Atanu Dey On India's Development

An Era of Darkness Under Antonia Maino aka Sonia Gandhi

| 25 Comments

Italian by birth and Catholic by baptism‘ is the title of a very brief item by John Maclithon in DNA. It can be best characterized as a confession. He was the only foreign journalist to be awarded the Padma Shri, and that too by the Congress party, which he says was surprising since he has “always been a vocal critic of the Nehru dynasty.” Indira Gandhi, he claims, wanted to throw him in jail during the Emergency. He goes on to confess that he was wrong about India — and how.

It is in Kashmir, though, that I fought most viciously against Rajiv and subsequent Congress governments for their human right abuses on the Kashmiri Muslims of the Valley. I was the first one to point out then that the Indian government had at that time no proof of Pakistani involvement in the freedom movement in Kashmir. Thus, I always made it a point to start my broadcasts by proclaiming that “the Indian government accuses Pakistan of fostering terrorism”, or that “elections are being held in Indian-controlled Kashmir…”

Other foreign journalists used the same parlance to cover Kashmir and they always spoke of the plight of the Muslims, never of the 4,00,000 Hindus, who after all were chased out of their ancestral land by sheer terror (I also kept mum about it).

Not just foreign journalists, most Indian journalists don’t have the marbles to call attention to the plight of the Kashmiri pundits. They call it a “free press” but this matter reveals its ethical and moral bankruptcy. At least Maclithon has the cojones to admit his errors of judgement and write what no mainstream Indian journalist (except for people like Arvind Lavakare and Arun Shourie) would ever do.

As for Sonia Gandhi, I did not mind her, when she was Rajiv Gandhi’s wife, but after his death, I watched with dismay as she started stamping her authority on the Congress, which made me say in a series of broadcasts on the Nehru dynasty: “It’s sad that the Indian National Congress should be completely dependent on one family; the total surrender of a national party to one person is deplorable. You have to ask the question: what claims does Sonia Gandhi have to justify her candidature for prime ministership? Running a country is far more complicated than running a company. Apprenticeship is required in any profession – more so in politics”. I heard that Sonia Gandhi was unhappy about this broadcast.

After then president Abdul Kalam told her that she had kept both her Italian and Indian passports for a long time, and which disqualified her from becoming the prime minister of India, she nevertheless became the supreme leader of India behind the scenes. It is then that I exclaimed: “The moribund and leaderless Congress party has latched on to Sonia Gandhi, who is Italian by birth and Roman Catholic by baptism.” She never forgave me for that.

Calling attention to Antonia Maino aka Sonia Gandhi’s nationality and religion is a pretty risky thing to do. This landed in my inbox yesterday:

. . . last month when the official representative of the UPA Government in Washington, Ambassador Meera Shankar, delivered a speech at a US Emory university referring to Sonia Gandhi being a Christian as a testament to India’s pluralism and diversity. However, that reference was later quickly deleted.

In her keynote speech on the subject “Why India Matters” at Emory University on February 24, Shankar said: “India is a land of incredible diversity. Like the United States it celebrates pluralism. It not only tolerates diversity but has embraced it and has allowed people from all walks of life to flourish and realize their full potential. This is a tradition that is rooted in our civilization. Throughout our history peoples from other parts of the world have come to India and made it a home, resulting in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society, one where individual faith and belief is not only respected but adds to the overall sense of nationhood. Today the fact that we have a woman Head of State, a Sikh Head of Government and a Muslim Vice President and a Christian as the leader of the largest national political party is perhaps the best statement of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of our state.”

This was probably the first time anyone in the government had referred to the religion of the Congress president and UPA Chairperson.

The speech was posted on the Embassy’s website but was quickly pulled out and replaced with a version where the phrase, “…and a Christian as the leader of the largest national political party…” was deleted.

Interesting, wouldn’t you say? Here’s a video of her talk. (I have not yet watched it.)

Anyway, back to Maclithon:

Today, I can say without the shadow of a doubt, that when history will be written, the period over which she presided, both over the Congress and India, will be seen as an era of darkness, of immense corruption, and of a democracy verging towards autocracy, if not disguised dictatorship, in the hands of a single person, a non-Indian and a Christian like me. Truth will also come out about her being the main recipient for kickbacks from Bofors to 2G, which she uses to buy votes, as the WikiLeaks have just shown.

Finally, I am sometimes flabbergasted at the fact that Indians -Hindus, sorry, as most of this country’s intelligentsia is Hindu – seem to love me so much, considering that in my heydays, I considerably ran down the 850 million Hindus of this country, one billion worldwide.

I have repented today: I do profoundly believe that India needs to be able to say with pride, “Yes, our civilisation has a Hindu base to it.” The genius of Hinduism, the very reason it has survived so long, is that it does not stand up and fight. It changes and adapts and modernises and absorbs – that is the scientific and proper way of going about it. I believe that Hinduism may actually prove to be the religion of this millennium, because it can adapt itself to change.

I predict that history will recall this era under Antonia Maino as one in which she used an Indian puppet — Dr Manmohan Singh — and it (the puppet) presided over the most corrupt government that India has ever had or likely to have in the future. History will properly label Dr MM Singh as India’s most corrupt prime minister. In time to come, people would spit upon hearing his name.

Update April 7th:

I did not know that John Maclithon was a pseudonym, the author of “Hinduvta, Sex and Adventure.” Deccan Herald reports that people are guessing who the real author is. I have no doubt that we will know soon enough whether it is Mark Tully, although he does categorically deny it. These days secrets don’t survive too long. In any event, there is more than a grain of truth in what Maclithon writes.

  • MJ

    Atanu, what do you think of the Lok Pal Bill effort (even though the bill itself is a work in progress) and Anna Hazare’s agitation? There are people who think democracy should handle it (vote the corrupt out, etc) and that the Lok Pal would be too autocratic. There are those who think that that Lok Pal should be like a judicial system (but with investigative authorities too, which would cause issues, but nevertheless) and that the democratic system doesn’t help.

  • http://www.vmohanty.com vimoh

    Never mind all the talk of the Congress representing true democracy (as opposed to the “fundamentalist” right who represent “totalitarian” rule), the Congress isn’t even a democracy in itself.

    I have become convinced that the Congress can’t become a party genuinely dedicated to democracy as long as the Nehru-Ghandy family is at its core.

  • Suri

    Do you have any idea who Maclithon is? Reading out “only foreign journalist to be awarded the Padma Shri” and not caring who he is, only shows how daft you are. If you cared even a bit about reporting you would have found out who he is. Many clues there.
    I guess your writing could be best described as a web search engine with the query as “Gandhi OR Manmohan, corruption.” Stop hurting your keyboard because there are better ways to do it.

  • A

    Come come. Tell us the truth now. Did Sonia turn you down sometime in the past? Why this grudge against her? You seem to be more obsessed with Sonia-bashing than that Poonam chick is with stripping.

  • Mayuresh

    Atanu,

    For history to be written the way you describe it, The CON party needs to be thrown out of power and vanquished for a decade or so, so also, the Nehru dynasty needs to end. Else, history is always written by the victor in a way it suits him/her

    • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

      Mayuresh,

      I have no doubt that the Congress party and with it the Nehru dynasty will be history soon. Some of us are a little less patient and want them gone yesterday. I wish someone will tell Antonia Maino to her face, “For god’s sake, go. Leave this country and go back to Italy. You and your clan has sucked enough life-blood out of a very poor country, and that should keep you and your friends and family in royal comfort for generations to come. Now go before your greed gets the better of you and you end up in jail or worse yet meet the fate generally reserved for dictators from the Indian subcontinent.”

  • Steven

    This is quite strange — isn’t John MacLithon a pseudonym? How can a made-up person have won the Padma Shri?

    • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

      Steven,

      See my update of a few minutes ago to the post. I did not know that John Maclithon was a pseudonym. I am sorry that I assumed that he was a real person. I naively believed that newspapers would indicate that the author of the piece was using a pseudonym. In any event, regardless of who the real person is behind that pen name, I think that the piece says what needs to be said.

      I live and I learn. I will be less gullible in the future.

  • Loknath

    Atanu,

    I see you are being more than kind in letting Sonia Gandhi go off to Italy as if it were like pleading for mercy. Given the clueless retards we have in India, people will make a godess of her and insist on her being the leader again. If even this doesnt happen, she would probably be more than happy to do so as she is getting old anyway and has enough wealth amassed to pamper herself for retirement and her sons future in Italian politics or mafia. If the power equation ever changes, the first thing to do would be to try sonia and all her minions on charges of corruption, deceit, treason, smuggling and putting national security at risk. Lets just hope that courts of law take the right decision in national interest…not for God’s sake

    • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

      Loknath,

      If the power equation ever changes, the first thing to do would be to try sonia and all her minions on charges of corruption, deceit, treason, smuggling and putting national security at risk.

      The power equation will change. Why? Because change is inevitable in our universe. When — not if — that happens, just deserts can be expected. Antonia Maino and her bunch of criminally corrupt politicians like Manmohan Singh will pay.

  • PAA

    Without for a moment absolving Sonia and Manmohan, what about the countless number of other “Indian” origin leaders of the likes of Karunanidhi, Pawar, Kamal Nath who believe that looting the country is their birth right?

    • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

      PAA,

      Without for a moment absolving Sonia and Manmohan, what about the countless number of other “Indian” origin leaders of the likes of Karunanidhi, Pawar, Kamal Nath who believe that looting the country is their birth right?

      It is not my case that native born Indians are not involved in massive corruption. Public corruption injures us but when the fountain head of corruption is a foreign-born head of a major national political party, it adds insult to injury.

  • trueq
    • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

      trueq,

      Thanks for the link. I have seen only about 20 minutes of the video. It is very interesting and illuminates the use of evangelization as a foreign policy tool by the US. It is also interesting to note that the talk is held in an Islamic country. The Islamists are understandably miffed about Christianity competing with them for converts among the kafirs.

  • Pushkar

    “Antonia Maino and her bunch of criminally corrupt politicians like Manmohan Singh will pay.”

    “Ghee and Shugar” in your mouth.

  • trueq

    Please see Iain Buchanans video properly. The word CIVIL SOCIETY PROPS UP AS THE POSTCOLONIAL POST MODERNIST WORD IN HIS LECTURE. THE TEXT BELOW IS ANNA HAZARES AND HIS TEAMS DEMAND. ANNA HAZARES INTENTIONS MAY BE GOOD , BUT AS IAIN BUCHANAN POINTS OUT CAREFUL MUST BE THE SLOGAN.

    System Proposed by CIVIL SOCIETY
    No politician or senior officer ever goes to jail despite huge evidence because Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) and CBI directly come under the government. Before starting investigation or initiating prosecution in any case, they have to take permission from the same bosses, against whom the case has to be investigated.
    Lokpal at centre and Lokayukta at state level will be independent bodies. ACB and CBI will be merged into these bodies. They will have power to initiate investigations and prosecution against any officer or politician without needing anyone’s permission. Investigation should be completed within 1 year and trial to get over in next 1 year. Within two years, the corrupt should go to jail.
    No corrupt officer is dismissed from the job because Central Vigilance Commission, which is supposed to dismiss corrupt officers, is only an advisory body. Whenever it advises government to dismiss any senior corrupt officer, its advice is never implemented.
    Lokpal and Lokayukta will have complete powers to order dismissal of a corrupt officer. CVC and all departmental vigilance will be merged into Lokpal and state vigilance will be merged into Lokayukta.
    No action is taken against corrupt judges because permission is required from the Chief Justice of India to even register an FIR against corrupt judges.
    Lokpal & Lokayukta shall have powers to investigate and prosecute any judge without needing anyone’s permission.
    Nowhere to go – People expose corruption but no action is taken on their complaints.
    Lokpal & Lokayukta will have to enquire into and hear every complaint.
    There is so much corruption within CBI and vigilance departments. Their functioning is so secret that it encourages corruption within these agencies.
    All investigations in Lokpal & Lokayukta shall be transparent. After completion of investigation, all case records shall be open to public. Complaint against any staff of Lokpal & Lokayukta shall be enquired and punishment announced within two months.
    Weak and corrupt people are appointed as heads of anti-corruption agencies.
    Politicians will have absolutely no say in selections of Chairperson and members of Lokpal & Lokayukta. Selections will take place through a transparent and public participatory process.
    Citizens face harassment in government offices. Sometimes they are forced to pay bribes. One can only complaint to senior officers. No action is taken on complaints because senior officers also get their cut.
    Lokpal & Lokayukta will get public grievances resolved in time bound manner, impose a penalty of Rs 250 per day of delay to be deducted from the salary of guilty officer and award that amount as compensation to the aggrieved citizen.
    Nothing in law to recover ill gotten wealth. A corrupt person can come out of jail and enjoy that money.
    Loss caused to the government due to corruption will be recovered from all accused.
    Small punishment for corruption- Punishment for corruption is minimum 6 months and maximum 7 years.
    Enhanced punishment – The punishment would be minimum 5 years and maximum of life imprisonment.

  • dilkush singh

    trueq , video is very informative. Peter Drucker an evangelist!!!!!! Many IIM graduates of yesteryears have lived on his bks and publications. The Baptists targetting non-muslims and others targetting muslims looks very good management tactics. Iain refers to Nagaland where Baptists targetted non-muslims, in his book which was told in his interview to Yogesh Pawar.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/blogs/post.php?postid=2734

    The moral of the video is , you never who is who and what even seculars are upto. Such deceiption !!!!,

  • sonny_kerala

    Does this blog even support counter arguments? It seems to only be frequented by people of similar disposition.

    Atanu dey…..what a sad hateful individual.
    The kind of person who is more than willing to tear apart this secular country by spreading hateful venom through this blog.
    He would never be happy until every non hindu is driven out his country-India.

    But, but, he has an economics degree from the USA….. I guess that makes him all wise and well reasoned on all matters relating India.

    BTW, I don’t find it surprising at all that he supports that racist Modi. No matter what the muslims had allegedly done , it cannot justify Modi, his corrupt govt/policemen’s action of idly standing by when Muslim women were being raped or people burned alive by Hindu rioters.

  • anonymous

    What you have reported here, throws me back to the 70′s in Afghanistan. The lady who formed the Mujahadeen , which led to Taliban and the ensuing global problems was “Joanne Herring” played a significant role in helping the Afghan resistance fighters get support and military equipment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Wilson_(Texas_politician)This is her web site http://www.joanneherring.com/
    Just go thru this and you will find relevance to the video posted by trueq. There is lot of truth in what Iain Buchanan has said. Some may ask what has Charlie Wilsons wife got to do with this posting. I leave it to this blog readers to interpret.

  • dilkhush singh

    http://joanneherring.com/faith/
    http://joanneherring.com/afghan/
    Anonymous you are right. Iain Buchanans video also confirms this. These evanlegists were responsible to take all the Mujaheedan to even White house. They became Taliban later and just see the problems caused all over the world. India suffered a lot due to this. To make the Soviet Union fall, evangelism was used. No wonder Iain Buchanan called his book Armies of God.

  • Nandita

    Atanu, have been browsing your blog occassionally. Thanks for the links you have posted – illuminating to say the least.

  • trueq

    An article in Huffington post about SG. MD Nalapat had written about this long time ago in TOI. After so many yrs Swamy has taken it up. Must read

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cleo-paskal/worlds-9-most-powerful-pe_b_853132.html

  • Suhas

    A pro-UPA paper reporting this on Sonia Gandhi. All article by Rajinder Puri.

    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?240332
    Is Sonia Above Questioning?
    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?232223
    How free is India.
    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?233070
    The Knives Are Out?
    written by Puri R in WEB | NOV 08, 2006
    In the last lines Puri says “If the Albats allegation published in a reputed research book is false Mrs Sonia Gandhi should promptly deny it. Otherwise her silence could be perceived as assent.”
    http://cms.boloji.net/myword/mw018.htm
    This one is also by Rajinder Puri.
    Swamy deserves praise for submitting it to PM Manmohan Singh about this. 3 mths time is there from April 15th which means July 15th 2011.
    for MMS to reply. Will he reply? Doubtful? Will more come in support of SSwamy. Then moving SC will be easier and stronger. It has to be seen.

  • Anonymous

    MD Nalapat about Corruption creating Chaos in India. He has described P Chidambaram very well. Must read about SG.
    http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=82802

  • anonymous

    More from MD Nalapat. Why did he choose to write in a Pak website.Was he supressed by Indian media?
    http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=87906
    Running a country NGO-style
    http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=89220
    India’s corrupt “gang of four”
    MD Nalapat as Resident Editor of TOI wrote extensively on Bofors and Quattorochis corruption.Must read.