Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kargil Helicopter Service

(Helicopter service to Kargil has been overdue but the real requirement is a regular civilian air connection to the area pending for decades which could put it on the World Tourism Map!)

Kargil Helicopter Service 
It was a pleasant surprise to see a video of the dramatic Nun-Kun peaks in the Suru Valley of Kargil on the Facebook taken from a helicopter of Pawan Hans during its flight to the area. The video has probably been taken on the reconnaissance flight of the aircraft for starting a service between Srinagar and Kargil. A similar helicopter service was in operation through the same company earlier also. Pawan Hans Company had, in fact, also started a service to Gurez, Kargil and Zanskar some years back. Once there was a government proposal to start small aircraft service as well as helicopter service to many far flung areas usually cut off in winter due to the closure of the passes. In fact, the government had set up a State Level Department of Civil Aviation for the said purpose. Unfortunately, the proposal could not fructify and most of these areas remain cut off during winter and depend entirely upon Air force Courier Service which is operated on the request of the State government.
Now that the attention is again on the subject, it would be advisable to have a comprehensive project not only to provide a regular air connection to the area but to develop the most important basic infrastructure to fully throw open this potential region as an ultimate destination for adventure. As regards adventure, Suru and Zanskar Valleys are virtual Gold Mines! In no other place in the world can a 7000 metre high peak like the famous Nun be reached in a matter of hours from a road-head! There are dozens of unnamed peaks, some still unclimbed, in the range of 5000 to 7000 metres. Mountaineering, rock and ice-climbing, ski-mountaineering, trekking, white water rafting and kayaking, para-gliding and so many other adventure activities have tremendous scope in the area. The toughest leg of the Car Rally, the Raide de Himalaya is between Kargil and Padam. In fact, one of the best Adventure Institutes can be set up at Panikhar in the Suru Valley.
Apart from that this region has some cultural significance also. The famous Drokhpas, supposed to be pure Aryans and considered by some to be the progeny of the remnants of the Alexander’s army who settled in the area, have an interesting life style. In fact, on the other side of the border the famous Kailash Tribe is of the same origin. Their Greek connection has been researched thoroughly on the other side of the border in Hunza area by scientists from Greece. Kargil has also been on the famous Silk Route. However, the road to Skardu which leads to Gilgit and beyond, even though passable, is right now closed. It could have been included in the cross LOC travel but the same has not so far materialised.
Unfortunately, Kargil has been facing a double jeopardy! First is its closeness to LOC even though the other side posts have been pushed back compared to earlier position when the forces stationed there could straight away target all areas in the Kargil town? However, the vicinity is uncomfortably close! The other jeopardy is lack of enthusiasm among the local population and its leaders for modernisation especially Tourism which is in total contrast to the Leh people who have very enterprisingly made Leh as one of the prime destinations for domestic and foreign tourism. During early nineties when Leh and Kargil were taken on board the State Tourism Plan with a yearly allocation of one crore each, the Leh authorities overspent by 20% while as Kargil surrendered 80% of the allocation! Apart from Tourism, an air connection is a mandatory requirement for taking care of various activities including healthcare necessary for the well-being of the local population. In fact, the Kargil Airport had been upgraded by the Civil Aviation Ministry and a trial flight was also operated during the time of Ghulam Nabi Azad as the Union Civil Aviation Minister. A Dornier aircraft had flown from Delhi to Leh and then to Kargil and back. The whole project probably got shelved due to perennial “Security Reasons”! Now that the government has started a helicopter service, the possibility of a regular air connection needs to be explored again. In the meantime, similar treatment is required for Gurez, Tilel, and Karnah especially during winter. The other important location which too is a gold mine for adventure Tourism is the Kishtwar area. This has been the most popular area with the British climbers and trekkers as it involves week long trekking to most of the base camps of different peaks like Brahma, Sickle Moon and so on. The most impressive treks are through Wardwan and Paddar Valleys. Kishtwar too had a small airstrip and it was explored for starting an air service but again the proposal somehow disappeared even though there were no “Security” considerations here!
If handled properly, Kargil could even redeem the declining tourist flow to Kashmir Valley. With air connections both at Srinagar and Kargil, the tourists could easily travel between Srinagar and Kargil. Incidentally, the Adventure Tourists are not put off by the exaggerated media reports about the situation in Kashmir. We had heli-skiing going on during the peak of militancy in the nineties of the last century. The travel trade and the state organisations need to pay special attention to this sector in view of the prevailing situation. This activity can help a lot in preventing the total collapse of Tourism sector.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Saffron Swastika hugs the Star of David

(Modi’s hug of President Ruvi reminds one about the two opposites embracing each other just for the hatred of the third one considered by the both, a common enemy!)
Enemy’s enemy


Like the North Pole and the South Pole meeting for the formation of the present State Government in J & K, the hug between President Ruvi and Prime Minister Modi comes on the same lines. The hug is not for the love of each other but for tackling the declared common enemy, the “Muslims”!

The History quite often throws up unthinkable episodes which one could have never dreamt of! Can anyone imagine Hitler embracing an inmate of the Auschwitz concentration camp? Well, the photographs from the recent visit of Prime Minister Modi to Israel showing him hugging Ruvi splashed all over the world gives a creepy feeling. It virtually represents the Swastika, the hated Nazi symbol embracing the Star of David, the well-known Jewish symbol.

Swastika represents ancient Hindu symbol of well-being and is associated with the Aryans. Hitler had adopted this symbol for his Fascist Nazi Party. He claimed Germans to be the purest Aryan Race! He wanted to maintain the Aryan purity of the German Race at all costs. He describes in detail the cause of his extreme hatred of Jews in Mein Kamf (My Struggle). He holds Jews responsible for the defeat of Germany in the First World War. It would be interesting to quote him in this regard.

“Only the Jew knew that by an able and persistent use of propaganda heaven itself can be presented to the people as if it were hell and, vice versa, the most miserable kind of life can be presented as if it were paradise. The Jew knew this and acted accordingly. But the German, or rather his Government, did not have the slightest suspicion of it. During the War the heaviest of penalties had to be paid for that ignorance”.
He was so much disgusted with Jews that he threatened to wipe them out immediately after taking over. "If I am ever really in power, the destruction of the Jews will be my first and most important job. As soon as I have power, I shall have gallows after gallows erected, for example, in Munich on the Marienplatz-as many of them as traffic allows. Then the Jews will be hanged one after another, and they will stay hanging until they stink. They will stay hanging as long as hygienically possible. As soon as they are untied, then the next group will follow and that will continue until the last Jew in Munich is exterminated. Exactly the same procedure will be followed in other cities until Germany is cleansed of the last Jew!" (quoted in John Toland, Adolf Hitler. London: Book Club Associates, 1977, p.116)
On creation of Israel, he states, “While the Zionists try to make the rest of the World believe that the national consciousness of the Jew finds its satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian state, the Jews again slyly dupe the dumb Goyim. It doesn't even enter their heads to build up a Jewish state in Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central organisation for their international world swindler, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for the German, French-man, or Englishman, the other with open effrontery comes out as the Jewish race.”

Hitler is held responsible for the death of six million Jews! The European Powers and the Americans deliberately created the State of Israel as a dagger in the Arab world. The motive was twofold. One to expiate the guilt of the massive persecution of Jews by Christians and the other to tackle the growing nationalism among the Muslim Arab States like Nasser’s Egypt. The progressive Muslim World has been totally shattered by the western powers through the dagger of Israel. On their part, the real leaders of the Muslim world such as Saudi Arabia sold their souls to the luxuries of the western world and became their puppets. Arabs alone spend more than $ 8 Billion on the beatification of their bodies in Europe!

As regards India, even though it started as a Secular, Progressive and Democratic Republic yet it is now heading towards a Fascist country of extreme Hindutva. In fact, the founder of RSS Sadashiv Golwalkar was reportedly fond of Hitler and adopted some of his methods for his party. He wrote in his book, “"To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races -- the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by."

Another RSS leader, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar went a little ahead. In a speech delivered in 1940 (after the Second World War had commenced), he said: “There is no reason to suppose that Hitler must be a human monster because he passes off as a Nazi or Churchill is a demigod because he calls himself a Democrat. Nazism proved undeniably the savior of Germany under the set of circumstances Germany was placed in”. Thus the founder as well as many other important leaders of RSS were not only impressed by the Nazis but also adopted their tactics to realise their dream of a Hindu Rashtra. Now, they are going full speed ahead to achieve this goal. The irony is that they are embracing even Jews to achieve their goal! Nazi Storm Troopers have been replaced by Gaurakhshaks! No doubt, the dream of Hindu Rashtra may be achieved but at what cost? Disintegration of the Largest Democracy in the world!
The authors of this pogrom need to keep in view the ultimate fate of Hitler. In his effort to usher in the Purest German Aryan Race, he virtually destroyed Germany! The Holocaust committed in Auschwitz and other places still haunts German Conscience. The only silver lining is the “Not in My Name” movement which if supported by all right thinking people could halt the carnage and prevent the disintegration of the country.






Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Permanent Solution” for Kashmir Problem

(The Union Home Minister has declared that there will soon be a “Permanent Solution” for the Kashmir problem. The declaration appears more scary than comforting!)

Kashmir problem has been hanging fire since the partition of the sub-continent. In fact, the creation of the two countries itself created the problem! Kashmir as an independent sovereign country has a history of more than 5000 years. Existence of Kashmir as an independent sovereign country has been mentioned in many ancient chronicles including those of Greece, China and various Arab countries. After four centuries of subjugation by external rulers Kashmiris had a chance to reclaim their independence and sovereignty but due to their misfortune they got entangled in the sub-continent’s religious and ideological conflict for no fault of theirs. This confusion and strife of the partition years, 1947 to 1949 fully chained them in a Gordian knot which no one has been able to disentangle so far.
The “problem” has been there now for 70 years! During this period thousands of Kashmiris have been killed, thousands injured and disabled, hundreds of women have been subjected to rape and property worth billions has been destroyed. Economically Kashmiris who used to be self-sufficient have been made totally dependent on external dole. Without outside financial help, the local government is not even in a position to pay the salaries of its employees! Had Kashmir been on its own, not only would it be able to sustain the local population on the most modern lines but also extended aid to its neighbours especially in the field of hydro-electric power of which it has abundant potential.
All these years Kashmir has been used as a whipping boy by the two of its neighbours in a state of perennial conflict. It is a playground for proxy wars for both the sides. Earlier it was so called “Secular and Democratic” Republic versus the so called “Islamic Republic” with Kashmiris as guinea pigs to test the two ideologies. Now it is in the open as “Hindu Rashtra” versus the “Jihadi Pakistan”. Both appear to be totally bent upon destroying each other. On this side the Brahmins are all out to create India of the Vedic times with the Cow as their decisive symbol enabling targeting of minorities who are being hunted in every possible way. The other side controlled by the Feudal Landlords for whom the extremists have become totally uncontrollable. Kashmir’s misfortune is to have been caught between the two bulls. As they say if the two bulls fight, the grass gets trampled and if the bulls make love, the grass still gets trampled.
In such a situation what could be the permanent solution? The way things are happening one is very scarily reminded of the Hitler’s final solution of the Jewish problem which resulted in the holocaust of which Auschwitz is an example. One hopes the Union Home Minister is not thinking on the same lines for Kashmiris? Some of the recent moves give a creeping feeling of the worst still to come! Pitting the world’s third largest Army against just a couple of hundred militants amounts to using a wild elephant for killing a group of ants with tremendous collateral damage. It becomes what the Army Chief has called a “Dirty War”! Normally, the main principle of counter insurgency is based on the premise that a militant or a guerrilla fighter is like a fish which moves in water. The aim is to take way the water by winning over the people. Here, the reverse is happening. The anti-insurgency operations are providing the “Fish” more and more fresh water!
If the final and permanent solution is to crush people physically and economically, then the authors of that solution need to study the 5000 year old history of Kashmir. Mughals annexed Kashmir to their empire, then Afghans took it and after them the Sikhs annexed it to their empire. Ultimately, the British sold it to Dogras for their loyalty to defeat the Sikhs. All these Empires have disappeared and vanished into thin air but the Kashmiris are still there! Had Indian sub-continent not been partitioned, Kashmiris might have regained their independence and sovereignty. Even after partition, Kashmir could have been an ideal meeting point for the two conflicting ideologies had the leaders on two sides been intelligent and sincere to their own people. Kashmir Valley was the only place in the entire sub-continent which did not have any communal or religious conflict. The people here had been living for centuries with mutual amity and brotherhood.
Even now, the most ideal and sensible permanent solution could be to convert Kashmir into a real and genuine meeting point for all its warring neighbours as the Switzerland has been in Europe through the two world wars! It would be a more sensible and permanent solution than trampling the entire land along with its population through wild elephants. One needs to remember an African saying about the Elephants and the Ants. An Elephants trunk is a truly remarkable organ but it becomes its Achilles heels when dealing with an angry colony of ants. These ants can kill the elephant if these climb into his trunk. The elephant dies by smashing its head against the rocks as these ants make it go mad”!