Monday, December 20, 2004

PIL: Review of the Judgement of Transferring the Best Bakery case

PIL: Review of the Judgement of Transferring the Best Bakery casePublic Interest Litigation ( PIL) for the review of the Judgement of Transferring the Best Bakery case from Gujarat to Maharashtra

K. G. Acharya ( Free lance journalist and a
Gandhian and Ambedkarite human rights activist)
187/ 5235 Sanmati Society
Pant Nagar, Ghatkopar, Mumbai - 400 075
Cell No. 982995440, Land line Tel. No. : 25119890
Date: 17 December 2004

To
The Honourable Chief Justice of India
The Supreme Court of India
New Delhi – 110 001

Respected Sir,

Subject: Public Interest Litigation ( PIL) for the review of the Judgement of Transferring the Best Bakery case from Gujarat to Maharashtra for retrial I, K. G. Acharya, the petitioner have been observing that many politicians with vested interests and in the garb of an impartial NGO are engaged in media trial in the Best Bakery case, by distorting some and suppressing some other facts to suit them. If the people believe that this untruth has resulted in a possible human error in delivering judgement by the S preme Court, I am afraid, it will have extremely s rious consequences on the judiciary, secularism, communal harmony, democracy and all of our nation’s activities.

The petitioner, therefore, is to request the Honourable Supreme Court, very humbly, to review its earlier judgement of transferring the Best Bakery case from Gujarat to Maharashtra for retrial by taking into consideration the submissions, made herein, very carefully. Since, I, the petitioner, am not an advocate, if the language in the petition is not in keeping with the usual petitions, I beg your pardon and very humbly request you to take into consideration only the contents in the true spirit of delivering a judgement. Please consider this letter as a PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION or whatever else it is called in legal terms, but give this instrument due consideration on its merits.

The petitioner is to pray that if convinced by his submissions, the Supreme Court quash its earlier judgement, as a sequel to later developments, and order a stay for the proceedings going on at present in the additional Session Judge, Mr A M Thipsay’s court at Mazgaon, Mumbai.

The Supreme Court took the extraordinary decision of transferring the Best Bakery case out of Gujarat to the Mumbai High Court in April 2004, as a sequel to the petitions of Zaheera Sheikh, Teesta Setalvad and her NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace and also the National Human Rights Commission ( herein after referred to as NHRC). The petitioner is convinced that full facts are not brought before the Honourable Supreme Court by the petitioners Teesta Setalvad of the Citizens for Justice and Peace and Zaheera Sheikh, an illiterate, poor young girl of 19 years, who has said that her signature was taken by Teesta Setalvad by cheating her by telling that the (petition) papers, in English language, which Zaheera has not learnt, were regarding her Best Bakery property. The other petitioner, the NHRC had not applied its mind to ascertain the truth and the bonafides of the above petitioners and was swayed by the media reports as it did many times in the past as explained in this application in later paragraphs.

Since the case is extremely sensitive, which is clear from the fact that Justice Mr A M Thipsay, in charge of the retrial, is receiving threats and attempts are made to poison the accused persons in Mumbai jail, the petitioner thinks, it is his humble duty to bring before the Court the following facts, which have tremendous bearing on this case, and which he knows well and pray for their due consideration by the court.

The petitioner is to bring to the notice of the Honourable Supreme Court that the credibility of the above persons and the above organisations is doubtful, taking into consideration the following facts, which might be unknown to this Honourable Court so far. The petitioner submits :

(1) Zaheera Sheikh, Teesta Setalvad and her organization, Citizens for Justice and Peace and the NHRC are not reliable, trustworthy and their credibility is very low and thus their affidavits submitted to the Supreme Court might be also so. He, therefore strongly feels that the Honourable Supreme Court has erred in its judgement of transferring the Best Bakery trial outside Gujarat. The media carried out an extra-judicial trial in a sub-judice matter and he feels that the Supreme Court Judges have also unknowingly been swayed by it. He has therefore submitted arguments to vindicate this statement also.

(2) Zaheera Sheikh has turned hostile very frequently. She is a poor girl of only 19 years and very susceptible to fall a prey to monetary allurement and /or bribe. It cannot be said without investigation by impartial enquiry that only her recent turning hostile after the Supreme Court judgement in April 2004 makes her unreliable but not that before the judgement. Zaheera Sheikh has alleged that Teesta Setalwad, her associate, industrialist Raees Khan and her organization Citizens for Justice and Peace had kept Zaheera as hostage, in confinement for seven months, without allowing her to see her mother and doctor and threatened to kill her and compelled her to tell lies in the court for the sake of religion ( “ tumko kaum ke liye zooth bolana padega”) . Zaheera has said that she would not speak untruth in the holy month of Ramzan.

Zaheera Sheikh’s allegations are extremely serious in nature and must be thoroughly investigated by an impartial agency. The enquiry may be conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation or a Special Investigation Team ( SIT ) monitored or headed by a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge selected by a panel of leaders of the ruling party and the opposition party in the parliament.

(3)Though the allegations were not made so far in a court, Teesta Setalvad approached the Mumbai High Court for an anticipatory bail and approached the Supreme Court also following which the Supreme Court has issued a notice of Contempt of Court to Zaheera, the Gujarat Government and the NHRC.

The fact that Teesta Setalvad asked for anticipatory bail reveals her guilty consciousness and the fact that the allegations were so serious that she could have been arrested under 153 A or any other column or Act of the IPC.

Now, Sehrunissa, the mother of Zaheera Sheikh, too, has alleged during the retrial in Mumbai Court of Justice Mr A M Thipsay on December15, 2004 that Teesta Setalvad and her assoiciate Raees Khan had threatened her with death. It is not justice to disbelieve Zaheera and her mother when allegations are made against Teesta Setalvad and believe in them when allegations are made against Teesta Setalvad’s opponents, without investigation and impartial enquiry.

(4) The allegations made by Zaheera Sheikh and her mother, Sehrunnisa against Teesta Setalvad mean that Teesta Setalvad and her NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace have misled the Honourable Supreme Court by willfully submitting false affidavits and have virtually manipulated the trial to suit their partisan political predilections.

Under the law, giving or fabricating false evidence with the intent to procure conviction of capital offence punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment, is punishable under the Indian Penal Code. The extra judicial role of such an NGO, the Citizens for Justice and Peace, is dangerous. If criminal justice is sought to be exploited and abused in the above manner, an innocent person may go to the gallows making mockery of administration of justice in the country.

5) The credibility of Teesta Setalwad and the NGO Citizens for Justice & Peace as regards their honesty, integrity and sense for justice is very low. In justification of the statement, the petitioner submits as follows:

(a) Bringing Zaheera Sheikh and her family members to Mumbai by special car from Vadodara and keeping all the persons in confinement for 7 months in Mira Road flat and Versova flat is very expensive. Filing petition in the Supreme court is also a costly affair. Teesta Setalvad’s magazine “ Communalism Combat “ has very small circulation. The magazine is not visible in public libraries and stalls in public places. The NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace has miniscule membership; it has not held any public meetings with large attendance; it holds, perhaps, only closed door meetings. To arrange press conferences is also very expensive. In the backdrop of these facts, there are doubts and suspicion regarding the sources of the huge funds required for the above activities of Teesta Setalvad and her NGO, Citizens for Jutice and Peace.
(b) Teesta Setalwad had joined Asghar Ali Engineer and Archbishop Fr. Evan Dias in blaming Hindutvavadi leaders, the BJP, the RSS etcetera in the St. Michael’s Church at Mahim, Mumbai on a Sunday, according to news in the Times of India ( referred herein after as ToI) of Sunday October 18, 1998 in the wake of rape of 3 nuns on September 22, 1998 in Zabua in Madhya Pradesh. Later on after the investigation it was found that the rapists were a gang, which included 12 Christians and a Congressman, but no RSS men as alleged.

The criminals are undergoing imprisonment now, but Teesta Setalvad has no courtesy to apologise for making false allegations and maligning Hindu organisations. Teesta Setalvad is not a Christian and had no routine business to go to the church with Asghar Ali Engineer, another Muslim. The October 1998 issue of “Communal Combat”, edited by Teesta Setalvad has given news about the rape and blamed the Hindu organization for that. It is curious and very much suggestive that the concerned article about the incident is missing from the archives of the magazine and is not sent to the petitioner by e-mail as promised by concerned authorities of the magazine, despite reminder.

The rape incident was used in subsequent elections in MP, Rajasthan and Delhi to malign Hindu organizations and the BJP. Christian schools had declared “bandh” in Mumbai and a Morcha of School children from Don Bosco school was taken. One should think whether school children should be used to protest rape.

After the police investigation was completed and the Christian rapists were arrested, the media ignored the news about the rapists completely. This one incident, alone, is a concrete proof to show that Teesta Setalvad is an anti-Hindu activist and an anti-BJP politician and not a human rights activist as claimed.

( c ) Teesta Setalvad wrote a book for teachers of the Don Bosco School, Borivli, Mumbai, and circulated it in the school, in which she criticized Shivaji Maharaj in many ways and referred to his caste. This was in September 2001.The fact is that Shivaji Maharaj is known and highly revered throughout the country and particularly in Maharashtra for fighting the Moghal ruler, Aurangzeb, who had imposed Jiziya tax only on Hindus, and not for his cast. As a result, teachers and parents of the school children protested and the school authorities had to withdraw the controversial book intended to poison the minds of young children to fulfil her heinous design. Astonishingly, Teesta Setalvad had not got the names of the publishers and the printers of the book, printed on the book, to escape from the clutches of the law. Teesta had not taken permission of the education department to publish the book. Unfortunately no NGO came forward to take Teesta Setalvad to task for violating rules.

( d ) In the article, THE POLITICS OF TEXTBOOK( ToI – 24-10-1999), Teesta Setalvad is reported to have said: “Textbooks in Gujarat call Muslims, Christians and Parsis foreigners. They detail the ills of Christianity, the greed of the Pope and the sensual pleasures enjoyed by the Catholic clergy.” All the above allegations of Teesta Setalvad are false.

( e ) When the Union Minister for Railways Laloo Prasad Yadav ordered an enquiry into the burning of the Sabarmati Express in Godhra, and when contacted by the ToI, Teesta Setalwad of Citizens for Justice and Peace said, “The railway ministry had earlier abdicated its responsibility of independently investigating the incident which was warranted under the Railways Act.” She stated that this inquiry was “long overdue”. (ToI- 3-9-2004). According to the article, “Godhra probe: Lalu is wrong“, by Arabinda Ghose in the weekly Organiser( 26-9-2004), it is clear that the probe ordered by the railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was illegal and politically motivated. One term of reference in the Probe is to find our whether the karsevaks were traveling without ticket. This type of enquiry is never made, when accidents take place.

( f ) Teesta Setalvad, Javed Akhtar, Alec Padamsee, Anil Dharker and the NGO Citizens for Peace and Justice met relatives of those killed in the coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express on 27 February 2002 after 20 months on 5-10-2003, pretended that they were the victims’ sympathizers, brought them to Mumbai, arranged a press conference in Mumbai and provoked them to speak against the BJP, the VHP and other Hindu organizations and yatras organized by these organisations.

The Godhra victims were also used to demand ban on future Yatras in general and the proposed Yatra of March 15, 2003 to Ayodhya, in particular, by Hindu organizations.

That the yatra turned out to be peaceful proved that Teesta Setalvad’s demand was just an attempt to malign Hindu organization.

Teesta Setalwad, Secretary of the NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace said that a petition demanding transfer of the case outside Gujarat for retrial would be filed by the Godhra victims within the next few days, with the support of the NGO ( ToI – 6-10-3). It is to be noted that the Godhra victims did not do this.

The monthly magazine “Communalism Combat”, edited by Teesta Setalwad, and another NGO Sahamat propagated an appeal to the Central government to stop Karsevaks going to Ayodhya on March 15, abusing Sangha parivar as communal and fascist. In Their press note names of Mahesh Bhatt, Javed Anand ( husband of Teesta ), Nikhil Wagle, Praful Bidwai, Shyam Benegal etc were written (Maharashrtra Times – 21-8-2002). In an appeal to UP chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and Dy. Prime Minister L.K. Advani, the Citizens for Justice and Peace demanded ban on the October 15 Ratha Yatra alleging outbreak of communal violence and insecurity among the minority community (the Free Press Journal, herein referred to as FPJ – 14-10-2003).

It must be noted that the VHP Yatra was very peaceful, despite provocation by organizations like the Citizens for Justice and Peace. The ToI reported it as “flop”.

( g )Teesta Setalwad, secretary of the NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace complained in her affidavit that prosecutors were either leaders or members of the RSS or the VHP in Gujarat. (ToI, Ind. Ex. and FPJ – 18-10-2003) This was improper, since the RSS and the VHP are not banned organizations. If objection to these organizations can be upheld on the ground that they speak for Hindus, then the bonafides of anti-Hindu
Citizens for Justice and Peace automatically become doubtful. Teesta Setalvad’s argumet amounts to mean, using the same yardstick, that the background of the Honourable Chief Justice, V.N. Khare, who had worked for Indira Gandhi, the Congress Prime Minister in the 1975 Corruption case, filed by Raj Narain, in which Indira Gandhi lost and was unseated in Parliament also makes him disqualified to consider the case. It must be noted that Teesta Setalvad had engaged the lawyer, advocate Mihir Desai, to plead for her and Zaheera Sheikh, is anti-Hindu. He refused to plead for Zaheera Sheikh after she made allegations against Teesta Setalvad. If pro-Hinduism of advocates of one party in the litigation makes them unreliable or incredible or disqualified for the case, then anti-Hinduism of advocate Mihir Desai must also be considered so. It must be noted that Mihir Desai had attended a meeting at Prabhadevi, Mumbai in which the VHP, Bajrang Dal and the Sangh Privar were severely criticized for Zaheera Sheikh’s retracting her statements.

( h ) Teesta Setalvad and her NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace were using the Gujarat riots to spew venom against the RSS, the VHP and the BJP by using a section of the media in their favour, though it is reported that some Congressmen, the ISI of Pakistan and some Islamic fundamentalists were also involved in the riots. This is clear from a few of the following news reports:

( i ) The Godhra train carnage on February 27, 2002 was an “ act of terrorism planned at the behest of Pakistan to foment communal riots all over the country”, according to a study report. The study, conducted by a five-member team led by Justice D S Tewatia, former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, for the Council of International Affairs and Human rights, released in New Delhi described the Godhra incident as an act of international terrorism planned and executed in connivance with the jehadi forces. Haji Bilal, Mohammad Husain Abdul Rahim Kalota and a few more Congresmen were involved in the plan to burn the Sabarmati Express at Godhra ( FPJ- 27-4-2002, Navabharat, Hindi daily- 30-5-2002, Loksatta-27-4-2002).

( ii )According to Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind most Congress corporators actively participated in the riots. JUH secretary Farooqi has a list of 25 Congress leaders from Gujarat which included former Congress minister, a sitting MLA and a former MP. Farroqi acused Congress workers of committing sins of commission and omission during the riots ( ToI – 10-8-2003).

( iii ) Teesta Setalvad herself had said in March 2002 that in the attack on former MP Ehsan Jaffery’s house, a Congress member was among the mob ( FPJ – 30-3-2002).

(iv) The fact that Congress governments in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Punjab refused to send police force to Gujarat, to control riots, though the Gijarat government was ready to spend full money for their deployment, shows that the congress was not interested in curbing the riots, but was interested only in making a political capital out of riots.

( j ) According to the editorial in the Free Press Journal Teesta Setalvad had come to access crores of rupees in the 1998 general election. In the editorial of the Free Press Journal dated November 5, 2004 again a reference to the suspicious sources of funding for multi-crore advertisements against the BJP in newspapers is made pointing out a finger to Teesta Setalvad.

( k ) Teesta Setalwad approached DCP, G. D. Pol in zone 5, Dadar, Mumbai and asked him to file FIR against VHP general secretary Praveen Togadia under sections 153A, 153B, 295A,298 and 505 for his alleged inflammatory speech at a meeting of the Rashtriya Vichar Manch at Nardulla Tank Maidan on March 16. ( ToI- 14-5-2003 ). The speech was not as alleged by Teesta Setalvad and no untoward incidents took place after the speech.

( l ) Javed Akhtar and Alyque Padamsee and Vijay Tendulkar, all members of the Citizens for Justice and Peace had congratulated Ashok Gehlot, the chief minister of Rajasthan, through a letter (IE-May 10, 2003), for banning trishul and not allowing Togadia to enter Rajasthan though Court had allowed him to enter. According to a news (ToI- May 9, 2003), Additional district and sessions judge Ajay Kumar Jain, trident is not a weapon; and so he granted anticipatory bail to VHP activists accused of displaying trishuls, banned in Rajasthan under Arms Act. Thus the venom spit by above members of the Citizens for Justice and Peace is an attempt to malign Hindus, their leaders and their organizations. It must be noted that these persons had never criticized “ Lathi rally” of Laloo Prasad Yadav in bihar. (12-5-3-Indian Express ), the rally with bows and arrows of more than 1000 activists of Communist Party of India (Maoists) in Kolkata ( FPJ- 16-12-2004) and rifle rallies of Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh.

( m ) Alyque Padamsee, an activist of the Citizens for Justice and Peace, had said recently that he does not know Mumbai, but knows Bombay. He has no objection for renaming Calcutta as Kolkata, Madras as Chennai and Trivendram as Thiruanathapuram.

( n ) Vijay Tendulkar, an activist of the CJP, had said at a speech in Pune and then in Dapoli in Maharashtra in November 2003, that if he is given a gun, he would shoot Narendra Modi. This reveals the bonafides of the organization CJP.

(o) At a press conference in Mumbai in February 2004, Asghar Ali Engineer, member of the NGO, Citizens for Defending Constitutional Democracy and Secularism, at a press conference, said in Mumbai “ BJP has polarized the country and came to power by attacking minorities, secularism and Indian pluralism” ( FPJ – February 26, 2004). All such utterances of members of the Citizens for Justice and Peace reveal that it is an anti-Hindu, anti-BJP organization.

( p ) One can have freedom to have his views and have an organization, but to form an organization and pretend that it is citizen’s organization, a non-political one and that also for peace and justice is certainly deception and cheating. The petitioner adds that this NGO is not registered under any act and its membership is not open for citizens though the word “citizen” is therein. Further, it does not have any Constitution of its own. The petitioner prays that the Supreme Court take this into consideration and decide the bonafides of the organization “ Citizens for Justice and Peace”.

( 6) The credibility of the NHRC is also very low. To justify this the petitioner submits herewith:

(i) The fact that the NHRC took suo moto action against the Gujarat government when the Gujarat police killed Ishrat Jahan Sheikh, the terrorist of the Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Toiba, banned in India and many other countries, and her two other associates in Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004 clearly shows that either the NHRC has prejudice against the Gujarat Government or that it does not apply its mind properly and commits grave errors. In either case the NHRC loses its bonafides and credibility in giving justice and safeguarding human rights of citizens.

(ii) The credibility of NHRC received a severe blow when it was pulled up by the Kerala High Court in May 2001, while ordering status quo on a petition filed by the Kerala state against the order of the NHRC to give compensation of Rs 10 lakhs to an ISRO scientist, accused in spy case involving two Maldivian women in 1994

(iii) The NHRC did not take notice of the statement of a key witness, Lal Mohammed Sheikh, who turned up at the Circuit House, Vadodara, when the NHRC team was present there on July 8, 2003. He had refuted the allegations made by Zaheera Sheikh and her mother while sticking to his statement that those acquitted had, in fact, saved his life. It must be noted that even before the Additional Sessions Judge Abhay Thipasay of the retrial court in Mumbai, he continued to stick to his earlier words, unlike Zaheera, in whom the NHRC had full faith. (ToI- 9-7-03, 10-12-4)

(iv) The NHRC, under the chairmanship of the former chief Jusice of the Supreme Court J. S. Verma, had opposed the POTA, an act against terrorism without reading it, whereas the present chairman, Mr A.S.Anand, also a retired Judge of the Supreme Court, stated that POTA does have provisions to prevent its misuse, as soon as he took over as the chairman of the NHRC. Two persons can have different opinions. But can the same statutory organization, like the NHRC have different opinions? And what about the opinions of other members of the NHRC? Can they all not have a meeting to express one common opinion? The contradiction within the NHRC also makes it lose its credibility and bonafides.

(v) The former chairman of the NHRC, J.S. Verma had opined that right to information exists according to the Constitution. But when I lodged 2 complaints of human rights violations to the NHRC, it did not register them and did not reply and answer why one of the complaints was not registered, despite many reminders. In the case of one complaint, with registration no. Case No. 512/25/2004-2005/UC, which I sent on July 20, 2004, the NHRC has not replied to my query sent on November 11, 2004, as to what follow up action was taken by the NHRC, since it was not shown on its website.

(vi )The NHRC erred in ignoring that in many other cases, the accused were let off because witness turned hostile as in the Best Bakery case. For example in Dabgarwad mass burning case of Ahmedabad, in which eight Hindus were burnt alive and all the Muslim accused were acquitted. There are two other cases – of Signal Faliya and Safi school of Godhra – where the Muslim accused were acquitted. NHRC’s remark of “miscarriage of justice” may be applicable to many other gruesome cases. Trying to Transfer only the cases in which Muslims are victims shows the bias of the NHRC and amounts to creating a separate judicial system for Muslims, which is against the recognized accepted principle of secularism in the country ( FPJ- 15-7-3).

( vii ) The NHRC has initiated criminal cases against police officers, who were awarded gallantry awards by the President of India in recognition of their gallantry in fighting terrorism successfully in Punjab. The police officers had done their duty in fighting terrorism neglecting their children and families.

( viii ) In March 2003, Rajasthan police shot dead three workers of the VHP and injured 7 workers, when they were doing puja near a temple, despite the opposition of police to do so. The police were not allowing the puja, since they wanted a Moharum procession to pass the temple area. Notwithstanding the illegality of the police order opposing the puja, the police could have used teargas shells to disperse the gathering of Hindus instead of firing and shooting and killing them. Similarly in west Bengal, the police fired and shot dead some Ramsevaks in the same month. I complained to the NHRC on the 24 March 2002. But the NHRC did not register my complaint or reply to reminders why the complaint was not registered.

( vi )On December 10, 2002, the petitioner complained to The Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi about the story that he read on the website http://www.outlookindia.com/fullpopuptop.asp?
fodname=20021202&fname=State+Gazatte&sid=6
written by Amarnath Tewary in Outlook. It was about a most wanted criminal of Patna, the capital of Bihar State, Sultan Mia, who abducted a married woman, Kanchan Mishra, in broad daylight from the heart of the city, took her to a mosque and forcibly married her. The NHRC did not register the complaint nor did it give reply as to why it was not registered. However, the National Women's Commission took note of the complaint either suo moto or after somebody else lodged it.

But, when a Pakistani woman, Shahnawaz, arrested for illegally staying in India without valid visa or passport, who was raped by a jail constable, attracted the attention of the NHRC, who immediately sent notice to the home ministry on July 29, 2002.

( x ) The NHRC had asked the Gujarat government to provide it with a list , community-wise, of persons killed in police firing and arrested. I sent a letter of protest to the NHRC highly objecting to it since it was against secularism and capable of dividing the people on communal basis and without any benefit. The NHRC did not reply to the letter.

There are many instances as above, illustrating how the NHRC is harsh to securitymen, policemen, Hindus and soft towards terrorists, Pakistanis and Muslims. This is very important in the present Best Bakery case.

( 7 ) The credibility of the media, engaged in extra – judicial trial in the Best Bakery case, is also very low. To substanciate this, the petitioner submits herein as under:

( I )Former chairman of the Press Council of India and former Judge of the Mumbai High court, Mr P.B. Sawant disclosed that many of our journalists are on the pay - roll of international agencies. The agencies are out to destabilize the country. He was speaking at the annual general meeting of India Language Newspaper association’s 58 th annual meeting in July 1999. Though five years have passed, the situation might not have improved, it has in fact worsened. Mr P. B. Sawant said, a few years ago, the chief of the CIA, the American intelligence agency had stated in the American Senate with proof that the CIA had appointed some Indian journalists as their agents. He said, “the journalists write to propagate the views of their masters and Indian language newspapers follow them.”

Most of the English language newspapers preferred not to take note of his speech for obvious reasons. In fact, they should have taken very serious note of the allegation, written editorials on it and initiated a debate if they had interest of the nation in their heart. This, automatically, vindicates what Justice P.B. Sawant had stated.

( i )The Honourable Chief Justice of India Justice R. C. Lahoti said during the Law Day function of the Supreme Court Bar Association on November 26, 2004 in Delhi that “Media is tarnishing the image of judiciary”. If a person with judiciary in his heart can say so, is it wrong if a person with the pride of Gujarat in his heart says that the “Media is tarnishing the image of Gujarat?’

iii) Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice V.N. Khare said that he was very much anguished over the manner in which media “ scandalized” three judges of the Karnataka High Court by linking them to Mysore sex scandal without basis. He said he could not sleep for many days as a result. Now if the Honourable judges of the Gujarat High Court could not sleep as a result of transferring the Best Bakery case out of Gujarat, who is responsibe?

(iv) The Chief Justice of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court Justice S.H.A. Raza said in September 2001 that though freedom of expression is essential in democracy, the press must give importance to giving views and news in a balanced manner in nation’s interest( Navabharat- Hindi-24-9-2001).

(v) Chairman of the Press Council of India Justice K Jayachandra Reddy made a veiled attack on the media for “biased” coverage of the Gujarat riots and asked it to “strictly adhere “ to the norms set by the Council. He asked the media to be “trouble shooters” and not “trouble makers” ( FPJ 7-4-2002). There are many other points to prove the low credibility of the media.

8 ) Gujarat High Court’s observation regarding “ Plot in Zaheera’s claims” . The Supreme Court has erred in not believing in the Gujarat High Court and transferring the case outside Gujarat for retrial. The fact that the Supreme Court has given notice to Zaheera and the NHRC about contempt of court following Zaheera’s frequently turning hostile in her depositions vindicates the Gujarat High Court’s contention that Zaheera was not worth relying upon. The transferring a case outside the High Court of a state is an extraordinary decision and must be not only on merits but also appear to have been on merits.

The Division Bench of Justice B. J. Sethna and Justice J. R. Vora of the Gujarat High Court, in their judgement dismissing the appeal challenging the acquittal of 21 accused and seeking retrial, were critical of the role of the NGO, CJP. The bench had said, “ We are not prepared to believe that Zaheera turned hostile because she was threatened.” The Gujarat High Court bench had said, “ There seems to be a definite design and conspiracy to malign people by misusing this witness, Zaheerabibi, who is hardly 19 years old and can easily fall a prey to anyone and play into the dirty hands of anti-national elements.”

The NHRC and the Honourable Supreme Court did not agree to the above contention of the High Court bench, but upheld that Zaheera’s turning hostile in the High Court was proper. Now since Zaheera has turned hostile, again, the fact creates doubts in her credibility and destroys the very foundation on which the Supreme Court’s verdict of transferring the case outside Gujarat was based. As a result, the Supreme Court should, now, the petitioner prays, review the judgement and order stay for the trial going on in Mumbai at present.

( 9 ) The Supreme Court has erred in criticizing the Gujarat High Court for making “ irresponsible remarks against activists, including Teesta Setalwad, and even against the NHRC.”

This is clear from (i) activities of Teesta Setalvad as stated in my submissions above and (ii) serious charges made by Zaheera Sheikh and her mother against Teesta Setalvad for turning hostile and speaking lies for the sake of religion ( “ kaum ke liye tuze zooth bolna hoga”), and the fact that the NHRC has also lost its credibility as stated above, and particularly because it took suo moto action against the Gujarat government when the Gujarat police killed three Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists with deadly weapons nd a lot of ammunition in Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. The NHRC had clearly exposed its prejudice against the Gujarat Government. It is this prejudice that made the NHRC demand the transfer of the case outside Gujarat.

( 10 ) After the judgement of the Supreme Court many competent senior lawyers and retired judges, at a discussion of their panel in a programme, criticized the judgement of transferring the Best Bakery from Gujarat to maharashtra for retrial. Many said that “ the Supreme Court was more emotional than judicial.” Many said that the verdict was “ not in accordance with the Constitution of India.” K. T. S. Tulsi, former additional solicitor general of India, who was also the defence counsel in the case, alleged that due to the “media trial”, the Supreme Court judges had not allowed evidence to be presented before it by the state government or the accused, despite his appeals. The case has not been decided according to or on the basis of evidence. It may have been based on newspaper reports .” Senior advocate R. V. Bhasin said, “ The Best Bakery case is a mixture of law, facts and politics. The press should not be ridiculed, but if a Supreme Court judge is affected by media reports, then he does not deserve to be in that position.” Bhasin also added that the Supreme Court violated the Constitution of India. He criticized the judges’ reference to fiddling Nero.

S. M. Soni, former justice of the Gujarat High Court said that the courts, instead of being swayed by media reports, should take punitive action against any interference with the judicial process. Soni also blamed the former Chief Justice of India heading the NHRC for not following the judicial norms by approaching the Supreme Court, instead of the High Court, when Best Bakery accused were acquitted by a session’s court in Gujarat. He also added, “ The decision to transfer the case was not on grounds of merit or evidence. The case, instead of being transferred to Maharashtra, could have been referred back to the Gujarat High Court.” ( ToI - 18-5-2004)

( 11) That the Supreme Court was swayed by the media reports is also clear from the fact that there were many similar cases when criminals were acquitted for lack of evidence. This fact was not considered by the Supreme Court. This was because the media did not consider such cases as it did in the case of Gujarat. For example, all accused in the Radhabai Chawl buring in 1992 case were acquitted. All the accused were Muslims in this case, and so the media did not highlight these and the anti-Hindu NHRC did not take suo moto interest in those. I have illustrated how the NHRC is anti-Hindu earlier.

( 12 ) The Vadodara fast-track court Judge H. U. Mahida, now retired, has challenged any court to convict anybody without evidence. He said he had not gone out of way to favour or oblige anybody in the case but had to acquit the guilty, simply for want of evidence. He clarified that unlike a civil judge, a sessions court judge had no inherent powers and he had to go only by the evidence placed before him during the trial ( FPJ- 10-6-2004).

( 13 ) In the backdrop of Zaheera Sheikh, turning hostile and accusing Teesta Setalvad, that she forced Zaheera to speak untruth in the court, some editors have remarked that the complete system of human rights and the Supreme Court are now on trial. What the editors have said may be the view of a large section of people and it must be noted that in democracy like that in India, the people are more supreme than the Supreme Court and therefore whatever decision the court takes must not only deliver justice, but also appear to do so. In case it rejects the petition, it must give sound reasoning to do so. Otherwise motives will be attached to the verdict.

( 14 ) The petitioner humbly prays for :
( a ) an order for stay in the proceedings of the retrial in the Mumbai court of additional sessions Judge, Justice Mr A M Thipsay. Or alternatively, an order for enquiry into activities, funds, membership and accounts of the NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace and all aspects of its office bearer Teesta Setalwad, concerned with the case, including the allegation that Teesta Setalvad and her associate Raees Khan threatened Zaheera Sheikh and her mother as alleged. And then again proceed according to the findings.

The enquiry may be conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI) or a Special Investigation Team ( SIT) monitored or headed by a retired Supreme Court judge selected by a panel of leaders of 2 major political parties in the parliament, since this is a matter, which can have grave consequences on the country.

If it is found that Teesta Setalvad really threatened Zaheera Sheikh to turn hostile which made the Honourable Supreme Court take the unprecedented step of transferring the Best Bakery case from Gujarat to Maharashtra for retrial,

( i ) an order for maximum punishment for Teesta Setalvad and her NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace, according to law, in the interest of judiciary in the country;

( ii ) a remark censuring the NHRC for humiliating the Gujarat High Court and conceding the demand of the NGO, CJP, without carefully applying its mind to the judgement of the Gujarat High Court; If Zaheera Sheikh is found guilty, an order for proceeding for contempt of court against Zaheera Sheikh for turning hostile and for perjury, committed not only after the Supreme Court judgement but also before the judgement.

( b ) order for punitive legal action against the media for carrying out extra – judicial trial and interfering with the judicial process, when the matter was sub-judice. ( c ) any other order that this Honourable Court feels deem fit to pass.

Yours most humbly,
K. G. Acharya

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Dawood Men bid to kill Best bakery accused failed ( HELLO TEESTA !!!)

Don’s bid to kill Best accused failed

December 12, 2004

An alleged plan by the Dawood gang to eliminate the 17 accused in the Best Bakery case, currently lodged in Arthur Road Jail in central Mumbai, has been foiled by the jail authorities.

Although jail superintendent Swati Sathe declined to comment on the sensational conspiracy sources in the jail revealed that there was a plan to poison the food being supplied to the 17 accused. A leading member of the Dawood gang, who is in the jail in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blast case, along with a few other inmates is believed to have played a key role in befriending the 17 persons and winning their confidence.

The Best Bakery retrial is being held here at the Mazgaon court. The accused are taken under heavy police escort from the jail to the court, which makes it difficult for anyone to target them outside. Hence, a plan was allegedly hatched to eliminate them inside the jail. The poison was to have been smuggled into the jail on Saturday, December 11. The conspiracy came to light when jail authorities seized a piece of paper, containing instructions in Urdu, which was passed on by D-Company members outside the jail to the key conspirator lodged inside.

Sources said a large amount of money was set aside by the gang to finance this operation. Following the unearthing of the conspiracy, the Dawood aide has been shifted from the general barracks to a high-security cell inside the jail premises.

timesofindia.indiatimes.c...956192.cms

Teesta constantly asked the family to give false evidence

Zaheera's mother turns hostile

Supriya Sharma
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 (Mumbai):

Source : NDTV

Key witness in Best Bakery retrial, Zaheera Sheikh's mother Sehrunissa retracted her statement today.Sehrunissa turned hostile and denied she saw anyone the night the bakery was attacked. Instead, she accused activist Teesta Seetalvad of threatening her entire family.Sahrunissa told the court that two men Mohammed Vora and Munna Malik took Zaheera away from Baroda and brought her to Teesta's house in Mumbai.From there, Zaheera was sent to an apartment in the suburb of Andheri where she was kept confined for more than seven months. The family was not allowed to see her and were told that Zaheera had gone to Delhi or Pakistan.

False evidence

Sahrunissa claimed Teesta constantly asked the family to give false evidence. Her associate Raees Khan, in fact, bundled Zaheera's brother Nasibullah away in a car threatening to kill him if the family did not toe the line.Much like the other Sheikh family members who have appeared in the court, Sahrunissa came in for sharp criticism as the judge reprimanded her. She was asked to give straight answers and not pass unnecessary comments.When quizzed by the prosecution over her daughter Sabeera's death, one of the 14 people killed in the Best Bakery attack, Sahrunissa remarked, "So what if my daughter died, others too were killed in the riots.""I have no regrets. In fact, it's good that she died or else I would have to bear her marriage expenses," she told the prosecution."She has no feelings for her daughter who died. There is something behind all this. This is what we want to probe," said Manjula Rao, public prosecutor.Sehrunissa will now be cross-examined over her police statement recorded just days after the Best Bakery incident. Interestingly, Sehrunissa claimed in court today that she never made any statement to the police at all.

Friday, December 03, 2004

What people are telling about Fifth Columnist : Teesta Setalvad










Singh/Setalvad

Ms SinghAs one of the more articulate and (demonstrably) literate columnists in our country, do you not find the content and tone of your support among these comments somewhat odd, or at least ironic?I would like to say that your point (Muslim Extremism is dangerous and must be dealt with) is sound, but is ill served by this detour. What, at the end of the day, does prosecuting the guilty in the Gujarat pogrom have to do with the country's not investigating Muslim Extremism to the extent that you would wish? Logically - nothing.Sadly you have compromised your dignity - as a journalist, and as a woman; if you weren't both women, would this spat have gotten half the airtime it has?Respectful regards
Posted by: Zafar, Australia, 03-12-2004 at 0636 hours IST



The mouse that roars

Anyone who has read CC over any period of time would be bemused by the selective defence tabulated by these two worthies. A few articles carefully picked by Setalvad and Anand do not perfume over the entrenched stench of rabid anti-Hindu frothing that permeate this lucrative enterprise.And carrying the metaphor of perfumes (of Araby to sweeten this little hand) further, they were very clever to deny any "petro-dollar" sustenance to their business. Why the specious coyness? Why not come out and flatly deny any links to Arab money, petro-dollar or otherwise? And what about their financial largesse from Christian Evangelical organizations like EPPC (Ethics and Public Policy Center), and INFEMIT, an international network of evangelical mission theologians and practitioners, to name a few?It appears that their carefully constructed charade is now finally unravelling, with no little thanks due to Tavleen Singh for her courage in taking on these "secular" media darlings.
Posted by: Charu Latha, United States, 03-12-2004 at 0544 hours IST



Another one

Here is another one from an article on Kashmiri Pandits:"The nearly 8,000 Kashmiri Pandits still living in the Valley and determined to stay put there feel bitter that the rest of India — the J&K and the central government, fellow Pandits who have migrated in large numbers, the sangh parivar and the Shiv Sena which pretends to speak for them and Indians in general — are insensitive to their predicament"All they have done is to put the blame of the pathetic situation of kashmiri pandits back on hindus! What more, they have used it as yet another tool to bash up BJP and others they hate. This is is the best that Teesta and other hate-hindu brigade can come up with. Tavleen SIngh should be proud to be able to let the world know about the shady world of the NGO mafia.
Posted by: Ankan, India, 03-12-2004 at 0453 hours IST



Dont get fooled

Please dont get fooled by what these jihadi apologists have written here. I went back and read through a few sections of their magazine and here is a sample of what I found:"This weakness of the Kashmiri movement that is fast-losing its Kashmiri identity — and, for this a variety of factors are responsible — is more than compensated on the other side. RSS and even more extreme brands of Hindu nationalism are gaining currency among Hindus in Jammu, as elsewhere in the country."This is from the piece "Talibanisation of Kashmir " that these authors have quoted to prove their secular credentials. Guess what: terrorism in Kashmir has been referred as a movement while the blame for that has been thrown to the Hindus. I am not surprised that the person who is blaming Hindus for the terrorism in Kashmir once showed Kashmir as part of Pakistan.
Posted by: Ankan Kumar, India, 03-12-2004 at 0424 hours IST



calling talveen singh's bluff

Your long article is just like throwing sand in the eyes and an insult to Hindus and Talveen who is the only journalist to call spade a spade. What have you really done to expose the Muslim terrorism or crime in India? What about exposing Muslims who help ISI of Pakistan to creat terrorism in India? Have you taken any Muslim to court for crime to help any Hindu? Have you ever tried to expose about what is happening in Madrasas and the preachings of Mullahs against Hindus in hundred of thousands of Masjids in India? Your articles (about crimes by Muslims against Hindus?) in your magazine do not mean a thing if you do not take any action just like you are doing against innocent Hindus in Gujarat. You know that your writing about plight of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangla desh does not mean a thing unless you force Indian Prime minister to take up this matter to these Muslim fundamentalist governments and tell them that first condtion of partition of India was that minorities on both sides will be treated equally. What we are saying is that your actions speak louder than your words. Your actions stink.
Posted by: sastish kumar sharma, Canada, 03-12-2004 at 0415 hours IST



So terorism is justified for Injustice

"the best way to fight terrorism, Islamic or otherwise, is to fight against injustice. That is all that we are trying our best to do, through Communalism Combat and otherwise" --- SO INJUSTICE BREEDS TERRORISM and is justified . as per Teesta . ANd also since terrorists are humans , they too should be given Human Rights . That's the message she is conveying to all .
Posted by: Manoj, India, 03-12-2004 at 0414 hours IST



communal demagoguery

Dear Editor,After the reader's comments,I proceeded to test out whether Ms. Setalvad indignant protestations were credible. If readers expect informed opinion from "Communalism Combat", they are going to be very much disappointed. Consider this bit: " One year later, the Genocide in Gujarat continues through social and economic boycott of Muslims in atleast 10 of the 24 districts of the State and a politically vindictive state headed by Chief Minister Narendra Modi seeks to subvert all criminal investigations int the incidents of violence last year."Note the use of the word "genocide" to depict "social and economic boycott". Genocide is a word pregnant with implications given its history of usage. But a social and economic boycott of a community does not a genocide make. If that were the case, Gandhiji's call for an economic boycott of british goods would be considered genocide...hardly a proper way to depict the actions of Bapuji.Ms. Setalvad proclaims to be "fighting injustice" much like Osama Bin Laden and the jihadis claim to be "fighting injustice" --- it is an admirable goal, but the phrase takes on a new meaning when some people use it.
Posted by: Parveen Kaur, India, 03-12-2004 at 0317 hours IST



Calling Tavleen Singh's Bluff - Teesta way

Dear TeestaConduct of your NGO , its activities, motivations to do that and fundings had been questionable.Pray tell :-A. Who funds your NGO to carryout your activties ?B. What motivated you to tell lies , force Zaheera to give suitable statement and now that she is pointing fingers on you (on records) why you should not prosecutedPlease stop anti nation and anti Hindu conducts. You seems to be working as funded agent of some other countries.
Posted by: Jairaj Yadav, United States, 03-12-2004 at 0257 hours IST



Taste of your own medicine

So now that the shoe is on the other foot, Mr. Anand and Ms. Seetalvad, are ranting and whining. Now you know how we feel when the likes of you call us "communal", "anti-Muslim", "fundamentalist", yadda, yadda, even if we criticize Pakistan for its terrorist activities and call it Terrorist State of Pakistan (TSP). God forbid, if some of us to were to question the antics of the fundamentalist Muslims, then we are called Parivaris. Well, Javed and Teesta, you have finally found one lady who has the cojones to call a spade a spade and expose your dirty tricks. I have followed Ms. Singh for a long time and was impressed when she had the courage to have a less than flattering interview with Bhindranwale when she was a correspondent for Sunday. Quite frankly the two of you are not even fit to tie the shoelaces of Tavleen. Your credibility was down the toilet when Zahira spoke the truth not once but twice in the court.
Posted by: Kedar Bhandary, United States, 03-12-2004 at 0220 hours IST



Precept vs. practice

Instead of exposing symptoms of pathological verbal diarrhea, it is enough for the combative secularists to demonstrate a few simple things:Regarding "non-Muslim" victims such as Kashmiri Pandits, Sikh victims of the 1984 Delhi riots, victims of the Godhra train carnage and Akshardam temple, and victims of Pakistan-sponsored terror in India.1) Show from records that you ever marched, a few feet at least , along with other high profile secularists for the cause of the above mentioned vicitms.2) Show you conducted any press meet for the above causes.3) Show if you filed any PIL for any of the above listed causes.4) Show with evidence that you condemned, in unequivocal terms, Pakistan-funded jihadi activities that directly affect India.5) Show if you visited and showed at least lip sympathy, for the victims listed above (not even parading them for your benefit, as you do with "minority" show-piece victims!).
Posted by: kvjayan, India, 03-12-2004 at 0040 hours IST


Guilty conscience shows

I went through the archives and found that CC magazine has like one article per year about Kashmiri pandits, and maybe one article in several years about the Sikh genocide of 1984. This is mere tokenism to pretend that they are neutral. On the other hand, every single issue of CC has at least one anti-BJP article. In fact, most issues have anti-Sangh cover stories. Tavleen Singh was absolutely right in her accusations.Here is Mahatma Gandhi's simple truth. These people spend most of their time and effort attacking the Sangh, simply because it is non-life threatening. Proof: they are still alive.If they spent the same time and effort attacking Islamic extremism, they'd be dead, oh - like a decade ago. These secularists are mere cowards who cannot combat communalism where it really matters - in Kashmir and in Sonia Gandhi's cabinet of butchers of Sikhs.
Posted by: B.S.P., India, 02-12-2004 at 2326 hours IST



Teesta fails to impress

First, I would like thank IE for providing a forum to all points ot view.Let me remind all what Teestaji said on being informed of the massacre of Hindus in Godhra in the Washington post : "while I condemn today's gruesome attack, you cannot pick up an incident in isolation. Let us not forget the provocation. These people were not going for a benign assembly. They were indulging in blatant and unlawful mobilisation to build a temple and deliberately provoke the Muslims in India.'"It clear to anybody from the above that Teestaji thinks it is perfectly reasonable for Muslims to kill people who "provoke" them. Sadly, very few Muslims will agree with her except the Al Qaeda sort. The cases Teestaji chooses to highlight give her away. We have seen her jump into action when a LeT activist was killed by the police but, we don't see her fiercely taking on Mr. Tytler on behalf of a Sikh widow, or take on Mr. Mufti Sayeed who played a dubious role in the massacre of pandits in Anantnag. Also, notice Teestaji has little to say about the growth of fundamentalist Muslim organizations like the Ahl-E-Hadith and Tabligh Jamaat that have vowed to stamp out the unique Indian brand of Islam
Posted by: B K Bhattacharyya, United States, 02-12-2004 at 2317 hours IST



Calling Tavleen Singh's bluff

Article is disguised in colourful language,but the bitter truth stands out clearly! The confused situation is made worst confounded,though Tavleen stands out "taller" in the eyes of her readers,for her fearless,investigative and unbiased journalism which is a rare commodity in today's English Media! Brave Tavleen cannot be faulted for what she wrote.Her courageous articles,make her hold her head higher in the annals of journalism:See her articles"The 'communalism' divide","Communal or Communists:Its the same difference","To win the war,first identify the enemy","After poll slaughter,suicide by BJP","Blame Cong for rise of Hindutva","Cowdung fixation","Two not so shining stories","Why Joshi is Vajpayee's weakest link"and a lot others.Teesta doesn't list out any other case which she had 'championed' before the Sup Court,apart from Zaheera,whose allegations,for how she was picked up,pampered,kept in big hotels and how she was made to sign on several papers-SHALL haunt Teesta for ever! How many cases of Hindus,killed in Guj-riots,were taken up by Teesta in courts?How many Sikh genocide victims' cases were taken up by her before Sup Court:she knows,every Cong-goon,was set free?
Posted by: pps.ahluwalia, United States, 02-12-2004 at 2104 hours IST



Pathetic

Teesta's defense is pretty pathetic. If one takes a cursory look at all her articles one can see that she loves to fish in troubled waters. All her articles deal with communal issue and is islam specific. She is misleading readers by not giving her full name (with a javed khan suffix), as women usually do when they marry. The fact the she hangs around mostly with muslims and hence might be biased in favour of them is something not known to many. Also all her crap articles critical of muslims are about muslims in pakistan, bangladesh, afghanistan where nobody knows who she is. Can she point even one article critical of Indian muslims (minus kashmir) ? If she is not an NGO then why is she getting any foreign funds at all. How is she able to get money for funding all her legal and extra-legal activities?
Posted by: Nayagan, United States, 02-12-2004 at 2100 hours IST



Tavleen Singh.. An Immature Journalist

I have read many of the articles of Tavleen (including the one that has prompted CC to write this). My own assessment about her is she is at best an immature journalist. Her writtings flow more from her emotions and limited knowledge than from facts. Not so long back she was spewing venon on the RSS, VHP and other radical hindu organisations. Now suddenly she has started seeing hindu fundamentalism is dead and hence we should start focus on islamic fundamentalism. If only the world has been so easy Mrs. Tavleen !!. No reasonably informed person in India, will accept that the Hindu fundamentalim is dead (not atleast me - and let me tell you that I am a devout hindu). Nor is dealing with islamic fanaticism is that easy to tackle the way you are suggesting. The only way to handle both the forms of radicalism is making an unflinching attempt to uphold the law. The law has to be implemented, if required ruthlessly, for anybody violating it.. Any successful nation today is successful because one of the cornerstones of their lives is respecting the law. The moment people like Tavleen give hinduism and islamism colour to it, it takes adifferent ......Contd
Posted by: Bharatiya, India, 02-12-2004 at 2054 hours IST



No need to read Sabrang

I wish to draw readers' attention to the fact that the list of misleading titles might be a ruse to attract readers to the subrang website. Those who know about the pseudo-secularist stands of Teesta will do well to keep away from their website. No need to fund the wrongdoers.
Posted by: Prakash, India, 02-12-2004 at 1944 hours IST



CAlling...

More powers to yr elbow, Tavleen dear!You are one of the few independent journalists who can call a spade a spade- unlike some sold out journalist souls, who are willing to sell their mother/motherland for money. They r a disgrace to journalist profession- they are pimps!As far as Teesta is concerned, the day she takes up a case of a Hindu Pandit suffering in camps, a Hindu burnt alive in the Godhra train and compensation to his/her family, I can safely say that Testa is pro-Islam/ Muslims and anti-Hindus.And as far as Teesta's eunuch husband is concerned, we hv seen what he writes in OUTLOOK- and he is rabid Muslim jehadi, posing as a secularist. Both r on the payrolls of Islamic countries working against India for making this country Dar-ul-Islam.We Hindus are sick and tired of yr fake idea of secularism, which for you means Hindu and Hinduism bashing.For a change talk abt oppression of women in Islam or medieval mindest of Islam due to Quran- they wl cut the balls off yr husband, them Muslim Jehadis, I assure you.
Posted by: Ashok Gupta, Iceland, 02-12-2004 at 1855 hours IST



Food for thought

I am really surprised and commend the incisive insight which Mark (who commented earlier) seems to posses about the modus operandi of islamic rioters in Gujarat and in India. His seminal observation that the coercive tactic is actually a legacy of jinnah (who used to threaten with 'direct action plan') is really a bullseye. Anybody who has seen the pattern of riots cannot miss the above point. I am thunderstruck at how can a US citizen possess this insight which 95%of the people in India lack!!
Posted by: Dhaval, India, 02-12-2004 at 1800 hours IST



congrats communalism combat

thanks Tista & javed for your fight back. how to make people like tavleen singh accountable. down down tavleen singh. you lost your credibility.
Posted by: samit, India, 02-12-2004 at 1749 hours IST



Ineffective

This is a damage control exercise by Teesta, and holds no water. After Zaheera's turn around, it is Teesta who is desperate and not Modi. She hallucinates that the evidence is being piled against Modi, but the actual fact is that nowhere have they ever been able to implicate Modi directly. Even the comments by Advani and Vajpayee have been distorted out of context. They never referred to Modi, and in fact Advani went on to prasie the way Modi had handeled the communal conflageration. When finally Tavleen brought the axe down on teesta close to the heels of Zaheera breaking free of her clutches as well, Teesta had to salvage the pride by writing 'something' in IE, becos IE would definitely allow her to write 'something'. If Modi was really guilty, he would have been punished long ago. If someone thinks that a person (even the CM) can get away in the modern world by commiting a genocide , they are deluding themselves. Modi never did anything worng, and he has categorically condemed Godhra and post Godhra riots.He has been systematically demonized by people like Teesta,but he still rules supreme in the hearts of Gujaratis and will continue to do so.
Posted by: Dhaval, India, 02-12-2004 at 1748 hours IST
Another view on this Head-on arguement

Lately I gave up reading IE due to its so-called Pro-secularism activities which most of us mean as a fashion to malign Hindus and Hindutva… But today a friend of mine mailed me two articles 1. The ‘communalism’ divide by Tavleen Singh and 2. Calling Tavleen Singh’s bluff by Javed Anand & Teesta Setalvad. I was enthralled by going through these articles, not due to the profiles of the authors but their way of thinking. While, the former shows great courage in defending the country’s pride as a Partisan, the later (the duo with a single voice that of Teesta) dishes out lousy stuffs in order to disdain their own country. I really appreciate the response of the readers to justify Ms Singh’s views even by evidencing some of the misdeeds of duo’s mouthpiece Sabrang. I thought it to be wise enough to give the duo another chance to prove their impartial attitude by publishing atleast one article each on Godhra incidence and the ongoing Iraq war. I know they can’t. In my view, instead of writing inflammatory articles in the name of CC, they must concentrate on articles exemplifying the true essence of Brotherhood that the great Indians especially Hindus have been embraced for centuries.
Posted by: Hrishi, India, 02-12-2004 at 1646 hours IST



Teesta and the magic cigarette

I write from a distant perspective. An NGO that does not disclose its funding is basically working against the state on the basis that its objective is to try to influence thinking. If a similar event happened in UK they would be checked out by the authorities. In India it seems you have a free for all and chucking mud is the order of the day. We all know who the real terrorists are in India - don't we? In UK a recent poll of 500 Muslims indicated that they 61% want Sharia to be present within the UK legal system in respect of civil etc matters - but should not negate the English Laws. We have all come across this elsewhere! And 88% of Muslims want the right to do 5 prayers at work. Their contract of employment should allow this and prayer rooms available. Now why dont we have secular business where religion is kept out. What next a Muslim telling us that profit is bad and anti Allah? When will these people understand that if they dont like where they are living they can always go to Muslim countries? Will Teesta understand the injustice handed out by misguided Muslims towards the rest of humanity. I doubt it! Namaste Jai Hind /
Posted by: Aryavansh, United Kingdom, 02-12-2004 at 1632 hours IST



Calling Tavleen Singh's bluff

The article of Teesta is neither here nor there, every one in the world knows that all NGO's are violently against Hindus and rabidly anti-national. All NGO's receive money from Islamic and Christian fundamentalists from Saudi Arabia and USA. All teesta has done is spew venom against Tavleen, it will nor work. If teesta is serious I challange her to ask government to evict illegal Bangladeshis from India or steralise them all. If not just shut up and keep provoking Muslims and brain-dead "Hindus" against Mr. Modi.
Posted by: Vox Populi, Australia, 02-12-2004 at 1618 hours IST



Tavllen Singh

I for one stopped reading Ms. Tavleen Singh's article sometime in 1999. Her hatred for the Congress Party blinded her to the point of paranoia. She and other apologists of the Sangh Parivar have misled so many people, but I am not one of them. Thare are lakhs of Indian Express readers like me who do not consider Ms. Tavleen Singh as nationalists. For them a Hindu Britisher or Mauritian is more Indian than a Christian from the Northeast or Muslim from UP.
Posted by: Mark, Germany, 02-12-2004 at 1527 hours IST



Calling Tavleen Singh's bluff

Ms.Setalvad has given in a nutshell the credo of her combat actions as a NGO leader viz. "the right to distort facts, give journalistic ethics the go-by and parade insinuation as argument".This is what she has been doing for years and now finds that Tavleen Singh's article brings out her activities into focus. Hence the strong retort!! Tavleen Singh has been a fearless journalist who refuses to toe the established lines and needs to be commended. May her tribe increase!If a high-flying columnist such as Tavleen Singh were to limit herself to peddling prejudice, paranoia and sheer naivete as informed opinion, who are we to stand between her and her precious constituency? But when basic journalistic ethics are given the go-by even while a facade of objectivity and even-handedness is diligently maintained, when insinuation is paraded as argument, when facts are selectively handpicked to dress up fiction, Ms Singh’s bluff needs to be called.
Posted by: S.N.BALAKRISHNAN, India, 02-12-2004 at 1459 hours IST



Teesta Settlevad

Teesta Settlevad has given an impressive list of titles from her magazine. A few questions still remain unanswered.1. Did the magazine ever support COMMON CIVIL CODE? (A support to BJP's position on this count will prove the impartiality of the author beyound doubt.)2. Did she try to meet any individual Kashmiri Pandit regugee and take up his/her case to Supreme Court/NHRC like she did in case of Zaheera? (That will prove her combative impartiality).Teesta Settlevad saying herself that she is impartial isn't suffient proof of her being so. Some neutral third party entity should say that.
Posted by: Prakash, India, 02-12-2004 at 1413 hours IST



who is bluffing?

Hi,I went back and read Tavleen's column after I read this. It almost looks like these dudes are talking about a different article altogether. Looks more like a general PR exercise and IE has generously lent it's space for the purpose. By the way, does IE allow anybody to write a rejoinder to any of the columns or is it a privilege available exclusively to the secular brigade.
Posted by: Srini, United States, 02-12-2004 at 1249 hours IST



Tessta Would have been prosecuted in any Western Liberal Democracy

Teesta is a terrorist Sympatheiser suffering from "neurosis", who doesn't see the death and destruction caused by islam in Indian Subcontinent over last 1000 years.She doesn't see how Pakistan/Bangladesh/Afghanistan becomes total Hinduless in matter of just 50 years.But she finds fault with India, where Muslim population actually increased from 9.5% to 15%.
Posted by: Suchetana, India, 02-12-2004 at 1138 hours IST



Teesta: Apologist for Islam

Teesta wrote the gem of hers at the very end: "Can’t you see that the best way to fight terrorism, Islamic or otherwise, is to fight against injustice."This clearly shows the mental bankrupcy of people like Teesta. Muslims are always being subjected to injustice, and Its Teesta's Divine Right to fight against those Injustice! Will you take a Break please?5 lakh Palestinian was displaced by Israel, and Teesta is so sorry for them. Does Teesta have any time for 3 crore Bangladeshis who are also displaced? 3 Crore is 60 Times bigger than 5 lakh. Bangladesh is much closer to India than Palestine.5 Lakh Kashmiris are ethnically cleansed, which is equal to number of Palestinians displaced. Does Teesta has any time for them?Nope. But we would have listen to her as fountain head of secularism !
Posted by: Sudhin, India, 02-12-2004 at 1132 hours IST



Would you help persecuted Hindus?

CC & Teesta,You fight for justice. Excellent. Here is one case, where 100s of people are being denied Justice. Would you please help?Mayureaswar is a village in Birbhum District of West Bengal. Hindus are being driven out from their ancestral Homes in and Around Mayureaswar Village in Birbum District by Muslims. Yes, its very much in India, in West Bengal. Will you please take up the issue at the plight of Poor Hindus who are persecuted in their own homeland? Teestaji? What do you say?You can Contact: Mr. Arun Sarkar, Village+P.O: Mayureswar, Dist: Birbhum, West Bengal for details.
Posted by: iswar, India, 02-12-2004 at 1112 hours IST


Are you willing to take up some cases of Kashmiri Pandits?

Teestaji:Face the Facts. Around 5 lakh kashmiri pandits were ethnically cleansed from the Valley not so long ago. They are still languishing in dire condition in Jammu, Delhi relief camps. How many Articles you wrote about them? Many of them know very well who burnt their houses etc. Would you be willing to accept some of their cases? Why don't you take up a High-profile visit to Jammu, Delhi's displaced Pandits' Camps.
Posted by: Arun, India, 02-12-2004 at 1058 hours IST



Accept the Challenge: Throw open all your records

Teesta: You attack Tavleen as distoting facts. Aren't you doing the Same? Instead of making it hush hush, why don't you simply throw open your every record, funding details, receipts, communications with outside your organization to Public since very start of your organization? Book Some Stadium in Mumbai, insert Ads in newspapers, and organize a "Check CC for your own satisfaction" mela?If you have guts..just do it. Until you come clean about your funding, you are ruining your reputation.
Posted by: tanmoy, India, 02-12-2004 at 1050 hours IST



What CC should do now

As a well wisher of CC, I would advise the following.1. Provide all funding details/Balance sheet since inception. Certified Copies should be posted in the CC Website at the Earliest.2. Make all of your funding records(since inception) available to public in your Office to everybody who are interested to have a look after paying small charges which will be used by CC to organize it. Announce it through the Media. 3. A Full Blown, detailed study of all Riots in India since Independence. 4. Talk to religious groups of all kind and involve them in the healing process in riot hit areas. 5. Avoid using politicians, especially Communists, who has a very 'reductionist' view of India, its Culture.
Posted by: Bhaskar, India, 02-12-2004 at 1043 hours IST



Teest's defense

"Shouldn’t Ms Singh have informed her readers that within days of Zaheera’s allegation, it is not she but Teesta who has applied to the Supreme Court praying for a probe into the murky episode? "I am not sure what Ms. Setalvad is trying to claim with the above statement. This is a "she said-she said" case in the eyes of the law: it is hard to believe that we should believe zaheera when it suits our purpose and condemn her as a liar when she speaks her mind. She is not a pawn to be played around with. It is indeed pitiful that Ms. Setalvad has not refuted the core accusations made against and does not speak a word about it. Truth cannot be selectively expected of people.Best regards.
Posted by: Abid Hussain, United Kingdom, 02-12-2004 at 1025 hours IST



Level Playing field

While our friends Javed And Teesta are counting the Sikh riots/Kshmiri pandits story covered by them on their fingers, we can see the amount of publicity they have given to Gujrat or any muslim riots are innumerable. We can clearly see where your loyalty lies. Portraying hindus as fundamentalist is main aim of these macaulites..only by undermining the mind of this majority they would be able to rule over us for a long time. Best of luck since inet is facilitating the communication, days of your darkness are numbered.. Lets revisit the definition of minority in inddia and treat muslims as second major religion and start expecting similar duties on their part.
Posted by: Abhishek an Indian, United States, 02-12-2004 at 1019 hours IST



Secular Drama

A little sunshine in the dark corners will help clean the stink and stench. Looks like Tavleensarticle has come as a sharp jab to the secularist couple - now that they are the being accused of witness tampering - a very serious offence.
Posted by: Krishna, India, 02-12-2004 at 1013 hours IST



Jounalistic ethics

Though Tavleen Singh has been equally critical of BJP, Hindutva for no apparent reason, this rejoinder tries to push back Tavleen against the wall. Basic point of Tavleen and others has been Indian media is biased against the Hindus and Sikhs, often giving misleading figures. Post Godhra was also again ignited by islamists by all accounts. The number of deaths is more like 800 muslims and 600 Hindus some of whom were also killed by the security forces and also got disfigured by acid of the wily islamists. Godhra alone has been the scene of countless murders that led up to the infamous train car carnage burning innocent women and children alive. Why are the duo not pursuing Godhra arsonist murders with equal vigor? What about other countless riots like the one that butchered more than 2000 for a mere building called Babri in ruins and unused ? Why is Jinah's tactics of terror and intimidation allowed to be pursued long after a separate land for the islamists with the best tracts? Why have so many islamist criminals not been brought to justice? What is this duo doing about these fugitives of the long arm of the law of the land?
Posted by: Mark McHugh, United States, 02-12-2004 at 0922 hours IST



Javed and Teesta's Response

While thanking Javed Anand and Teesta Setalvad for their response and Indian Express for publishing both sides of the story, as a neutral observer I would like to make a few observations: First of all, in their response Javed and Teesta have not explained the full extent of their income origins. Did they receive any funding from nations or individuals involved in sponsoring militant Islam? They must give these details before they are considered legitimate. Javed and Teesta have not given any contradicting evidence that they could be part of a jihadi front against the Indian State.
Posted by: Moorthy Muthuswamy, United States, 02-12-2004 at 0919 hours IST



Calling Tavleen Singh’s bluff

Well, Tavleen Singh has always been a biased columnist, if one can call her that. It's a pity to see high profile columnists like her and Swapan Dasgupta who openly flaunt the saffron colours and yet seek to take refuge conveniently under the 'media'.Thanks for exposing such people.
Posted by: roy, India, 02-12-2004 at 0859 hours IST



calling tavleen singh's bluff

great rejoinder. I have always found tavleen to be partisan.
Posted by: ashok chawla, India, 02-12-2004 at 0847 hours IST


Teesta vs. Singh

Ms. Singh is right in that there is a foreign nexus to the anti-India tirades in which many Indian intellectuals get roped in. Various lures are used including visas, travel grants, foreign degrees, hot sex, glamor, fame and of course bribes. That the English language media has sold out is evident from the guest lists at western press/media gatherings where it is payback time.
Posted by: Sabena Roy, United States, 02-12-2004 at 0821 hours IST



Calling Tavleen Singh's bluff

Did Tavleen's column show any bluff or Anand/Teesta,are out trying to malign Tavleen,a daring columnist who is one of the rare Journalists,to call a spade a spade! The article,hides the real issues concerning Zaheera's twists in her statements in a fresh affidavit wherein she had openly detailed how she was induced,to sign on certain blank papers,purportedly used into an affidavit,accompanying her petition before the Supreme Court,to malign several authorities of Gujrat,in the Best Bakery case which is now turning quite murkier.Now that Teesta herself has filed an application before the Sup Court,let's wait for further directions from the Court.As it is,conduct of Teesta,remain dubious.Her in-active role,in the genocide of Sikhs in 84,and a more pro-active role,in the Best Bakery case,gives rise to an impression,that Teesta is "selective" in her mission.Her attack in the present write-up against Tavleen,is a device,to cover up,her dirty role in Zaheera's case.Who had engaged Teesta,to help Zaheera,in the Best Bakery case?Zaheera has denied that she had herself engaged the services of Teesta.How did Teesta reach Zaheera?At whose instance she was engaged,to serve Zaheera and when?
Posted by: pps.ahluwalia, United States, 02-12-2004 at 0801 hours IST



Sources of funding

I was amused to see Ms. Setalvad's indignation of her sources of funding given her focus in maligning hindus and hinduism using slander and bad journalism. This is because not so long ago, Ms. Setalvad and her friends worked very hard to remove legitimate sources of funding for a non-profit org. called IDRF --- the only sin of this NGO was that donations to this NGO was solicitied by hindus interested in helping out with social causes WITHOUT DISCRIMINATING BY RELIGION. However, Ms. Setalvad and her liberal friends in the US academic circles lobbied hard to deprive funds to needy people in India, just because they had a jaundiced view of hindus in general and conservative hindus in particular. I do not know about Ms. Setalvad, but snatching the food from the mouths of already impoverished Indians just for ideological reasons is not only mean, it lacks the very conscience that makes people who work for NGOs do their work. Ms. Setalvad is a hate monger par excellence, and I am glad that someone of the caliblre, integrity, and intellect of Ms. Tavleen Singh took her on. Given her meannes, I can readily believe that Ms. Setalvad twisted Ms. Sheikh's arm to perjure.
Posted by: Harish Bewda, India, 02-12-2004 at 0641 hours IST



Lies and more lies

Ms. Setalvad vehemently denies that she has been equating India to Pakistan:"In her recent column ‘The communalism divide’ (The Sunday Express, Nov 21), the prime target of Ms Singh’s wrath are ‘‘magazines and NGOs who have thrived on maligning India for being a country as fundamentalist as our Islamic neighbours’’And then proceeds to throw mud on Ms. Singh. Let me try to point to the myriad articles by Ms. Setalvad's so-called "communalism combat" that do exactly this:Feb 1999: rewriting historyApril 1999: denying a shared pastJuly 1999: after kargil, kashmirOct. 1999: how textbooks preach prejudiceNov 1999: Talibanisation of Kashmir (don't get fooled by the title)Oct 2001: Stop the "talibanisation" of IndiaNov 2001: militarising hindu societyThe sep. 2002 issue is unparalleled in its leftist bile against hindus and hinduism, which is why Ms. Tavleen Singh correctly points out that Ms. Teesta Setalvad's selective focus on "hindu fundamentalism" and its equivalence to the Taliban, a rhetorical and logical stretch for an informed Indian.Kudos to Ms. Singh for saying what many Indians think when they are confronted with Ms. Setalvad's bigotry and prejudices.
Posted by: Pankaj Agarwal, India, 02-12-2004 at 0625 hours IST



Other CC titles

Since Teesta setalvad has selectively quoted stories to deflect away from the correct accusation by Tavleen singh about Teesta communal attitutes in fighting communalism, I thought readers might like to know the articles on "hindu fundamentalism" from 1998-2004.Firstly, Communalism combat has a "saffronwatch" section in every issue, but strangely there is no "greenwatch"....maybe teesta wants to give the impression that there is no muslim fundamentalism or if there is one, there in no need to keep an eye on muslim fanatics. This was exactly the point that Ms Tavleen Singh made so spectacularly.Now, to the "hindu fundamentalist" articles by Teesta that she failed to mention:Dec 1998:Saffron blight: Rout in Rajasthan, Delhi,July 1998: why don't christians and muslims unite (against the hindus)April 1998: sangh parivar: word and deedFeb. 1998: He Ram! (how the hindu fanatics killed MKG)and many more. Readers should check out Ms. Teesta's claims and read her articles to find out exactly who the real Ms. Setalvad is.http://www.sabrang.com/cc/archive.htmOpen every issue and note the bile vented against hindus. Readers should not get fooled by her pious mouthings.
Posted by: Jaswant Mehta, India, 02-12-2004 at 0545 hours IST



The Truth is ...

Here are some truth (verifiable) about "Sabrang", the poster-boy of the above commies:1. For years, the official sabrang logo was a map of India and pakistan where J&K, Rajasthan and Gujarat were a part of Pakistan and North-east was missing.When confronted and told about legal action, the logo was removed with a statement from Teesta Setalvad "It was a map drawn by a child ... this shows the insecurities we are living with".2. Click on the "sponsors" for Sabrang. The link is no longer functional. It will get functional once the rabid India-hating sponsors names have been hidden or "polished".3. A cursory glance at Sabrang will give anyone the CORRECT impression of the kind of work these rabid commies are involved in, leave alone what they have been doing for years.Statistics never tell a complete picture and not so when reality is hitting you on the face.
Posted by: Surendra Shukla, United States, 02-12-2004 at 0443 hours IST



Barking down the wrong tree

Good to see a rabie-infested commie-dog finally barking though, even if it's barking under the wrong tree.We are INDEED interested in knowing your source of "funding" though Mr. Javed "Anand" and Ms Teesta Seetalvad.
Posted by: Surendra Shukla, United States, 02-12-2004 at 0432 hours IST



Well done CC!!

Well done CC. I have visted sabrang.com several times. One has to be blind to state that it's promoting Muslim fundamentalism or is soft on it. Your track record is immaculate. Keep up the good work!!! There's no place for any form of communalism in today's world and it has to be combatted with all our collective strength.
Posted by: In Germany, Germany, 02-12-2004 at 0357 hours IST



All for money

I, along with many of the Indians, consider both Teesta and Tavleen as biased. Whatever justification Teesta may give, she is more interested in making news and getting money for the her NGO. We never heard what she did when two of congress MPs were exonerated of Sikhs riots and today they are MP. What she did to help the sikhs victim? What she is doing for hindu victims who have been burned to death? What she is doing to bring to the justice those politians who are charged with rape, murder etc and belong to so called secularist camp? We need to look at the reason why these kind of genocide happens. One is the emotion reason, like killing of Indira gandhi or churning to death of train passengers. But equally responsible is our justice system. Justice delayed is justice denied. Till now, no body was sentenced for the train burning crime. Everyone big, involved in the sikh riots, are exonerated.Teesta is more interested in giving justice to the ones who died in the aftermath, rather than one who burned the train knowing well that there will be repurcussion.
Posted by: Shashank Deep, United States, 02-12-2004 at 0349 hours IST



Calling Teesta's Bluff

When Zaheera Sheikh called the bluff of Ms. Setalvad by exposing Ms. Setalvad's push to get Zaheera to perjure herself in court, a lot of people suddenly started paying attention to this communal combatter. Anyone who reads communalism combat will know it low standard of journalistic integrity. Hearsay and opinion masquerade as facts, but readers should find out for themselves, instead of taking my word for it.Now, that the bluff has been called on the "communalism combat techniques" of Ms. Setalvad and Sabrang communications, and apparently perjuring in court is perfectly acceptable if the lies are meant to combat communalism. Instead of answering her own questionable journalistic credentials, Ms. Setalvad chooses to resort to ad hominem attacks on Ms. Tavleen Singh, who has always been completely intellectually honest in her writing (and I love her articles for that) -- the case of a pot calling a piece of crystal black. Satyameva Jayate, as always, and I am sure the truth will out about the lies peddled by Ms. Setalvad.
Posted by: Amit Sanyal, United States, 02-12-2004 at 0331 hours IST


Zaheera has spoken

My heart goes out to Zaheera and the gujarat victims, but I am infuriated that a person in such a plight would be taken advantage of by the likes of Teesta Setalvad. Instead of defending herself, she "shoots the messenger" Tavleen Singh, who is one of the most secular and intellectually honest journalists in India today.As for Ms. Setalvad's complaint on being called "anti-national", perhaps I should remind readers here that she had Kashmir as part of pakistan on the sabrang website from 1993 upto 2000, when concerned citizens forced her to accept that it was wrong to portray kashmir as part of pakistan. I have read many issues of Communalism Combat, and my opinion is that it's journalism is third rate, and most times borders on hate mongering under the guise of "fighting injustice". Injustice can only be fought by telling the truth, and not by lying, Ms. Setalvad. It is time you learnt that lesson instead of raging at the inimitable Ms. Tavleen Singh. The editors at the Indian express must be thanked for giving me the pleasure of reading Ms. Singh's column and for presenting the incoherent response by Ms. Setalvad.
Posted by: paneerselvan, India, 02-12-2004 at 0324 hours IST



Communalism combat expose

Teesta Setalvad's penchant for twisting falsehoods is as strong as ever. She tries to mislead readers and cast aspersions on Ms. Tavleen Singh's competence and character, by providing selective titles from her so-called "communalism combat". Readers should pick up a copy of Ms. Setalvad's rag to understand why Ms. Setalvad is not only a communal person but also one prone to lying to prove a point.It annoys me that the best the authors could do is throw mud on Ms. Tavleen singh. Ms. Setalvad says "there is not one petro-dollar used in her magazine". Given that she has already been shown to be a liar, why should we believe her?Keep up the good work, Ms. Singh. I love your intellectual honesty that rips the mask off these hate-mongers pretending to fight communalism. Ms. Setalvad is infamous for her website showing kashmir as part of pakistan for close to a decade before she was forced to change it on public outrage. Such is the "nationalism" of this combatters of communalism.Thank you, IE, for your fair coverage.
Posted by: Jeremy Selvan, India, 02-12-2004 at 0317 hours IST



Dont get fooled by the title

I urge readers to not get fooled by Teesta Setalvad's pious posturings, and more importantly her "list of topics" addresses by communalism combat. I urge readers to read one of the articles to see the nature of Teesta Setalvad's bigotry and communalism. Readers will then understand why Ms. Setalvad had to resort to name calling and rubbishing the good name of Ms. Tavleen Singh.Great job by Tavleen Singh and IE in exposing the face of these communal hatemongers pretending to be our saviours.
Posted by: Sri ram, India, 02-12-2004 at 0308 hours IST



"journalistic integrity"

It is quite funny to see all the frothing at the mouth by Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand. After having been proven to be liars who are not beyond pushing riot victims to perjure themselves, these so-called journalists are now trying to convince us readers that it is the fault of the inimitable Tavleen Singh for spelling out the truth and contradictions and the history of Communalism combat in profiting from riots and mayhem. For those who are unaware, Communalism Combat had shown a map of India without kashmir and with kashmir belonging to pakistan since 1993. It took many years of efforts by concerned citizens to get Teesta and her cabal to (1) accept that it was wrong to portray kashmir as part of pakistan and (2) to change the image on their website.Teesta Stalvad is known to be a communal hate-monger, for her interaction with other communal minded groups like "Friends of South Asia" and FOIL. Sabrang communications has been in the frontline of spreading misinformation about the state of affairs in India. Kudos to Ms. Tavleen Singh for ripping the mask from the face of these hate mongering bigots pretending to fight communalism. Kudos to IE too.Best regards,
Posted by: Jayesh Mehta, India, 02-12-2004 at 0302 hours IST

Gieven Teesta's anti-India and pro-Pakistan stand, GOI should revoke her Indian citizenship and ship her to Pakistan!

Majority of these muslim and Hindu-born-pro-muslim women in India yak their mouths about liberty, justice and equality, while living in a land that offers them this security, liberty, and provides them opportunities to develop themselves as individuals. They take advantage of the secularity and liberalism of India, and don't know what to do with all this freedom that they have here as Indian muslim women.

Let them all be shipped to Pakistan and Bangladesh, where they can "enjoy" to their heart's content the large doses of "justice, equality, and liberty" meted to muslim women.

Reminds me of the situation of a Bangladeshi muslim woman who was a domestic worker (illegal) in a neighbor's house in Mumbai. During the BJP government, many of these illegal workers were deported back to Bangladesh. When she heard the news that she had to go back, she began weeping in front of her employers. The neighbour pacified her and said that she should be happy and look forward to her return, because she was going back to her own native land and be among her own family and people. But the Bangladeshi woman replied that she had enjoyed her freedom in India as a muslim woman, because she had felt free to do what she liked, dress as she liked, and have the oportunity to work outside the home, earn a living, and be independent, whereas the women in her conservative village in Bangladesh were not allowed to dress as they liked, work outside the home, make their own decisions, and enjoy a life-style as they pleased.

It is ironic that many muslim and anti-hindu women, such as Teesta and Shabana Azmi, whine and flap their mouths about oppression and injustices against muslims, while living securely as a muslim and a woman in liberal societies. I'm sure that they are aware (or are they not?) that they wouldn't be able to survive even for a week with their attitudes and life-styles in any Mullahstan. The same can be said of muslim women living in the west.

I guess these women don't know what to do with all that freedom that they enjoy in India. They should be exiled to Pakistan or Bangladesh, since all their sympathies seem to lie across the border. Let them, as women, have a taste of the "justice" and "freedom" that these Mullahstans mete out to their women. I'd like to see for how long, or whether they will at all, flap their mouths in these countries, as they have been doing in India.


---------------
Nice to see that a fight has erupted between a traitor and a secular
has been.

Teesta Setalvad(or is it Ayesha Pig?)

This traitor is trying to preach "Journalistic ethics "when her motives
and methods are questioned.She suddenly becomes a "journalist"
whenever questions are raised about her source of funds so that
she can shout hoarse about "assault on secular media"That
this "journalist"'s pathetic journal does not even have a circulation
of 2500!says a lot about her immense popularity!

Her main grouse against Tavleen Singh seems to be that that more people
seem to read what Tavleen writes compared to her tripe.
What ethics is she practicing when she is defending terrorists and
her fellow traitors?

She states in her "defence"that she has written about genocide in B'desh etc.etc.
Who is she trying to fool?How many times has she visited Kashmir?or Marad?
to take up the cause of Hindu victims?Obiously ISI doesn't fund such trips
We have seen her jumping to the defence of every single musla criminal
and trying to subvert the investigation process.
.
Notice how cleverly she states that she has not received a single"petro-dollar"
Wow!how nice!ISI funding doesn't obviously get labelled as "petro-dollar"
as Porkistan is not considered an oil producing nation even if the
money is laundered Saudi cash.
She claims that her company's finances are audited.Big deal.
We know it's a front.A criminal enterprise can exist and operate
with slush funds without showing them in the books.

As per her own admission if she is perpetually short of funds,
who is financing her frequent trips to Delhi and overseas?

This Islamic sewer pig must be investigated and exposed before
more Macaulay putras start believing her trash.

Tavleen Singh:

She went to Deoband and the Mullas threw her out for not wearing a
Burkha and so, this hardcore secularist got egg on her face and lo and
behold!she turns anti -islamic.Well,I think we should send every
female journalist to Deoband for lessons in secularism.

She is the one who coined the "famous" phrase "Lunatic fringe".
She must be told that because of the presence of the HINDU LUNATIC
FRINGE,she has been saved from the SAVAGE ISLAMIC CORE and she is alive to write about secularism.

May the fight continue.

--------------

She is a paid agent of western interests ready to destablise india at her masters behest.

Ankur, NAWO, CORD, Awaaz-e-Niswan, FORWARD,
Asmita, Kali for Women, Manushi, Nirantar, Shakti
Salini, Akshara, FAOW, Sabarang are all traitors.

------------------



Tavleen V/s Teesta



Tavleen deserves the gratitude of entire nation for exposing the trojan horses who will go to any length to malign Hindus, India, & Indian culture. Time has now come to take the fight against these elements into their battleground. The only reason India is sacular is it's Hindu majority.Can these Pseudo saculars show evenone Muslim majority place on the globe which is sacular & where a non muslim is allowed to live in peace & dignity? History shows that muslims talk about secularisn when the5 are 15%, demand seperate homeland when they reach 25% & Kill or convert all non Muslims where they are over 50%

Posted by: Rajeev, India, 04-12-2004 at 1143 hours IST



Calling Teesta's bluff



Teesta may do well to rename her magazine to Hindu Bashing or something. The token articles on Christian or Islamic fundamentalism clearly proves the dishonest and partisan nature of Teesta and Javed because they have gone to the extent of threatening, harassing, coercing the witnesses to give statements in certain way. She has been discredited (not that there was any need for it) by Zaheera and her relatives as mere opportunist trying to get some media attention, cheap publicity and lots of money from petro-dollar nations and Christian evengelicals.

Teesta and Javed have not specified

- source of their funding
- their motive behind selective (read anti-Hindu) "combat"
- for removing Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast from the Indian map on their website
- being an NGO and all (according to Teesta and Javed's claim) how come they have no example where they fought for (a) Kashmiri Pandit (b) Godhra Hindus burned alive (c) innocent Sikhs murdered during riots in 1984 perpetrated by Congress politicians

And why does IE provide space for a "rejoinder" to discredited people like Teesta and Javed against whom the witnesses have provided legal affidavit?

Posted by: Akshay, India, 04-12-2004 at 0610 hours IST



Choice of words gives teesta real face



Genocide== Economic boycot of muslim in godhara

MOvement== Wiping out kashmiri pandits from valley by muslims there. Let us not fool ourselves without connivance of local muslims this wud have benn impossible to manage by pakistani terrorists

Posted by: Anil Kumar, Bolivia, 04-12-2004 at 0415 hours IST



Combat Teesta Type Communalists Too



Tavleen Singh is right when she alleges that Teesta Setalvad has thrived on maligning India for being a country as fundamentalist as our Islamic neighbors. As a matter of fact Teesta Setalvad has left no stone unturned. Anybody witness to Teesta's messages at any international stage will come back with a feeling that India is Bosnia or worse Pakistan.

And what is this nonsense about Combating Communalism. If there is anything that needs to be combated it is the likes of Teesta's magazine. For crying out loud just have a cursory look at the magazine Communalism Combat. Despite Teesta's slam bang effort at listing her oh so equal treatment for Islamic communalism (many of the titles just being mere facades) freakin thing hits you on the face. The journal is nothing but a hideous replica of Saamna magazine!

Then by Teesta's standards, even Bal Thackeray can call himself an impassioned NGO.

Posted by: Robin Mitra, India, 04-12-2004 at 0401 hours IST



Teesta exposed herself



Teesta, Hoping that you will read these comments, I would say that you have exposed yourself and I thank courageous writer tavleen singh. As a neutral reader, when I glanced through your CC and activities of your suspecious organization that claim to combat communalism, I would say it is purely Hinduism Combat, and if you have the courage and truthfulness, come to the open and fight Hinduism. Your dubious and one-sided reports on Gujarat and silence on the plight of the Hindus all over India is a testimony to your anti-Hindu attitude. I hope you will disclose your source of funding if you believe you have nothing to conceal.

Posted by: Jeeva Dutta, United States, 04-12-2004 at 0316 hours IST