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I tweeted about it earlier, but it deserves a larger audience. Manan Ahmed and Huma Imtiaz pore over Pakistan’s Most Wanted List, compiled by the FIA, and cull out some gems from the descriptions of the listed terrorists:
The one liners that describe the suspects’ way of talking, which one would only assume is their dialect, is yet another work of art by the talented souls at the FIA.
1. “Way of Talking: Bihari tone”
2. “Way of Talking: “Speaking on non serious matters”
And when FIA’s describing everything, how could they miss the nose?
1. “Nose: Pressed (Like a Chinese)”
2. “Nose: Small (Bengali type)” [Clearly the FIA has no qualms about being racist]
There are also honorable mentions of the lips.
Read more of their findings here.
Post Script: Incidentally, the list cannot just be dismissed frivolously, for inter alia it is the same talked-about report that also includes details, of crew members of boat Al Hussaini & Al Fouz used by the [26/11] terrorists -- the boats used for transporting Kasab and gang -- and other LeT financiers and terrorists.
Most of those interested would by now definitely have seen the Channel 4 Documentary (also shown on HBO a couple of days back with a new commentary by Farid Zakaria), but other than that, while there has been a lot of comprehensive western media coverage, perhaps the most detailed and sequential piece appeared some days back as a series of four blog posts by Jason Motlagh on the Virgina Quarterly Review site and was later collated into one long post. It's very long but well worth a read. Took me a few days because of other preoccupations, but here it is for those who have not yet come across it and would like a comprehensive narration of those dreadful 60 hours and after -- including the transcripts of the phone calls of the terrorists with their handlers in Pakistan and Kasab's interrogation that was included in the Channel 4/HBO documentary: Sixty Hours Of Terror
H/T: Separate emails from Amar Chopra and C.M. Naim
Ajit Tendulkar writes in to inform us that he totally agrees with Mr Jawed Naqvi in the Dawn:
Given the inherent difficulties of dealing with diverse languages, it is baffling that authorities in Pakistan have been asked to decode Hindi and Marathi, the two languages in which India has given them Ajmal Kasab’s confession about his involvement, and that of his other Pakistani accomplices, in the November terror attack on Mumbai.
But what is truly baffling, he says, is that he can't, for the life of him, figure out why this bafflement is prefaced with the following:
MARATHI is a rich language, richer in many ways than Hindi. Pula Deshpande, Vijay Tendulkar, Kusumagraj, Prahlad Keshav Atre, Saney Guruji, Shanta Shelke are some of the towering icons of Marathi literature.
If Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has read any of these writers, it must be in Urdu or English, the two languages we know he knows.
It is highly unlikely that Home Minister P. Chidambaram, whose mother tongue is Tamil, would be able to read the Marathi or even the Hindi version of any of the fabled writers. His English is good though.
Or what, indeed, he goes on to wonder, is one to make of the concluding remarks:
The new foreign minister has raised hopes for a new informed initiative with India’s neighbours. If he is from the Marathi-speaking musically gifted Dharwar region of Karnataka, as I suspect he is, he could begin by helping translate for the Pakistanis the badly needed piece of evidence they need to nail the culprits of Mumbai. There is far more for him to do than to quibble over a brief that his interlocutors can’t read.
Um, what if he were not from the Marathi-speaking musically gifted Dharwar region of Karnataka? The mind boggles.
Aijaz Ilmi, the chairman of the editorial board at the Kanpur-based Urdu newspaper Daily Siyasat Jadid in the Indian Express:
...Dar-ul Ifta, the fatwa-giving arm of Deoband’s Dar-ul Uloom spoke of the value of “neutral” voting in the elections. The spokesperson said that Indian Muslims must vote not on religious lines but as citizens of a secular democracy...Steeped in a volatile mix of anger and destitution, subject to being “suspect” for far too long, Indian Muslim communities are finally showing signs of fighting back against preconceived prejudices. When respected Ulemas start to speak out about secular traditions and democratic structures, a strategic shift based on community feedback is apparent. Whether this wave of positivity will turn into a tsunami of inter-cultural bonding is yet to be assessed.More here
Soli J. Sorabjee in the Indian Express:
It is not realised that Kasab’s likely conviction based on overwhelming evidence may yet become vulnerable and flawed if he is denied a fair trial—one of whose essential components is adequate legal representation. Moreover, India’s requests for extradition of Dawood Ibrahim and other criminals who have found hospitable sanctuary in Pakistan may well be declined on the ground that the extradited person will not have a fair trial in our country and Kasab’s case can be cited as a telling instance.