Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Parable of Munir Chacha

I am inspired by Khalid Hosseini to write a story in his style. Needless to say - it is all fiction - do enjoy.

My first meeting with Munir chacha was when I was very young. I am told that Munir chacha, Abbu and Ammi went to school together and when I was born Munir chacha and chachi came to visit. Munir chacha's daughter was born later that year, and Abbu and Ammi went to visit. I didn't realise at that time that I would come to idolise Munir chacha or that I would join his trade. I saw him more frequently as I got older, and in each meeting we spoke longer and longer about the delicate nature of reality, the beauty of symmetry and how it implies conservation, and how merely looking at the densities can tell you so much about how things will turn out. Slowly but surely, over many years, I learned the basics from Munir chacha, and I became stronger in the faith. I think I only made the connection when one day out of the blue, Ammi remarked that she was yet to see anyone as strong in the faith as Munir chacha.

It was hard not to be drawn to the faith. When I was in school, I met Daddu. He knew I was Abbu's son, but I knew from the instant I met him that he was something quite apart from the others. We only spoke for a few minutes about how sound travels in air but it was clear that even at something as boring as a school function, Daddu never lost the sharpness of his mind. Abbu and Ammi were great followers of Daddu. They were unhappy with the way that Asef Mian ran the company and when Daddu succeed him, there were celebration among the cognoscenti.

Daddu's time at the head of the company was unfortunately too short to make a real difference, and he was eventually succeeded by Altaf Bhai. I knew Altaf Bhai's son, he was a good fellow, very down to earth, also very strong in the faith. During Altaf Bhai's time, the company actually made progress in what many thought would be it twilight years. Our neighbour Ajju once told me that he feared that the company would simply shut down altogether. Ajju was very close to Daddu, and the Daddu's star was not on the ascendant.

I learned much later that Daddu and his friend Thevar had gone up to the Polymath and spoken their mind. Thevar had gotten carried away and said something that was not his place to speak about and the Polymath had become offended. The Polymath and his nagging wife who he refused to ignore had different priorities, and they simply did not have time to deal with the issues that Daddu and Thevar brought up. Perhaps this was the cause of all ills.

Then suddenly one day the dawn came, the Polymath and his wife went home, and Altaf Bhai was replaced by Guruji. I had never met Guruji but Abbu and Ammi were suddenly all smiles. They said a ray of hope had emerged from the darkness and the path of light had emerged. In his first khutba jumma, Guruji had read out the riot act to the idolators and the kafirs parading as momeen. He warned that the company would do well to return to what it was supposed to be doing in the first place and not waste time on frivolities. Clearly the company had a long way to go before things were fixed, but once Guruji spoke, there was no choice in the matter. Abbu and Ammi returned home that day convinced that the heir to Jehangir had finally emerged.

I saw Thevar occasionally in my college days. He had the most painful habit of reading from his diaries instead of carefully weighing his words in measured speech. It was stream-of-consciousness writing, made for interesting material if you were attempting psychoanalysis but was dreadfully dull otherwise. Unlike so many of my classmates, however, I kept silent - I knew who Thevar really was. My classmates weren't that bright and openly spoke of their impatience with this. To them- Thevar was another old man trying to lead a congregation that was fast losing its faith. On that terrible day, Thevar directly offered a job to the best students in our college and to my disgust, they turned him down on his face. I loved my college and my friends, but this was intolerable insolence. Only someone of Thevar's pure soul could withstand such humiliation -a lesser man would have the offenders strung up on the university gate.

Little did anyone know that all perceptions of Thevar would change soon. For while my classmates zealously sought minor positions in firangi madrassas, Thevar and Daddu were laying the ground work for a show of faith unlike any that people had seen before. I learned much later that Sikandar Mian, Munir Chacha, Ajju, Shijju, Amina bibi, Kainad bibi, and many others were already told to prepare for the zarb-e-momin. I saw less and less of them now as I was away from home. Abbu and Ammi were either clueless as usual, or perhaps they knew and didn't see it fit to tell me.

Finally in the hottest days of summer, when Firdausi felt the winds blew in the right direction - he gave Thevar and Daddu the go-ahead. Guruji, Munir Chacha, Ajju, Shijju etc... worked night and day to make it happen. There was one other person in all this, Maulviji. Nominally Maulviji was Thevar's right hand. Some said Maulviji was close to Asef Mian's cousin, others said Thevar trusted Maulviji completely. I believed they were all wrong, you see - Maulviji had once been Agha Sahab's man.

Men are mortal, and it is never a good idea to compare them to things more permanent but sometimes I feel it does help. If the world is like the night sky, Thevar was the Southern Cross, Guruji was Polaris and Daddu was the Moon. But Agha Saheb - he was the Sun. Once you become Agha Sahab's man, you simply never stopped being one. I feel that summer, Daddu and Thevar worked largely in the night and confided in very few people. I feel whatever was really done in the dark, it was known probably only to Guruji, Sikandar Mian and Munir Chacha. The rest - even Agha Sahab were probably in the dark.

When the ground shook, Firdausi composed a poem and recited it from the minibar . The world looked on awe. Whatever Thevar and Daddu's plans were, I suspect Agha Sahab had his own plans and Maulviji set them into motion almost as soon as the ground stopped shaking.

Ofcourse as with anything else, there was a debate. It cropped up when Sikandar Mian, Munir Chacha and the rest were at Firdausi house for tea. Sikandar Mian and Munir Chacha felt debate is good, I agree with them that our faith strengthens when we question it. But in such debate, misfortune saw opportunity. Soon tongues began to wag that something unfortunate had happened and we were all living in a world of illusions. A day after the meeting with Sikandar Mian and Munir Chacha, Altaf Bhai and Asef Mian invited themselves to poet's house and recited to him all sorts of stories. Unfortunately for them, Firdausi had seen many summers and many winters. He was not one to be shaken by doubt, he politely listened to what they had to say and when they were done with their tea, he showed them the door.

Tragically most others were not so strong as Firdausi. Doubt began in a single breath but spread like a wildfire. The consequences of this fire were most terrible. All of them, Sikandar Mian, Munir Chacha, Ajju, Shijju, Amina bibi, Kainad bibi, and the hardworking others all got royally shafted. Despite their efforts, all they got was nominal acknowledgment. There was no reward for their actions, where ilm should have ruled, siyasat took hold. Sikandar Mian was exiled, sent to work outside Hamid Seth's house, Munir Chacha was shunted to a corner of the company. Abbu and Ammi looked very unhappy again and all this while Marikh hung boldly in the night sky. It was as if Allah was mocking us - "So you think you have faith? well let's see then - shall we..."

Some years ago, Agha Sahab died and I can only imagine how terrible that must have felt for Maulviji. The mantle of the Sun now fell on Agha Saheb's old friend, Masood Saheb. Not long after, Firdausi left and his place was taken by the Polymath's nagging wife. Fears that had been gnawing at people insides began to find voice. Eventually a proposed marriage with the scion of a distant imperial lineage brought everything out into the open. Now even the random rowdies in the Mohalla knew about the concerns that had heretofore remained in the khanqah.

I was appalled at the way things were proceeding. I can't stand matters of the spiritual nature being discussed in public by pretenders of knowledge. I didn't know what to do and when possible I simply ignored what was being said - hoping (incorrectly as it turned out) that all this would simply go away when the awam tired of it.

On the face of it, the marriage proposal to the khan-i-khanan's son was sound, but so were the fears that it raised. This created a difficult situation. As it turned out that unlike his predecessor, Masood Saheb had many enemies and when the debates became public, knives came out and the blood-letting began. The absence of Agha Sahab and Firdausi was strongly felt, but I wonder if either could have controlled this carnage.

Maulviji now openly led the charge and random mawalis began to contribute to his words. A strain of vituperation entered the debate, and with Altaf Bhai and Asef Mian egging people on, Daddu, Guruji, Thevar, Munir Chacha, and Sikandar Mian became targets of public ire. I don't know what was right, but I felt that after all they had done for the faith - all they got was abuse at the hands of an enraged public stoked by those with vested interests. Daddu, Guruji, Thevar and Sikandar Mian were all forced to defend themselves.

In time the rage subsided, and the faithful returned to the mosque to hear the words of the faith spoken, but the damage was done. Guruji and Daddu faded away. Sikandar Mian continued to work outside Hamid Seth's house but even more quietly than before.

Ajju, Shijju and Kainad bibi retired around the time that Ammi did. Now Ammi and Kainad bibi are planning to spend their retirement studying the faith together or perhaps shopping together in the bazaar - whichever catches their fancy.

And Munir Chacha decided he had enough. Much as he respected Daddu and Guruji, he had joined up to become strong in the faith. Siyasati maamlat were not something that interested him. He could have stayed on if he wanted, but he too left - before his time. No accolades, no parties... nothing. As quietly as he could, he went to his home in the that tiny mountain town to live out the rest of his days with his family.

Perhaps that is why I respect him so much more now.


At 5:40 PM, Blogger kgoan said...

Interesting parable Mav.

Being slightly more dense than most, I'm not sure I follow everything there, perhaps in time I'll grasp it.

If the little I have grasped is correct, I found Maulviji being Aga Sahabs man disconcerting - don't know why though. . .

I think what bothers me is that being dense and not being able to see far.

It also makes me worried that Maulviji is still out there, keeping an eye on whatever marriages proposals may crop up and going into paroxyms of rage if the dowry isn't to his or his friends liking - regardless of what the actual couple might want.

And you know what the rustic villagers are like - anytime some of the kids get together, or look like being happy together, the jealous types, the trouble making types etc, will run and tell tales to maulviji or his friends. . .

And maulviji may or may not get into a fury, that uncertainty is disconcerting, and of course maulvijis faithful followers, who may not be as bright as him may kick up a fuss under the fond illusion that they're doing what maulviji wants.

And sooner or later the hotter heads amongst the youngsters, or their trouble making friends, are going to try and deal with maulviji in a very disrespectful way. . .

I would feel so much better if I've got your parable entirely wrong.

At 7:09 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Tragically dear Kgoan, you have got the parable right.

I am sure you have read of the recent article in the week? Agha Sahab had a vision and I am certain he imparted it to Maulviji and others who were blessed to share Agha Sahab's company. They will most certainly keep an eye on things.

I told Abbu, it is one thing if only the company was running a small show. But after the marriage, the show will become very large. In a big show, all sorts of people, and in large numbers will be involved. It will become difficult to keep track of who is going what. Also these people that will get involved, not all of them will be strong in the faith - atleast some will be misbelivers, still others will simply be criminals intent on making a fast buck. If something is not done these people will resort to the usual dadagiri and talk down to everyone. Everyone was talking about who should pay how much if trouble occurs, but the real work was going to be keeping criminals under control.

I told Abbu, that in the jungle, the forrests are in bed with every sort of hoodlum. Everything from gair kanooni qabza over tribal lands to taskari to contract killing - the forrests have a hand in it all. And the local politicians are all in on it - even these bloody maobadis are no different. They are simply raping the people in the name of Mao instead of the usual diety. If one simply hands out contracts after the dowries are paid, these bloody forrests and others will descend on the poor and defenceless like a pack of hungry wolves.

At the point Abbu reminded me that Ammi had just retired and I should take a page out of Munir chacha's book.

It suddenly hit me that Agha Sahab was gone and no one was listening to Masood Sahab either. Ammi saw Thevar recently when he visited the company and she told me he looked so much older. Daddu is seen but not heard. No one is getting younger.

There is no one to go to with such concerns anymore.

That is when I penned the parable.

At 7:05 AM, Blogger tantrik-porter said...

This nacheez took quite a few readings just to make out the blurred outlines of the story. Very very interesting way of writing things. Like I said, I am just a rustic villager but I believe that the alliance looks inevitable. However I have nothing but hope when it comes to dealing with the riffraff in the forests.

At 7:05 AM, Blogger tantrik-porter said...

This nacheez took quite a few readings just to make out the blurred outlines of the story. Very very interesting way of writing things. Like I said, I am just a rustic villager but I believe that the alliance looks inevitable. However I have nothing but hope when it comes to dealing with the riffraff in the forests.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...


I don't think we have to worry about Maulviji and his friends Altaf bhai and Asef mian. They are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves from a rabble of disrespectful mawalis. Moreover, they are now a spent force. In matters of ilm you only get to shout wolf once and they have shot their bolt. Even a kaffir like me can see that.

As I see it, the real problem is that Maulviji et. al. have laid the ground for any number of trouble makers to jump in and cause ceaseless problems.

The vast majority of the awam is not that highly schooled in matters of ilm (including yours truly). They had an initial exposure to it in whatever madrassah they went to but nothing much beyond that. And thats quite alright since they don't have to deal with these things in their lives anyway. However with this little knowledge the awam is easily swayed by a munafiq who seamlessly spouts the language of the faith, especially one who claims to speak on behalf of those tasked with crafting the zarb-ul-momeen.

You see the problem here? Due to the profound lapse of judgment by Maulviji and friends, any such munafiq can now jump in and indulge in games of siyasat under the cloak of ilm, the objective being to disorient and provoke the awam along desired lines. This sort of thing could not possibly end well and I for one have no idea on how to deal with it.

At 4:34 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Porter,

I feel it self defeating to let the benefits of the alliance be hijacked by criminals.

At 5:11 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello Sparsh,

The Munafiqeen, the mushrik, the fasiqun, the fajarah, the kufr, and the others minions of the Dajjal lurk everywhere.

Inside and outside they pose a most credible threat to the faith.

The real problem is age and time. It is Allah's law, but that which is born must age and die.

This presents a problem of unimaginable proportions when considering the process of preservation of ilm.

As you may be aware ilm is not a goal, it is a process itself. We can only grow strong in the faith if we continuously seek ilm with absolute imandari. Any who turn away even slightly from this highly painstaking process are doomed to a lifetime of ignorance.

As the days pass the age will limit the ability of Daddu, Guruji, Thevar and their companions to hold up the flame of eternal light. As the light grows dim, darkness will fill the space

It is that time that we must be prepared for.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...


Troublemakers will always exist. They can be managed but Maulviji and those who egged him on have greatly increased the difficulty of doing do by opening new avenues for malcontents to exploit. Perhaps they do not realize this yet.

On a different note, the way I see it, the preservation and advancement of ilm at the company is one of the core responsibilities of Thevar et al. In the long term, these matters can not be left for individual personalities to manage as they see fit - things have to be institutionalized.

If Thevar and friends have not groomed the next generation to take over the reins when they retire, then they have failed most horribly in running the affairs of the company.

In any case, I am just a random kafir (and a DCH one at that). These matters of faith and ilm are beyond my auqat to comment upon at length.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Sparsh,

It is one thing to be groomed, but quite to be accepted as the natural successor of the khatib.

Once sanctity of the khanqah has been breached, anyone can reject the next khatib as being illegitimate and insist on a substantiation of the khatib's claim to ilm.

The way such matters were resolved in the past was the ensure that the khatib was someone with an established body of work in all matters of the faith. Often times the khatib was someone who had written several tafsirs on topics of broader interest.

An unfortunate byproduct of Maulviji's actions has been the damage to the trust that the public at large puts in such works. By using this frontal attack strategy, Maulviji has discredited the entire process of establishing scholarship.

As you correctly point out - this has in perpetuity, legitimised every conceivable challenge to the claim of ilm from the next khatib.

The only way left to deal with such claims will be to test the faith whenever a claim such as this is present.

This is a siyasati masterstroke.

If Agha Sahab was around, I personally go and touch his feet. However Agha Sahab is gone. The relations between Masood Sahab and Maulviji are open to all manner of interpretations.

I suppose Maulviji can still keep this under control but for how long is anyone's guess.

Now that this thing is out there, I am beginning to wonder who owns this initiative and where they are going to take things from here.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger maverick said...


At 5:13 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

EJs continue their pious activities in the NE ...


At 3:57 PM, Blogger sv said...

Over there at BRF on the IT thread they are going gaga over Hurd but not a squeak about Vinay Deolalikar (Maverick, you might be interested - he is from IITB)


At 6:28 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Wow.. that is quite a feat.

I don't know him. I have never met him.

If someone from IITB gets a Clay Prize, we will *never* hear the end of it.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger sv said...

Dear Maverick

Wow.. that is quite a feat.

I too hope his proof holds up modulo a few corrections which might have to be made over the next few years - a la FLT. There are some interesting comments at Lipton's blog as well as Aaronson's blog. The former is a well-known TCS prof. and the latter is on Clay Insti's board. Aaronson feels that the proof is not going to work out. I tried reading the proof but it is beyond my comprehension (due to not having any background in Statistical Physics).


At 6:17 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear SV,

I have not read the proof itself. I am only vaguely aware of the problem itself.

I came across references to the problem in earlier work on a related topic but I never went into the details.

I imagine it will take me a lot of time to understand the details.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Kanson said...

>>As you may be aware ilm is not a goal, it is a process itself.

I think, it is very valid point. Most importantly the process.. though the aadha-ilm is more dangerous than sifar-ilm, the process has to be completed to progress to mukammal ilm. Any deviation in that process leads to illusion and siyasaat.

Traditionally the process of establishing the ilm was left to the companies. What is not properly understood is that the yaqeen on company's process was breached by the concerned people long before than it was considered to have occurred. The only way of legitimizing it is to move the process to the bazaar of aam admi with all the assitance from the company. So the yaqeen doesn't exists just as yaqeen but as ilm and the responsibility of the perserverance of the ilm not only falls on the shoulders of the company. Not sure how far i'm correct in this. Just passed my thoughts. Anyway thanks for the time.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Kanson,

That is an interesting perspective.

But the manner in which concerns in the khankaq were radiated to the bazaar makes me fear we may simply end up living in a perpetual twilight where the validity of every test of ilm is questioned by random passers by.

As I have repeatedly told Maulviji's imitators that this djinn cannot be bottled up once it has been let out. Expecting this beast do only your bidding is foolish. It will consume you just as it consumed your adversaries.

I feel that Agha Sahab would have thought about such matters holistically, but now he is gone and we are left to our own devices.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Anand K said...

Rather OT I guess, but here goes...

There was this quite detailed interview with George Sudarshan in one of our vernacular mags this week. Among the many many things discussed he implies that pure science research. (I mean cutting edge beyond the horizons stuff) has never been a goal in India. Apparently researchers here are content in regurgitating or reinventing the wheel or simply Ctrl+C. He feels that the attitude of the GoI can be understood from the very title of the ministry - "Science and Technology". Yeah, technology wagging science and all that!

He speaks of how fine people like Homi Bhaba and Vikram Sarabhai devolved into mere engineers instead of investigating pure science. From an immediate and abrupt attack on Nehru I gather he feels Nehru (and his legacy) had seduced them with bombast of nation building and nonsense like AEC/Nukes and well, "limited" these people forever.

One interesting dig on Indian R&D he made - "We simply waved off investigations into say, high performance cars with the logic that our roads are terrible. You let your vision be limited by some current roadblock/pretext and get pushed back even further". Given that he's still involved with TIFR, IISc, the Math Institute this comment is quite a downer, eh? I thought now that we have come this far we should be doing some really serious kung-fu in CAT/TIFR/JU/IISc etc.

But overall, quite an interesting person and a pretty good, dignified interview. I mean, this was the first time I heard someone link King Lavana's alternate life (from Yogavasishta) in terms of Quantum Physics and Arrow of Time. Heh.... and I always thought of it and similar stories like "The Dream of Akinosuke" in terms of Dream Journeys and Shared Dreams.

At 5:16 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello Anand K,

I feel to some extent that is a valid criticism of India's science and technology policy. By emphasising national engineering goals and centralised planning of technology, we lost the ability to do big breakthrough science and we missed the exciting random walk of discoveries. Some people say we would have been better off if we had simply allowed natural development of science to occur and others disagree.

I feel Panditji lived in the age where post-colonial thinking was being defined by his own actions. A very strong strain in India's post colonial thought is that India suffered colonisation because the rulers in Delhi did not push hard to make their science and technology sector competitive in key technologies.
Panditji had to address this issue and he did it in the best way he could.

I don't know if Bhabha felt demeaned in any way. I think it takes a lot for a basic scientist to be able to communicate with everyone from his peers, to engineers to the mali and peon. One has to respect that ability.

I do know that many scientists came to intensely hate the science bureaucracy that this approach has created. Most recently an old friend was describing the situation in a leading institute in South India where an IAS officer has been put into a position of significant influence in the top management. The bureaucracy of the institute was quite painful to begin with, now the IAS fellow in place there is even more unproductive paperwork.
The IAS fellow doesn't really like working at the institute, he doesn't understand why these people do what they do or the issues they face and this is not exactly a career advancement position. So it is rapidly heading towards a dystopian. I am hoping that somewhere in there people will realise what is happening and will fix it before it becomes unmanageable.

What I feel is shameful about all this is the manner in which this approach has killed individual initiative especially in the national labs. Everything goal-wise is defined in the 5 year plan and most people are simply told what to do by their supervisors. The culture of writing proposals justifying your research and self-evaluating the cost benefits trade off - simply does not exist.

The results it the evolution of comfort zones based on scientific pedigree and lineage that few venture out of. This is the root cause of large innovation cycle times in India.

I know that sounds harsh, but that is how it looks like to me. And yes I do feel helpless when I think about this.

What is sadder still is that in the environment of reflexive patriotism it is becoming very difficult to articulate these criticisms and one has to be more than extra careful not to tread on any toes.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

the worst aspect of Indian science is not that there is no independence of scientific thought and peer review ...

IMVVHO, the thekedars of Indian science have forgotten that they are scientists ...

I don't think I should say any more.

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

btw, for those who are interested, AK is touring the Bay Area starting a week or so from now ... lecture at Berkeley on the 25th ...

At 7:40 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...


At 11:58 PM, Blogger dilbert said...

A few weeks ago I posted that the Teabaggers of BRF (TBRF) are deeply in love with their American counterparts (the demented, racist real teabaggers). As an illustration of the truth of what I said, consider that obnoxious right-wing scumbag Sanjay M, who contemptuously refers to an Indian-American citizen as a "macaca" just for being a Democrat.

Folks who follow American politics may remember the infamous "macaca" incident in the 2006 (or was it the 2008) election for US Senator from Virginia. The douchebag Republican candidate George Allen saw this Indian-American guy filming his election rally and publicly (i.e. over the microphone) called him a macaca (a species of black monkey from North Africa) and ranted on with some other insults ("welcome to America, macaca" etc.).

And now this pissant whiny right-wing Foxnews-loving turd of a TBRFer comes out of the closet and reveals himself as a wannabe white-supremacist, bashing "the macaca" for filming the rally. I'm telling you, folks, some of these TBRFers would gladly suck Newt Gingrich's d!ck on national TV if it would only get them official honorary white teabagger status on Fox News and Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity etc.

At 5:58 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Hi Dilbert,

in which dhagaa is the macaca-prem displayed? I mostly read the nook-dhagaa which is busy ignoring Gerard about russian deal.

At 10:08 AM, Blogger dilbert said...

Hi Prof:

"India US strategic discussion" thread, page 12. Roughly halfway down the page you see this piece of remarkable brilliance from Teabagger Sanjay M:

"I also remember that li'l Macaca guy provocatively filming that Senator in Virginia in the midst of his own campaign rally. Or our illustrious Prime Minister's daughter trying to be an activist zealot for the Left in the US. Pathetic."

To his credit, CRamS rebuked the teabagger as follows:

"Cut the crap. The "lil" Macaca guy is a bonafide US citizen eligible to be president of US. In other words, he was born here, and he is a red-blooded American albeit with darker skin. What George Allen did in Virgina was a classic, viscous, racist insult to a fellow American. And whats wrong with MMS's daughter being a leftist activist? She is not trying, she is an activist. "

At 10:20 AM, Blogger dilbert said...

In response to CRamS, the teabagger doubles down on the stupidity, attempting to justify the "macaca" comment by talking about Babri Masjid. WTF!!

BTW, I note that no one (apart from CRamS) has objected to the teabagging. Are the admins asleep at the switch or is this sort of thing acceptable on BRF now?

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Ragu said...

Maverick:"The results it the evolution of comfort zones based on scientific pedigree and lineage that few venture out of."

That is pretty terrible, but it helps me make up my mind about returning to India and aid indian research which has been foremost on my mind looking at India's needs -- that may well be a path to wasting my life with third-rate schmucks lording over my destiny. Someone else can waste their time working this third-rate Indian scientific system -- life is too short for such incompetence in management of skilled people interested in R&D. I have seen older relatives from earlier generations sapped of their positivity and energy after a few years in such an R&D setup that he had to migrate to get some job satisfaction, which is an eminently sensible thing to do.

The vermin in Indian politics can go ahead an spread poverty to the 1+ billion Indians while they corner all the opportunities for the friends and cronies. Talented Individuals who are at the mercy of the vermin running the country need to find their destiny in some other country instead of wasting their one life under such tyranny of thugs, criminals and scumbags who run the country, that is the reality of the Indian existence today.

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Ragu said...


This is an example of today's India -- the muslim community lags because of its own backward thinking and mentality, and the "solution" according to the shitheads in the Union Cabinet (including the prime minister) is to introduce religious quotas to muslims, thereby providing them incentives to become assholes with a sense of entitlement under government supervision like the pakis to our west. Do you really want to live in this shithole with supposedly "high growth rates" (for the politicians and their clan, obviously)?

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Ragu said...

" I only hope that government procrastination on issues related to Muslims does not lead to frustration."

This third-rate turd who co-authored the Sachar Commission report seems to say that muslims will get violent if the govt. does not get them quotas.

Maybe that is a sign to hindus as to how they should behave in order for the motherfuckers in the Union Cabinet and Union Delhi to take them seriously. If this is a competition for violence in order to get government freebies, I am sure the non-muslims in India can rise to the occasion given the current state of affairs, openly state the intention to commit violence if the government does not bend over to hindu whims. Clearly such tactics work on the third-rate asshole who plays office boy while occupying the Prime Minister's chair.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Ragu,

The issue of scientific pedigree is common to all countries. In India the issue has been brought into focus due to the scarcity of research resources.

This problem exists in the US and UK as well. It only comes into focus when you tabulate who for example the NSF/DARPA grants go to and what their academic lineages are. It comes very very sharply into focus the moment you plot up who publishes in Science and Nature.

We Indians get a lot of crap for the caste system, so we are particular sensitive to the presence of an academic caste system like this. Most other people simply accept this stuff in a matter of fact fashion and simply join one mafia or another.

I think as the US economic collapse continues, we will see more such issues emerge in the US.

This exists everywhere, afaik there is no getting away from it.

It is true however, that people from India who have gained academic pedigree in the US/UK via influential advisors will have difficult time assimilating into India's science community today. The days of C.V. Raman, K.S. Krishnan, or even Anis-ur-Rehman and G N Ramachandran are gone.

Today those of high scientific pedigree from foreign lands have to compete for power and privilege with domestic science cartels and clans. This is becoming apparent to a number of people who are going to places like TIFR, IISc, RRI, and NCBS.

I do not know what your area of interest is, but DAE is planning to set up a new BARC at Bhuvaneshwar and operations at IGCAR and CAT are growing as well. If you are interested in multidisciplinary science, then these are the places to go.

That said, India is not everyone's cup of tea. I have watched a close friend recently leave the US and go to India with a faculty position in the most prestigious science institution in India. I can personally vouch for my friend, he was a rational, patient person. Like me, he would resent it if I called him patriotic, but he had great faith in the India. His family had contributed to several major national research institutions in the days of old. And he simply could not fit in. He returned from India disappointed and saddened.

India is not everyone's cup of tea.

At 7:22 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Ragu,

Please refrain from using abusive language, I am sure your points can be made without it.

Affirmative action and positive discrimination remains one of the greatest success stories in independent India.

I am aware that each time this social tool has been used, it is in reality an experiment. However given the past success of this, I do not think we will see an end to affirmative action or positive discrimination experiments in foreseeable future in India.

There is a huge developmental gap in the Muslim population of India. This gap was created by the migration of the Muslim middle class to Pakistan in 1947. Muslim society in India has not healed from that shock.

I do not know if the affirmative action process is necessarily going to solve that developmental issue. However I am open to the possibility that it will do so.

To the extent that jihadi thinking and economic/social disparity are correlated, we should be able to reduce the appeal of extremist thinking. Beyond that extremism has completely self-contained drivers that we will not be able access with this.

The potential for a backlash among peer-competitor segments in Hindu society will require a different set of tools. It is likely that apart from caste Hindus who will see the empowerment as being a detriment to the global social pelf, other Hindu middle castes will see increased mobility of socially subaltern Muslim castes as a direct challenge to their local supremacy.

Any social empowerment measures will take decades to show effects, so careful strategy will have to be put into place to ensure this issue does not explode in our face twenty years from now.

At 7:43 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

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At 10:25 PM, Blogger sdre said...

I mostly read the nook-dhagaa which is busy ignoring Gerard about russian deal.

Hi Mani, it is indeed amusing to see the studied silence from the EB crowd. First, it was claimed that the Liability bill was only needed for American vendors, the Russian and French vendors had "sovereign guarantee" because they are state-owned. Then both the Russian and the French ambassador made it very clear that they *want* a liability bill. Now that Gerard is quoting chapter & verse from the current agreement between Russia & India, EBs have decided to abandon the nuke thread and whine about the liability bill in other threads.

Only our powerslaveji decided to make a half hearted defense of Mother Russia, something like "Well, the Russians could get away with it because we had a weak bargaining position then, but hopefully things will be different now." ROTFL!

At 10:28 PM, Blogger sdre said...

BTW, it is amusing to see the EBs venting about H1B visa fee increase. These guys don't want India to have absolutely anything to do with America, except when it comes to their own green cards. A classic example of "Yankee go home, but take me with you!" syndrome...

At 11:24 PM, Blogger sdre said...


I am sure you are aware of the cliche "rising tide lifts all boats." BUT, the reality is that some boats need an extra "lift." As long as you believe that all boats *should* be lifted (with or without an extra help), and that it is probably NOT a good idea to leave *some* boats wallowing in mud, you should have no problem with the idea of lending an extra hand to lift some of the boats.

Unless of course you believe that boats that cannot rise on their own without some extra help do not deserve to be lifted...

At 11:46 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...


At 12:09 AM, Blogger sdre said...

Dear DFC:

Very nice and to the point!

At 1:12 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...


At 4:55 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...


You write very well. Maybe Negi-ji would post it on the nook-dhagaa

sdre, thanks for the analysis.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Thanks Prof.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

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At 8:36 AM, Blogger kgoan said...

I'm starting to wonder whats going to happen in a few months time after the monsson/flood saga is over.

See, in a disaster, peope don't have time to get angry or anything. For that you need to think, whereas instinct in the initial stages simply tells you to run like fuk.

The time for anger will come when people stop running and the realisation hits.

First they'll wait for help of course. Thats they usual psychology of hope over experience and the standard reaction to overwhelming despair.

And thats when thngs will get interesting depending on the reaction of people in power in the land of the Pure.

Note the drumbeat that the floods were caused by India has already begun. The Pakee media is full of a spectacular tom-tomming of the Army and the uselessness of Zardari. And the hate groups "charity" wings are apparently everywhere.

Unfortunately, I think they'll realise the terrible mistake of the "caused by India" thing soon enough. That's not going to raise hatred - it'll create a level of fear about what "evil India" might do if really annoyed to debilitating levels among the pakee unwashed.

Worse, I don't think the PA is stupid enough to oust Zardari now. They'll get the blame if things fail later. I think the floods are Zardaris best bet to counter the PA - but it doesnt protect him from the dynamic duo. Nawaz
s statement that Pakeeland don't need foreign help is an indicator there.

But none of this will matter if the masses of the pure go through one of those strange mass spasms that can convulse societies into a different path.

Yes we don't know what outcomes such spasmodic events lead to, and sure the standard bugbear of Adolph is one of them. But then modern India is another - and look at Bangladesh or Indonesia these days.

So I'm hoping that happens. Because, I think, that in either case India will be better of.

At 8:49 AM, Blogger kgoan said...

Hi Sparsh, Yes I agree. It's just that I think there may be a dangerous degree of collateral damage an attempt might cause.

I must confess to prefering GoI's old standard tactic - leave them alone till they wither through irrelevance, and if they don't, give them free medical aid and GoI protection as they do to, say, Gilani Sahib in the Valley.

It's a longer process, much, much longer, but it does have the remarkable advantage of actually working to a greater degree than anything else I've ever seen.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger powerslave said...

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At 1:58 PM, Blogger powerslave said...

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At 2:05 PM, Blogger powerslave said...

SDRE ji said

Only our powerslaveji decided to make a half hearted defense of Mother Russia, something like "Well, the Russians could get away with it because we had a weak bargaining position then, but hopefully things will be different now." ROTFL!


Huh halfhearted ? This is what I posted.


Well Russia offered us reactors when the rest of the bozos were smoking horse crap sitting on high altar of NP, we were in need and there was only one supplier so I don't see how we could have dictated terms then. Today we have many prospective suitors so no harm in throwing around some weight to extract some more juice , the hard part was the deal which has been done and dusted, liability and other things will fall in place its just a matter of time.

Where does the question of defending Russians arise ? When the deal for first two units of KK reactors was signed we were not even a member of NSG and Amrika was against the deal , now is it fair to compare the agreement signed by the GoI in those times with the one being discussed today ? Moreover the liability bill is common for all the suppliers.

I do not have a strong opinion on this issue, imo now that the deal is through things like liability etc will eventually fall in place.

Arriving at the figure for liability coverage is an 'economic' exercise.


At 3:05 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

>>>>>>> When the deal for first two units of KK reactors was signed we were not even a member of NSG and Amrika was against the deal , now is it fair to compare the agreement signed by the GoI in those times with the one being discussed today ?


Surely you don't mean to imply that the deal being *signed* today was also *negotiated* today ...

this deal is very much part and parcel of the overall nuke agreement ... (IIRC, kgoan pointed out the liability issue something like 2004 or so)

so, this deal was also negotiated when India was in the nuke penalty box ...

At 3:12 PM, Blogger sdre said...

Powerslave, point taken. I obviously misunderstood your position, my apologies. However, a small correction:
we were not even a member of NSG
India was never a member of NSG, because NSG was founded with the explicit mandate of restricting India's nuclear program! But I think India will have to be brought into the NSG. If the likes of Ireland and New Zealand can be NSG members, so can India, which actually has exportable nuclear technology...

At 3:37 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

NSG membership is actually much more than a theoretical possibility in the next few years...

At 3:53 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

The chief concern right now are the various land use agitations going on at almost every 'designated' site.

all LWR projects are hit.

whereas China is merrily building away both reactors as well as manufacturing capability.

they may well surpass Japan by 2020 in pressure vessel capability.

In absolute numbers irrespective of size they may start winning by 2014 itself.

its not as simple as just 'things falling in place'.

nuke deal (tick), liability (tick) but when the F**k will the political will *and* intra party solidarity be shown to actually start the rapid buildup.

The situation right now is anything but rosy...

if we don't take nuclear seriously and keep harping on "legitimate aspirations" even when there aren't any (there is petty incitement by elements from both topiwallahs as well as dhotiwallahs) it could well be China that will end up having the most carbon competitive economy heading into the 2040s while unleashing the kind of 'extensive' driver that made America the largest economy in the world due to the cost and time savings made on account of its freeway network and inter-city airlines.

Let's face it. The Chinese have better leadership. And yes I know they may collapse yada yada but that is something India can hardly count on...

At 5:55 PM, Blogger sdre said...

Wow, Ma Saraswati is speaking again! So soon?

At 7:25 PM, Blogger amberG said...

"Over there at BRF on the IT thread they are going gaga over Hurd but not a squeak about Vinay Deolalikar (Maverick, you might be interested - he is from IITB)"

BRF has many posts about this in Math.. guess that's open only to members.

BTW checkout:

Quite interesting comments about this from Manindra Agrawal (Primes in P's fame)..Just like many, he too is not very impressed.

At 12:11 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Wow, Ma Saraswati is speaking again! So soon?

Hi Sdre,

Didn't get you here.

At 2:08 AM, Blogger sdre said...


Check te nuke thread. Vuvuzela is back...

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Ragu said...

SDRE"I am sure you are aware of the cliche "rising tide lifts all boats." BUT, the reality is that some boats need an extra "lift." As long as you believe that all boats *should* be lifted (with or without an extra help), and that it is probably NOT a good idea"

SDRE, that is all well and good, but that cat can be skinned ten different ways. The way NOT to skin that cat is by bringing in quotas based on religion -- surely there must be some other dimension that can be introduced that will raise these boats without corrupting the constitution with religious quotas.

However, the tools that run the country seem to think that it is all fine and dandy to pull down their pants shit on the constitution (by providing incentives for people to lie about their religion just like they lie about castes right now) and then these same tools pretend that they are doing for the good of the public, seeing as they view the world with their worthless socialist blinkers.

If they travel down the path of religious quotas, India will be better off with another partition right now instead of later, but another partition will be a certainty down that road. That is all.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Ragu said...

Sri B.R. Ambedkar has written extensively why these religious quota policies suggested by the cretins in charge is a very bad idea, and his views are not to be taken lightly.

As for the standing for the current bunch, We have a cabinet minister E. Ahamed who protests when it is pointed out that outfits like IDF in Kerala are involved in anti-national activities. That about says enough.

At 1:52 PM, Blogger powerslave said...

Yeah this quota/reservation is really absurd, it is true that there are sections in society who have for various reasons have missed out on education and eventually good employment opportunities but extending quotas is not the way to address the issue, GoI should instead increase the outlay for primary education and make it attractive for the target audience i.e. 'Indian Muslims' providing mid-day meals is one such incentive.

Another option is to gradually introduce subjects like english and science in the Madarasas .

At 5:42 PM, Blogger dilbert said...

Re. the chaos in Pakistan, Ramana raised a concern which I share: the possibility of millions of desperate, starving refugees streaming across the borders into India. What are we going to do to stop this? What can we do? I have no answer to this question, but I must say I worry about it a lot.

Needless to say, I consider letting Pakis into India the equivalent of a healthy man injecting himself with the AIDS virus or some other deadly slow-acting poison -- death may not be immediate, but the final outcome is not in question.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...


In that scenario, the IA will have to be called in to set up camps for these people near the border *inside* Pakistan. Doing this will not be easy. As you can very well imagine, there are innumerable ways in which things can spiral out of control - technically speaking the IA will be invading Pakistan.

No matter what happens, under no circumstances should even a single Pakistani be allowed to cross into India. Even if that entails using force.

At 9:24 PM, Blogger sv said...


I signed off from BRF long time back by my own choice, so no access to veiled dhagas. Always enjoyed your posts and puzles when I was a regular.

In any case, the discussion at Prof. Lipton's blog are very detailed with some of the heavy weights of Complexity Theory and Finite Model Theory participating including (non-specialist) great mathematicians like Tao and Gowers.

Tao's definition properites ppp and pp, Ryan Williams function which shifts the solution space of k-SAT to k-SAT0 and Gowers' construction of a pseudo-random circuit with reversible gates make D's proof method not be able to separate P from NP.

Looks like the proof is not going to work unless D comes back with some lemmas on poly log parametrizability. General consensus is that it is dead with .99 probability.

On another note, I am pleasantly surprised with the Rolf Nevanlinna prize - part of the sighted work involves solving linear equations with SDD matrices. (Maverick - you might be interested - Daniel Speilman is from Yale).


At 11:33 AM, Blogger amberG said...

SV - Math dhaga is outside the veil now!
BTW, you may already know, but Daniel Speilman's talk (on Aug 21 5PM) and about his work by Gil Kalai (was on Thursday) and may be found on ICM site. (Kali's talk was live streaming - but video or ppt could be available of the site)

And yes, on Lipton's blog, as you pointed out, specially Tao's comments are very clear and detailed. Prof Agrawal's too gave similar perspective. (I posted the audio link a few post above)

At 3:02 PM, Blogger sv said...


Thanks. Will check.


At 8:36 PM, Blogger sv said...


Good that you got the math dhaga unveiled. nice.

I did read Kalai's laudations (but not watched the streaming video). Sweet that he mentioned the names of two IITB EEs turned Mathematicians who happen to be classmates (interior point and convex programming).

As for the tenor of the discussion on Prof. Lipton's blog, IMHO, the comments were constructive and par for the course for Mathematics. The comments were mostly pointing out the shortcomings of the proof claim only. The problem I see is that his paper got leaked which he probably never expected would happen.

Great drama and a learning experience for a lots of people nevertheless.


At 11:04 PM, Blogger sdre said...


Very good pint about the timing of the Russian agreement. IIRC, that agreement was signed when the present "traitorous" party was not in power. Perhaps that explains the studied silence from the EBs...

At 11:07 PM, Blogger sdre said...


Any comment about the latest effluvium from BC? It would be nice to see a point-by-point "refudation" (cf. Sarah Palin) from you...

At 11:33 PM, Blogger sdre said...

Re. the chaos in Pakistan, Ramana raised a concern which I share: the possibility of millions of desperate, starving refugees streaming across the borders into India. What are we going to do to stop this? What can we do? I have no answer to this question, but I must say I worry about it a lot.

If I had a penny for every time Ishaaramaster made a wrong prediction, never mind...

IMHO, this can only happen if PA has lost all control, which is still some years away. But, how many more blows like this can Pakistan absorb? There is a massive amount of reconstruction and reclamation of arable lands to be done. What if there is a repeat flood the next year, or the year after? We are already witnessing Western countries coming round to the conclusion that there is a better way spending their money than flushing it down the toilet that is Pakistan...

The BRF fantasy of machine gunning Packee refugees at the border is a nice one, but that is not how it's going to play out IMHO. Destitute Packees will show up at the border ONLY IF there is no PA to stop them. If things really get so desperate, I think New Delhi will pay PA to shoot their subjects, I mean citizens, before they walk over the Wagah crossing...

At 9:54 AM, Blogger powerslave said...

Kudankulam deal was formalized in the 90's itself (in fact it was drafted in 1988 and that is why RU could push it under the eyes of NSG), that aside Russia was already supplying us LEU for Tarapur reactors and agreed to not take away the spent fuel (2001 ? ).The project itself has got delayed due to the break up of USSR which required the deal to be re-drafted (1998 ? )as Russia could not longer extend a generous option of repaying in Rubles. Those were different times .

At 9:47 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

I find it funny when people think China is sitting on its behind in the non-fossil fuel sector.

The truth is China is making a huge push into green technologies and wants to emerge as the global leader in cleantech manufacturing.

besides nuke3s, the chinese are ramping up wafer capacity, biofuel production, ethanol etc like no tom orrow.

And we all know how seriously they are taking nukes.

And India on the other hand is happy with "announcement raj". I just keep hearing big announcements.

Take the dedicated freight corridor for instance. Its stuck in a major limbo with land acquisition in Rajasthan ans UP proving to be rather difficult.

The best energy path for India would be to run efficient railway lines backed by nuke power.

But is it happening? Nope.

But are announcements happening? Oh yes.

At 9:21 AM, Blogger powerslave said...

Hey guru log who are these visitors ? It appears they have some web crawlers running in background , the moment they come across the word "China" on Mav's blog a couple of them post some stuff here, its a pity that I can't read their script. LMAO

At 4:51 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear DFC,

Yes that seems to trigger the crawlers.

If you click the link then they know where your computer is located.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger maverick said...

I am reading Jeff Sharlet's masterpiece on the Family.

I think I finally get what the Sangh Parivar types have been getting worked up about in recent years. They are lashing out at random Christian organisations but the real target is the family which is attempting to poach in the parivar's playing fields.

The similarity between the Parivar, the Family and the Islamists of Pakistan is quite baffling. This could be a case of
"parallel development" or there could be something deeper at work here.

At 11:11 PM, Blogger ms said...

state of fear by michael crighton

At 7:40 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Sorry the comment about the crawlers should have been addressed to powerslave.

At 7:44 AM, Blogger maverick said...

There is a strain of thought in India which emphasises speed in infrastructure development at any cost.

We need to watch out for that kind of thinking.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear MS,

Jim Inhofe who used the Crighton book to attack global warming on the national stage is allegedly a member of the Family per Jeff Sharlet.

At 7:52 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I doubt the Pakistani army will be receptive to the notion that Pakistani refugees head to India.

They will resist such motion with all available force.

The correct model for this is the North Korean response to famine where starving citizens were held in check by the threat of torture and death.

The flood is a major benefit to Jihadi groups who will argue with greater success that the floods are the result of Allah's anger at Pakistan abandoning His path. This is a psychological advantage in excess of what economic leverage is gained by "relief agencies" that operate as fronts for terrorist groups in Pakistan. The terrorist groups will pick up a rich crop of orphans and disaffected youth to fuel the Jihad machine for another decade.

The flood situation strengthens the terrorist groups in Pakistan while weakening the people of Pakistan as a whole.

This does not portend very well for India - even if the refugee situation does not arise.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I am concerned about the implications of Amirullah Saleh and Hanif Atmar's departure from the government in Kabul.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger maverick said...

The flood is not so severe that Pakistan will change its tune on anything.

Basically Islamabad is dry - so there will be no change in Pakistani policies.

Aid is a lose-lose proposition.

If you give aid - the Islamist groups will intercept it and make its distribution conditional on people parting with their loyalty.

If you don't give aid - the Islamists will feed off the anger caused by lack of global interest.

Either way - the Islamists are all set - and we are all collectively screwed.

Expect Oxfam and other vultures to make all sorts of noises. Every disaster is a fund raising opportunity to these people. I am surprised that no one in the media calls them out on it.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger maverick said...

The loc between I'bad and Peshawar has been pinched at Nowshera.

Southbound locs N5(N55) is pinched near RYK (Jacobabad and Shikharpur).

More details.


I think in reality, the flooding is a pointer to the poor state of water resource management in Pakistan. In places where there was good infrastructure (eg. parts of Punjab) there is little flooding. In places where the infrastructure has been neglected, there is a good deal of flooding.

There may be a more people in Punjab that are affected, but that is because there are more people in Punjab in general. Normalised by population, Sindh and NWFP has suffered more than Punjab.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Okay I have a question for anybody who'll care to answer.

Why is this "view" that "India does not have a missile deterrent" being repeated again and again by certain academic quarters in yamrika?

Especially when MOD annual reports clearly state that certain systems have been inducted and that the Army has made specific regimental raisings.

That "view" also seems to disregard the fact that the SFC has been conducting user trials "out of stock" of various inducted systems.

Anybody would care to comment on this?

At 4:51 AM, Blogger maverick said...


I suspect they are saying that India has never actually demonstrated the delivery of a nuclear weapon with a missile.

Under those conditions there is truly speaking no missile deterrent.

IIRC this thinking has its roots in the works of the Wohlstetters.

In the 1950s certain folks (enamoured with the idea of a bulwark against the Soviet invasion of Europe) suggested the transfer of US nuclear weapons tech to European countries.

The Wohlstetters (and others) argued that the US should not share this tech with anyone and thus maintain its superiority over all nations.

The proponents of the transfer argued that many European nations already had functioning deterrents and denying them technologies would amount to making the entire situation unstable. The proponents reminded everyone that the bulk of the work on the American nuclear bomb had been done by European jews and immigrants, who still held great loyalty towards their homeworlds - they could become easily disaffected and move back to where they came from and thus enhance the nuclear weapons making capacity of those nations.

The Wohlstetters iirc shot back that mere capacity was insufficient to claim membership of the nuclear weapons state club. Until the claimant demonstrated the ability to deliver a weapon to at least a simulated target - they were a non-nuclear weapons state.

To my mind this basic idea put forth by Wohlstetters is infinitely adjustable. The bar to entry into the NWS club can be raised to say that only a nation that can *guarantee* (as opposed to demonstrate) the delivery of a nuclear weapon to a chosen target should belong in there.

I believe this is in the Wohlstetter papers that Henry Sokolski has on his NEPC site. I feel putting these on his website is one of the few good things that Henry has done for the real cause of non-proliferation.

At 5:05 AM, Blogger maverick said...


I think I should make my posture on this issue very clear since this kept cropping up on the sidelines of the recent debate over the Pokharan yeilds.

It is absolutely true that India has not demonstrated the delivery of a nuclear weapon to a target with a missile. The Indian leadership has eschewed such an escalatory step.

It is also true that this impairs the credibility of India's missile deterrent.

However - India does not need missiles - to carry out a retaliatory nuclear strike on Pakistan. Therefore this is not germane to the discussion on the viability of the deterrent as a whole.

There is an open question about deterring China and other non-subcontinental powers.

I have seen no serious discussions in the public domain on this issue. It is impossible to comment on the implications of the absence of a missile deterrent on this.

Uninformed public debate on this issues does not really serve India's interests.

At 5:17 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear DFC,

One more thing, I feel that some people in the NP community are disturbed by the lack of open discussion on the issues of deterrence against non-subcontinentals.

I suspect a great deal of provocative statement making from the NPA side on this issue has to do with forcing out a statement on this matter from Indians.

The NPA have invested a great deal in studying deterrence in the context of missiles and other delivery platforms in the USSR context. Roberta Wohlstetter helped set up a similar study in the context of "South Asia" in her seminal essay on this subject.

This is a very low yield effort - little of value has been learned by the NPA's efforts on this front. We have mostly seen useless debates on the validity of the information or sources. I have yet to see a coherent viewpoint from the NPA on FSU missiles - estimates of CEP vary from 1 meter to 10 miles depending on who and when you ask that question. As a result of this mess, funding for such initiatives is very low in the US right now.

If the NPA can provoke some sort of response from India on the issue of deterring non-subcontinentals, they will be able to justify an expansion in funding towards the study of India's work in commercial rocketry.

I also anticipate that such thinking is aimed at hobbling ISRO's access to the international market.

AFAIK, the last set of discussions on getting ISRO off the proscribed entities list were quite painful given the resources available at our end on this.

I understand the needs of the SFC folks on our side - but we need to keep sight of the bigger picture here. I think I said as much to Arun Sharma a long time ago, but I may be misremembering.

At 5:28 AM, Blogger maverick said...

.. sorry - another thing I missed.

There is a culture building up in India where people talk smack about China.

I am afraid this culture is unsustainable in an environment where the Renminbi becomes a more powerful economic entity than the Dollar.

At 7:18 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

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At 7:25 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Of course according to this old school -

A Pakistan which tests a Ghauri within the confines of its own modest territory is a missile power.

Mao's China which fires a nuclear armed targetted at Xingjiang is swell.

A Soviet Union which detonates an EMP weapon over Zhezkazgan fired from Kapustin Yar is great.

But an India which shows restraint, signs the PTBT without a single surface test is a whipping boy.

Now what does that tell you?

At 7:26 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Dear maverick,

I think your third post on the subject is probably closest to the truth. They seek greater "transparency" on our strategic programmes and think this is the way to do it.

because in all of this Pakistan is somehow seen to have a credible missile deterrent.

I am familiar with the Wohlstetter papers but that is very very early deterrence thinking by today's standards when "threshold" itself has a different meaning.

However they have not been able to stop India from re-entering the world of nuclear trade.

Moreover some of our missile tests have explicitly been reported as carrying dummy simulation warheads.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Sparsh said...


As I remember it, the Agni tests haven't used dummy simulation warheads but actual ones (minus the fissile cores obviously).

I remember the original Agni-TD tests carried instrumentation in the reentry vehicles to make sure the internal environment was within acceptable limits. Actual warheads were used starting from the Agni-2.

I suspect the first Agni-3 test also carried instrumentation only.

All this talk of India not having a missile deterrent is nonsense.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear DFC,

The Wohlstetters have spelled out the fundamentals of non proliferation ideology. They have staked out key positions needed to justify and perpetuate an exclusive US stranglehold on nuclear weapons technologies.

Despite the woolly headed rubbish their works are routinely surrounded by - there is no doubt in my mind that the Wohlstetters were realists. They understood power and its use far better than a dozen self appointed followers of Kenneth Waltz.

Their teachings though conceived in the 50s can easily be recontextualised into today's world. The degree to which the translation is founded in the realism that drove Albert and Roberta will vary with the skill of the person reinterpreting their teachings.

This is a provocation operation designed to get people to start talking about deterrence ideas vis-a-vis non subcontinentals.

I know this situation is unsatisfactory to the SFC people but imo we have to let this slide.

The Pakistanis are an established missile power and so is China and so is Russia and so is Israel and so is Burma and so is North Korea and so is the US and so is Iran and so is Timbuktoo.

But India is not an established missile power.

Any delusions that this inspires in adversarial strategists works to India's advantage.

Should India, the flea bitten moth eaten country with millions of starving people suddenly pull a credible delivery demonstration out of its hat - the surprise, shock and awe in the adversary's mind will be total.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

There are two problems however:

1. The US refuses to review the entities list. So ISRO is denied anyway.

2. All this impinges on the "Space NPT" which is in the offing. As of now GOI has been getting the scientific community to make statements in this regard,

with an ex-president declaring that 'India has the capability to destroy any object at an altitude of 200 km'

and the DRDO chief recently talking about the potential of the A-3 as an ASAT.

There could come a day however when the same argument about a demonstrated capability or the lack of it is used to keep India out of the core of a renegotiated and embellished Outer Space Treaty.

At 6:07 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear DFC,

I feel it is all part of the same provocation scheme. They want to us show our hand on the matter. They want to make some excuse to come after us.

If the US refuse to review the list that is their problem. As long as they don't actively target ISRO - everything is fine. The expanding market access of ISRO is a tangible gain while the rest of the discussions in the lay press appear to be less so.

I believe the Agni platform is sufficiently versatile to be made into any number of things. The DRDO head knows more about it than any of us. I am not aware of any plans to make an ASAT out of any Agni platform.

I am comfortable letting people write all sorts of treaties. After they are done writing, they can use the paper on which the treaty is written as an ass wipe.

To my mind any treaty that is negotiated without India's participation is not binding on India.

Iraq demonstrates that the US believes it can do pretty much whatever it wants. The Chinese ASAT test shows that the PTBT is open to interpretation.

The world is perfectly capable of devolving into its Hobbessian image. However I propose that we leave that task to those people that are bored by their imaginary riches. I imagine those that are bored to death, will ultimately welcome it as a release from their boredom.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Here's something from the late eighties.


The Hazebrook nuclear device that was detonated some 700 ft. below the Nevada desert last Feb. 3 was puny by most measures. Equal to about 40 tons of TNT, a mere .2% as strong as the Hiroshima blast, it would be feeble in a missile warhead. But in space, packed into the closed end of a stubby barrel and tamped down with hundreds of thousands of metal pellets, the low-yield weapon could wreak havoc. Unlike a standard nuclear explosion, which would vaporize the pellets and barrel, this one would spray the pellets through space at speeds up to 100 times that of a high-velocity rifle bullet. These pellets could not only burst the decoy balloons that would accompany a swarm of warheads but also destroy incoming missiles before their warheads were released.

Lieut. General James Abrahamson, director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, has confirmed that such a weapon, which he calls a "kind of nuclear shotgun with little pellets," is being developed under the code name Prometheus, despite SDI's supposedly nonnuclear status. It is only one among several new approaches to nuclear weaponry secretly under study in the nation's bomb-design shops, including the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories.

The first generation of nuclear weapons were the fission bombs of the 1940s and early '50s. In their quest for more powerful blasts, scientists developed fusion bombs, which became the second generation of nuclear weapons. Now a third generation is being developed that stresses finesse and pinpoint targeting.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Among these new weapons is a bomb that would produce mostly microwaves; exploded in space, it could fry the electronic circuitry and computer chips of an enemy command center. Another bomb would concentrate the force of a nuclear blast on a small target; aimed at, say, the Kremlin, it could leave the rest of Moscow intact. The result, says Physicist Ted Taylor, "is a weapon as different from current nuclear weapons as a rifle is technologically from gunpowder." It is, he continues, "qualitatively a new phase in nuclear weapons development."

Taylor should know: a nuclear-weapons designer at Los Alamos from 1949 to 1956, he later worked for General Dynamics' atomic division and served as deputy director of what is now the Defense Nuclear Agency. In the April Scientific American, he argues that designers can enhance or suppress any of a bomb's destructive effects, including shock waves, heat and various types of electromagnetic radiation.

One advanced version is the Excalibur, already being tested, which boosts the X rays produced by a nuclear explosion. The idea is to use the X rays to power lasers, which would then be targeted at enemy missiles as they fly through space. Taylor argues that microwaves are a better bet for enhancement. Microwaves -- the same kind of electromagnetic emissions that cook TV dinners -- have a longer wavelength than X rays and can scramble electrical systems (hence the warnings to wearers of the early, unshielded heart pacemakers to stay away from some microwave ovens). Unlike X rays, microwaves can penetrate the atmosphere, reaching the earth's surface from space.

Rudy Garbely, an electrical engineer with ITT Cannon in Phoenix, says the microwaves from a ten-megaton detonation in space could turn virtually every unprotected electronic and electrical circuit within a 2,000-mile radius into a "piece of junk." Microwaves could be an effective way to destroy an enemy's mobile missiles. Because these missiles are not sitting in an easily targeted, fixed silo, it would take a large barrage of standard nuclear warheads to ensure that they were knocked out. But, as John Pike, a weapons expert with the Federation of American Scientists, points out, "a single third-generation nuke could blanket a wide area with microwaves, which would short-circuit the electronic mechanisms, disabling the missiles."

Another third-generation technique is to shape bombs in such a way that their blast is focused in specific directions, as is now done with conventional explosives. Making a nuclear bomb disk-shaped, for example, channels most of the destructive force into two opposite-directed cones of energy, rather than sending it evenly in all directions. The result: destruction of specific targets rather than entire cities.

The debate is not over whether these weapons can be developed but whether they should be. Physicist Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb, argues that they are "uniquely designed for defensive purposes" and that "we need to know what the other side is doing and how to defend against it." But IBM's Richard Garwin, a weapons expert and active arms-control advocate, disagrees: "We shouldn't be going this route, not just because it's a Pandora's box but because it serves as justification for further nuclear testing. The human race has enough destructive weapons already."

At 10:05 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

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At 10:05 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Lowell Wood, the weapons designer at California's Livermore Laboratory who headed the Excalibur X-ray project, notes approvingly that the "obvious direction of weapons design is to increase the utility of weapons and at the same time decrease the disadvantages intrinsic to their use." But that is precisely what worries opponents. Because the new nukes will be smaller and less indiscriminately destructive, they will blur the line between nonnuclear and nuclear weapons, thus making it more probable that a conventional skirmish would escalate into a nuclear exchange.

Despite the controversy, the Reagan Administration is proceeding with the new weapons. Sylvester Foley Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Department of Energy for defense programs, says his department spends "about 10%" of its $1.85 billion research, development and weapons-testing budget on directed- energy nuclear bombs. The push to perfect third-generation nukes, some experts say, is the reason that the U.S. has refused to accept repeated Soviet proposals for a ban on nuclear testing.

At 10:21 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Oh by the way

This article gives an idea of the kind of commercial gains that can be made from space.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...


There is a strain of thought among the NPAs that the most expedient way to control the Pakistani weapons program is to present the Indian weapons program in a less than flattering light. The thinking goes that if the Pakistanis believe the Indian program is incompetently run then they will go easy with their own program. Hence the steady stream of snide put-downs against the DAE in general and the weapons program in particular.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger dilbert said...

Bingo, Sparsh mian!!

That is exactly what this NPA nonsense is all about. They feel they can inflate Pakistan's ego (make Packees feel good about themselves) by making India and Indians look like crap. If Packees feel good about themselves, they will stop attacking the West, so the theory goes. Of course, if Packees feel good about themselves they will also feel encouraged to attack India, but hey -- NPAs don't give a sh|t about India, and many of them are inclined to agree with Packees that India "needs to be cut down to size". But that is another topic for another post.

There is another thing that has to be pointed out here: many self-loathing Indians (including a large percentage of the EB dorks on BRF) have a world view that is coincident with that of the NPAs. They believe that India (as currently constituted and governed) is a worthless cowardly nation that deserves what it gets (Packee terrorism etc.) because the Indian nuclear deterrent is non-existent crap. We saw this during the infamous "nuclear debates" that went on on BRF a few years ago, and again during the Santanan fiasco last year: EBs are essentially indistinguishable from NPAs.

There is also a prevalent school of thought among some Indians (if you want to be charitable enough to call this "thought") that says that India is screwed! screwed!! screwed, I tell you!!! if China ever decides to attack in Aksai Chin or Arunachal Pradesh.

Some of this crap even spilled over into Mav's blog a couple of years ago.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Hi Dilbert,

You know some of these guys seem to do a more effective job in spreading the pessimism around than the NPAs or EJs for that matter.

The only difference being that they cloak their uber criticism and despondency in the garb of being 'uber' patriots.

bringing suppliers into the liability bill is stupid and will adversely affect our domestic sector. but many uber patriots are moronically supporting this thinking that it is a great victory against a supposed "sellout".

At 5:49 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello Sparsh,

There is definitely that too. A great deal of the Pakistani programs deterrence value derives from the American ability to reinforce its claims of competence.

However, I am certain that at a strategic level there is a desire to provoke Indians into making confrontationist statements about non-subcontinentals.

I feel people lacking proper authorisation should refrain from commenting on this issue lest it unnecessarily muddy the waters.

At 6:01 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear DFC,

By claiming the development of weapons like Prometheus and Excalibur, the US was holding out the prospect of breaching the PTBT. I think their aim was to ensure that the SALT negotiations took a direction they were comfortable with.

I recall Teller lying before Congress about a weapon the size of his desk that could be put in space and could shoot down incoming ICBMs. I was stunned that he could get away with such lies. I also recall the outrage that ran through the scientific community at the time and the manner in which several high ranking scientists openly broke rank with Teller at the time, and openly accused him of talking "utter blithering nonsense".

I think this kind of talk is similar to the rumours Nixon himself floated about how he would wake up in the middle of night and finger the big red button.

It is for the most part a farce enacted to scare adversaries into doing the US' bidding.

Some part of it is also a psywar against the US people themselves. It addresses the sea of insecurity, and seeks to manufacture consensus that supports the immediate desires of the US military industrial complex.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Anand K said...

Talk about Teller's testimony, here's an anecdote from Al Trinidadi's memoir. (Well, I made the mistake of getting my Dad to *buy* his autobiography. Hardcover. To my defense may I say this was 15 yrs ago..... long before he gave his BFF heart locket to The Kamandu)
It goes something like this;

Cap Weinberger had to face a critical senate hearing on SDI and he knows it will be trouble 'coz the SDI (at that stage) would be violating a lot of agreements written and unwritten. He asks Richard DeLauer (then Pentagon's head of R&D) if the x-ray lasers would be powered by nuclear explosions. "Is it a bomb?" Weinberger asks DeLauer. "That was how you generate the laser beams", DeLauer explained, "by detonating a nuclear device in space".
"But it's not a bomb, is it"? shoots Weinberger, looking for that weasel word which solves all problems. Delauer gets it an says "No, not a nuclear *bomb*. It would be a nuclear *event*."
And till SDI died Weinberger used the term "Generator" instead of "Bomb". Powell-mian claims he stressed in a private meeting that nukes do explode in space and that "the power to generate the laser beams isn't supplied by Con Edison". Weinberger replied, "Generates energy, you say? Then we are in agreement. It's not a bomb.... it's a generator!"

Given experiences like this I ain't too miffed at opposition MPs and our EBs haggling on each and every word of the nuke deal. I mean, this is the country that has given the world the NPA and the Used Car Salesman, hain? :P

At 8:48 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Ah Teller and his X-ray superlaser.

So some more stuff from the eighties:


At 8:11 PM, Blogger Kanson said...

>>Anybody would care to comment on this?

Two reasons:

1. Propaganda: Anyone who made his life on these, continues to do so without any thumping proof.

2. Apart from few user trials from ITR by IA which was started few years back, how many times you have seen or heard IA conducting exercises by firing live missiles such as Agni. By standard argument, as long as the missile is still under trial, it is still under testing. So the argument from them is not a surprise. On the contrary China conducts live missile exercises. Pak Army conducts regular missile tests. We have started that routine only recently. JMT.

At 8:14 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

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At 8:16 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

The MOD report calls these a 'user exercise' and not a 'user trial' now.

At 8:16 PM, Blogger Kanson said...

>>The Chinese ASAT test shows that the PTBT is open to interpretation.

China is not a signatory to PTBT. So whatever it does wont have any bearing on PTBT.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Kanson said...

>>he MOD report calls these a 'user exercise' and not a 'user trial' now..

Are these done as part of war games?

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Kanson said...

>>and the DRDO chief recently talking about the potential of the A-3 as an ASAT.

There could come a day however when the same argument about a demonstrated capability or the lack of it is used to keep India out of the core of a renegotiated and embellished Outer Space Treaty.

It was already stated so i think nothing wrong in re-emphasizing the official statement made towards this.

The idea of ASAT based on bulding blocks of Agni-3 to be kept ready without testing is to preempt such moves to exclude India from any future treaty on Space. Idea seems to be whenever there is a need, ready-to-fire ASAT missile based on Agni-3 will be tested. In fact it was reported that such missile could knock out any objects in the orbit as high as 800 km and above. Not my thought but official statement and news.

At 8:41 PM, Blogger Kanson said...

On PTBT, fwiw, it was reported more than once that Akash missile also carries N warhead. Whether India or Israel or any such power, i really dont know is there anyone who cares about any such treaties now-a-days. Everyone seems raring to go when the opportunity knocks. Not surprising why US et al tries so hard not to give such opportunity.

At 9:06 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

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At 9:45 PM, Blogger Kanson said...

You know doing ASAT is not a big deal when we are successfully intercepting missiles at lower atm. US knows very well what we are capable of. In judging US acceptance of our advancement in this field don't go by the usual chatterati's views and blogs. You can see their acceptance in academic circles and institutions.(JMT) Ok, anyway, when ASAT blast the orbiting satellite into pieces threatening the exiting ones there will be no ambiguity on whether we are ASAT power or not. The problem with missile & nuclear front is we desire to have such ambiguity so NPAs exploiting those moves.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

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At 11:45 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...


missiles with a strategic role are usually readiness tested.

As in the case of Russia they might be tested during larger wargames are on but they don't necessarily dovetail into the "objectives" of the wargame.

tactical BMs are usually fired in live fire "wargames".

Recently Prithvi salvo launch has been demonstrated.

At 5:53 AM, Blogger Kanson said...


In which wargame, Prithvi was salvo-launched? I couldn't remember any such thing.

At 6:11 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello Kanson,

Hmm.. I did not know that. I thought they signed it when they set up their atmospheric testing moratorium.

Thank you for correcting me.

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Heric Nairgolis said...

Mav-saar/AnandK, as you both are fans of the scribbled art work, some humble efforts:


At 7:07 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...


Very few governments officially use the term wargame in the context of a missile launch.

least of all the Indian government which emphasizes strategic restraint.

No strategic role missile is tested as part of an "integrated wargame" with conventional forces anywhere. Simultaneous Strategic Rocket Forces readiness training exercises may happen in Mother Russia.

And the Prithvi as of now has not been specifically pointed out as a conventional BM. Instead it continues to be a part of the SFC and has a strategic role.

So here is the story of the salvo launch exercise by the SFC


Nuclear-capable, ship-based Dhanush and surface-to-surface Prithvi-II were successfully flight-tested in quick succession early Saturday with both systems zeroing in on pre-designated targets with a high degree of accuracy. The salvo-mode test-firing was carried out by personnel of the Strategic Forces Command as part of a user-training exercise.

While Dhanush, a naval variant of Prithvi, was launched first from INS Subhadhra, anchored near Balasore, off the coast of Orissa at 5.30 a. m., Prithvi-II was fired a few minutes later from Launch Complex-III at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur.

At 7:10 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Oh and by the way your question was probably a result of reading

tactical BMs are usually fired in live fire "wargames".
and this together
Recently Prithvi salvo launch has been demonstrated.

However these are separate.

At 12:47 AM, Blogger Anand K said...


Mogambo khush hua!
Methinks you guys should try to put the really bizarre happenings of Pureland in a web comic. I guess the new special dhaaga will do. You know, something like Fly You Fools!" or the truly mindf**king creations of Iowahawk and Kreacher.

At 3:57 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...


At 9:06 AM, Blogger Kanson said...


Yes, I put that question in that aspect only.

Before we go into the semantics of calling that as military exercise or wargames or drills or user trials or as THE HINDU mentioned the salvo launch as user-training exercise, let keep our focus on the question which started this discussion: Why westerners/NPA propagandist are giving the impression that India is not a missile deterrent, as you put it.

I think they are using the correct term, missile deterrent. Lets leave Russia which is an established missile power. China conducted live missile firing across the Taiwan straits, conducted wargames involving live missiles targeting US bases in Japan, Guam and Skorea as a mock-up drill. Further tested DF-21 in the fashion of letting Americans know it is meant to be a carrier killer. China/Pakistan invites foreign military attaches for their missile exercise. What we have done on the similar lines? Why would you expect the NPA propagandist to give you the benefit of doubt? Of the so many wargames conducted by India, did we ever show the intent of using missile as part of the rehearsal. If not why you expect outsiders to say we have missile deterrent. See, i'm not disparaging. We are what we are. We only started to do user trials recently for the past 3 or 4 yrs. It will take sometime to start describing our capabilities in the tone you mentioned by the western media. You can see that for the ABM tests.

BTW, the salvo launch was done from the test range and was not part of any wargames. As i mentioned, it is described as user-training exercise. Second, from Agni-3 to Prithvi, all are capable of conventional payload. You must have seen mock-up pics of different conventional warhead configuration for the Prithvi missile. I rest my case.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Dear Kanson,

Neither your nor I am making a case here. Nor am I responding to the views of some chatterati on a blog.

Its the NPA who choose to make one ( a case that is) every time a treaty is in the offing.

Semantics is very important. That is exactly where the problem stems from doesn't it, now?

1. None of the missiles fired into the strait were nuke armed.

2. China may have just begun testing the DF-21D ASBM.

In any case the first indication that it is testing came from here

In fact that is precisely what US and our military planners are waiting for because it is understood that to make the ASBM effective China will need to put in place a very crucial Over the horizon sensor capability. And the efficaciousness of that capability will not be known before the "games" begin. Neither on board radar nor IR will be sufficient for the ASBM.

3. As of now the Prithvi and Agnis have a strategic role only. the SFC is not tasked with conventional warfare. That is not their mandate.

4. yes I have indeed seen sub-munitions for the Prithvi.

5. Interestingly the contexts in which you mentioned Chinese BMs were all in a conventional A2/AD role.

Anyway like I said neither I nor you are making a *case*.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

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At 11:14 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

So as things stand:

The two answers to my original question are:

1. Maverick - They want to provoke us into making statements, preferably belligerent, about our capability vis a vis non-subcontinentals.

2. Kanson- They say what they say because we haven't demonstrated our capability in the context of a live fire missile wargame. And in that sense we do not have a missile deterrent since we have only begun user trials a few years ago.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

and even a graduation from user trial to user training exercise is not enough if the tests are conducted on a missile range/proving ground and just offshore.

So under this argument when multiple prithvis are let off in Pokhran ( which also has a test range by the way) as part of Operation say Shatrunaash we would start approaching a category wherein the NPA's may deign to declare us as having a missile deterrent.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger kgoan said...

I met an old man the other day. He was an august personange in Rajivs time.

I said something silly - as "youngsters" (even those like me with greying hair) are wont to do. So he looks at me for a long time with that look the oldies give you that says "dear me are you still so silly, I thought you'd get it by now" and then said:

"What ever makes you think that that phrase you so despise (i.e. "stability in Pakistan") includes the continued existence of Pakistan"?

While I gaped at him, (I couldn't believe he actually gave e a direct answer) he then adds: "that policy hasn't really changed since the days of Panditji. Sometimes it changes it's place on the list of priorities in dealing with them, but it's always been there. And they (the pakees he meant) know it. Its not a figment of their imagination."

Have to admit to being completely floored.

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

good one, kgoan.

by the way, what are these rumors about Chinese Army moving into Gilgit Baltistan?

At 9:57 PM, Blogger kgoan said...


I dont know. It maybe like the "Chinese listening post on the Coco Islands or Chinese base in the Maldives" thing, neither of which actually exist. But with the Pakees. . .

It is known that the Chinese have had listening posts in the NA for some time now. And by "some time" I mean decades plus. They were low key in the past, but the Pakees and Chinese, I think deliberately, made an ostentatious show during Mushys time, in upgrading them.

But the pics being posted on one of the forum threads about tunnels in the glaziers is nonsense. Those have been there for years. I recall seeing those same pics a couple of years ago.

BTW: The reason the Pakees visit Chinastan so often isnt because of the strength of the relationship. Quite the opposite, the Pakees have to constantly reassure the Chinese of their "loyal vassal" status. That says more about Chinese insecurities than the pakees. Strange though it may sound.

And the pakees have a real credibility problem. They undertook lal Masjid for the Chinese, but the blowback made the Chinese wonder if the pakees were reliable.

The pakees take a shellacking in proving their loyality and the level of hurt they take in doing so makes the Chinese wonder if they'll still be loyal. Hilarious, no?

At 6:10 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

>>> Hilarious, no?

yup, most unnatural bedfellows ... the chinese must curse their misfortune for having allies like pak ... the paks must wonder why Allah makes them subservient to godless commies ...

At 6:44 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

meanwhile, in other news, politicians in India have handed a bonanza to US/UK insurance companies who will collect huge premium from Indian mango man for using nuclear power ...

EBs used to be entertaining ... but now their comedy has a price tag.

At 7:33 AM, Blogger Kanson said...

>>we haven't demonstrated our capability in the context of a live fire missile wargame.

DFC, the correct interpretation is we haven't shown or exposed our capability in *deterring* others through our missile power.

This can be demonstrated either by using missiles in war or skirmishes or the intention of using them through wargames.

Chinese try to *deter* the outcome of an event in Taiwan by firing live missiles. They are trying to *deter* the presence of US aircraft carriers in their waters with their DF-21. So one can say, their *missile deterrence* has some value.

OTOH, our missile power didn't stop Kargil from occurring. Nor we showed our missile power in use during Kargil or after Parliament attack or even against terrorist targets to have any deterrence value in the eyes of foreigners.

Neither we have shown to the world our coordinated missile strike ability through wargames. This is the comment from C. Uday Bhaskar on one of the wargames conducted recently where several military attaches were invited. “This is not just a firepower demonstration but a clear message about what India’s air force is capable of,” said Uday Bhaskar, a New Delhi-based strategic affairs expert. “It is a message to the neighbours.” So what message we delivered so far on our missile deterrent value ?

We can leave Prithvi too. Brahmos LACM was inducted in 2007. How many wargames were conducted after that and how many times in those wargames we conducted Brahmos firepower demonstration in a co-ordinated fashion along with other offensive weapon? You can do the calculation. So from late 80s to 2010 we have conducted one salvo launch demo in 2010 and can we expect the doubting Thomases and NPA propagandist to rush forward with extended arms to adjudicate us having missile deterrent?

What is the deterrent value of the sword which was never used or unsheathed?

For whatever reasons we have adopted a low profile so far. When things changes we can expect a change in their attitude.

PS: Missile deterrent should *not* to be seen throu the narrow corridors of N deterrent alone. For example, one can say BMD is a defensive missile deterrent.

At 8:02 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

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At 8:04 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Hmm kanson,

maybe if chicom and assorted psychos keep pushing us who knows we may even see something more substantial...

BTW deterrent in this context does refer to newclear only. Of course as a term a broader definition may be applied in various other contexts.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Kanson said...

>>BTW deterrent in this context does refer to newclear only.

Interesting! May we all know which respected gentleman made that contextual observation?

Only meaning that implies is we don't still adopted the N bomb to N warhead config. mountable on our missiles or particular missile, assuming he believes we have other form of N deterrence.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Kanson said...

If that is not the case, it means we don't have N deterrence at all. In that case i have nothing to add.

At 6:56 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Only meaning that implies is we don't still adopted the N bomb to N warhead config. mountable on our missiles or particular missile, assuming he believes we have other form of N deterrence.

or atleast that we can't do that with any confidence. That is exactly where the discussion began and that is what those chaps imply. Refer to the initial discussion about the Wohlsetter's.

N-Delivery by aircraft is however not doubted. It is only in the context of a missile based deterrent.

At 8:45 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Coal based generation is polluting the environment every moment of the day and the health costs of the same is immense. Absolutely immense. Yet how much do coal based operators pay for that - zip zilch nada.

So its perfectly justifiable that the costs of a nuclear accident be contextualized in this way especially because a nuclear incident will in any case result in *pollution* that will need to be mitigated.

Unless of course EBs on DF think that a nuclear reactor can result in a "kaboom".

Not to mention that the likelihood of a loss of coolant accident or meltdown is one in 10 million.

So basically a source of power which has very little likelihood of an accident and certainly does not contribute to airborne pollution will be made to carry an increasing burden in addition to waste disposal ..

while EBs will celebrate how they thwarted phoren suppliers...

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...


if only EBs and other miscellaneous vacuous cavities for brains stopped to think for a nanosecond, this world would be an enlightened place ...

fear of nukes is a disease ...

in EBs case, hatred for america is a bigger disease ...

At 10:07 PM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

Hi Prof,

that's just the thing isn't it?

'hatred' has no place in realpolitik. You deal with whoever for the interests of the motherland ..

This constant harping on "desh bech diya" is tiresome.

At 5:04 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...


I have not followed the details of the bill in parliament, but my understanding is that private entities have been ruled out from operating nuclear power plants. All this was supposedly done under the guise of liability. What a grand way of screwing up the entire concept.

This fear/hatred of america is ridiculous. "Desh bech denge" type of silliness does not apply to folks like Ambanis who operate on the global stage. They would have negotiated liability/indemnity better than any Neta-ji can.

Secondly, the real bottleneck is the judiciary. Simply passing a bill does not guarantee fairness in compensation process. Can you imagine $300M being disbursed by the NJBPRIE nexxus?

Neta-jis have succeeded in imposing a Hindu rate of growth in nuke power business. Wah!

At 5:57 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

hmm ... my bad ... I peeked into the nook-dhagaa to see what is up ...

forget it ... its been sanku-fied :)

At 7:24 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:25 AM, Blogger ducking for cover said...

The problem with some people in India is that they don't realize is that the thing which has in no small measure kept us in the "game of nations" is the innovativeness = business survival instincts of our private sector.

Tata recently unveiled an electric version of the nano. A lot of inputs for the Nano EV have come from a company in Europe that Tata had the foresight to pick up a stake in.

The domestic automobile industry is pretty much wired on global trends and has built key industrial partnerships and leveraged domestically developed talent to create truly competitive products.

Now imagine if this hybrid/electric/fuel cell vehicle business had been left only to some govt department. Where would we be, hain?

of course Tata is collaborating with ISRO for hydrogen vehicles and that must be acknowledged. But still the fact of India's pvt sector as a quick productionizing and marketing (as important) agent must be imbibed if we wish to beat chicom.

I haven't given up on the "game of nations", even though Chicom's official economy is 4 times bigger than ours.

And that is because of the fact that we have democracy and a modern capitalist sector.

But the point remains that Chicom has better leaders than we do.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger ldev said...

Unlimited liability is impossible in a nuclear plant e.g. I live in a city which has a nuclear plant on its outskirts. There are at least 50,000 houses within a 10 kilometer radius of that plant. At an average price of $350,000 per home, the liability on account of the market price of the homes alone is $17.5 billion. Plus there will be liability for sickness death medical treatment, negligence etc. etc.

So at least in the west the electorate has generally made a decision in the last 2-3 decades that they do not want nuclear power because even if the odds of a meltdown which could contaminate the surrounding area is infinitesimally small, should that 1 in a 10 million event happen the consequences of that are beyond what society as a whole is willing to accept.

These are well known facts. Any insurance company that decides to underwrite this risk will price their premium accordingly making nuclear power cost prohibitive. These facts are also well known in India. But the khujli that people have both in the opposition parties who have forced the amendments throuh as well the cretins who are championing it on BRF would rather that India be without power than that the present GOI be credited with anything.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger maverick said...


Those cartoons look great.

Keep up the good work.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Reading the original source.

"China wants a grip on the region to assure unfettered road and rail access to the Gulf through Pakistan. It takes 16 to 25 days for Chinese oil tankers to reach the Gulf. When high-speed rail and road links through Gilgit and Baltistan are completed, China will be able to transport cargo from Eastern China to the new Chinese-built Pakistani naval bases at Gwadar, Pasni and Ormara, just east of the Gulf, within 48 hours. "

Sorry - much as I respect the author - this not correct.

The transit time from Karachi to Kashgar is several days. Karachi to Hassanabdal takes about 24 hours continuous driving and then from Hasanabdal to Kashgar is totally dependent on how many avalanches, crashes etc... have occurred along the route. Without any disruption I think the trip from Hassanabdal to Kashgar will take something like 4 days at least. This journey will be extremely risky.

Approximately 8 days of driving across adverse terrain in Pakistan will put you in Kashgar. From there to the refinery in Urumqi, will take another two days. From the refinery to Mainland China by train is another five days at least. A single disruption on the Hassan Abdal-Kashgar stretch will set you back a week or so.

By contrast a ship from Chehbahar will be able to travel to a refinery in under 12 days.

I am not saying that China is uninterested in a land route but the way it is made to seem in this article is somewhat disingenuous.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger sdre said...

I thought BRF had reached a nadir with Rocketman, but I was wrong. Sanku will take it to new depths...

Just read the last exchange between Sanku and Amit, it's unbelievable.

But remember, Ishaaramaster thinks Ma Saraswati is speaking through Sanku. Which explains why he was brought back so quickly after his ban.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger maverick said...

"Many of the P.L.A. soldiers entering Gilgit-Baltistan are expected to work on the railroad. Some are extending the Karakoram Highway, built to link China’s Sinkiang Province with Pakistan. Others are working on dams, expressways and other projects."

Railroad to where? It is impossible to construct a railroad from Kashgar to Hassanabdal. Is the author referring to the Gwadur-Dalbandin railway that Chinese engineers are constructing? That will take from Gwadur to Rawalpindi.

"the influx of an estimated 7,000 to 11,000 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army."

That is a very small number for the construction of a railroad across such terrain. It think it is more appropriate for rehabilitating and expanding the KKH.

"Mystery surrounds the construction of 22 tunnels in secret locations where Pakistanis are barred. Tunnels would be necessary for a projected gas pipeline from Iran to China that would cross the Himalayas through Gilgit. But they could also be used for missile storage sites."

Where exactly are these tunnels? Are they along the KKH ? Is so - then it is likely they are simply being used to store supplies critical to repairing the highway. A simple reason the Chinese won't allow Pakistanis into the tunnels is the possibility of pilferage by the PA sherdils.

"Until recently, the P.L.A. construction crews lived in temporary encampments and went home after completing their assignments. Now they are building big residential enclaves clearly designed for a long-term presence."

What is it like to live out in the open in the Karakorum? What is the temperature during the day? night?

Is it really surprising that they are building semi-permanent housing?

At 2:06 PM, Blogger maverick said...

The KKH is being "rebuilt" i.e. expanded and made more robust.

There was an agreement some 4/5 years ago in this regard. I suspect that Pakistanis have handed over mining concessions to the Chinese in Gilgit Baltistan also but I don't have confirmation of that.

Trust me I am pissed off at the prospect of Chinese and Pakistani Punjabis mining the Northern Areas for precious stones and I am disgusted at the fact that the gems are being traded at an exchange in Peshawar.

But I feel the PLA "deployment" is most likely connected to the KKH renewal.

I do not know what this has to do with the latest visa row. It may be that the matters are unconnected.

Visa denials to serving officials fall under a reciprocity regime that automatically kicks in.

At 4:44 PM, Blogger sv said...

Trust me I am pissed off at the prospect of Chinese and Pakistani Punjabis mining the Northern Areas for precious stones and I am disgusted at the fact that the gems..

Dear Maverick

If these precious stones are shiny trinkets like Diamonds/Jade, it is no big deal. Are there any rare earth resources (Li/U/Th) in this area?


At 7:42 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

the problem is not that Chinese are doing what they are doing ... the khujli is that India is not keeping pace ...

Neta-jis are the biggest impediment to infrastructure development in India ... mostly centered on land acquisition issues ... Neta-jis try to maximize profit for their mafia/nexxus ... party bosses in Chna do the same, but they do it *efficiently* ...

if only Neta-jis learnt how to enable graft in a timely fashion ... unfortunately, their technique is to hold up projects until someone gives in and buys them out ...

I heard about the Mizoram to Bangkok highway a decade ago ... not one mile has been built, AFAIK ...

highway to Laddakh is sluggish ...

Railway freight corridor is caught up in land acquisition issues ...

as DFC said, Chicom leaders are better ... they are even better at being more corrupt ... that is the sad part ...

the fault, dear brutus, lies not in the fact that Neta-jis are corrupt, but in the reality that they suck at being corrupt ... :)

At 3:10 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

The following was written in the Houston Chronicle newspaper comments section about the arrest of V. Kumar. *I* did not write this. Is the commenter presenting fact or fiction?

This scum bag is a Hindu RSS leader. His friend and fellow RSS leader D C Nath gave an interview in India admitting it. Now, let's talk about RSS, you have no idea how racist and violently fanatic the RSS is. In terms of impact, the RSS has had a much bigger impact on hum life as compared to Islamic radicals. We never hear about it because it does not effect the West.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) (Hindi: राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ), (National Volunteer Organization or National Patriotism Organization), also known the Sangh, is a Hindu supremacist paramilitary volunteer organization in India. It is part of the Hindu nationalist Sangh Parivar. In India, a country of about 1.1 billion poor people, there are between 2.5 million and 6 million radical RSS members.
The point is this: RSS has tons of innocent blood on its hands, and RSS is in the USA, and in Houston. It raises money for terrorist attacks on people in India, and on Western companies, and NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT. This damn gang is so radical that it is against the sale of Coca Cola and Pepsi, for Gods sake.
Some of the RSS achievements prove that the US government is absolutely right in keeping is piece of crap i jail, just as it is right to keep Islamic radicals in jail. This guy is not a lecturer or a film maker. He creates terrorists and raises money for terrorism.

At 5:20 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Ralphy,

I believe Mr. V. Kumar was arrested for possessing Jihadi literature most of which is in the realm of published work. He has made no secret of his organisational affiliations.

The DHS appears to have misidentified him as a Muslim terrorist.

I am curious as to why he still remains in custody.

If Koran burning is becoming a fashion in the US, I don't see why a man who practically preaches against Islamist terrorism, like Mr. Kumar is unwelcome. I would think that folks in the US would give him a tax payer paid ticket to attend Terry Jones' ceremony in Florida.

Is the DHS simply ashamed of admitting that it has made a mistake?

For the record I wish to state that I am still undecided about the DHS and its impact on US national security.

As I understand it, the DHS was supposed to remove communication gaps between the multiple agencies responsible for physically protecting the continental US. This is a daunting task and I am quite amazed at the progress that has been achieved in so little time.

There was great hope that finally some accountability would appear on the homeland security front.

However it appears that in addition to this semblance of accountability, the DHS has brought with it a misguided sense of overbearing officiousness, i.e. a visible in-your-face intrusive pretense of doing security work while in reality wasting time and money. This kind of behaviour is very visible at US airports but I feel it exists everywhere especially in the vast sphere of private contractors working for DHS.

More generally speaking a group of people in the DHS seem to have reached the mistaken conclusion that mindlessly repeating something is the same thing as "doing it right". These people genuinely believe that filling out the same paperwork ten times makes the US a safer place.

I stress this is a cancerous notion that will gravely weaken the fabric of US security from within.

The real problem is that the DHS information matrix is unstable given that it comes from multiple sources and there is a great deal of data tampering (as alluded to in the Priest articles in the WaPo).

It may be best if the DHS focuses on fixing that instead of wasting time and money on Mr. Kumar.

At 5:30 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear SV,

I don't know if there are any precious metals in the region.

If there were anything remotely resembling U/Th/Li then I would advocate an invasion unless the Pakistanis sold it to us.

It was stuff like Tourmaline, Aquamarine, Ruby and Emeralds etc... Good stuff too.

It really pisses me off to see the Pakistanis exploit this without compensating the people of Gilgit Baltistan or India. I really don't like it that they simply truck this stuff out to Peshawar and sell it there on a bourse that we do not control.

Once that stuff it out of the ground, there is no way to put it back. Right now the entire industry is run in a haphazard fashion by Punjabi speakers who employ balti speaking shias as slaves to carry out unsafe mining operations.

Tomorrow if these people discover a vein of lapis in Gilgit, it could prejudice the Northern Alliance's mining tracts in Badakhshan.

Per the Pakistani conception, Kashmir and disputed territory go hand in hand. They shouldn't take anything out of there that they can't put back.

At 5:36 AM, Blogger maverick said...


To clarify, yes India does mining in J&K, but it is all carried out by J&K Mineral Limited, which is a PSU owned by the elected government of Jammu and Kashmir.

Its accounts are transparent and available to the *elected* state government of J&K and to the GoI.

Any earnings from the company show up in the J&K state budget as credits.

That is not what the Pakistanis are doing in NA.

The people of the NA have no rights. They are ruled by federal minister who is not from the region.

The Army has simply asked a few of its Punjabi brothers to come to Gilgit Baltistan and set up "companies" that supply goods and services to the Army. The Punjabi brothers are simply carrying out unregulated mining operations on the side.

At 5:39 AM, Blogger maverick said...

The Pakistanis should not be mining in Gilgit Baltistan without the explicit permission of the J&K government which is the legal successor of the Maharaja of J&K.

At 5:40 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Mani,

Yes it is very much that.

In all honesty, if the Chinese propose to build a highway from Kashgar to Hassanabdal, then India should propose a high speed rail link between Kunming and Guwahati!

At 5:57 AM, Blogger maverick said...

In all seriousness if the Chinese want to put money into a railroad form Kashgar to Hassanabdal, I propose a joint investment into a railroad form Pasighat to Deqen.

At 5:59 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I estimate the Pasighat-Deqen rail like will cost approx 1 billion USD per km - which is about ten times less than the cost of the Kashgar-Hassanabadal railroad.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

His affiliations and brass knuckles may get Mr. Kumar deported as an undesirable.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Al said...

"It just is, statistics and probabilities are contextual."

Latest from the cretin Sanku -- the context is the same, you duplicitous lying little communist piece of shit...who seems to have strangely gotten a reprieve in time for cover the internet with his cretinous "arguments".

This turd and those who felch him on a regular basis seem to think that verbal jugglery and verbal diarrhoea are the essentials of a good debate.

If only there was a cure for the mental diarrhoea that affects sanku -- why am I getting personal? Because the shithead is not really arguing more than he is rabble-rousing while deflecting the hard questions with outright bullshit.\ Mother!@$#@$# asshole.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger Kanson said...

Maybe Pakistan did a Diego Garcia to G-B area.

We know Chinese used to take advantage of Nations which are vulnerable and weak, in annexing their territory/land which are resourceful. When Americans are at the Pakis throat, is it not a God given opportunity for the Chinese to fulfill their Geo-political ambitions to their favour.

Pakis being bankrupt what could be the pay-offs for the Chasma reactors and other goodies ? Pak doing a Diego Garcia is pausible and being ceded land to China before this shouldn't come as surprise, i guess.

The happenings reminds me of a story where two cats quarreling for a cake invited a monkey to settle their case. However here, it is just one cat occupying NA invited the monkey, sorry, Dragon.

At 9:12 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I doubt he will be "deported" - he was arrested while *leaving* the country.

At this point if the DHS lets the man out - he will tell the world everything about his wrongful detention and about the collective incompetence of the DHS.

Given his organisational affiliations and links in India, the damage to the DHS' image will be considerable and irreversible.

The flip side of selling itself as the last line of security is that the DHS can never admit that they are wrong - because that would mean that even the "last line" is completely fallible. The psychological implications of that are unbearable to the American mind.

It is more likely that Mr. Kumar will remain in detention for the foreseeable future.

I am sure the DHS will cook up something to hold on to him forever.

Welcome to the brave new world.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger maverick said...


You do get how absurd this is?

Mr. Kumar was *arrested* when **leaving** the US.

He didn't walk across a "grade control structure" on the Rio Grande.

He passed three security checks with the exact same bags he had checked in.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the DHS simply made a mistake. They saw the wrong skin color and jumped to the only conclusions that their minds were programmed to made for the last decade.

However asking the DHS to admit a mistake is like asking a Japanese WWII General to admit to an error - the price is seppuku (ritual suicide).

The "Last Line of Defense" psychosis is too deeply entrenched in the DHS. These guys really see themselves as a real-life Jack Bauer.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Apparently, it is important to Mr. Kumar that he not be charged with any violation because he wants to retain his right to return to the US. Or at least that is what his attorney said. Mr. Kumar may not get that option. Meanwhile, he enjoys the hospitality of the federal government. I would point out that foreign extremists visiting the US has become a somewhat, ah, difficult subject among my countrymen, despite of what you may see in Hollywood films.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Ralphy,

There is no evidence to suggest he is an extremist.

The man is not wanted for any crimes in India.

There is no Interpol warrant or flag notice in his name.

He does not belong to any known extremist group.

The only organisation that he is associated with a group called the Patriots' Forum. This entity is comprised of a number of number retired police officers/ MHA(IS) types in India with decades of COIN experience fighting religiously inspired terrorism.

It looks like the DHS has made a mistake and we all know that the DHS can't admit to making mistakes because it is too painful to the "Jack Bauer Complex" that all DHS employees are hostage to.

That is why he has to remain incarcerated indefinitely and the DHS is going to have keep cooking up reasons to keep him in jail. Releasing him or letting the media have access to him will result in complete exposure of the errors of judgment in the DHS machinery. His next movie will most likely be about the DHS and the mistakes its people routinely make.

Given his associations this fiasco is going to deeply tarnish the DHS' image among the circle he moves in (i.e. all those former police officers and counter terrorism types).

Headley was seen as a CIA plant.

Now the DHS will be seen as a racist scam.

That is really sad, because of all the US agencies, the DHS enjoyed the most positive reputation among counter insurgency and counter terrorism circles in India for efficiency and honesty - far in excess of even the FBI's reputation.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Do you understand where this road has led Ralphy?

Indefinite detention without trial.

Only by burying the truth in this fashion will the DHS hope to retain its claim to be an "infallible" last line of defense.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger maverick said...

What is ironic is that Mr. Kumar would probably have supported the kinds of extraordinary security measures that the DHS routinely uses.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

D C Nath is a former director of federal bureau of Intelligence? Say what? What is he doing mixed up with Mr. Kumar? Curiouser and curiouser.

Apparently, Mr. Kumar was headed to Vancouver BC with a large sum of cash as well as his brass knucks and jihadi literature.

This is looking rather unfortunate for Mr. Kumar. Hopefully, the federal and state prosecutors will be able to resolve this and Mr. Kumar will be on his way back to his RSS proclivities and good friend Mr. Nath.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Ralphy,

Mr. Vijay Kumar makes documentaries about counter terrorism and counter insurgency matters.

That Patriots' Forum is a lot of counter terrorism/COIN types associated with it. That is the company he keeps.

Allegedly the money was to make a movie about Muslim women who are subject to Islamist coercion in western countries.

Mr Vijay Kumar claims not to be a member of the RSS. The RSS is regarded as a terrorist organisation by GoI or USG.

The "Jihadi Literature" is published material that can be ordered from any bookstore. Malalai Joya is a member of the Afghan Parliament, her book is available on Amazon.com not that anyone will bother to read it.

The fact strongly support the idea that this is a mistake on part of the DHS.

I feel releasing him at this point would really tarnish the DHS' image.

The only way for the DHS to save face now is to indefinitely detain Mr. Kumar.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Ralphy,

I just realised I am being stupid.

There is another way.

Release him with a tax payer funded incentive package to keep his mouth shut. A nice inflation adjusted check in a swiss bank account with a clear understanding that the money will stop if he says anything remotely disparaging.

At 6:38 PM, Blogger powerslave said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger powerslave said...

Haha AI boss to be honest you get riled up easily seems you have got all the qualities of joining us EBs.(just kidding)

If you feel so strongly about it why not confront Sanku on the forum ?

Btw I remember you using the same adjective for me too in this blog some time back(over some Srilanka/Burma issue) and before I could reply the post was deleted :)

If you meant it in good humour its fine by me (my friends affectionately call me by that name).


At 6:44 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Please, calm your hysteria. Mr. Kumar will be lucky to walk away with a one way ticket to India minus his brass knuckles, his jihadi literature *and* his large amount of cash.

At 7:44 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Ralphy has just become a pointless drone ...

somehow I prefer those indecipherable posts in Chinese ... LOL.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...


Let's analyze this quantitatively, shall we?

Take two groups and study their contribution to hurting american citizens in acts of terrorism ... allow me to choose these two:

1. Indian immigrants
2. Clueless American Hicks (your cousins?)

By my count, taking Oklahoma City into consideration, here is the score:

1. IM = 0
2. CAH = 1

What are we going to do about these clueless cousins of yours?

I suggest a mass deportation of a few choice states of these fine United States of America ... what say you?

Ready to volunteer to move out and let us good citizens of this great country live in peace?

Come, be a sport now ... :)

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

To all:

I have no intention of trading personal insults with anybody. I'm just flat not going to be baited into it.

1. Mr. Kumar is not an Indian immigrant I am aware of. I suspect him of being an Indian citizen and a RSS cabalist and I think my government does too.

2, While Mr. Kumar may be made into an example for those foreign visitors who violate our laws I doubt he will do any serious lockup time and he will be given a oneway ticket back to India. I don't know and i do not care if Canada allows him into their fair country. That is their business. But then, they may not. Too bad.

3. We don't need foreign extremists in our country. We have plenty of native born ones and our southern neighbors insist on sending their criminals from Mexico and central America.

4. I invite those who are unhappy in my country to find a country that is more suitable to their aims and purposes.

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

>>>>> I have no intention of trading personal insults with anybody. I'm just flat not going to be baited into it.

of course, you don't ... all you do is bring up an ethnic group repeatedly on this blog ...

I am simply enjoying this game and bringing up your ethnic group, which in my estimation is the clueless american hick ...

>>>> I invite those who are unhappy in my country to find a country that is more suitable to their aims and purposes.

my unhappiness is focused ... I can't handle bigots like you in america ... the simple solution is that you find a country of your choice ...

does United States of Bigots exist on this planet?

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

To all:

I have no intention of trading personal insults with anyone. I'm just flat not going to be baited into it.

My goal, as you may well agree, is to rid this world of bigots.

One may well think that this is trivial, especially in an enlightened country such as the US of A ... but alas, as is evident on this blog, such is not the case ...

what is the solution? how does one bring education, and resultant wisdom, to dark corners of this great land?

It is a perplexing problem ...

You may bear witness to this reality as you observe the puerile writhing plaintiff screams of the less fortunate occupants of this magical expanse known as the US of A ...


At 1:35 AM, Blogger sdre said...

Looks like we've got our own vuvzela...

At 5:04 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Ralphy,

Why do you keep denying that there is a precedent for this?

If Apache helicopter gunships shoot up an Iraqi neighbourhood and kill innocent Iraqi children and a highly reputed AP reporter, the brilliant MIT grad who leaked the DOD tape of the incident to Wikileaks is guilty of a serious crime.

If Wikileaks posts an Afghan War diary that shows the ineffectiveness of US forces at checking Pakistani sponsored terror - then the owner of the website ends up being accused by some random government of being a rapist.

There is no hysteria here. If a mistake is acknowledged, the entire "Jack Bauer" story will fall apart. People will ask questions whether "Jack Bauer" is doing the right thing at all. A young agency can't afford that kind of scrutiny.

To save the village, one must first burn it down - that is what the Reverend said. When I was reading Jeff Sharlet's book, the part I thought was most hilarious was the part where Jeff claims that the US didn't degenerate into Nazi Germany because no Gestapo was established.

It is a simple choice - either detain him indefinitely in a private facility somewhere or offer him a WitSec deal where he agrees to keep silent and gets a new identity as a US citizen with a tax payer funded check that lands in a bank account every month.

This arrangement has been used with murderous mob bosses for decades now - this guy is far more useful. He can help preserve the fantasy that everything is working just fine - "grade control structures" non-withstanding.

Hey... I know if they keep him in the US and he can join that National Koran Burning Breakfast that is likely to be organised soon. BTW is that going to be declared a public holiday? I mean the US is woefully short of public holidays, maybe National Koran Burning Day can introduced?

Okay how about "Accuse a US Military Veteran of being a wannabe Right Wing Religious Terrorist" Day?

Or even a "Call a Gun Nut a Criminal" Day?

When the Gestapo was first setup out of elements of the Nazi party storm troopers, German citizens slept peacefully knowing that finally someone in the Government was going to do something about all those Jews that were undermining the rise of Germany.

Should they have been surprised when the Gestapo enslaved the entire German people?

In Europe, they have learned their lesson. They have strong protections against this sort of thing.

In the US - there is a foolish belief, "It can't happen here". Relax Ralphy, have a charminar, they are only going to go after people of funny skin color at airports, everyone else is fine. If the dude with the funny skin color has so much so as a toothbrush out of place, he is fucked.

BTW ... would you endorse putting an umlaut in the U in USA? I think it makes the USG look so much more bad ass and tougher.

At 5:20 AM, Blogger Kanson said...

hmm..Maverick, you forgot to add the latest wikileak of CIA Red Cell exporting Home grown terrorism.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Dear Maverick:

I just want to personally thank Mr. Kumar for donating all of that cash from the RSS and the Patriot's Club to the US government. After all, it's for a good cause.

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Dear Maverick:

I do not know of *any* billiant or otherwise MIT grad that has been officially charged with stealing, aiding or abetting the theft of, US government data. In this country unfortunately, Cacademia generally remains above the law, reference the physics lab bombing at the University of Wisconsin during the Vietnam war where one person was killed in the explosion, who coincidently was also against the Vietnam war and completely innocent of any crime.

Ah, the Ivory Tower, so high, so lofty.

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Kanson said...

Dear Ralphy,

Even thou' others clarified to you that he is not a RSS activist, you seems inclined to believe he is indeed a RSS. With the conviction you have, may i ask few questions?

How many times you can recollect RSS involved in terrorist activities threatening US citizens or US interest? How many of that happened in US?

At 8:48 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Ralphy,

I think that idea has questionable merit.

The amount is too small. I mean.. umm... it is not going seriously affect the national deficit or anything.

If they keep the money and release him - then he will accuse them of theft. The bad publicity will be worth a lot more than the 8G they took off him.

I guess you could use it to determine if he has RSS friends.

If he has RSS friends and they are as bad as you say they are - then I feel they might be inclined to seek reimbursement for the confiscated money from some American evangelical church types walking around in India.

If he has no RSS friends, then there will be no such reimbursement. And the DHS can take comfort in the fact that it robbed a completely innocent man.

If people are convinced that this guy is some major RSS badass - that he is such a huge threat to the USG and its global interests in the war on terror - then cap him and dump the body somewhere maybe outside the Indian consulate?

Even if he is not RSS, it'll send a message they can't ignore.

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Dearest Kanson,

From one article that I read, he admitted membership in RSS at one time but now insists he no longer associates with said organization. You'll excuse me if I question this timely convienience?

At 9:02 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Ralphy,

I am sorry, I thought he graduated from MIT.

I guess he was helped by an MIT grad,but was himself not one.

Eitherways, the whistleblower is in jail for exposing a war crime.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Dear Maverick,

Well, I don't know about in south Asia but in the America, only officialdom can confiscate the criminal's money for the people of the United States. Private citizens may bear severe retribution for attempting any such appropriation of criminally derived gelt. So rest assured their will be no private citizen backlash against Mr. Kumar's doubtfully inspired enterprises here in the Land of the Free. Upon pain of the Law.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger maverick said...

If he is RSS, and y'all hate 'em so much.

Why not just shoot the man and hang up outside the Indian consulate - y'know texan/taliban style.

Show people you mean business instead of this wussy catch-and-release shit.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Ralphy,

If he has RSS friends and they are a bunch bad bad men - they'll simply stick it to all those US missionaries roaming free and wide across the length and breadth of India.

If you let him free now, the CIA station chief will have to pay Indian TV channels to not air his views.

You get my point about this being more expensive than that stupid 8G they took off him?

At 9:19 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I think the money is too small to make this worthwhile.

As a friend traveling through a certain African country once told me,

"They (customs officials in this African country) only harass you if you have more than a certain amount of money. If you are poor and act meek, they leave you alone. If you get fresh with them they will take you into custody and beat you mercilessly. If you have money they will eventually release you but keep your money".

I think this African country enjoys a very bad reputation for being one of the more corrupt places on earth. A number of Indian criminals shelter there because they can buy off law enforcement.

I guess the US is no different.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Kanson said...

Dear Ralphy,

My emphasis on the question to you is more about your concern on the RSS than what he might have said on his association.

You shows more interest in the RSS association as if that is a kind of terror threat to US rather than regulating the matter on the brass knucklehead and so called jihadi material he carried. All most every post you made on the topic mentions RSS to brand him as terrorist rather about the obscure, irrelevant jihadi material, which anyone can download and take a print.

So i was forced to ask this question: what is your concern about RSS as US citizen and how many times, in your view, RSS threatened US citizens in their terror activities? How many of them happened in US?

I wouldn't have asked this question if you are a US citizen who doesn't know where India is; their world view limited to FOX News and who sees whatever USG saying and doing is right. You seems more interested in knowing about the Indian affairs so i guess my question to you is valid.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Dear Maverick and Kanson,

I have no particular obsession with RSS other than their acolytes inhabiting BRF. It appears Brown Shorts is the dress Uniform of the Day over there. However, their knee jerk reflexology against purchasing anything remotely American is somewhat irksome albeit self defeating for India. You can tell the IQ quotient at work when they talk about "American equipment" being purchased by India or "American made nuclear reactors" for the budding nuclear power plant market in India. Thus requiring American "liability" for the operation of the equipment. Not to forget the secret "kill switches" on C-17s purchased by the IAF. Ho Hum.

But other than the casual burning alive of missionaries and their children asleep in their car and raiding villages of lessor castes and beheading a few noggins to keep them in line, overall I would say they are no more dangerous than any other group of thugs and religious terrorists.

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Dear Maverick,

I can assure you that any money from fund raising efforts here in teh US as a result of extreme group thuggery is usually forfieted upon discovery. Shall I guess that India does not practice official forfeiture of ill got gains?

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

BTW, according to the Beeb, rape charges are being filed at the insistence of one of the women who was the object of Julian Assuage's infection...er, I mean affection.
Poor woman, maybe we should give her some of Mr. Kumar's financial donation to the US government, eh?

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

>>>>>>> I can assure you that any money from fund raising efforts here in teh US as a result of extreme group thuggery is usually forfieted upon discovery.

has the catholic church been busted yet?

compared to them, RSS seem like saints ... haven't heard about young boys being molested by the RSS ...

even in terms of kilings, RSS can't touch the church ...

surely, Ralphy will post all sorts of reasons why the church should be banned in the US, no?

At 12:35 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Hi Ralphy,

You said that the reason that US might be harassing Mr. Kumar is his alleged membership of the RSS. You think he is an RSS extremist and he was picked up because of that.

If the US doesn't hate the RSS - what is the point of harassing Mr. Kumar?

If this whole RSS thing was just a canard to detract from the fact that the DHS made a mistake - then okay I get it. But in all honesty - there is no need to make excuses to protect DHS' H&D.

This kind of behaviour does not protect the DHS'image.

The DHS is full of Jack Bauer types that have complete information dominance and they operate completely above the law.

This doesn't mean that they don't screw up. They do from time to time but no one can say that openly because if anyone points out that they are making a mistake - the frantic DHS folks will simply go beserk and shoot up an airport full of innocent people claiming that they heard a terrorist fart.

Once they make a mistake - a cover up is the only way to maintain H&D now. It is much safer for everyone, that they keep complete information dominance and ensure that Mr. Kumar's side of the story never gets out.

They have to pay him to shut up or dump him into the DHS's contractor controlled private detention facilities. Most importantly they should be able to credibly disclaim all knowledge of his whereabouts.

I don't know which is cheaper, but I suspect the latter is much cheaper - simply because the money doled out to the private contractors can be easily recycled as political donations to whichever party the contractor chooses.

If you want to find out if he is connected to the RSS, one can use his money as a lure and then wait to see if any of those US funded missionary groups reports money suddenly disappearing. But then this is likely to be expensive, there is no guarantee that if Mr. Kumar's friends are as bad as you think they are - they will only withdraw 8k from these distributed accounts - my guess is they will withdraw more than just 8k.

All in all this seems very escalatory - if this tit-for-tat kicks in the US will end up in a pissing war with the RSS. Given that the only people in India that remotely support George Bush's anti-Islam crusade is the RSS types - it seems to me that this pissing match with the RSS guys is detrimental to the US' goals in the region.


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