Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chapter 1: Indians in Pakistan (Free Preview)

We were not discernibly different from the other passengers on Flight PK-269. We spoke Urdu fluently just like most of them. We wore kurtas just like many of the other male passengers. There was nothing in our physical appearance that gave us away either. But we were different - we were Indians in Pakistan.

Irfan, my companion, was getting quite restless on the flight. He kept staring around at the other passengers in an extremely suspicious manner. I cursed my luck. The last person I wanted seated besides me right now was a jerk like Irfan. He kept having doubts, and I simply hated those who had doubts. We were doing this for our religion - and for the whole of mankind. When the whole world looked through our eyes then there would be nothing but peace. But till such time, there had to be some violence.



It was early March. It had been nearly a week since we left our homes in Lucknow for this jihadi mission. We had sneaked across the border into Nepal before boarding the PIA flight from Kathmandu to Karachi. The exact details of our mission had not yet been revealed to us, but we were confident that before the training got over they would give us a detailed briefing on what we were supposed to do.

‘Take it easy,’ I told my companion curtly.
‘We should never have left India, Zameer,’ Irfan complained. ‘Our jihad could have been waged over there itself without coming to Pakistan.’
‘Shhh,’ I whispered to the stupid fellow. ‘Be careful of what you speak. And talk softly, you fool.’
‘I’m sorry,’ replied Irfan, ‘but ever since we left Lucknow I’m feeling quite uneasy.’
‘We will also feel like this sometimes, you fool,’ I scolded him in an undertone. ‘This is our mission in life. This is what we do. We’re doing it for our God and for our religion. Just stay focused on the mission.’

There was a long period of silence as Irfan pondered over what I had just told him. I was angry at his stupidity, but I, too, lost focus for a while. My mind strayed back to the distant past. There was my mother asking me whether I hobnobbed with the gun-wielding militants in our area. I remember denying vehemently and stating that it was not the case. I had told her, rather untruthfully, that my friends were religious people who did not believe in violence. Then I remembered leaving home forever in a huff after a quarrel with my older brother over Kashmir. He had the temerity to insist that Kashmir was an integral part of India. Had he not been my brother and the head of my family at the time, I would surely have killed him on the spot. I hadn’t heard from my family since that day more than a decade ago.

But I had no regrets. When we fight for the glory of Islam, we need to forget our families and friends. We need to leave them behind and see the vision of the future - a world in which Islam reigns supreme over all religions and even over such evil doctrines as communism. Towards this end, we need to focus our thoughts and actions.


Irfan looked at me again. His manner was abrupt and nervous. Evidently, he had lost focus a long time ago. I wished there was some way I could keep him focused on our goals and ambitions. This reluctant rebel was straying away from us at a rapid pace.

‘How long is this flight taking, Zameer?’ he grumbled.
‘It’s not been that long since we left Kathmandu,’ I retorted. ‘It should land in an hour.’
‘Good,’ he remarked. ‘I just can’t wait to get off this plane, although I’m not too keen on stepping on Pakistani soil either.’
‘You should have stayed back home,’ I whispered, angrily. ‘Why did you come here anyway?’
‘Haroon threatened to wipe off my entire family if I didn’t volunteer for this mission.’

That’s what I didn’t like about some of these people. They forced and coerced reluctant Muslims like Irfan to join our cause. What was the use of all their actions if it didn’t come from the heart?

Haroon Rashid was a top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander, covertly living in India. He had formed numerous sleeper cells of local extremists ready to perpetrate acts of violence all over the country. These sleeper cells were randomly activated at regular intervals to unleash a spate of violence whenever the Pakistani bosses gave the orders. Rashid was in charge of LeT’s operations in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Since Irfan and I belonged to that state, Rashid was the one who had approached us for this mission.

Meanwhile, Irfan became quieter as he seemed to be mulling over the pros and cons of our mission. The other passengers on the flight were oblivious to our presence. We maintained this low profile until the plane landed at Karachi Airport. Irfan and I got off along with the other passengers.

At last, we were on Pakistani soil. Honestly, I was quite thrilled to set foot on Pakistani soil. Pakistan is revered by jihadis in much the same way as America is revered by capitalists. It was indeed a dream come true for me.

Irfan, on the other hand, walked cautiously on the ground at the airport as if it were heavily mined. There was one thing I could bet my entire life on. I was absolutely certain that that jerk would never kiss the soil in reverence.

At length, we approached a small group of men standing at the exit. One of them held a placard bearing our names. We simply nodded our heads to signal our arrival. They crowded around us.

‘Welcome to Karachi,’ said a burly man. ‘I’m Lieutenant Ashraf. I will be in charge of you during your stay here. You will do what I tell you - nothing more, nothing less. If you go against my command then God alone can help you.’

‘Hi, I’m Zameer Khan,’ I introduced myself nonchalantly. ‘This is my colleague, Irfan Ahmed.’
‘Assalamu Alaykum,’ greeted Irfan, in a subdued tone.
‘I’m Commander Inzamam of the ISI,’ a tall bearded man told us. ‘I will be coordinating with the head of this entire mission. This is him.’

Commander Inzamam’s finger pointed towards a man of short stature. His round head was completely bald but it still gave him a somewhat imposing appearance. There was a distinct coldness in his eyes that seemed to be an outpouring of the coldness in his soul. I shivered a bit. Yes, I had been trained to be cold and heartless by the local jihadi group in Lucknow, but this short man succeeded in giving me the creeps as well. He introduced himself as Commander Abu Hamza of the LeT.

After the introductions had been completed, the group split into different teams. Each team left the airport in a separate vehicle. There were four of us seated in the old jeep. Lieutenant Ashraf sat besides the chauffeur while I joined Irfan at the rear. There was utter silence for a while as the jeep sped past urban structures and headed towards a range of hills on the outskirts of the city.

My mind strayed once again to the past. This time it went further back to the riots that had erupted after the demolition of the Babri Masjid. I was only twelve years at the time, but I can still remember it all so vividly. My father had come to reach me to school that day. They told us that my school had been prematurely closed for the day due to the horrendous rioting that was taking place in the city. So, we turned back and headed towards our home. Suddenly, an unruly mob of rioters emerged from nowhere and charged towards us in a state of frenzy. Those crazy men were equipped with sticks and swords. They attacked my poor father, who fell helplessly to the ground. I was terrified and speechless. They walked away quietly without a sign of remorse in their cruel eyes.

I turned around hopelessly. The sight of blood streaming from my father’s mutilated body was simply horrific. I wept bitterly. My father had been such a good and pious man. All of us loved him a lot. It took me a really long time to get over the trauma of this cold-blooded murder.

Soon everybody knew me as the kid who was thirsting for revenge. It showed on my face and in my walk. I hoped and prayed for the opportunity to avenge the murder of my father. When I was just about sixteen years old, a group of fundamentalists convinced me to join their cause. They convinced me that jihad was the only way to find the peace which I was so desperately searching for. I had to join them and fight for the greater glory of Islam. Yes, that’s how I became a terrorist. Of all the militants who choose the path of violence, there are a few like me who are virtually driven to it.

All this simply shows us that communalism and terrorism are nothing but opposite sides of the same coin. They keep feeding on each other in a vicious cycle, resulting in a society full of violence, hatred, sorrow and intolerance. Every communal act is used as a justification for mindless acts of terrorism. Similarly, each act of terrorism is used as a justification for such horrible atrocities like genocide and ethnic cleansing. And, it is always the innocent people who get killed. This is the sad truth. Unfortunately, many of us realize this truth when it is too late. Some of us never do. Luckily, I realised it before the end.

The long spell of silence was finally broken by the burly lieutenant. His voice was loud and commanding.
‘Remember this. Whatever you see or do here should not be disclosed to anyone outside the camp. It is strictly confidential. If you reveal anything, you could jeopardize our cause and the whole jihad could be lost. Is that clear?’
‘Yes, sir,’ we declared in unison.
‘And remember not to mingle with each other as well,’ the lieutenant went on. ‘Just cooperate as much as possible with each other, but don’t interact with the other jihadis. This is not a place for socializing. If you want to socialize, I’ll stop the jeep right now and you can get off if you wish. Does anyone want to get off now? No, good! Remember this as well. In this camp, you will have to be serious and pious. You will have to offer namaz daily. Remember we are doing all this for our religion. The rest I will tell you when we reach our destination.’

Once again there was a long period of silence. I was quite happy that Irfan was not that irritating any more. I hoped for his sake that he was once again the master of his life. We did not need puppets to fight in the jihad. We needed men who would put their whole heart and soul into it. We needed men who were willing to make all kinds of sacrifices for the greater glory of Islam. We needed men who would even make the ultimate sacrifice for this noblest of causes. So many martyrs have laid down their lives in this global jihad in the hope that our cause will prevail. We were determined to overcome the forces of evil existing in this world.

The vehicle moved quickly on the dusty tar road. It moved westwards and I presumed that we were somewhere near the Baluchistan border. I had done a lot of research before sneaking into Nepal for this mission. I had gone through the detailed maps of our subcontinent. The other jihadis living with me in the Lucknow apartment had supplied valuable information on the geography and history of Pakistan and India. Of course, the historical versions fed to me were not that accurate. They never are!

Ali who had once trained in the famous Muridke camp gave me a thorough briefing on what to expect after I had landed in Karachi. It was Ali himself who had introduced me to Haroon Rashid after learning about the tragedy that had befallen me. Till then I had been a radical jihadi without a mission, a rebel without a clearly defined cause.

Meanwhile, the colour of the sky turned to a pale orange as the sun began to set. But the light was still good, and the chauffeur manoeuvred the jeep skilfully on the winding road. He was not a regular Lashkar operative like us but a member of the large support team that had been specially recruited for this camp.

Soon we reached a desolate hilly area that reminded me a lot of the Himalayan foothills in Uttar Pradesh. In fact, the entire terrain had reminded me of India. But I was in Pakistan and there was no remorse at all in my heart for what I intended to do. I was just paying them back in their own currency, the currency of blood.

‘We are approaching the camp,’ Lieutenant Ashraf told us in a matter-of-fact tone. ‘Now relax and enjoy as much as you can. After we reach the camp, there will be no time for relaxation and enjoyment.’



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Friday, August 15, 2014

The Vivekean Version of the Prodigal Son

(An Extract from Indians in Pakistan, the Action Thriller on terrorism)

‘It was all my fault,’ I said frankly. ‘I was blind then but now I see the truth. You were right and I was wrong.’
‘Mother would have been happy to see you,’ he told me, sadly. ‘Too bad she’s not around.’
‘Wh - where is she?’ I asked, looking around frantically for her.
‘It’s too late,’ he said. ‘She’s no longer in this world.’
‘Mother, mother,’ I continued, not heeding him. ‘Mother where are you?’
‘She’s dead, dear brother. She’s in heaven now.’
‘No, it cannot be. She cannot die! I need to tell her how much I love her. I need to tell her how sorry I am for walking away. I wanted to introduce her to Najma, my wife. I wanted to - ’

Words failed me at that moment and I sank to my knees. There were plenty of kind words from everyone around but there was nothing that could console me – not even the beautiful hands of Najma wrapped around my neck. I was truly inconsolable.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Acche Din Aanewale *conditions apply

(A fictional Shakespearean speech by Amit Shah, Narendra Modi’s Mark Anthony - conceptualisation and translation by Vivek Pereira)

Fiends, Minorities and other second-class citizens, lend me your ears (or we’ll chop them right off and take them during the next riots, anyways). I come to praise NaMo not to bury him. The evil that men do lives after us. Goodness was never in my bones. So it is with NaMo. The noble Uma Bharati had once called Modi ‘Vinash Purush’ and he responded with “Et tu, Uma” and then took the help of the RSS to vanquish her. For NaMo is an honourable man…if you do not count his role in the 2002 riots and its subsequent cover-up, Snoopgate, various fake encounters, corrupt crony capitalistic dealings with Adani-Ambani, his disdainful treatment of senior leaders like Jaswant Singh, Advani, etc.

The next to wound him grievously was Smriti Irani, the saas-cum-bahu who announced that she would go on a fast unto death - in line with Ekta Kapoor’s ‘Acche Sanskaar’ - if Modi did not step down as CM. Godrej, other business leaders and human right activists then threatened to punish NaMo for the 2002 riots. But ambition is made of sterner stuff. His critics became astonishingly silent with threats, awards and fair compensation. Ratan Tata received an award from the ruling Vajpayee government and got land for his dream project: the highly unimaginative Nano. Business leaders now started flocking around Modi with sheer greed and elastic principles. But NaMo is an honourable man and he rewarded them for their support many times over. Then, he targeted top cops like Sanjiv Bhatt who saved many lives during the riots but claimed that Modi was far from innocent during the mayhem.  

And thought the ghosts of Gujarat continued to haunt, Modi became the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate and promised the Indian electorate “Acche Din” in his campaign if he was voted in to power at the centre. And now he has won by a huge margin to become the Prime Minister of India. But NaMo is an honourable man and if you are surprised that there are ‘bure din’ instead of ‘acche din’ for you, then you probably did not read the “CONDITIONS APPLY” disclaimer in your haste to remove the UPA Government or rather the “Vatican-backed Delhi Sultanate.” For "acche din" would be delivered to you only if the following CONDITIONS are met: The horrific socio-political instability in the Middle East improves dramatically, oil prices fall mysteriously (instead of moving upwards), Sanghis stop persecuting minorities, neighbouring countries become genuinely friendly towards India and Pigs learn to fly.

Yes, it will be Acche Din for you if you are an Ambani or Adani, a rioter (such as member of the Hindu Rashtra Sena) who targets minorities, a union minister with a track record of rape, an HRD minister who has illegally fudged her educational qualifications, right wing activists like Col Purohit involved in terror plots, corrupt fascist politicians involved in scams in MP and Karnataka, international oil companies and people like Saheb and myself, Amit Shah, who are now in a position to quash the multitudes of potential cases against us and have started conjuring riot-like situations in states like UP and Maharashtra which are going to the polls! Yes, it is truly acche din for ‘honourable’ men like us.




Monday, June 9, 2014

Modi Sarkar: A Disaster in the Making

Merely ten days have elapsed since Modi's swearing-in ceremony on 26 May, 2014 but the signs are ominous - Modi Sarkar is heading for disaster and may well drag India down with it. Many of us who did not vote in Modi and the BJP should ideally have the right to relax and not spend sleepless nights as our conscience is clear, but the fear of the future of our beloved nation is what haunts us - and the following actions, stances and declarations by the Modi Sarkar and its symbiotic supporters have only added fuel to the fire:

(1) The Hindu Rashtra Sena, reportedly a sister organisation of the BJP, brutally murdered a Muslim techie in Pune because of a derogatory Facebook post against Bal Thackeray and Shivaji. Many more people may have been injured in the riots in Pune and the rest of Maharashtra. The FB post seems to be the handiwork of Pakistan's ISI and seems to be working well for them as Indian fascists are both morally and intellectually bankrupt. Meanwhile, Narendra Modi and the entire Modi Sarkar's deafening silence on the issue exposes their fascist mentality and is reminiscent of Manmohan Singh's silence on crucial issues.
(2) The Cyber Crime cell of the Goa Police had booked Devu Chodankar, a young engineer, for an anti-Modi Facebook post by treating it as an offence under sections 153A, 295A of IPC, section 125 of representation of the people act and section 66-A of IT Act.The post claimed that the BJP would commit a holocaust against Christians if they came to power. The post was written when the radical Pramod Muthalik had been inducted into the BJP despite telling Hindus in Goa to keep swords in their houses and use them against non-Hindus if necessary! And the same Goan cyber cell was purported to be inactive a few weeks before when they needed to arrest Meenakshi Lekhi, the BJP leader, for revealing the name of the Tehelka rape victim online. What about the thousands of online comments by Parivar activists threatening secularists, liberals and minorities with murder and rape if Modi Sarkar came to power? Why are these fascists not booked by state cyber cells?
(3) BJP is all set to implement the Uniform Civil Code in India and they have got the mandate to do that. It was mentioned in the manifesto and so now it will be difficult for minorities to protest when they are asked to do the "sat phere" in their marriage rituals or are not able to have two wives or have no legal right to say "talak" (Well, there were many brainwashed Christians, Muslims & Sikhs who also voted for Modi Sarkar, weren't there?)
(4) On his first day in office, Jitendra Singh, BJP minister in the PMO, stated that discussions had already begun on abrogation of Article 370, which provides a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The lack of sensitivity and poor knowledge of historical context is clearly evident in the BJP's push for the repealing of Article 370.
(5) The Ram Mandir agitation was the catalyst for the newly formed BJP (actually renamed and remodelled after the Jan Sangh and the RSS became political untouchables for their erstwhile Paswan-like allies) in the 1980s from their low of 2 LS seats in 1984 and now this controversial issue is back in their manifesto despite the court verdict.
(6) Subramaniam Swamy, the senior BJP leader, has told Christians and Muslims to leave India unless they acknowledge their Hindu ancestry. So much for Modi's "India First" policy.
(7) Online RSS activists continue to make blatant threats on major internet websites against minorities, liberals and secularists for not subscribing to the fascist views of the Sangh.
(8) In the first time in its history, India has elected someone accused of mass murder as its PM. What if Modi is found guilty of masterminding the 2002 riots, killing Haren Pandya for revealing his complicity, instigating the fake encounters in Gujarat and ordering acts of espionage - would he be arrested while in office? - And as PM couldn't he and his accomplice, Amit Shah, scuttle the probes?
(9) Yes, major media houses are controlled by Ambani and other well-wishers of Narendra Modi which didn't cover the stories of Ambani's son in a road accident and the Gujarat riots or didn't debate the controversial Article 370, the uniform civil code and Ram Mandir issues  that were in the BJP manifesto - and by ignoring these issues didn't they connive to usher in Modi Sarkar?
(10) The corporate businesses of Ambani and Adani group enterprises have grown manifold under Modi in Gujarat under Crony Capitalist schemes and they may grow even more - at the cost of the common man and the Indian tax payer. Meanwhile, IT companies and exports are under tremendous pressure as the Rupee value increases unrealistically.
(11) Full-scale saffronisation of school text books has begun under Smriti Irani, the HRD Minister who is following the footsteps of the previous BJP HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi, who sought to overhaul the present education system and replace it with a saffronised curriculum. Smriti met with RSS pracharak Dinanath Batra, notorious for harassing Wendy Doniger before her book "The Hindus: An Alternative History" was recalled by Penguin.
 http://www.firstpost.com/politics/return-of-saffron-textbooks-whos-behind-smritis-plans-1557779.html
(12) Modi Sarkar is already blotted by a number of dubious appointments especially of  Smriti Irani who apparently misrepresented her educational qualifications in her affidavit with her Lok Sabha nomination papers. None of the major media houses are calling for propriety i.e. the removal of Smriti Irani for providing false information on LS nomination papers - and why are we not surprised by that....Then there was an appointment of Nripendra Misra through an ordinance adding to the string of controversies.

Yes, Bure din aa gaye for India, the BJP and Delhi within just ten days of the formation of Modi Sarkar: The Badaun rape/murder, spates of rapes and murders across the nation, Maharashtra riots, Delhi power cuts and dust storm, countrywide heat wave, the accidental death of Gopinath Munde, the murder of BJP leader Vijay Pandit and the sidelining of experienced, scheming leaders like Advani-M.M.Joshi-Swamy and all this in the first ten days of assuming power - Yes, Hum sabko Maar, Modi Sarkar!
Jitendra Singh dented the sheen of the new government’s first day in office by stating the process of discussion had begun on abrogation of Article 370, which provides a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. - See more at: http://www.theindianrepublic.com/tbp/reflecting-pm-modis-first-week-office-100037978.html#sthash.0Tk8guUf.dpuf

Saturday, April 19, 2014

An Election Special: Let not Modi do to India what Morsi has done to Egypt

Several countries have elected dictatorial tyrants, religious fascists and even terrorists to power in the past decade. Popular mandates have been given to Vladimir Putin in Russia, Kim in Korea, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and Morsi in Egypt. While Kim's victory was farcical, there is no denying the trend of extremists emerging as the people's choice worldwide. Vladimir's popularity surged after he destroyed the Chechnyan rebellion ruthlessly. Similarly, the Sri Lankan President, Rajapaksha swept the elections in the island nation after he defeated the LTTE, a Tamil terrorist organisation, although he massacred several innocent people in the process. The primary reasons for the election of extremists to power are strikingly identical across nations - the fascist appeal, blatant corruption, spiraling inflation, financial mess, misuse of authority and the arrogance of the predecessor governments MISTAKENLY confident that citizens would never elect extremists and fascists to power!

"But the Muslim Brotherhood are the original Al Qaeda," I protested to my brother over the phone. "No, but they have changed and they have now promised inclusiveness to accommodate Coptic Christians and liberals too," he said. Well, the Muslim Brotherhood didn't change as I guessed. The ban was lifted, they came to power in Egypt and were given red carpet treatment by Obama and the rest of the world. But in a short span of time, they forced the Shariah down the throats of their countrymen and when Morsi tried to usurp all power, the army finally cut him down to size, resulting in a bloody civil war.

Now it's India's turn to make the crucial decision of whether to elect Narendra Modi and the BJP just like Egypt had elected Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood into power. Should India fall into the same trap - Modi, just like Morsi, has talked about inclusiveness and hinted at making constitutional changes (like the Uniform Civil Code).However, going by the track records of the BJP, RSS (the parent organisation of BJP and Modi) and Modi, there is plenty of reasons to have doubts on their electoral promises. Let's take a quick look at their track records:

The BJP: Referred to as "Bharat Jalao Party" by none other than Ram Vilas Paswan and "riot-making party" by Mamata Banerjee for their involvement in riots and heinous crimes like the Gujarat riots and Babri Masjid Demolition. An FIR was even lodged in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots against 49 BJP and RSS men for the murder of Sikhs in Delhi in retaliation against the assassination of Indira Gandhi - a leader they hated! Swamy, a BJP leader, has threatened to drive out Christians and Muslims out of India if they refuse to acknowledge their Hindu ancestry. As for corruption scandals, the BJP Party President, Bangaru Laxman, was caught red-handed taking a bribe (on National TV) for accepting cash in return for favours on defence deals when NDA was in power!

The RSS: Indian secularists shall always blame the RSS and the Sangh Parivar (umbrella outfits) for the death of Mahatma Gandhi. An ex-RSS man (at least Godse claimed in court that he was no longer with them) assassinated Mahatma Gandhi and RSS cadres distributed sweets to celebrate this event! Sardar Vallabhai Patel (whose giant statue the "monumentally stupid" Modi is constructing) banned the RSS as it “posed a threat to national unity" and (further stated) "Individual members of the RSS have indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity and murder and have collected illicit arms and ammunition." The Sangh Parivar has not mended its ways - the Muzzafarnagar and Kandhmal riots, the ghastly burning of Christian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons, the attack on women outside a Mangalore pub and the online threat by online Sanghi trolls warning of retaliation against minorities for the "thousands of years of suppression of Hindu aspirations" are clinching proofs of this fact.Even now RSS leaders are suspected of terrorist attacks such as the Malegaon bombing and the blasts on the Samjhauta Express.

Modi: The charges against Modi are serious - (1) Enabling the deaths of thousands of Hindus, Muslims and other Gujaratis by giving a free hand to rioters - Top cops have said that Modi conducted two meetings: in the first meeting he told the police to go soft on rioteers, while the second meeting was a pep talk for the rioteers themselves.(2) There is a charge that Modi could have used the underworld to kill Haren Pandya, his once trusted aide for spilling the beans on the secret meeting before the riots.(3) Amit Shah, Modi aide masterminded Ishrat Shrums killing and other Fake encounters misusing the Gujarat police force and Modi's involvement cannot be ruled out (4) Modi has targeted top cops like Sanjiv Bhatt who opposed the riots and bought off or threatened critics and human rights activists or given them awards to change their views (5) Modi has fostered Crony Capitalism in Gujarat with Ambani benefiting with higher tariffs and Adani with low cost land – burdening Gujaratis – Parag Shah who helped in some of the above crimes became a General Manager at Reliance http://www.truthofgujarat.com/new-evidence-establishes-narendra-modi-directly-monitoring-tulsi-prajapati-fake-encounter/ (6) Modi in all probability plans to convert India into a vegetarian, alcohol-free country as he says animal slaughter, in general, was bleeding the nation.

Placing these facts before you, dear  readers, I rest my case. Let not Modi do to India what Morsi has done to Egypt!





Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Vivekean Version of the Prodigal Son

(An Extract from Indians in Pakistan, the Action Thriller on terrorism)

‘It was all my fault,’ I said frankly. ‘I was blind then but now I see the truth. You were right and I was wrong.’
‘Mother would have been happy to see you,’ he told me, sadly. ‘Too bad she’s not around.’
‘Wh - where is she?’ I asked, looking around frantically for her.
‘It’s too late,’ he said. ‘She’s no longer in this world.’
‘Mother, mother,’ I continued, not heeding him. ‘Mother where are you?’
‘She’s dead, dear brother. She’s in heaven now.’
‘No, it cannot be. She cannot die! I need to tell her how much I love her. I need to tell her how sorry I am for walking away. I wanted to introduce her to Najma, my wife. I wanted to - ’

Words failed me at that moment and I sank to my knees. There were plenty of kind words from everyone around but there was nothing that could console me – not even the beautiful hands of Najma wrapped around my neck. I was truly inconsolable.

Visit the Fan Page of this exciting novel at https://www.facebook.com/IndiansInPakistan

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Exposing the Medieval Mindset


Today I visited the local fish market and was surprised to hear fisherwoman bargaining in English using words like “fresh”, “expensive” and “twelve hundred.” Yet, nearly a month ago, I saw several participants getting punished for using English phrases during day-to-day conversations in India’s premier reality show, Big Boss. Why is this anti-English idea being mooted on popular television shows when most of the world has adopted the language as their own and the world has gone truly global? Are TV show producers steadily succumbing to the paranoia of the medieval mindsets.
 
And, by the way, what is a medieval mindset? In the period following the collapse of the Roman Empire from the 5th century right up to the sixteenth century religion ruled the roost. All the major religions of the world came into prominence during this period but culture declined. The followers of these modern religions were just as brutal and barbaric as their pagan counterparts. The Christian armies burnt and even ate the corpses of their foes during the crusades at the start of the previous millennium.  

The Renaissance in the 15th and 16th century came as a breath of fresh air to the sea of unenlightened humanity who just could not look out of the box they had so ‘religiously’ prepared and entrapped themselves in. But the medieval mindset continued on and has survived even up to this day of tablets, Smartphones, iPods and YouTube videos. 

Unfortunately, fascists as in Egypt and possibly in India as well, the chief proponents of this medieval mindset, are being elected to power all over the world. We can ignore this threat to our own peril. People accept them as a means of change from all that is not right with their present systems, but they could be in for a rude shock when the change does happen!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Predictions for 2014 - The Vivekean Crystal ball Speaketh


(The Author has written an action thriller on terrorism entitled 'Indians in Pakistan' that is available at http://pothi.com/pothi/book/vivek-pereira-indians-pakistan)


Well, let's be optimistic when we gaze at the crystal ball. Yes, let's predict only the best for India and the world. Less crime, lower inflation, a rejuvenated economy, higher rupees, a soaring share market, higher incomes, lower taxes, less corruption, no terror attacks and so on. Hmm...this sounds more like a Utopian dream....and why not?

What could be the outcome for the Indian Lok Sabha elections in 2014?  Well, it looks like we re heading for a hung parliament and smaller parties like the AAP will play a major role in the shape of the next government. The Left parties might also make a comeback in these elections. And the Prime Minister? My prediction is that it won't be Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi. It's the crystal ball, stupid! Yes, it's quite logical that smaller parties would want their pound of flesh for support and maybe even the PM's position. So, we re looking at compromise candidates like Jayalalitha, Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal or even Naveen Patnaik.Well, sorry UPA and BJP supporters, but your unfounded overconfidence will be your downfall! Did anyone expect Arvind Kejriwal to be the Delhi CM? Seriously. Well, less support for the government at the centre can be a good thing as only sensible bills could will get passed and the authorities would think twice before doing anything immoral or unethical.

What about the Indian cricket team? - Let's forget our hockey and soccer team which are too much in focus these days - ha....India will miss Tendulkar who was an inspiration and a calming influence on the younger players. Well, Dhoni and Kohli will continue to be among the best in the world. In fact, the problem is not so much with the batting lineup as with the bowling. Ishant Sharma seems to be either getting bad advice from others and not listening to the wise ones.Our fast bowlers are not fast enough - or accurate.

And the international war on terrorists, Maoists and organised crime? Well, US itself has admitted that the Taliban will only get stronger and Al Qaeda may once again establish base in Afghanistan. The Muslim Brotherhood and its allies have changed colour once out of power and Egypt could perhaps go the Syrian way. Let's pray and hope that this does not happen. I'm not a big supporter of the Arab spring. The corrupt, mafia-like rulers like Gaddafi had kept the region stable but now one never knows what can happen there. Freedom (even freedom from corruption) does come at a bitter price. On the home front, Maoists will get wiped out as their support base is getting quickly eroded. Let's hope that this happens to the Indian Mujahideen and other domestic terror groups too.

Well, I do remember the Economy. I just paid Rs 55 for 1 kg each of onions and potatos, and only a few months ago a kg of onion had cost Rs 80 per kg. Wonders what these hoarders and black marketeers can do.This should be a sure sign that the Economy will bounce back. The monsoon was not bad and we have a talented workforce that can take on any challenges.The new RBI governor seems to be making positive decisions but will they turn around the economy? And let's reduce the price of LPG cylinders, Mr Manmohan Singh. The common man is certainly feeling the pinch.

Let me take this opportunity to wish all the readers of this blog a happy and prosperous new year and may you stick to your new year's resolution even if it is only to read my blog regularly. LOL.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Can a Novel on Terrorism become a bestselling book in India and globally?

This is a question I have always asked myself when I began writing this book about five years ago. Will a novel on terrorism have mass appeal and would I be catering to a restricted niche audience? Well, it's early days for my novel "Indians in Pakistan" but I'm certain the answer is "Why Not?".

As I worked on my novel, I realised that Jihadi fiction was becoming a genre by itself with works of Mukul Deva and "Red Jihad" capturing the imagination. But I still insist that the audience is not niche as terrorism affects us all overtly and covertly. Only a fool will deny that.Think of all those long hours you have spent in queues waiting to enter a plane or a stadium because of security checks. Think of the fear one feels when a loud sound is heard on the street or whenever you see a stray parcel lying in a public place. Denying you feel this fear or inconvenience does not mean that it is not felt. Any rational human being feels them. Doesn't every Mumbaikar traveling in a train or bus at one time or another wonder if there is a bomb waiting to blow them up. Wouldn't they sometimes remember the carnage of 1993, 2006 and 2008 and wonder if another attack is around the corner?

If terrorism is an everyday subject then why should we feel that a book on terrorism is unusual or niche - especially if that book dwells on human relationships and bonding. Indians in Pakistan is not only an emotional roller-coaster but also a thriller in which the action just doesn't stop. It ranks among my all-time best works of fiction and is sure to have  a global reach. The Likes on its Facebook Fan Page says it all, especially since most of the "Likers" are complete strangers and the fan base is spread across the world. This novel is available on Pothi.com, Flipkart, Amazon.in and Infibeam. So come on and get your paws on one of the best novels by an Indian Author.
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