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.


  • 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  

  • Celibacy gives power to Sri. Karat. "Brahmacharya or spotless chastity is the best of all penances; a
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    any cost and can get married. Those who get education following the
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    Brahmacharya, they shine like sun are quick in all what they do, like a
    and become the hallmark of respect, enjoying their life skipping like a


    In the student life it would be better to preserve their vital fluid
    is the life thread, so that they can utilize their energy and strength
    their education and learning. In vedic period student is imparted with
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    reside in his body and such students in future will assets to their
    and world. They will have harmony of the head, heart and hand in such a
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    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
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    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
    Hard-work is the keystone to virtuous earning with the sweat of one?s
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    Don?t do anything undesirable and harmful to the society
    Acquire knowledge which can?t be stolen away by thieves than material
    A great scholar of ancient India Sri Pathanjali's in his teachings
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    Dr. Louis an eminent physician opined that most precious atoms of the
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    intellegently. If preserved he becomes strong, intellectual, heroic and


    Brahmacharya can be practiced by married people also. Chastity and
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    also one of the important duties in married life and it is waived only
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    towards all. (11.18.43)
    Ancient Rishi of India Pathanjali also says in his Yogasutra
    LORD SHIVA in the Jnanasamkalani Tantra says that " The wise do not
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    Living examples are Sri A.B Vajpayee, President A.P.J.Kalam and Mata
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    Ref, Rig Vedia, Yajur Veda, Bhagavad Gita, Yogasutra,
    Upanishaths, Tantra Texts, Srimad Bhagavatham

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