minister and the state of Gujarat”. To this end Bhatt was in constant touch
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 6
with top Congress party leaders, from whom he received not only guidance,
but “packages” and “materials”, as per his own statement.30
An Activist’s Career
The activist Teesta Setalvad built a successful career on the Godhra issue and on
demonizing Narendra Modi, for which she has been covered with national and
international awards. Let us mention just a few:
• In August 2002, the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana [Communal
Harmony] Award instituted by the Congress (I), jointly with Harsh
Mander (former IAS officer and NAC board member)31, “for their
outstanding contribution towards communal harmony and national
• In 2003, the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award (jointly with
Ibn Abdur Rehman, a Pakistani “peace and human-rights advocate and
veteran communist from Pakistan”).32
• The New York-based Parliamentarians for Global Action’s 2004
Defenders’ of Democracy Award, for her efforts “to ensure justice for the
victims of the genocide in Gujarat.
• In 2006, the Nani Palkhivala Award. In her acceptance speech, Setalvad
was all praise for an IPS officer to whom she dedicates her award,
someone “who stood mighty in the face of a murderous and vindictive
Gujarat administration.”33
• In 2007, the Padma Shri Award from the Government of India, which
since May 2004 had been run by a Congress-led coalition.
The ISRO Spy Scandal
The IPS officer praised by Setalvad (and referred to earlier by the SIT) is R.B.
Sreekumar. He is remembered for the 1994 Indian Space Research Organization
(ISRO) spy scandal which implicated eminent ISRO scientists. Dust may have
smothered the case with time but not the memory of those who were falsely
accused. The story in brief:
Development of the Indian [rocket’s] upper stage had been underway
with Russian help for four years when the arrangements were
denounced by American President George Bush as a violation of the
Missile Technology Control Regime. … In May 1992, the Bush
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 7
administration announced that it was applying American sanctions on
both the ISRO and Glavcosmos [the Russian agency collaborating with
S. Nambi Narayan, a senior scientist at the Vikram Sarabhai Space
Centre, an ISRO centre at Trivandrum (Kerala), was arrested on 30 November
1994 without any search being conducted at his office or home. Harassed and
tortured, he refused to confess to the charge of selling defence secrets to two
alleged Maldivian spies; he also refused to implicate the director of the Liquid
Propulsion Systems Centre. Nambi Narayan collapsed under the torture and
was hospitalized. He was released after fifty days in custody. A colleague of his,
D. Sasikumaran, was similarly arrested and interrogated. The two Maldivian
women and two businessmen were also arrested and implicated.
Upon his release on 19 January 1995, Nambi Narayan was transferred
out of Trivandrum; ISRO reinstated him and promoted him as director of
Advanced Technology and Planning, but he was now a broken man.
The case was investigated by the CBI. A year later, in April 1996, its
report indicted the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as the main organization
responsible for creating an imaginary spy ring and falsely implicating the two
eminent space scientists (besides two Maldivian women who were framed as
“spies”). The CBI came down heavily on nine IB officials for “acting in an
unprofessional manner and being privy to the arrest of six innocent persons,
thereby causing them immense mental and physical agony”. The information
collected by the IB and the Kerala police was “not only false but was forcefully
extracted from the six accused”.35 The CBI filed its closure report on April 30,
1996, recommending that the accused be discharged, and necessary action taken
against the IB officials and the Kerala Police.36
Several IB officers were, according to the CBI report, responsible for this
unprecedented frame-up, especially:
• IB Director D.C. Pathak got the espionage case registered under the
Indian Official Secrets Act 1923, “so that the case would get a transnational
dimension, even though the Act makes it clear that the Kerala
Police have no legal right to do so”, as highlighted by the Kerala High
Court and Supreme Court of India. Pathak advised the Kerala Director
General of Police (DGP) to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT);
he also “informed” the then ISRO Chairman, K. Kasturirangan, that
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 8
“incriminating documents had been seized from the scientists”.37 Pathak
was indicted by the CBI in 1996 and sacked.
• Rattan Seghal had joined the IB as additional director five months before
S. Nambi Narayan’s arrest. In November 1996, Seghal was “caught redhanded”
by the then IB chief Arun Bhagath while having a secret
rendezvous with two undercover CIA agents to hand over sensitive
information about India’s Atomic Energy Commission. He was dismissed
from service, but allowed to escape and settle in America.38
• R.B. Sreekumar was an IPS officer seconded to the Central Industrial
Security Force, and posted as commandant in charge of security of the
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre where Nambi Narayan was working. “The
USA, with its excellent information gathering machinery, got wind of
what was going on inside VSSC, and put the CIA on the job of sabotaging
the cryogenic project,” writes Sam Rajappa.39 At the time of Nambi
Narayan’s arrest, Sreekumar was posted as Rattan Seghal’s deputy.
Despite being indicted by the CBI, Sreekumar was in 1998 awarded a
“Medal for Distinguished Service” by the Government of India. We will
return to him soon as he was probably the main player in the plot.
In Kerala’s Congress-led government (UDF), infighting raged between
two camps over the ISRO Spy case. Chief Minister K. Karunakaran being no
party to the spy story, he was forced to step down in March 1995 as he refused
to drop charges against the IB officials implicated in the case. With A.K. Antony
replacing him, the said officials were not prosecuted.
A change of regime followed in favour of the Communists; the new
government issued a notification to reopen investigations into the ISRO spy
case, and it was to be investigated by the same IB officials!40 On 29 April 1998,
the Supreme Court reprimanded the Kerala Government for ordering yet
another investigation by the State police after an inquiry by the CBI had found
that the allegations of espionage were false and the accused had been ordered
to be released. It quashed the notification for being “patently invalid … and
issued with malafide intention.”41
In 1998 the first work illuminating the story in detail came out — and
almost instantly vanished from the shelves. In an article about his book Spies in
Space: The ISRO Frame-up, J. Rajasekharan Nair author pertinently asks:
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 9
What about the charge that the cryogenic missile technology was
transferred from ISRO to enemy countries? To begin with, India does
not have cryogenic technology even today [in 2013]. How could then, in
1994, ‘spies’ transfer this non-existent technology? … 42
Prof. Nambi Narayanan echoes those words in a recent interview to
… at that time, we had not developed cryogenic technology, how can
you sell a non-existent technology?43
In September 1999, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
ordered the Kerala government to pay an interim compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs
(one million) out of 1 crore (10 millions) to Nambi Narayan “for having
damaged Narayanan’s distinguished career in space research along with the
physical and mental torture to which he and his family were subjected.” A
division bench of the Kerala high court upheld the order. But Kerala’s
Congress-led government managed to block the payment, till Nambi
Narayanan finally won a case for a compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs which he
received in September 2012 — 18 years after his arrest.
R.B. Sreekumar was sent back to his parent institution in Gujarat in
August 2000. Disciplinary proceedings against him were started in 1999, but
only on 29 January 2004 was he served a chargesheet by the Ministry of Home
Affairs. The charges included:
• Illegally taking into custody the accused persons from the custody of
Kerala Police without completing the legal formalities and conducting an
independent investigation totally disassociating the Kerala Police.
• Torturing/ill-treating the accused persons during the investigation.
Consequently, no written statement was recorded.
• The interrogation statements prepared by Sreekumar’s team were left
unsigned and undated, indicating devious intent.
• Failing to conduct verification of the statements of the accused persons …
which reflects lack of proper supervision, integrity to duty …44
Without examining those implicated in the case, the investigations
against Sreekumar, which involved charges of endangering national security,
saw his file rush to closure in just 43 days, from 13 December 2004 to 24 January
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 10
2005: Sreekumar was cleared of all charges.45 In 2008, the UPA government
granted him in addition the Gangadharan Memorial Award for Best Police
Man, for his “courageous and competent performance of duties” during the
2002 Gujarat riots. He was invited with Teesta Setalvad for a lecture tour to the
US, organized by the Indian Muslim Council-USA, to deliver discourses against
Narendra Modi and the state of Gujarat, disregarding all evidence and
The same Congress-led Kerala government blocked all the CBI
recommendations against IB and police officials, till it ordered closure of the
file, fifteen years having conveniently passed since the case was initiated.47
However, on 20 October 2014, on an appeal from an indomitable Nambi
Narayanan, Justice Ramakrishna Pillai of Kerala High Court quashed the order
exonerating three police officials involved in the case.48
Let us see whether they will finally be prosecuted and face justice — and
not only these three but all those responsible for trying to wreck India’s space
programme at the behest of a foreign power.
Cooked-Up Affidavits
The UPA government cleared Sreekumar of the CBI charges against him but not
without a quid pro quo: he became an ideal “prime witness” in the 2002 Godhra
riots. When questioned by the Nanavati Commission before 2005, Sreekumar
had never made any allegation against the Gujarat Chief Minister. He even
submitted a letter “raising questions over Sanjeev Bhatt’s integrity for speaking
up against Narendra Modi”. But from 9 April 2005 onward, with his third
affidavit to the Nanavati Commission, he joined Bhatt’s and Setalvad’s
demonization of the Gujarat administration.49
However, the Supreme Court’s Special Investigation Team (SIT)
inquiring into the Godhra events found the allegations in Sreekumar’s
affidavits to be “vague”, “too general in nature, [with] nothing specific against
any individual police officer.”50 Sreekumar’s testimony was based on an
“unauthorised register” which appeared only in 2005, with entries noted down
from memory, including Narendra Modi’s alleged oral instructions to
encourage riots between Hindus and Muslims. The SIT observed that disclosure
was made about the said register only “after he was denied promotion.”51 “The
register … cannot be considered to be a reliable document, as the same appears
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 11
motivated and no credence can be placed upon the same. Moreover there is no
corroboration to the oral version of R.B. Sreekumar by any of the independent
witnesses. The allegation is, therefore, not established.”52
Besides, the SIT found twenty-two “witnesses” whose signed affidavits
were drafted, typed and printed on the same computer: their signatories were
not even aware of what they had signed of the alleged incidents.53
Euros and US dollars flowed to Teesta Setalvad’s NGO. Among the
donors were the Netherland-based Humanistic Institute for Co-Operation with
the Developing Countries (HIVOS), the ever-ready Ford Foundation, etc…54 A
statement of financial transactions of Teesta Setalvad and her NGOs, obtained
through a Right to Information petition, revealed how she went from “rags to
riches after 2000 Gujarat riots. A person who was not in a position to deposit
even Rs. 500 in her account continuously for two years (from 1st Jan., 2001 to 31st
Dec, 2002), could manage to get deposit of Rs. 1.49 crores in her account and Rs.
92.21 Lakhs into her husband Javed Anand’s account after Gujarat 2002 riots.”55
Following the Clues
Answers to the following questions contain the clues to the real masterminds of
the Godhra events:
• Who gave orders to the Congress-ruled states of Madhya Pradesh,
Maharashtra and Rajasthan to deny Gujarat the help it was urgently
asking for to control the riots?
• “Tainted witness” Sanjeev Bhatt having “lied and brought in tutored
witnesses to falsely implicate Modi,”56 the Gujarat Vigilance Commission
recommended his suspension twice (on 15-07-2002 and 19-10-2006) for
professional misconduct: with whose help did he manage to evade
prosecution each time?57
• Who gave instructions to the IB and Kerala police officers to frame ISRO
scientists, putting a brake on India’s space programmes?
• From 1994 to 2014, who shielded the IB officials and the Kerala police from
being prosecuted as per the CBI’s recommendations?
• In particular, who shielded Sreekumar in the ISRO spy case, extracting in
the process his cooperation in the demonization of Narendra Modi?
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 12
• Who in the previous UPA government decided not to prosecute Teesta
Setalvad for perjury, arranging false witnesses and fabricated affidavits,
and for misappropriating funds intended for riot victims?
Years ago, while campaigning in Gujarat, Sonia Gandhi had accused
Narendra Modi of being a “merchant of death”. Let the reader decide who best
deserves this designation.

Nicole Elfi has been living in India since 1975. She worked on the
publication of works related to Mother and Sri Aurobindo and researched
aspects of Indian culture. She wrote two books in French: Satprem, par un Fil
de Lumière (Éditions Robert Laffont, 1998) and Aux Sources de l’Inde,
l’initiation à la connaissance (Éditions Les Belles Lettres, 2008).
More recently, Nicole Elfi has authored the document The Godhra Riots:
Sifting Fact from Fiction and co-authored (with Michel Danino) a research
paper, A Timeline of Ayodhya.
Email: nicoleelfi[at]gmail[dot]com

© Nicole Elfi, 2014
Notes & References
1 From Commission of Inquiry Report of Justice G.T. Nanavati & Justice A.H. Mehta (henceforth
“Nanavati Report”), p. 175: 229. The report is available on the website of the Gujarat
(accessed May 2014).
2 From Justice Tewatia Committee Report, short for Gujarat Riots: The True Story; Facts Speak for
Themselves – Godhra and After, A Field Study by Justice D. S. Tewatia, Dr. J.C. Batra, Dr. Krishan
Singh Arya, Shri Jawahar Lal Kaul, Prof. B.K. Kuthiala. Council for International Affairs and
Human Rights, Governing Body for the Term 2001-03. See “Staff of the Fire Brigade”. Online at: (retrieved June
2014). Also Nanavati Report, p. 86, 88, 89: 128, 130-131.
3 Dasgupta, M. 2011. “11 get death in Godhra train burning case”, online at:
article1500325.ece (retrieved July 2014).
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 13
4 Among them, President of the District Congress Committee, Farooq Malla and Congress
activist of Godhra Municipality, Abdul Rehman Dhatia. Tewatia Report, “Fifty-Eight Pilgrims
Roasted Alive”.
5 Nanavati Report, p. 159-160: 214; p. 175.
6 Gujarat’s minister of state for home Amit Shah’s interview by Sheela Bhatt, 27.02.2003, online
at: (retrieved June 2014).
7 Nanavati Report, p. 175: 229.
8 Nanavati Report, pp 40-41: 51-52, p. 49: 68; pp. 158-159: 213.
9 Special Investigation Team (SIT) Report, p. 241. The Supreme Court handed over all records
pertaining to 2002 riots to SIT on 20.01.2010; SIT submitted its final report on Modi’s role in 2002
Gujarat riots, on 25.04.2011.
10 SIT p. 21.
11 Kishwar, M.P. 2013. “Modinama 7, When Congress State Governments Snubbed Modi’s
Request for Additional Police Force”, online at:
(retrieved May 2014).
12 Wikipedia, Communalism Combat: . “In a 1999
interview, Javed Anand said that before the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, his monthly magazine
Communalism Combat (published by Sabrang Communications since August 1993) requested
and received funds from the Congress Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the
Communist Party of India and ten individuals to run advertisements attacking the Sangh
Parivar and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)”.
13 See Elst, K. & Rao, R.N. 2002. Gujarat after Godhra: Real Violence, Selective Outrage, Har-Anand,
14 See Balakrishna, S. 2014. “Narendra Modi’s visa denial still an unhealed wound” online at:
%28India+Facts%29#sthash.uTktS3o8.IyfIObzy.dpbs (retrieved May 2014).
15 Kishwar, M.P. 2013. “Modinama” 13, “RB Shreekumar: Hero No. 2 of Secular Brigade” – Part
I, online at: (retrieved May 2014).
16 The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF):

(retrieved May 2014).
17 Teesta Setalvad’s testimony to the USCIRF, online at:

6102002_setalvaTestimony.html (retrieved June 2014)
18 SIT pp. 92-93.
19 See “Gujarat Riots: the true story”, online at:
(retrieved July 2014).
Narendra Modi’s interview for Seedhi Baat/Aaj Tak, in India Today, 04.11.2002, online at: (retrieved July 2014).
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 14
20 About Ehsan Jafri see Elfi, N. 2013. “The Godhra Riots: Sifting Facts from Fiction”, online at: .
21 SIT pp. 16, 18-19.
22 SIT p. 16.
23 SIT pp. 22-25.
24 SIT pp. 25-27, 34, 522.
25 SIT pp. 523-530.
26 SIT p. 41.
27 SIT p. 241.
28 SIT pp. 540-41. Also Dasgupta, M. 2012. “SIT rejects amicus curiae’s observations against
Modi”, online at: (retrieved June 2014).
29 SIT pp. 48-51. Kishwar, M.P. 2013. “Modinama 6, Heroes of the Secular Brigade: A Glimpse
into the Doings and Misdoings of Sanjiv Bhatt”, online at: (retrieved July 2014).
30 Jethmalani, R. 2011. “UPA, media have a brazen mission to demonize Modi”, online at:
(retrieved July 2014). Also Kishwar 2013: 6, op. cit.
31 The National Advisory Council (2004-2014) was a body set up by the first UPA government to
advise the Prime Minister of India. Sonia Gandhi served as its Chairperson from its inception to
its end.
32 Nuremberg International Human Rights Award, online at: .
33 Teesta Setalvad “Nani A Palkhivala Award 2006 Acceptance Speech”, online at: (retrieved June 2014).
34 Harvey, B. 2001. Russia in Space: The Failed Frontier, p. 259, Springer & Praxis Publications, UK,
in Kishwar 2013: 13 – I, op. cit. & Kishwar 2013: 13 – II, “How India’s Space Program was
Sabotaged”, online at:; also Simha, R.K.
2013. “How India’s cryogenic programme was wrecked”, online at:

65.html (retrieved July 2014).
35 Joshi, R., et al. 1998. “IB Imagined Spy-Ring: CBI” online at: (retrieved July 2014). Also
Kishwar 2013: 13 – II, op. cit.
36 Joshi, R., et al. 1998, op. cit.
37 Rajasekharan Nair, ibid.
38 “Plot behind arrest of ISRO scientists, says Nambi Narayanan”, The New Indian Express,
27.8.2013, online at:
says-Nambi-Narayanan/2013/08/27/article1754032.ece (retrieved August 2014);
Rajasekharan Nair 2013, op. cit.; Rajappa, S., “A scandal that ISRO would like to forget”, 24
The Godhra Riots — Postscript: The Masterminds / p. 15
October 2014, online at
(retrieved October 2014).
39 Rajappa, S., op. cit.
40 “Rogue cop RB Srikumar framed ISRO’s best”, Niticentral, 7.11.2013. Online at:
41 Rajasekharan Nair, ibid.
42 Rajasekharan Nair, J. 2013. “Why My Book Didn’t Sell?”, online at: (retrieved October 2014).
43 Warrier, S. 2014. “Wronged ISRO scientist: India will be safe in Modi’s hands”, online at:
20140226.htm (retrieved August 2014); Ananthakrishnan, G. 2012. “Memories of a ‘spy’
who won – Framed scientist vindicated on milestone-eve”, The Telegraph, online at
44 In Kishwar 2013: 13-I, op. cit. Also CBI recommendations in Joshi, R., et al. 1998, op. cit.
45 Kishwar, ibid.
46 Indian Muslim Council – USA Organizes US Lecture Tour of Teesta Setalvad & R.B.
Sreekumar July 7, 2008, online at:
47 Venugopal 2012, “ISRO case: police officers freed of charges”, online at:
article3960101.ece (retrieved August 2014).
48 “Kerala High Court quashes government order in ISRO spy case” online at:
in-isro-spy-case/article6521226.ece .
49 Kishwar 2013: 13-I, op.cit.
50 SIT pp. 18 ff and 176-177.
51 SIT pp. 85, 170-173.
52 SIT pp. 65-71.
53 SIT p. 16-19, 64, 227-233.
54 “Teesta Setalvad received US $ 250,000 from the Ford Foundation”; “Evidence against Teesta
Setalvad”, Dharma next, 6.8.2012, online at:
received-us-250000-from.html (retrieved July 2014).
55 News Bharati, 7.1.2013, “Rags to riches after 2000 Gujarat riots: Teesta swallowed riot victims’
money?” Online at:
Gujarat-riots-Teesta-swallowed-riot-victims-money-.aspx# (accessed August 2014).
56 SIT p. 540-41. Also Dasgupta, M. 2012. “SIT rejects amicus curiae’s observations against
Modi”: (retrieved June 2014)
57 SIT pp. 48-50.

In the wake of the Nobel Peace Prize to #Kailash Satyarthi, I thought it would be worthwhile to post this article I had writen on Mother Teresa for the Indian Express. The difference between Mother Teresa and Satyarthi, however much good work they have done, is that she Mother Teresa wanted to convert India to Christianity and #KailashSatyarthi to Marxism


arose after the death of Mother Teresa:

1) What did Mother Teresa really stand for?

2) Why do Indians defend her so ardently?

Foremost one should say in defence of Mother Teresa that she certainly did saintly work. After all, there is no denying that it takes a Westerner to pick up dying people in the streets of Calcutta and raise abandoned orphans, a thankless task if there is one. Indians themselves, and particularly the Hindus, even though their religion has taught them compassion for 4,000 years, have become very callous towards their less fortunate brethren. This said, one may wonder: What did Mother Teresa really stand for?

Was caring for the dying and orphaned children her only goal? Well, if you have observed her carefully over the years, you will notice that she did not say much. She did speak against contraception and abortion, in a country of nearly one billion, where an ever growing population is spiking whatever little economic progress is made, where the masses make life more and more miserable, invading the cities, crowding their streets and polluting the environment; where for 40 years the Indian government has directed a courageous and democratic birth control programme (this must be said, for China has achieved demographic control through autocratic means).

What else did Mother Teresa say: she spoke of the dying in the streets of Calcutta, of course, of the poor of India left unattended, of the misery of the cities. Fair enough, but then it should have been pointed out to her, that she projected to the whole world an image of India which is entirely negative: of poverty beyond humanity, of a society which abandons its children, of dying without dignity. OK, there is some truth in it. But then it may be asked again: does Mother Teresa (and Kailask Satyarthi, who at the moment, could say a few good things about his country – for instance that there are tens of millions of children in ndia of all ages, castes, social background, including million of girls, who are loved and cherished and lea a happy childhood) ever attempt to counterbalance this negative image of India, of whom she was the vector, by a more positive one? After all she has lived here so long that she knew the country as well as any Indian, having even adopted Indian Nationality. Surety she could have defended her own country? She could have for example spoken about India’s infinite spirituality, her exquisite culture, the amazing gentleness of its people, the brilliance of its children (isn’t it Mr Satyarthi???)…

Unfortunately, Mother Teresa said nothing. For the truth is that she stood for the most orthodox Christian conservatism (& Satyarthi for a Marxist outlook on India). There is no doubt that ultimately Mother Teresa’s goal was utterly simple: to convert India to Christianity, the only true religion in her eyes.

Did you notice that she has never once said a good word about Hinduism, which after all is the religion of 800 million people of the country she said she loved, and has been their religion for 6000 years. This is because deep inside her, Mother Teresa considered, as all good Christians do, particularly the conservative ones, Hinduism a pagan religion which adores a multitude of heathen gods and should be eliminated (and probably Mr Satyarthi, like a good Marxist, does not think much about Hinduism, his religion, which he probably associates with Brahmanism, caste abuses & bonded labor).

The second point then is: why does India’s intelligentsia, most of whom are born Hindus, defend the Mother Teresa (or see the Times of India raving praises of #KailashSatyarthi ‘building bridges between Pakistan & India’)? These are intelligent, educated people, they must surely have some inkling of Mother Teresa’s true purpose, or of Satyarthi hard bound Marxism, as outlines in the New York Times article?). Or do they? Do the Jain brothers or Rajdeep Sardesai, he of the Times Square fame, understand what Mother Teresa or Sayarthi really stands for? That they are basically hostile to their own culture, their religion, their way of life? Does Sardesai know that Hindu society has always been the target of Christians since their coming here, & of Marxists since 1947? Does he understand that he and a thousand of his peers, who belong to the intellectual elite of India and keep praising Mother Teresa, Amartya Sen or Kalash Satyarthi, are doing harm to their country and opening it to its enemies? The Christian & Marxist influences are very strong in India today: it shapes the minds of its young people, in a subtle way, through its schools, which many of the children of the rich attend. It moulds the thinking of the tribes Christianity has converted, particularly in the North-East, where the missionaries have always covertly encouraged separatism and Marxism still rules supreme in India’s journalist schools.

But ultimately it must be concluded that the Indian intelligentsia who defend Mother Teresa? Amartya Sen, or Binayak Sen, and are constantly attacking Hinduism, as Sardesai does, are a product of three centuries of English and Christian colonialism, which successfully created an Indian elite cut off from its roots and hostile to its own culture. Mother Teresa, Amartya and Binayak Sen and Satyarthi are an incarnation of Western post- colonialism and the Nobel Prize he got is their endorsement of their work,

#BoycottHaider. In the wake of #VishalBhardwaj’s brilliant, but anti-national film, which makes villains of Indian soldiers & heroes of terrorists, it’s relevant to have a good look at Kashmir.

I have been covering Kashmir as a political correspondent for nearly 20 years and it has always been my feeling that Kashmiris, from the humble sikhara to the High Court lawyer not only dislike India, but would want nothing better than be attached to Pakistan. But various Indian Governments have preferred to fool the public by saying that it was only a ‘tiny’ minority which wants independence, while the majority of Kashmiri Muslims are ‘fed-up’ with militancy. The frequent massive demonstrations in Srinagar for Separation have come as a slap to the face of the successive Government. The priests and attacks against the Armanath pilgrimage have also deflated the financial sham of the Valley of Kashmir, who has been subsidized for decades at the tone of thousands of crores each year. The anger of the Hindu pilgrims is not only about being denied basic facilities on the way to Armanath, whereas Haj pilgrims get royal facilities and subsidies, but also about the injustice of Kashmiri Muslims settling all over India and making business in India, while no Indian can buy land in Kashmir, without speaking of the disproportionate amount of MP’s which the Valley has.

Western correspondents (and unfortunately often Indian journalists) have lionized for three decades the Kashmiri “freedom fighters” and demonized the “bad” Indian army (notice how the Indian Press always gleefully reports suicides of soldiers in Kashmir or any army scandal). But they should do well to remember Sri Aurobindo, who wrote in 1940: “in Kashmir, the Hindus had all the monopoly. Now if the Muslim demands are acceded to, the Hindus will be wiped out again.” (India’s Rebirth, p. 220) How prophetic ! Because nobody cares to remember today that Kashmiris were almost entirely Hindus or Buddhists, before they were converted by the invading Muslims six centuries ago. True, today these Muslims in Kashmir have not only accepted as their own a religion which their ancestors had rejected, but they have also often taken-up the strident cry of Islam. Does any one remember too, that at the beginning of the century, there still were 25% Hindus in the Kashmir valley and that today the last 350.000 Kashmiri Pandits have become refugees in their own land, they who originally inhabited the valley, at least 5000 years ago, a much bigger ethnic cleansing than the one of the Bosnian Muslims?

It’s a common refrain today in most newspapers to say that since Independence, India alienated Kashmiris through years of wrong policies. But those who have been in close contact with Kashmir, even in its heydays of tourism, know for a fact that as a general rule, there was only one thing that attached Kashmiris to India, it was the marvellous financial gains and state bounties that they made out of tourism. But those Kashmiris who are now settled in India make no bones about where their loyalty lies. Talk to them, specially if you are a Westerner, and after some time, they’ll open their hearts to you; whether it is the owner of this Kashmir emporium in a five star hotel in Madras, or the proprietor of that famous travel agency in Delhi: suddenly, after all the polite talk, they burst out with their loathing of India and their attachment to an independent Kashmir.

Nowadays Omar Abdullah and others want us to believe that with a certain degree of autonomy, Kashmiris will be appeased. This may be true in most Indian states, who are often rightly fed-up with Centre’s constant interference in their internal affairs, but basically, there is only one thing which Kashmiris are craving for and that is a plebiscite on whether they want to stay with India or secede…The answer in the Kashmir valley, would be a massive “no” to India (98%?). And as for Abdullah, he would be quickly eliminated by the militants, who would immediately seize control of Kashmir and attach it to Pakistan.

The Indian security forces in Kashmir are accused of all kind of atrocities. #VishalBhardwaj emphasizes it with a heavy hand in his film #Haider. But this is war, not a tea party! If India decides to keep Kashmir, it has to do so according to the rules set by the militants: violence, death and treachery are the order of the day. And men are men: after having been ambushed repeatedly, after having seen their comrades die, after weeks and weeks of waiting in fear, one day, they just explode in a burst of outrage and excesses. It should also be understood that the hardline Sunni influence of Pakistan and even Afghanistan, has radicalized the once softer sufi side of Kashmir and that it’s a painful, deadly and uphill battle for the Indian army, which should have the support of Indians.

#BoycottHaider. read full text of Vishal Bhardwaj’s letter urging Indians to vote for Congress

Dear Fellow-Indians,

The best thing about our country is its cultural diversity, its pluralism – the co-existence of a number of religions and ethnicities over centuries, and hence the blooming of multiple streams of intellectual and artistic thought. And, this has been possible only because Indian society has prided itself on being essentially secular in character, rejecting communal hatred, embracing tolerance.

Today, that very sense of India is vulnerable. The need of the hour is to protect our country’s secular foundation. Undoubtedly, corruption and governance are important issues, but we will have to vigilantly work out ways of holding our government accountable to that. However, one thing is clear: India’s secular character is not negotiable! Not now, not ever.

As Indian citizens who love our motherland, we appeal to you to vote for the secular party, which is most likely to win in your constituency.
Jai Hind!


Imtiaz Ali (Writer-Director: Highway, Jab We Met)
Vishal Bhardwaj (Writer-Director: Omkara, Maqbool)
Govind Nihalani (Director: Tamas, Ardh Satya)
Saeed Mirza (Director: Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai)
Zoya Akhtar (Writer-Director: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara)
Anand Patwardhan (Documentary Film-maker: Jai Bhim Comrade)
Vijay Krishna Acharya (Director: Dhoom 3)
Kabir Khan (Director: Ek Tha Tiger)
Kundan Shah (Director: Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro)
Nandita Das (Director-Actress: Firaaq, Fire)
Hansal Mehta (Director: Shahid)
Anjum Rajabali (Writer: Raajneeti, Satyagraha)
Shubha Mudgal (Singer-Musician)
Swara Bhaskar (Actor: Raanjhana, Tanu Weds Manu)
Aditi Rao Hydari (Actor: Murder 3, Rockstar)
Mahesh Bhatt (Director-Producer: Saaraansh, Jannat)
Anil Mehta (Cinematographer: Lagaan, Jab Tak Hai Jaan)
Saket Chaudhary (Writer-Director: Shaadi Ke Side Effects)
Rakesh Sharma (Documentary Film-maker: Final Solution)
Vinay Shukla (Writer-Director: Godmother)
Kamlesh Pandey (Writer: Rang De Basanti)
Robin Bhatt (Writer: Chennai Express, Krish 3)
Aneesh Pradhan (Tabla Maestro)
Sanjay Chhel (Writer: Rangeela, Yes Boss)
Sameer Anjan (Lyricist: Dhoom 3, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai)
Imteyaz Husain (Writer: Parinda)
Rajesh Dubey (TV Writer: Balika Vadhu)
Vinod Ranganath (TV Writer: Shanti, Swaabhiman)
Jalees Sherwani (Lyricist: Dabang)
Amitabh Shukla (Film Editor: Lagaan)
Sukant Panigrahi (Art Director)
Surabhi Sharma (Documentary Film-maker)
Anusha Khan (Producer)
Bishwadeep Chatterjee (Sound Designer: 3 Idiots)
C.K. Muraleedharan (Cinematographer: 3 Idiots)
Dr Manasee Palshikar (Screenwriter-Teacher)
Jyoti Dogra (Actor:
Joy Sengupta (Actor)
Kauser Munir (Lyricist: Dhoom 3)
Mazahir Rahim (Screenwriter)
Nishant Radhakrishnan (Film Editor: Satyamev Jayate)
Preety Ali (Producer)
Priyanka Borpujari (Screenwriter)
Rajashree (Filmmaker-Teacher)
Ruchika Oberoi (Film-maker)
Rukmini Sen (Screenwriter and TV Journalist)
Sameera Iyengar (Theatre activist)
Sharad Tripathi (Screenwriter)
Shivani Tibrewala Chand (Playwright)
Siminatini Dhuru (Activist)
Sona Jain (Film-maker)

Tushar Gandhi (Activist)
Teesta Setalvaad (Activist)
Javed Anand (Activist)

Will India ever learn its lessons? China has again shown that it is not be trusted. It pretends to shake your hand and then slaps you in the face. At the same time that President Xi came to visit India, Chinese soldiers willfully made an incursion in Indian territory.

Did you know that the Chinese have used the Tibetan plateau to point their nuclear missiles at North Indian cities (exactly 90 IRBM -US Senate Foreign Committee report). More than that, India could never see that Tibet was the ideal buffer between her and China, if denuclearised and demilitarised, as the Dalai-lama has proposed in the European Parliament of Strasbourg. And Nehru’s betrayal of Tibet will come back to haunt India, as it did recently, when the Indian occupation of Kashmir was equaled with the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The Chinese killed 1,2 million Tibetans and wiped out in 45 years a wonderful 2000 year old civilisation. On the other hand, in Kashmir, there has been no genocide, only war casualties and India is fighting to retain what has been hers for 5000 years.

Tibet and China, the natural brothers

Did you know that Tibetan medicine is one of the greatest surviving natural medical systems of the world, along with Ayurveda ? Tibetan medicine strives to keep in balance within the body the subtle flow of energy, or Nyipa sum, which is made out of the five elements: air, fire, water, earth and space. And as in Ayurveda, 95% of Tibetan medicine is based on herbs, and precious metals, which are used for the seven kinds of precious pills known as Rinchen rilpo. The methods of diagnosis differ though from Ayurveda – and thereby lies the genius of Tibetan medicine – as the observation of the tongue, along with questioning and palpation, is the principal tool of diagnosis. Tibetan medicine always treats the cause or the root of the disease and illness and not the symptoms. The school of medicine began to flourish 1,200 years ago when Tibet drew on medicinal knowledge from China, Persia and India, buts its origins are shrouded in mystery and many of its secrets have been passed on by word of mouth or are buried in Tibetan writings. The four main medical ‘Tantras’, said to be taught by Buddha himself and written down in Sanskrit more than 800 years ago, are still used by Tibetan doctors today.

And what about Tibetan spirituality ? It is probably one of the finest in the world and as in Tibetan medicine, the emphasis is on self development. There are two ways to create happiness, says Tibetan spirituality: the first is external. By obtaining better clothes, better shelter, and better friends, we can find a certain measure of happiness and satisfaction. The second is through mental development, which yields inner happiness. However, these two approaches are not equally viable, as external happiness cannot last long without its counterpart…. “But, if you have peace of mind, emphasizes His Holiness the Dalai-lama, you can find happiness even under the most difficult circumstances”. The Dalai Lama also reminds us that developing peace of mind means paying attention to our daily attitudes and choices as well as taking the time to meditate and be prayerful.

Tibetan Buddhism helps us too in preparing for a good death by coming to terms with negative emotions – such as anger, attachment, hatred and jealousy – that restrict our freedom, block our joy and cause us to experience suffering.

Reading the remarkable Tibetan Book of Living and Dying makes it easier to overcome your own fear of dying and helps you take the responsibility to prepare for your death. It also helps you prepare yourself for the death and dying of your dear and loved ones. Tibetan spirituality could also offer a word or two of advice to terrorists who blow themselves up or ram planes against buildings: “There is no such thing as a doomed soul in Buddhism. But there is such a thing as a prolonged period of suffering over many lives brought on by negative karma. Karma truly means cause and effect, says again the Dalai-lama.’ The terrorists, by killing so many people, are creating a negative karma that keeps them in hell for a long time through many lifetimes of suffering.” And indeed, If you see the Dalai lama today, he radiates so much peace and compassion.

Unfortunately, China does not seem to understand the great value of Tibetan medicine and spirituality. A report by the United States Congress (Resolution Number 63) states that since 1950, when the Chinese invaded this wonderful, peace loving nation, which boasted the highest (although quite feudal) spiritualised society in the world, 1,2 million Tibetans have been killed, either directly: shooting, death squads, torture – or indirectly: concentration camps, prison, or famines. 6254 monasteries, most of them ancient, have been razed to the ground. 60% of religious, historical and cultural archives have been destroyed. A quarter million Chinese troops are occupying Tibet. One Tibetan out of ten is still in jail. There are today In Tibet 7,5 million Chinese settlers for six million Tibetans- in many places such as the capital, Lhassa, Tibetans are outnumbered two to one…

It is not over at all: The summer and autumn of 2001 saw the dismantling of the Serthar Institute, the leading centre for Buddhist scholarship and practice on the Tibetan plateau. Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok founded Serthar Institute in Larung Valley near Serthar town, Karze Prefecture, Sichuan Province in 1980, to meet the pressing need for renewal of meditation and scholarship all over Tibet in the wake of China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-77). This non-sectarian academy of over 8,000 monks and nuns, drew nearly 1,000 Mainland and Overseas Chinese practitioners as students. They were the first group to face expulsion and deportation to their places of origin in June and July 2001. The Chinese- appointed “work teams” next targeted the over 4,000 Tibetan nuns forming Serthar’s affiliated nunnery. The official Beijing directive was to reduce their number to 400 and destroy their meditation huts to ensure the eviction was permanent. According to western monitoring agencies, such as Human Rights Watch, over 1,000 dwellings had been destroyed at Serthar by the beginning of this year, thousands of monks and nuns had been successfully evicted, and Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok is believed to be incommunicado in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan.

Places like the Serthar Institute, house Tibetan treasures – spiritual, medical, cultural and social – which should be conserved, otherwise they will be lost to humanity for ever. “The Chinese should understand that they are destroying the last great living spirituality of their continent. The highlighting of the secrets and the vast knowledge based on the various inner sciences adopted by the Tibetans, goes beyond the research with sophisticated equipment and the Chinese Government should take-up its study in earnest”, says Claude Arpi, the author of the Fate of Tibet (Har Anand, New Delhi). “Above all, he continues, it is ethical learning which did not need the sacrifice of lives. These sacrifices are both in terms of lives lost and pain induced. It is clear that China, which has embarked on a fury of materialistic endeavours, needs spirituality”.

Germans have taken up the language of Sanskrit through their ancient roots and this sets an example for a country like China to take up the wealth of

knowledge that is prevalent in Tibet. Tibet is a land of inner sciences and self development processes which can be learnt through various disciplines. These need to be preserved like treasures for the world before it is too late. Tibet in no way presents any danger to China. The Dalai Lama himself said recently : “I am only asking for the Tibetans that they should have full power in the fields where they are capable of managing their own affairs. In the case of defence or foreign affairs, the Chinese can manage our affairs. We are not asking for a separation from China”.

François Gautier