Chocolate and Gold Coins

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Yesterday I Nailed a 24 Karat Commie

Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Actually I helped catch a Communist Party politician in India in a half-truth, and now he is feeling a little blogospheric heat. Of course he’s from India and heat doesn’t bother him much.

The story is well chronicled in three posts on Amit Varma’s India Uncut: post 1, post 2, and post 3.

Let me summarize. In Amit’s post 1, he writes:

Akshaya Mukul of the Times of India reports that one of Nepal's Maoist chiefs, Baburam Bhattarai, is currently a guest of the Indian state, and recently had a meeting with Prakash Karat, the communist leader.


The reason why that is news in India is because Baburam Bhattarai is a suspected terrorist and is there is an Interpol red corner notice against Bhattarai for his arrest. Recently, the King of Nepal suspended democracy in Nepal in large part because of the struggle Nepal has had fighting the Maoist rebels that Bhattarai helps lead. He’s not exactly the kind of guy you want to have over for chai and biscuits.

Well, the next day, news comes out that Karat is denying the meeting (kind of). Here’s an excerpt from Amit’s post 2.

Yesterday I'd linked to a report by the Times of India in which they'd stated that Nepal's Maoist leader, Baburam Bhattarai, had recently met Prakash Karat, the communist leader. Well, Karat has denied today that any such meeting took place.

ToI had reported: "When contacted, Karat confirmed the meeting, although he did not share details."

Karat has said in a statement: "No such meeting was held."

One of them is lying. And I'd love for the truth to be out, and for the liar, whoever it is, to be held accountable. I hope the matter does not fizzle out here, and that there is an aftermath.


Amit is a friend of mine, so if he wants to know, then naturally I want to know. So I read the pieces. The Times of India piece says:

One of Nepal's top Maoist leaders, Baburam Bhattarai, is being quietly chaperoned around here by Indian intelligence agencies, which recently organised a meeting between him and CPM general secretary Prakash Karat.

Here’s Karat “denial” from the Hindu:

The report that "I have met a Maoist leader from Nepal in a meeting arranged by the Indian security agencies is untrue," Karat said in a statement here.

"No such meeting was held," he said.

Okay, what strikes you as odd about this denial? What’s missing? He could have just said, “I never met with Bhattarai.” He didn’t say this. Weasel word alert!

When politicians don’t want to fess up to something, they use the weasel words. All politicians of every persuasion do this. Think of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. I remember Clinton staring angrily into the camera and saying “I never had sex with that woman”… while he was pointing at Helen Thomas. You get the idea.

A wrote a letter to Amit and he posted it on India Uncut (thanks Amit, I’m always honored to be mentioned by the great blogger of India). Here’s the letter:

Actually this is what the Hindu wrote:

The report that "I have met a Maoist leader from Nepal in a meeting arranged by the Indian security agencies is untrue," Karat said in a statement here.

"No such meeting was held," he said.

This is the key phrase: "in a meeting arranged by the Indian security agencies".

Why did he have to add this phrase? [Probably] because he did meet with the Maoist leader but the meeting was arranged by someone else, not the Indian security agencies. The ToI got that part wrong. Karat is using this mistake to, in effect, deny any meeting.

Politicians are like lawyers; they are very sly with words.

Amit added: “Indeed. So did Karat meet Bhattarai or not? Why is nobody in MSM (yet) asking that question?”

Well, the Times of India may be reading India Uncut. In fact, I’m sure they do. India Uncut is effectively the Instapundit of India.

Here is Amit’s post 3:

The Times of India has now hit back:



[I]t was Karat himself who had confirmed the meeting to TOI. A careful reading of his statement would also indicate that he is only denying the role of intelligence agencies in arranging the meeting, not the event itself.

This was exactly in line with the stand that Bhattarai took. According to agency reports from Kathmandu, the Maoist leader has denied that Indian agencies organised the meeting but didn't deny the meeting itself. While they seem to be acting in concert, sources affirmed that the agencies, indeed, brokered the meeting.

[...]

Their disclaimers now are easy to understand. There is an Interpol red corner notice against Bhattarai and he is expected to be arrested and turned in by Indian security agencies. If despite that, he is moving around here, and that too boldly enough to meet the boss of a top government ally, it is reasonable to believe that the agencies were winking at it all, if not colluding with Bhattarai.

Remarkable stuff.


Here’s is Amit’s excellent summary:

Now, here's what I find revealing: both Karat and Bhattarai did not deny the meeting itself; but they wanted people to believe that they did. Now, if they really didn't meet, then the ToI's riposte should lead to an umambiguous denial of the meeting from at least Karat, leaving no scope for confusion. If that is not forthcoming, then it will be safe to surmise that the meeting did take place. And it will also mean that Karat did not have the honesty and integrity to accept that he met Bhattarai, and to say, "So what? I can meet whoever I want." Courage of conviction, anyone?


Karat has two choices: dig himself a bigger hole by a flat-out denial, or clam up and look like a weasel. I expect him to do the latter. But even rank-and-file communists hate weasels.

This is a classic example of how blogs are changing the world of politics and holding politicians accountable. If Amit had asked this:

“One of them is lying. And I'd love for the truth to be out, and for the liar, whoever it is, to be held accountable. I hope the matter does not fizzle out here, and that there is an aftermath.”

ten years ago, no one would have cared. Today it gets a response. That’s blogger-power. That’s awesome.

6 Comments:

  • Catching the holier-than-thou Communist Party of India in a half-truth is quite a big thing, and respect is due. Congratulations!

    By Blogger Kunal, at 9:32 AM  

  • Hi Kunal
    Thanks for the kind words. It was fun yesterday. I might have exagerrated my role in all of this, but it's a nice story anyway.

    By Blogger Michael Higgins, at 12:58 PM  

  • Michael,

    Good stuff. Now you have to do something about Tom DeLay.


    Vikram

    By Blogger Vikram A., at 1:06 PM  

  • Celibacy gives power to Sri. Karat. "Brahmacharya or spotless chastity is the best of all penances; a
    celibate
    of such spotless chastity is not a human being, but a god indeed... To
    the
    celibate who conserves the semen with great efforts, what is there
    unattainable in this world ? By the power of the composure of the
    semen, one
    will become just like Myself."


    - Sri Sankaracharya



    The importance of Brahmacharya is clearly explained in Yejurveda. In
    this
    modern life very few only understand this and practice it. All Vedas
    and
    other scriptures of Hinduism lay great emphasis regarding Brahmacharya.
    In
    vedic period a student is also known as Brahmachari. By preserving the
    energy, strength and vitality of mind and various organs one can lead a

    happy, energetic and healthy life. The mind will be clear and brain
    will
    superb for a Brhmachari. It enhances the strength, life span and health

    since it is the mine of all virtues .Brahmacharya is the dam of all
    pleasures of life and only learned people keep it and their power and
    life
    increases and all sickness is destroyed. It is easy to preach and to
    practice is very difficult. One should try to be always in the company
    of
    noble people and control their senses as far as possible to get the
    actual
    reward of human life. A man is known by the company he keeps. If one
    always
    move in the company of good, learned and noble ones there is no doubt
    that
    he can be one among them one day. Company is contagious and man changes
    his
    colors accordingly sooner or later. He cannot remain unaffected for
    long
    best company means not only noble people but also good books written by

    great scholars, Sages, Saints, Prophets, Rishis, and Munis. These
    contain
    vast treasures of wealth and will make one so rich that the worldly
    riches
    would appear very insignificant. One of the verses in YajurVeda state
    that
    taught people who are actually endowed with divine powers should do two

    things in this world. One is that they should propagate the teachings
    of
    Brahmacharya and control of senses so that people may become strong and

    healthy leading a full vigorous life. Next thing is by education and
    practice thereof, they should teach one and all how to develop their
    inner
    strength and power so that people may enjoy their blissful life fully
    in all
    respects. In another verse it is stated that such people who abandon
    the
    company of bad people and give up all bad evil habits and keep away
    from
    immoral life increasing their vitality beget good children, they
    strength
    and glorify their race and their country.

    Brahmacharya will give the power to face and solve any problems as a
    boat
    can ferry people through turbulent waters of the sea. A Brahmachari
    will be
    liked and respected in all the societies and meetings. In one verse it
    is
    explained that the age of a boy begins at twenty-sixth year and for a
    girl
    it is seventeen and up to this period they should practice Brahmacharya
    at
    any cost and can get married. Those who get education following the
    rules of
    Brahmacharya, they shine like sun are quick in all what they do, like a
    hawk
    and become the hallmark of respect, enjoying their life skipping like a

    deer.

    In the student life it would be better to preserve their vital fluid
    which
    is the life thread, so that they can utilize their energy and strength
    for
    their education and learning. In vedic period student is imparted with
    all
    the knowledge right from the Earth to the sun and in this way all
    divinity
    reside in his body and such students in future will assets to their
    country
    and world. They will have harmony of the head, heart and hand in such a
    way
    which will be beneficial to the society as a whole. It has been truly
    said
    that if our hearts are strong, our heads are right in vain. A person
    without
    education is beast and a person without Dharma is like a beast.

    Education and knowledge are like two eyes of a person which enable him
    to
    see things correctly and assess his own position. The purpose of
    education
    is to make man what he ought to be.



    According to Vedas education on arts and material science is not enough
    and
    because major portion of achieving perfection can be achieved by
    studying
    spiritual science. The aim of life and education is that we may live a
    new
    life in the realm of self and the creation, with harmony and happiness
    and
    will become virtuous. Every second of the life should be fully utilized
    so
    that there is no room left for idling. It may be noted that ?An idle
    mind is
    a devil?s workshop.? Of course relaxation and enjoyment should be there

    along with study to keep one fit and fresh and ready to face any
    challenges
    of life.

    If proper education is not given to children parents become enemies
    since
    they get isolated in society. Teachers should take utmost care for
    understanding to develop good character and affection along with
    studies.
    They should be taught that all women are like mother, sister or
    daughter
    according to their age and they should be protected whenever necessary.

    In Vedas it is also stated that

    Not to earn wealth at the cost of others pain and suffering
    It is not good to be fatigue self too much both physically and
    mentally.
    Hard-work is the keystone to virtuous earning with the sweat of one?s
    own
    brow, not by lottery, speculation and gambling.
    Don?t do anything undesirable and harmful to the society
    Acquire knowledge which can?t be stolen away by thieves than material
    wealth.
    A great scholar of ancient India Sri Pathanjali's in his teachings
    explains
    the importance of Brahmacharya and it is studied by foreign scholars
    and one
    such famous scholar
    Dr. Louis an eminent physician opined that most precious atoms of the
    blood
    enter into the composition of semen (in his book Chastity) . So
    preservation
    of semen by practicing continence helps the better development of brain
    ,
    body, and mind .Dr. Nicholas says that the best blood in the body goes
    to
    form the elements of reproduction in both the sexes .So if anybody
    waste
    semen he is loosing the best part of the blood and he becomes weak
    physically and

    intellegently. If preserved he becomes strong, intellectual, heroic and

    powerful.

    Brahmacharya can be practiced by married people also. Chastity and
    fidelity
    are the foundation on which a strong and happy marital relationship
    stands
    and should be understood by husband and wife. In Srimad Bhagavatham a
    holy
    book of Hinduism it is clearly mentioned that practice of brahmacharya
    is
    also one of the important duties in married life and it is waived only
    for
    the purpose of procreation, austerity, purity, contentment and
    friendliness
    towards all. (11.18.43)
    Ancient Rishi of India Pathanjali also says in his Yogasutra
    that CONTNENCE IS LIFE AND INCOTINENCE IS EQUAL TO DEATH.
    LORD SHIVA in the Jnanasamkalani Tantra says that " The wise do not
    regard
    the
    ordinary forms of asceticism as real asceticism. Continence is the
    highest
    asceticism. He who is a continent is equal to God.
    So especially youth in whom the future of our country rests, should
    practice
    celibacy as far as possible to lead the country and countrymen to have
    a
    prosperous future.

    Living examples are Sri A.B Vajpayee, President A.P.J.Kalam and Mata
    Amritananda may Devi.


    Ref .Hindu.org, Rig Vedia, Yajur Veda, Bhagavad Gita, Yogasutra,
    Upanishaths, Tantra Texts, Srimad Bhagavatham

    By Blogger bhattathiri, at 12:42 AM  

  • Good work in your coins blog, it's a nice one. I have a new coin collecting directory site coins hope you will like it as well.

    By Anonymous coins, at 2:11 AM  

  • a bhattathiri's coment is much longer than whole article :D :D :D tired to read it(

    By Anonymous uk theses, at 2:15 AM  

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