Monthly Archives: March 2016

Spying gracelessly : Balochistan

Source : The Indian Express -C. Raja Mohan (Twitter @MohanCRaja)

It’s natural for India and Pakistan to spy on each other. But it’s time they instituted spy swaps to bring them home when they get caught.

It’s shocking! So shocking to discover that New Delhi and Islamabad spy on each other! Louis Renault, the corrupt police captain in the film Casablanca, who simulates shock at gambling in Rick’s cafe, endears himself by lacing venality with wit. The media warriors in South Asia, however, refuse to let even a bit of commonsense colour their easy outrage. The latest provocation for their huffing and puffing is Pakistan’s claim that it has arrested an Indian spy in Balochistan.

It’s not for nothing that spying has been called the second-oldest profession. It’s as ancient as statecraft. Any self-respecting sovereign would maintain an effective ring of spies as the first line of defence against potential threats, both internal and external. All states indulge in spying, political and commercial. And not just against their adversaries. Keeping a tab on your friends and partners is considered just as important.

Thanks to WikiLeaks, we know how intensively the United States spies on its friends. The US National Security Agency (NSA) was routinely snooping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

What is really shocking, though, has been the lack of any grace attached to spying in the subcontinent. Elsewhere in the world, it’s respected as a tough profession and valued as a special art. India and Pakistan have generally tended to disown spies who get caught. It would be more sensible for India and Pakistan to acknowledge, at least in private, their respective spooks and bring as many of them home through spy swaps. That’s what Russia and America did at the height of the Cold War.

We might never really get to know the real story behind the claims and counter-claims in Islamabad and Delhi on the purported arrest of an Indian spy in Balochistan. Truth is always hard to pin down in the cloak and dagger business. For Islamabad, the claim reinforces the charge that India is destabilising Pakistan in Balochistan. These charges are not new. Recall the insistence of then Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to include Balochistan in a joint statement with then-PM Manmohan Singh on the margins of the 2009 non-aligned summit at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.

Unlike the UPA government that turned defensive amid the angry reaction in Delhi, the NDA government is a lot less coy on these things. Some analysts would see the incident boosting Delhi’s current image of being very tough on national security. It might also be an advertisement for the new will in Delhi to pursue muscular approaches to counter Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism.

What’s intriguing, though, is the Pakistan army’s statement that it has raised the issue of Indian spying in Balochistan when General Raheel Sharif called on visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week. In his press conference at the end of the visit, Rouhani, however, denied that there was any discussion about the Indian intelligence agency, R&AW, and its alleged activities in Iran and Balochistan.

That General Sharif publicly accused Tehran of colluding with Delhi in Balochistan is a reminder that all is not well between Iran and Pakistan. Although the R&AW is a favourite whipping boy for Pakistan, Islamabad has problems of its own with Tehran in Balochistan. The border between Iran and Pakistan, which runs down the Baloch lands into the Arabian Sea, has long been turbulent. At the end of 2014, the simmering tension boiled over into an exchange of fire between the security forces of Iran and Pakistan. Tehran has long accused Pakistan of sheltering Sunni militant groups, like Jundullah and Jaish al-Adl, hostile to Iran.

That’s only one part of a more complex story in Balochistan. Enduring tribal resentments in Balochistan against Pakistan’s oppression have erupted in frequent revolts over the decades. The Pakistan army, which has put them down with considerable force, has often accused Delhi and Kabul of supporting the Baloch insurgents.

If Delhi has longstanding complaints about Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism, Kabul points to Rawalpindi’s open support for the Afghan Taliban, whose leadership has made Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, its home. Tehran has long been apprehensive of the Afghan Taliban’s Sunni extremism and has been wary of its return to power in Kabul with the Pakistan army’s support.

Delhi and Tehran have, indeed, had a common interest in countering Taliban rule in Afghanistan during 1996-2001.That’s not all. Don’t forget the Russians, Americans, Saudis and Israelis — all of whom have had varying degrees of interest and involvement in the politics of Balochistan.

China now has growing stakes in Balochistan, where its ambitious Pakistan economic corridor connects with an even more expansive project, the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. As China builds a new port in Gwadar, Iran is building its own a few miles to the west in Chabahar.

One doesn’t have to count all the competing interests and contradictions to appreciate that Balochistan will remain a dangerous but very inviting hunting ground for the world’s spies in the coming years.


Indian Classical Music Instruments (& their renowned players)

String Instruments

1.) Ektar – Meerabai

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2.) Rudra Veena – Ustad Asad Ali Khan

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3.) Mohan Veena – Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt

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4.) Santoor – Pandit Shivkumar Sharma

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5.) Sarangi – Pandit Ram Narayan

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6.) Saraswati Veena – Padmavathy Ananthagopalan

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7.) Sarod – Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

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8.) Sitar – Pandit Ravi Shankar

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9.) Tanpura


10.) Vichitra Veena – Pandit Gopal Krishan

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11.) Chitra Veena (Gottuvadhyam)



Non-string Instruments

1.) Jal Tarang – Milind Tulankar

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2.) Mridangam – Dr. T.K. Murthy

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3.) Kartal


4.) Manjira


5.) Wooden Manjira

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6.) Chimta – Meerabai

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Petition update : Petition demanding punishment sent to Bangalore Police Commissioner IPS N.S. Megharikh

24 Mar 2016 — Dear friends,

These petitions have been forwarded to the concerned authorities. I am thankful to all of you being the voice of the voiceless. Our support for animal rights will hopefully deter such animal rights offenders in the future. People from all around the world have supported this petition and this gives strength to animal rights activists like me to keep pursuing our common dream of a world that can be a happy place for each and every living being.
You all are angels! 🙂



Please sign to get this mother justice:-

Dear people,

Please sign this petition to support maximum punishment for woman who committed this heinous act:-

The intermittent wails of four-year-old Ammu, a female stray dog that grew up among the residents of Lane No. 3, Krishnanagar, off Tumkur Road, have cast a pall of gloom over this locality of mostly ex-servicemen.

Bengaluru Woman Kills 8 Puppies Brutally In Front Of Their Mother Just To Teach The Dog A Lesson

Exclusive: Immediately shut down Facebook page that promotes dog fights intensively!


Residents are haunted by the memory of the dog digging her 15-day-old puppies out of their graves and trying to nurse them.

On March 15, her litter of eight was mercilessly flung onto the boulders, allegedly by Ponnamma, the wife of an ex-honorary flight lieutenant, a resident of this Jallahalli West neighbourhood. This she did reportedly to “teach the dog a lesson”, who had dared to have puppies in a drain under her gate.

Is This Woman More Heinous The Serial Dog Killer Of New Delhi

While seven of the puppies died the same day, one that survived the brutality succumbed the next day. The outraged residents filed a complaint with Cupa (Compassion Unlimited Plus Action) on March 17, and the same day, the NGO registered a complaint against Ponnamma with the Peenya police.

When we reached her doorstep to enquire about the incident, she refused to comment.

The ghastly incident has outraged the neighbourhood which has always been compassionate toward its stay dogs. It isn’t uncommon here to spot a pet dog sharing a meal with a stray — such is the residents’ love for their animals.

Five days since the incident, Ammu still wanders around the site where her puppies are buried.

Bengaluru Woman Kills 8 Puppies Brutally In Front Of Their Mother Just To Teach The Dog A Lesson

bangalore mirror

The police have seized crucial footage from a CCTV camera near Ponnamma’s house. The Peenya police have registered a case under Section 93 of the Karnataka Police Act (punishment for cruelty to animals) and Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and IPC Section 429. If proved guilty, she could end up in prison for up to five years.

“Cupa has lodged a complaint, but justice is still a long way off for this mother, ” said, Suparna B Ganguly, honorary secretary at the NGO.

The heinous act 

The heinous act had come to light after the residents took up the case on March 15 with Cupa. The complaint explained how “a woman in our street” flung eight pups across the road on to an empty site opposite to her house, killing them all. The impact was such that “some of the pups’ intestines were out”. The residents wrote that they were distressed by the sight of the mother that wouldn’t stop wailing and trying to “wake them up, running around us asking for help, trying to show us.”

Residents explained how their request had gone in vain to spare Ammu, who had littered 15 days ago in a gutter, beneath the entry gate of Ponnamma’s house.

“My neighbour and I had an argument with the woman. We told her what she did was a grave sin and so cruel. The puppies did no harm to her, and she had no right to kill them in front of the mother, ” the complaint said.

The twisted logic

When the residents protested the act, Ponnamma went on to say that she was doing this to teach the dog a lesson.

Bengaluru Woman Kills 8 Puppies Brutally In Front Of Their Mother Just To Teach The Dog A Lesson

Bangalore Mirror

“When we asked her how she could kill innocent puppies, and that she had no right to do that, she said she wanted to teach the mother a lesson so that she doesn’t litter or come near her house again, ” an outraged resident tells, clearly unable to accept the logic.

What’s worse is that Ponnamma is remorseless. “When we asked her about it, she just said, achcha nahi laga, fek diya (didn’t like it, threw it), ” said a resident.

Action taken

“The accused was arrested and released on bail. We have procured CCTV footage and are putting together evidence. The investigation is on and the chargesheet will be submitted, ” said B Aiyanna Redddy, police inspector, Peenya, revealed.