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Challenging the Metanarrative Of Indian Independence Struggle.

A historian ought to be exact, sincere and impartial; free from passion, unbiased by interest, fear, resentment or affection; and faithful to the truth, which is the mother of history the preserver of great actions, the enemy of oblivion, the witness of the past, the director of the future, says Ambedkar.

The function of historian is neither to love the past, nor to condemn the past, nor to be free from the past, but to master the past in order to understand its bearing on the present. Therefore, let us re-look into the significance of 15th August 1947 for our country and its citizens. And also what we as Indians technically achieved on our most celebrated and glorified National holiday.

What India got on 15th August 1947?

  • What is a Dominion? Dominion means colonial self-Government.
  • Was the Total independence achieved from the British rule?

The late 19th century till the mid of twentieth century is very crucial in the evolution of Republic of India, as it stands today. This period marks the rise of political conscious and ambitious Indian nationalism. This is the period when the Indians started voicing out their political demands to the British Government. The politics of this time is described by the nationalist historiography as India’s Independence Struggle. This description is hitherto not challenged. Nationalists will not challenge this description is natural and can be easily understood. The Hindutva ideology also does not counter this description and in fact makes an attempt to locate itself within this framework in order to picture themselves and their leaders as ‘freedom fighters’ as it serves their task of Hindu Nationalism. The Ambedkarite Movement, the leftist Marxist movement, the Kanshiram pioneered Bahujan movement seems to disagree with this nationalist description though it cannot be in anyway regarded as countering the fundamental basis of the description and hence cannot be regarded as a challenge to the nationalist description. Their objection is mainly to the title of ‘Freedom Struggle’ and they want to merely describe it as ‘Transfer of Power from B2B i.e. From British to the power hungry Brahmins’. They do not question the fundamental assumptions of this description namely the ‘struggle of Indians against the tyrannical British rulers’, ‘the Congress Nationalism as the only nationalism’ etc. Their complain, being merely over the title and as it does not challenge the nationalist paradigm in any way, hence not fundamental and does not have any major bearing on the nationalist historiography. Thus their disagreement in fact is no disagreement.

Dr. Ambedkar described the Indian politics of his times as having two different aspects, namely –

  1. Foreign politics i.e. Quit India or the Transfer of Power Politics and
  2. Constitutional Politics i.e. the Communal Deadlock or the struggle between the Hindu Communal Majority against the Minorities.

Below is the sequence of events that took place around 15th August 1947, technically:

  1. What India got on 15th August 1947?
  2. On 15th August 1947 India got the Dominion status under the Indian Independence Act, 1947.
  3. Dominion is defined as a British colony with a responsible local self government. This means that India was a British colony even on 15th August 1947.
  4. The below excerpt from the Constituent Assembly debates would serve as the best evidence to understand the significance of 15th August 1947:

The confusion in the Constituent assembly:

Thursday, the 14th August 1947

(2) the Constituent Assembly of India has endorsed the recommendation that Lord Mountbatten be Governor-General of India from the 15th August 1947.

and that this message be conveyed forthwith to Lord Mountbatten by the President and Pandit Jawaharlal.Nehru. (Cheers.) I take it the House approves it.

The motion was adopted.

Friday, the 15th August 1947

The wishes from many countries started pouring in to India for achieving the Dominion status. None of them mentioned  “Republic of India” but just “Dominion of India” in their wishes.

Few messages could be read as below:

Message from Dr. Soedarsono on behalf of the Republic of Indonesia:

“On the eve of the establishment of the Dominion of India it is a great pleasure to the Republic of Indonesia to express her feelings of heartfelt joy, sympathy and friendship.”

Message from the President of the United States of America:

“On this memorable occasion I extend to you, to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and to the people of the Dominion of India the sincere best wishes of the Government and the people, of the United.States of America. I wish to avail myself of this opportunity of extending my personal congratulations to Your Excellency on your assumption of the post of Governor-General of the Dominion of India and at the same time to convey assurance of my highest consideration.”

H.E (His Excellency), the Governor-General: Mr. President and members of the Constituent Assembly:

“From today I am your constitutional Governor-General and I would ask you to regard me as one of yourselves. I am glad to announce that "my" Government (as I am now constitutionally entitled and most proud to call them) have decided to mark this historic occasion by a generous programme of amnesty.”

 

HOISTING OF THE NATIONAL FLAG

Mr. President: His Excellency will now give the signal for hoisting the Flag.

(The sound of a gun being fired was heard).

H.E. The Governor-General: That is the signal for hoisting the flag over this roof.

Mr. President: The House now stands adjourned till 10 of the Clock on the 20th.

Honourable Members: Mahatma Gandhi ki jai.

Mahatma Gandhi ki jai.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ki jai.

Lord Mountbatten ki jai.

The Assembly then adjourned till 10 of the Clock on Wednesday, the 20th August 1947.

 

  1. On 15th August 1947 what was achieved was not Independence (Swatantrya) but Home Rule (Swarajya).
  2. The Constitutional head of India was the British Crown till 26th January 1950.
  3. On 26th January 1950 after all the provisions of the Constitution were made effective, India became a Sovereign Republic and Democratic country.
  4. From 15th August 1947 to 26th January 1950 India was governed according to the provisions of amended Government of India Act, 1935.
  5. Only on 26th January 1950 all the ties with the British Crown were broken and India was politically and constitutionally free country with all the privileges related to military and foreign relation powers.
  6. Therefore, India became free and got Total Independence (Swatantrya or Purna Swarajya) only on 26th January 1950, at least in technical sense.
  7. More so because even the date of 26th January was chosen for the implementation of Constitution because on this very day in 1930, the Congress passed the resolution of “Poorna Swaraj” in Lahore.
  8. Therefore, 15th August is therefore just a Dominion Day and not the Independence Day.
  9. The below illustration explains the political entitlements and progress India achieved:

 

India before the advent of British Raj

We must remember that what we now see as "India" was originally a collection of petty rajas, and kingdoms. It's the invaders who unified the subcontinent into a country called India. So let's be truthful about the facts and teach history as it happened and notoriously though thank those invaders for the present unity and diversity we enjoy. Myths also have played a major role in India attaining independence. The political movement of the Indian National Congress which started from the demand of ‘Home Rule’ i.e. ‘Dominion Status’ and matured into the demand of ‘Total Independence’ under the pressure of extremist movements outside and within the Congress is referred as the movement of Indian Independence is a point in case. The significance of 15th August 1947 must be seen in the light of these demands. Dissenting voices, if any, are raised only in the academic intellectual circles and are deliberately confined within the closed walls of universities, academic institutions and history congress.

The ‘Secularist’ and ‘Hindu-Nationalist’ Narratives concurrent apparently contradictory but part of the Same Grand Narrative, namely which camp is more patriotic.

 Civic Nationalism (New India) and Anti-colonial Nationalism (Quit India):

Nationalism is not an end but just a means for the individuals to reach the highest stage of Human development. An Individual is an end it itself. To create the social, political conditions in the world where each individual could spread the wingspan to its maximum potential. Nationalism which reformists like Phule and Ambedkar vouched for did not just object to the external domination but also the internal oppression, i.e. their brand of Patriotism deals with both the above progresses namely, Foreign politics as well as Constitutional politics which India as a country was heading towards. Unfortunately, the glorification of 15th August as Independence day which is confined to the mere idea of Foreign politics clearly subverts the latter progress, namely, the Constitutional politics which was also moving forward in parallel with the Foreign politics. Mere celebration of the freedom struggle movement against the British rule, invokes a limited sentiment of Anti-colonial Nationalism. The period of late 19th century till the mid of twentieth century has been also remarkable in resolving the age-old feuds among Indians. The people, now citizens, were nothing but warring camps. The Hindu-Muslim issue. The caste inequalities. The princely states vs their subjects, now citizens. The Zamindars vs the landless.

This period has been instrumental in finding a safe ground plan to address innumerable such issues among Indians for a safe and sustainable democracy after the British rule would end.

Social reform must precede Political reform. Alteast the political reformists must consider Social reform as an integral part of the political reform. But the subversion of Social conference of Ranade by Tilak is the best example of the undermining of Social reform in context of Indian independence struggle. Be it through right from Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms, to the working and contribution of Indian intelligentsia in the works of various commissions, the Round table conferences that followed likewise in the making of India. And then ultimately at the remarkable and exhaustive Constituent assembly debates.

Like Anti-colonial movement, the Constitutional politics involved even more herculean task of bringing all the warring groups on board. All of these efforts involved a series of conflicts and struggle among the Indians to achieve the position of dignity in free India. The biggest example of the conflict among Indians manifested into partition and blood bath that followed soon after 15th August 1947. The constitutional politics was addressing this very problem. It was indeed talking about New India and the new order.

The significance of this period is more relevant in today’s times of continued struggle among Indians. If it is true that Political democracy cannot sustain without Social democracy, then this period of Constitutional politics must be indeed celebrated as Freedom struggle movement. It was the century of the Making of Present India. The test of patriotism therefore does not lie in participation in the Anti-colonial movement. The contribution towards the Constitutional politics is more apt in today’s times of continued struggle.

The constitutional politics plays an instrumental role in defining the present form of India as a Nation-in-the making. Therefore, at least in technical sense, India became free and got Total Independence (Swatantrya or Purna Swarajya) only on 26th January 1950.

The results of glorification of 15th August as Independence day therefore subverts the much needed Constitutional morality which is already lacking among Indians.

Like they say in New Zealand, Happy Dominion day !

 

References

[1] Swatantrata din ki Paheli - A research paper by Sumedh Ukey

[2] Constituent assembly debate proceedings.

[3] http://www.international.gc.ca/department/history-histoire/dcer/details-en.asp?intRefid=10567

[4] http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/dominion-status/symposium

[5] The Modern Law Review,Volume 12, Issue 3, Article first published online: 18 JAN
[6] Conditions precedent for the successful working of democracy, Dr. Ambedkar Writings and Speeches, Vol 17 , Part THREE, page 480

[7] parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/debates.htm

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This article stating that Ved Pratap Vaidik was participating in the TrackII dialogue representing RSS and Modi (Ved Pratap Vaidik met Hafiz Saeed in same trip, confirming my suspicions about his interview) was apparently originally published in Manorama but isn't accessible anymore. Only copy seems to be in Kashmir Watch, which some people couldn't access. Duplicating it here for the sake of record.

Money matters

By Kallol Bhattacherjee

Focus on trade likely to be the defining feature of Modi's foreign policy

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched down in Bhutan on June 15, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was hosting a special Indian guest and his companions in Islamabad, who had come for a Track II dialogue. While the Prime Minister's Office is tight-lipped about editor and columnist Ved Pratap Vaidik's visit to Islamabad, he is believed to have gone to Pakistan as the representative of the RSS, tasked with dispelling misunderstandings about the Sangh Parivar and its south Asian agenda.

Vaidik had travelled to Lahore on his own to meet Sharif in May last year after the Pakistani leader won the elections. In return, Sharif, reportedly, rewarded him with rare access and contacts, which he used extensively during a trip to Pakistan early this year to convince its leaders that Pakistan can do business with India under Modi.

Najam Rafique of the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, which is hosting the Track II dialogue, told THE WEEK that Vaidik represented not just the RSS, but also Modi. “Vaidik is visiting us as an emissary of the Indian prime minister. On June 23, he is addressing an in-house meeting at ISSI. The agenda is how to revive the Pakistan-India dialogue process and what issues are to be taken up. The Indian side is resisting to discuss Kashmir,” he said. Sources in Islamabad said the Modi government's focus was on trade, especially getting the non-discriminatory trade agreement ratified by Pakistan. Rafique, however, said it might not be easy and would require some arm-twisting by India. “The Pakistani side is insisting that Kashmir should be on the table during the Track II dialogue. But, there is a widespread understanding that trade has to come first,” he said.

Given the sensitivities involved, not all details are on public domain, but Union Minister Arun Jaitley's comment about a possible dialogue with separatists in Kashmir has added to the sentiment that the Modi government will manage south Asia unconventionally, with a surprise cast of characters, if necessary. Darakhshan Andrabi, leader of the Jammu and Kashmir Socialist Democratic Party, who is lobbying Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for creating an alternative political platform in Kashmiri politics, said the Track II dialogue with Pakistan was aimed at attempting an enabling condition for going ahead with other aspects of life, like trade and development.

Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran said the Modi government's emphasis on trade with Pakistan, the rest of south Asia and the major world powers could well be the defining feature of Indian foreign policy under Modi. “Allowing Pakistani banks in India and the State Bank of India to operate in Pakistan and granting non-discriminatory market access to India by Pakistan will add to India's growth economy status. Much of our diplomatic stalling of the last five years happened because the world, after celebrating our economic growth for some time, suddenly started perceiving us as a low-potential economy hobbled by a weak political structure. India's diplomacy will change dramatically if Modi can create an impression by his initial deals in south Asia and Japan that India will prioritise trade over other differences, whether big or small,” he said.

These priorities will be reflected in External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's foreign trips as well. Swaraj, fresh from her tour to Bhutan, accompanying Modi, is expected to leave for a meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on June 26, carrying forward the Look East dynamic of Modi's foreign policy. Already, the Bhutan visit of Modi is being interpreted as a message to China not to snatch away India's partners in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

Saran said the September session of the UN General Assembly, which Modi was likely to attend, would give his team another major opportunity in perfecting its trade diplomacy. In Washington, DC, the United States India Political Action Committee, the organisation that facilitated the pre-election US visit of Rajnath Singh and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, is doing unofficial groundwork for Modi's visit. “We are excited about the defence IT sector as a new area, as India plans new investment zones in defence production,” said Sanjay Puri of USINPAC.

An immediate challenge for Modi will be in breaking ice with Italy, which is taking advantage of the football season by selling T-shirts with the names of the Italian marines charged for killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast. “The European Parliament will be headed by Italy from September and there is a possibility that tough Italy-India ties might hurt India-EU ties,” said a European ambassador.

The Modi-Swaraj-Doval team has begun with an intense plan of action. But, given the uncertainties in the world of diplomacy, it may also need some luck to succeed.

The gambit

Modi's tenure has begun with a bang:

* Neighbouring heads of state at the swearing-in ceremony
* First foreign visit to Bhutan, emphasising its significance
* Back-channel talks on with Pakistan
* Hosted Chinese foreign minister and Russian deputy PM
* Talks scheduled with Bangladesh PM
* Interactions being worked on with leaders of the US and Japan
* Renewed focus on trade diplomacy

-Source: The Week, India-
Print Version

1

Let us begin with the video of the king of "carefully presented BJP interviews", Rajat Sharma interviewing Baba Ramdev aide Ved Pratap Vaidik.

Even as respected journalists flee a sinking media, the entire media seems to have let this pass unquestioned. Ved Pratap Vaidik has no authority to engage in dialogue with anyone. This cannot be called a journalistic endeavor, since there is no documentation, or for that matter any new information not previously known being disclosed. It is no documentary type visit bringing insight to an entity. Instead, he seems to have held a bilateral dialogue with an entity we consider criminal.

Is the BJP also legitimizing a track of dialogue between extremists of both countries?

What does Ved Pratap Vaidik have in common with Hafiz Saeed other than organized religious Nationalism with stakes in national politics?

He speaks of their talks as a cultural exchange, asks after his objections to Narendra Modi and views with regard to Modi's potential visit to Pakistan. Now let us get this clearly. India considers Hafiz Saeed to be a terrorist. He is no representative of Pakistan recognized by India to interview for acceptance of the Indian Prime Minister. This undermines India's efforts to pressure Pakistan to curb radicalization against India by giving legitimacy and seeking acceptance from someone we consider to be a terrorist supporter.

Here are some quotes. I leave you to decide for yourself what Ved Pratap Vaidik is up to and what Rajat Sharma is doing when he projects an action clearly against India as some kind of achievement. Not to mention the whole pantheon of Indian media who appear to not have noticed this at all, or have not found it worth questioning.

baatcheet shuru karnese pehle, kuch tasweerein hum darshakon ko dikha dete hain. Lahore ki ye tasweerein hain. subah mein savva ghante lambi mulakaat hui Ved Pratap Vaidik ki Hafiz Saeed se. ek kamre mein sirf Hafiz Saeed or Vaidik sahab the. Vaidik sahab aap.... (Before beginning the talk, we bring you some images. These images are from Lahore. In the morning, there was an hour and a quarter long meeting between Ved Pratap Vaidik and Hafiz Saeed. Only Hafiz Saeed and Vaidik sahab were in a room. Vaidik sahab, you...) ~ Rajat Sharma

And amazingly, after showing images of the meeting, Rajat Sharma completely skips asking what gave Ved Pratap Vaidik the authority to do a one on one meeting with a non-state actor of another country that asked about the acceptability of the Indian Prime Minister in the opinion of someone declared a terrorist in India. He directly moves on to ask details of the meeting as though it were a formal dialogue with any legitimacy!!!

Now, if this were anyone other than a Modi supporter, the TV channels would be rightfully screaming outrage over the fact that the meeting happened at all, let alone got reported in detail over national TV in such glowing terms. The fact that the meeting seeks a terrorist's opinion on the Indian Prime Minister is an insult to India!!! Even if he is a product of an allied religious fanaticism industry. The expectation is that he represents the country now. It is no matter of pride that religious fanatics engaged in harm to the country find him acceptable!

Talk of terrorist associations. There would be more outrage if non-BJP Indian politician had an opinion on Modi. Apparently it is more acceptable to be a terrorist than a non-BJP politician?

Then Ved Pratap Vaidik drops these gems unchallenged by not just Rajat Sharma, but anyone in Indian media so far.

Quoting Hafiz Saeed in first person: media ke baare mein jab baat hui, to unhone kaha ki aapka media mujhe baar baar dahashatgad kehta hain. aapke propaganda se america prabhavit ho gaya aur america aur united nations ne bhi mujhe dahashatgarh ghoshit kar diya.... (when we spoke about media, he said that your media calls me a terrorist repeatedly. America has got influenced by your propaganda and America and United Nations have also declared me terrorist.)

Conveying Hafiz Saeed's view and then the astonishing response to the accusation of Indian media calling him terrorist.

lekin unko maine spasth kiya ki ye sirf media ki wajah se nahi hain. ye uch aisi ghatanayein Pakistan ki taraf se hoti hain ki jikse karan logon ke man mein ye vishwas pakka hota hain i koi na koi badi deheshatgarh takat un sab ghatanaon ke peeche hain, jisse pura hindustan bilbilaa uthta hain. (but I made it clear to him that it isn't only because of media. These are some incidences from Pakistan's side, due to which people believe that there is some or the other big terrorist power behind them, because of which entire Hindustan trembles.)

What. The. Fuck?

India thinks Hafiz Saeed is terrorist because it trembles at the terrorist power behind some incidences from "Pakistan's side" (as opposed to any role by Hafiz Saeed and denied by Pakistan state)? And really? Hindustan trembles, which is why they think he's terrorist? Reminds me of the "hysteria" accusations made at women. "Hey, Hindustan is overreacting because they're terrified, they mean you no harm." And this joker is proudly sharing this with whole country without any questions raised on a channel known to be pro-Modi-sarkar. Makes one wonder if Modi sarkar's plan is to prostrate India!

Descriptions of Hafiz Saeed's grandeur follow. Thousands coming to listen to him, then Vaidik went to meet him. Lived in a dense, upscale locality in Lahore, his security is better than Pakistan Prime Minister's, he has high stature in Pakistan, I got the impression he doesn't want to meet me but he called me, then he immediately said he had heard our complaints in media and asked me to tell him about myself, etc.... note that this man Hafiz Saeed, whom Vaidik is giving glowing details of being allowed to meet, is calling for Pakistanis to fight India for the "freedom" of Kashmir often in his public meetings.

Vaidik is describing discussions of how Hafiz Saeed said we share a common culture. How his mother came to Pakistan pregnant with him. Then Hafiz Saeed asked about Modi's wife and he said that he has no wife in the manner we understand wife and is a bachelor for all practical purposes. Sangh pracharaks are bachelors. Then he described sangh, brahmacharya and so on.

Then Vaidik asks why Hafiz Saeed has enmity with Modi. Erm... WHAT? Hafiz Saeed denied enmity with Modi (which probably means that bhakts on Twitter will like JuD better now). Vaidik asks about the treatment Modi will get if he comes to Pakistan, and Hafiz Saeed says that they will give him an open hearted welcome. So the question is, what visits does Vaidik think India's Prime Minister will do to Pakistan where Hafiz Saeed will provide hospitality.

And Vaidik asks whether Saeed too is a brahmachari and Saeed replied that he has three wives. And so on.

Nor is this a one time connection. Ved Pratap Vaidik confirmed to journalist Aditya Raj Kaul that he had been seeking a meeting with Saeed for a while since his meeting last year got cancelled.

He paints a glowing picture of Hafiz Saeed as a humanitarian messiah who has been defamed. Repeats Saeed's claim that he was framed by Rehman Malik. Bluntly denies allegations of terrorism on Hafiz Saeed's behalf based on HIS OWN interactions in Islamabad and Lahore. Sidesteps questions of calls for jihad in Kashmir that are ON RECORD and states that Saeed made a very favorable impression on him. In short, he openly contradicts India's stand on Hafiz Saeed ignoring all evidence to the contrary. Or perhaps, he simply sees nothing wrong with religious zealots doing humanitarian work and inciting violence using the popularity it brings them. Sound familiar?

This is a far cry from BJP's so far rabid stand against Hafiz Saeed and given that statements of this magnitude are made on National media without any objection from BJP (indeed a defense of his "motives") - from a party that is happy to object to absolutely every pro-Pakistan/pro-terrorist word ever said and rabidly attacks any attempts to raise questions - this raises serious questions about the BJP government's stand with regard to Hafiz Saeed, and more importantly, his views on Kashmir that were neatly sidestepped, but are a core issue. The government's silence on this interview is ominous.

The interview sounds like Vaidik is out to build relationships and there is absolutely no distinction in the importance given to the meetings with Nawaz Sharif and other official government representatives and Hafiz Saeed. In fact, Hafiz Saeed is compared MORE favorably. In a BILATERAL discussion often featuring India's Prime Minister.

Given that there is no censure, nor any specific interrogation of Vaidik after extensive contact with a wanted terrorist in a trip featuring meetings with official Pakistan government representatives, is this rubbish is actually sanctioned by Modi?

This interview and the complete lack of scrutiny is a FUBAR of massive proportions, that a completely prostrated media is happy to ignore. It raises questions about the government's intentions with regard to prosecuting terrorist acts against India, entities that are actively trying to separate Kashmir from India and the overall questions of developing relations between extremists of the two countries. NONE of which can be good for India.

If Hafiz Saeed is innocent or mistakenly accused, his name should first be cleared officially before such overtures. Regardless, abundant public speeches inciting large crowds against India exist, and such overtures seem inappropriate even if he were not guilty in 26/11. And if there is no change in status in India considering him guilty in 26/11, then what Ved Pratap Vaidik did amounts to an action against India's interests.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZQyS21Ut-s

Goes much to say how much the new government is undermining India's interest that the only place this interview shows is on a channel that did a carefully scripted interview of Modi, the rest of media is silent and there is no censure or even official denial of legitimacy for Vaidik from the government or security agencies investigating in the wake of this travesty.

Update: Hafiz Saeed is a terrorist. Government of India has nothing to do with a journalist meeting him. ~ Arun Jaitley and some other denials and distancing by others. Still no comment on a channel broadcasting a blatantly pro-terrorist show.

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By Archen Baloch 10/012/2012

At the sacred altar of Chinese interests in Balochistan Pakistan military slaughtered more than nine prominent Baloch political workers under detention and dumped their tortured bodies on different location cross Balochistan during Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao’s three days visit to Islamabad after India on December 17, 2010. And surprisingly the state controlled private media was vigorously giving coverage to these massacres right after every bet of news of Chinese premier activities in Islamabad. The motive behind it was to show the Chinese that Pakistan is doing everything to protect the Chinese interests in Balochistan even if it has to flow the river of blood in Balochistan. Mehboob Wadhela and Master Arif were among the prominent bulwarks that stood against the Chinese imperialistic interests in Gwadar embraced the martyrdom.

The very image of Pakistan, in Balochistan and outer world, is that of a mysterious serial killer that abducts, kills and dumps the bests of Baloch youths. Pakistani state relationship with Baloch People is painted with red blood. So far more than 360 activists have been killed under custody of Pak Army. And thousands of political workers are missing. Their fates are not known what have happened to them. All have been registered in the trusted books of world human rights organizations.

Balochistan was an independent Baloch sovereign state. Pakistan invaded it on March 27th, 1948 at the behest of the then British Raj and forcefully annexed it against the will of Baloch People. Being left alone at the mercy of Fundamentalist Pakistani military, world community never paid any attention to the atrocities Pakistan inflicted upon Baloch nation ever since. However, being a diehard nation it never disheartened them from seeking their lost independence.

But what Pakistan doesn’t understand is that Baloch is a diehard secular natured nation. Even if it has deprived them of education for centuries, but politically Baloch are more matured and conscious than any nation in the neighborhood. This has unified them in the resistance movement. Despite spending rupees in billions in establishing Madrassas (religious schools) in Balochistan Pakistan failed to radicalize Baloch into a religious extremist society necessary to subscribe to Pakistani national ideology of two nations theory. Ideologically Baloch People believe that Pakistan is a fundamentalist state biased towards other religions and cultures. It always suppresses religious minorities and never tolerates cultural diversity, Therefore Baloch nation has become its cultural victim.
How far Balochistan has moved away from Pakistani state clutch is evident from the fact that if one read the articles written by Pakistani writers in the last three weeks regarding Balochistan crisis, one won’t fail to detect their fear and comprehension about how volatile the situation is in Balochistan.

Baloch are more interested in seeing how much Pakistan is suffering from gas energy crisis and isolated from international community than the political and judicial quarrels in Islamabad. The constant attacks on Gas pipelines have generated ripple effects on Pakistan economy. One cannot simply ignore the social unrest in Punjab cities without linking it Baloch national insurgency.

Being highly organized, the armed organizations of Baloch Sarmachars, the freedom fighters, namely Baloch Liberation Army, Baloch liberation front, Baloch Republican Army, have utterly paralyzed Pakistani ground troop’s movement in Balochistan in isolated camps and check posts. They are overstretched in the vicious terrain of Balochistan. Being a foreign force, it is totally alienated from general society of Balochistan. Their fighting morale is depleted by being constantly high alert against guerilla attacks. They are extremely vulnerable and exposed to guerrilla attacks because their enforcement capacity is hampered by long distances. Pakistani ground troops would capitulate to Baloch Sarmachars, the Freedom Fighters, within weeks if not within days if aerial support from international community was rendered to them like they did in Libya against tyrant Gaddafi forces. In An interview with BBC, the field commander of Baloch liberation Front, Dr Alla Nizer said they call for international support and added that their forces could be merged into a single entity whenever the circumstances allowed them.

Now that Baloch national struggle for freedom has reached to new heights. In International media our voice is being heard. We have a just cause to pursue; that is the freedom of Balochistan from the unjust occupation by Pakistan. In the foreseeable future, we can see that the conflict between Baloch and Pakistan is going to intensify.
So far Baloch Sarmachars have confined their operation and actions within Balochistan geography targeting Pakistani armed forces, the state’s institutions and installations of railways and gas pipelines and every sign that shows the existence of Pakistan on Baloch soil and the ISI agents spying for Pak Army, whether they are settlers or locals.

If the situation was allowed to linger on like this and no intervention took place from world powers on the legitimate appeal of Baloch leaders, the human catastrophe will be highly extensive. And two things are likely to happen: first, being on edge, Baloch armed guerrilla leaders did not rule out the possibility of stepping out of Baluchistan’s geographic boundaries to carry out lethal actions against Punjab’s major cities such as Lahore and Rawalpindi. Even suicidal attacks could be an option, as BLA recently carried out it against Pakistani intelligence officers.

The second, Pakistan all along has been putting the blame on India that Baloch insurgency is being abetted by India. Now given the near future events, Pakistan’s frustration will grow to a limit where it, out of sheer frustrations, starts harming Indian interests in different Place and time.

It is a mystery why Baloch freedom movement is not being supported or opposed by world powers, despite the fact that Pakistan is committing vicious crimes against humanity in Balochistan, enough to prosecute it in Hague. So much so that it has wiped out an entire generation of Baloch leadership.

The nagging question is how much American has compromised on Balochistan issue with Pakistan during heyday of their good relationship on terrorism?

In Baloch political society and media it’s widely believed that the world powers would themselves intervene and come to Baloch aid at their own convenience, arguing that world powers are still disentangling themselves from Pakistani blackmails.

Pakistani military and political establishment is more interested in courtship of a super power. During cold war Pakistan sought American courtship and exploited geostrategic situation of the region and suppressed Baloch and Pushton dissent voices. Our fear is that the same is going to be repeated here again, albeit with new Partners. With new geostrategic partnership Pakistan has started to seek defense pact with China and Iran. At the core of this new triangle strategic alignment lays the fear of Baloch freedom movement which has, all along, been calling for help from international community. Under Chinese strategic objectives Gwadar Deep Sea port is being prepared to establish bases for Chinese Naval ships.

Under the disguise of Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, Chinese exploitation of Baloch resources sees no limits in Balochistan, from Gwadar coast to gold and copper rich Chaghi region, from oil and gas rich areas of Dera Bugti and kohlu to the beautiful mountains of Jahlawan for marble extraction. Pakistan has allowed China open access to exploitation of Baloch resources.

According to a prominent Baloch research scholar, Sana Baloch “The resources here are being extracted by a Chinese company, without any independent monitoring for the past seven years. According to official reports copper-gold worth $633.573m were produced during 2004-08. The Balochistan government receives a paltry two per cent share, while half the profits go to Beijing and 48 per cent to Islamabad. The fortified Saindak project is a no-go area for the Baloch people”.

Last word: Baloch deserve the right to know why the managers of world affairs are apathetic about Baloch crisis. Is it a tacit consent to Chinese exploitation of Baloch natural resources and an affirmative nod to Pakistani atrocities against the secular Baloch people?

6

If you remember our earlier appreciative publishing of the indie film Inklab and the interview with Dr. Gaurav Chhabra that followed, we are glad to share that the film was widely appreciated. But once it came to the "real world", it ran into trouble - specifically, trouble with our nitpicking, politically meddling censor board. A censor board that sees nothing in passing item numbers even while evidence of objectification of women in real life is leading to increasing sexual crimes against them. But God forbid an enactment of documented historical facts about national heroes is actually seen by the people without censoring to taste.

Disclosure: Dr. Gaurav Chhabra is a friend and a person I respect for consistently challenging wrongs where he sees them.

Read on:

What came as a rude shock to Chandigarh based director Dr Gaurav Chhabra, the producer of the film InkLab, who was packing his bags for Goa, to attend International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was the letter from Central board of Film Certification India, suggesting at-least 9 cuts in the film thus destroying the whole structure and message of the film InkLab, which is inspired by Shaheed Bhagat Singh's Assembly Bombing case of 1929.

What disturbs him more is that, CBFC has right away kicked out the film from the 'Educational category'. " Film is a direct result of my personal learning in the field of social-activism over last 5 years...and it advocates the use Constitutional tools like Right to information, Freedom of speech, peaceful protests etc for bringing about a holistic social change in society " says the 32 year old doctor turned indie filmmaker and activist.

Chhabra applied for Censor certificate for his film InkLab after some of the film festivals in the country where the film is  an official selection, asked for it as a routine. Chhabra who is already promoting his film as ‘For mature audience only’ straightaway demanded for Adults certificate in his application to CBFC. “The film documents the casual talks of two university students on corruption and other prevalent issues of today in a natural flow…and at places there is use of strong language and symbolism, so I myself responsibly opted for Adult certification… but unfortunately even that is denied”

This hour long Avant-garde film made in Cinema-Verite style, produced in Chandigarh in March this year, is a story of a young rebellious PhD fellow who has gone missing and police is investigating the case with the help of his close friend and professors. The film is shown as if been put together from the footage of video and mobile camera of this friend.

The film incidentally is shot at the Historic Dwaarka Das Library in Chandigarh, which is post-partition restoration of the library at Lahore where Shaheed Bhagat Singh used to spend a lot of time reading books on Russian, Irish revolutions and socialism.

Confronting the cuts prescribed by the CBFC and calling them uncalled for and invalid, the Doc says " The cuts prescribed by the CBFC chop off selectively the talks about corruption in politics. These talks represent average discussions on contemporary news, among today’s youth. Chopping such scenes is only in the interest of ‘corrupt politicians’ and not in interest of ‘Politics’ and public in general "

As the story unfolds the film primarily touches the topics of:  Corruption, Right to Information Act, Social equality, Debate on nuclear power, Debate on Genetically Modified food, Development issues, Freedom of Speech, Naxalism, Role of Independent media in society. Film also bring forth the core idea of Social equality as envisioned by Shaheed  Bhagat  Singh and educates the audience about the reason behind Assembly bombing case of 1929 and how ‘Long live revolution’doesn’t mean constant turbulence  in the society but rather a just and peaceful society.

The film focuses on the fact that today even if youth are fighting for ‘their rights’ all around the world, the marginalized groups are still neglected by them and voice of poor is still oppressed. But however even after 80 years of the Martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, his idea of Freedom and social-economic equality is being suppressed.

CBFC has asked to chop off the scene where the protagonist is trying to make homemade fire-works/non-lethal bombs in his kitchen and then trying it at his room.

"CBFC grossly missed the historical context of the film, where protagonist talks about Bhagat Singh’s Assembly bomb case. The protagonist being a rational, inquisitive and  scientific person tries for himself everything before he actually decides to apply it or not. Explosives made by Bhagat Singh were home made too and this film simply reflects the same thing via the protagonist. There are thousand plus recipes to make bombs on Internet, just in case they are worried that this film teaches public about making bombs. Until the reason behind the Assembly bombing of 1929 is shown, any uninformed person would call the valiant act of Freedom fighters a violent act. “ tells the director doc who in in last five years has bagged various national and international awards for his short films and social activism.


In 1929, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, a young Indian Freedom fighter and a contemporary of a better-known figure Mahatma Gandhi, threw non-lethal bombs in Central Legislative assembly to protest against the draconian laws being passed by the British Govt. He was arrested and later executed at the young age of 23.

“ The name InkLab stands for Lab of Ink.. lab of thoughts.. and means that one should not just apply any ideology which has been passed on to him just because it has been existing and is prevalent. Film tells that one should experiments with the ideas before one actually applies them in social life. To doubt, to question is a scientific approach .. and this film is about having a scientific and sensitive approach to the theme of Revolution and social” says Chhabra, who has refused to take any cuts for his film and will stand by the Director’s cut alone.

Dr Chhabra's earlier earlier films have won awards at W.H.O.'s Global Health film award in 2007 in Switzerland, Green Apple Award 2010 for Environment films in U.S.A , We care Film Festival, Delhi among many others. InkLab is submitted to around 3 dozens film festivals across the globe and has been selected in all the three festivals, that have declared the results - International Film Festival of Ahmedabad, IFFI, Goa, and Third Eye Asian Film Festival, Mumbai. The denial of Censor certifications doesn’t seem to deter the spirits of this indie filmmaker who believes in the power of youth and new media and positively believes that the film will find its way to the deserving audience in one way or the other.

"The true test of Freedom of speech in a democracy comes only when someone makes Speech of Freedom..and CBFC has time and again failed in that! Passing vulgar scenes and baseless abuses and violence is definitely not a sign of boldness or Freedom of speech but of misplaced priorities and challenged sensibilities of the board members " signs off the doctor, who has made available the film for free private viewing for mature audience at the official websitewww.inklabmovie.com

The tagline on the film's official website and the posters itself reads: ' In the digital age, where megabyte is the new dynamite and power of ideas & connectivity cannot be ignored, this is an experiment in the Lab of thoughts – Ink Lab. '