B. Raman is Additional Secretary ( retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
If we get Headely extracted in India where will the stands of Digvijay Singh and ther Seculars like 26/11 RSS ki Sajish or latest the discovery or propaganda of Hindu Terror in India will stand ??
Mr Raman, you had predicted that US would not allow India investigators to question Mr Headley. You were proven 100% wrong. US allowed Indian investigators to question mr Headley, for as long as the Indian investigators wanted, in presence of US investigators. There was no restriction on what questions were allowed and Mr headley's deal required that he co operate fully with all investigators.
You never acknowledged that. US investigators have done more to expose the links between Mr Headley and Pakistan ISI/Army officers. They have been named in court records in Chicago. That is more than what Indian Government has done.
Your anti-US bias prevents you more acknowledging the good work US has done in arresting and prosecuting Mr headley , publicly and giving full access to US investigators to question him.
What the U. S. are worried about is a nuclear explosion or a chemical bomb attack, and they being the cause of it, not only in the U. S., but anywhere. It seems, if there was an attack, of such a nature, happening anywhere, people like Mr. Headley, are bound to inform the authorities. I feel it unfortunate, that this system is perpetuated at all, and Mr. Headley is a U. S. citizen, a Caucasian, who was drawn to what he saw as a religion, Islam, because he must have experienced this interaction with his govt. He must not have told the U. S. govt. about his interaction with the Lashkar e Toiba, and how it would affect the future blasts in Mumbai.
unless Rana was associated with RSS why should NIA pursue him, how does it help the MHA with reelection ?
If Headley had been tried and convicted in India, I don’t think as many details would have come to light. Indian investigations are generally half-hearted and not very competent. They seldom pay attention to details. They lack the skill to trick one defendant to inform on the others. The Indians tend to fill up an enormous number of pages; but as for accuracy and details they would be wanting.
As Raman points out, Indian officials did not even try to oppose the plea agreement that David Headley was trying to negotiate with his US captors. That shows how lazy, incompetent or careless the Indians are. This reminds me of the time when an Italian, Mr Quattrocchi, wanted in connection with the Bofors scandal, was apprehended in a Latin American country on an Interpol warrant, our esteemed CBI did not bother to file the necessary papers to take him into custody. So, the said country had no choice but to release the Italian. Yet, again the CBI made another valiant attempt to apprehend him in East Asia – with the same results. After spending billions of rupees and over 20 years of effort, the CBI finally closed the book on the Bofors scandal.
India takes years to finish a job which the US can do in a matter of months, because of the emphasis on efficiency and accountability in the US system. For example, the 1984 systematic massacre of 3000 Sikhs in greater Delhi is still under investigation as of January 2013; and none of the ringleaders have ever been tried. As things stand, I don’t think any of them will ever face justice, although all of them have been identified in one or the other of four enquiry commission reports issued by the Government of India. The ringleaders identified in the reports are still politically so powerful that the government has not even attempted to build a case against them. As it has already been 28 years since the commission of the crimes, it is unlikely that they ever will be tried. In a few more years they will all be either dead or declared mentally incompetent. Then, the authorities will make a well publicized and strenuous effort to bring the culprits to trial, only to discover they are either dead or mentally incompetent. In either case, they cannot be tried. So, they will close the books on all the cases, and congratulate themselves on a job well done. The only tangible outcome of decades of intensive investigation and legal proceedings into the matter would be a humongous case file running to tens of thousands of pages. And the funny thing is – by the time the case is closed, much of the documentation may not even be very legible because of the poor quality of paper, typing materials, etc. Nevertheless, it would be dubbed in the media as a great investigation.
Fortunately, in the US system trials move quickly and efficiently. Endless adjournments, jurisdictional disputes, litigation regarding bail, etc are unknown. Unlike in the Indian system the US prosecutors will not apprehend the suspect until sufficient evidence has been collected to hold him. Also, US awards serious sentences such as 35 years in jail for Mr Headley. He will not become eligible for parole until he has served a substantial portion,something like 30 years, of his sentence. In the Indian system, on the other hand, long sentences are unknown. The Indian Penal Code does not specify ‘a life sentence without the possibility of parole.’ The so-called life sentence of the Indian code is no more than 14 years, although in theory it can be up to 21 years.
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