Squinted view of The Quint

When “The Quint” got it all wrong due to their Squinted Vision. They published a totally unverified report which is definitely Seditious and in gross violation of Official Secrets Act too. Attributing to sources (citing confidentiality is just a ruse). After the damage was done, called out very strongly by the Social Media – They retracted the story for Checking. Yes! Gold Standard rule of the Journalism practiced by The Quint – Publish, damage the Country, When called out, retract and then go for checking veracity of what they published.

 

Text Copy/Paste of the @TheQuint Page as it appeared at 20:43:12 on January 5th 2018 (Screenshot at the end of this report)

Two Ex-RAW Chiefs Did Not Want Kulbhushan Jadhav Recruited As Spy

Senior RAW Officers Were Not in Favour of Jadhav

Speaking to The Quint, two former RAW senior officers, including one secretary who headed India’s external intelligence agency after 2008, said that the “proposal to recruit Jadhav for operations, whatever it’s worth, was ridiculous.”

In any case, a number of RAW sources, some serving and a few who retired over the past seven to eight years, revealed that Jadhav was “not a high-grade” operative with skills that other operatives recruited by the agency in other theatres had and used effectively to obtain intelligence.

Even as two RAW secretaries refused to hire his services, the proposal to recruit Jadhav for specific assignments was finally acceded to by a chief who headed the intelligence agency a few years ago and was subsequently re-employed (after retirement) in an organisation also involved in collecting intelligence.

This was among a few different attempts to launch renewed efforts to use human sources as “deep penetration” agents in Pakistan, where most intelligence assets, both HUMINT and SIGINT, were wound up during the prime ministership of IK Gujral in the late 1990s.

Evidence That Links Jadhav With RAW

While the sources were – understandably – wary about disclosing full details about Jadhav’s recruitment. The proposal to hire him on a temporary basis was prepared by his case officer (of the rank of deputy secretary, who is way below in the hierarchy) on the Pakistan desk. One former RAW officer, however, said that “it could be that the desk handling Iran and Afghanistan” was instrumental in recruiting Jadhav.

In any case, the recruitment was approved by a joint secretary as the supervisory officer. The RAW has a special unit which also undertakes parallel operations in certain crucial target countries for which it seeks out its own recruits.

The clearest evidence that Jadhav operated for the RAW came to the fore only after his cover – as a businessman who would frequent Iran, especially Chabahar – was blown and he was captured by the Pakistan, following which a former RAW chief, besides at least two other senior officers, called his Mumbai-based parents to “advise” them to not speak about their son’s case to anyone.

The other evidence was the second passport, with the name Hussein Mubarak Patel, that he carried, which shows that it was originally issued in 2003 and was renewed in 2014. The second passport (no L9630722) was issued in Thane on 12 May 2014 and was due to expire on 11 May 2024.

While one passport (no E6934766) is in his name, the second one raises more questions, especially the date of its issue and why he signed as Hussein Mubarak Patel to enter into a property deal (with his mother) in Mumbai where he lived with his parents, wife, and children before he was nabbed by the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Born in August 1968, Jadhav did work for the navy but prematurely retired and took to business, which would often take him to Iran. He was spotted as a potential recruit by an undercover RAW officer posted in Iran, who then subsequently shared this with a colleague at the agency’s headquarters. This second officer subsequently moved to send overtures to Jadhav, who accepted the terms and conditions.

How Was Jadhav Caught?

The nabbing of Jadhav, on 3 March 2016, itself throws up several questions, especially because Pakistan has maintained a degree of secrecy, if not ambiguity, about it. While the Pakistani intelligence had initially claimed that he was trapped in Saravan on the Iran-Pakistan border, a Baloch leader by the name Sarfaraz Bugti had disclosed at the time that Jadhav was held near Chaman in Balochistan.

The RAW sources, both former and serving, said that Jadhav would “go on assignments off and on” and he would undergo the mandatory “debriefing” each time he returned to India from his “visits to Balochistan” or when he volunteered to share information. He also went through a three-month training programme when he learned methods and means to transmit and/or send information.

However, sources said, Jadhav’s undoing was based partly on his unprofessionalism and partly because he was not a “career spy.” He did the unthinkable – instead of waiting to communicate with his case officer face-to-face, Jadhav would sometimes use “means over the air waves.” The ISI intercepted some of the communications and were also able to pinpoint his location, making it relatively easy for them to track and then nab him, sources said.

Standard Operating Procedure Skipped

“The botch-up was the result of unprofessionalism not only on the part of Jadhav but also his case officer,” one former special secretary, who conducted operations in some parts of West Asia, said. In this context, a former special secretary who handled the Pakistan desk till a few years ago, besides special operations in India’s neighbourhood, said that “Jadhav was no good” as he was “never in the thick of things, although he would claim he knew a lot of things and had sources in Pakistan.”

However, the former special secretary said that while RAW has many flaws, as a “matter of rule and unstated policy” no case officer should attempt to hire the services of an agent whose background in “tradecraft is not sound enough” and who is given to “bragging.”

In Jadhav’s case, while standard operating procedures may have been relaxed while recruiting him, sources said that his incarceration and the ambiguity surrounding his “work” does “have a lot of benefits.”

Several seasoned RAW hands said that while Jadhav’s case officer (deputy secretary) and the latter’s supervisory officer (joint secretary) recruited him for “reasons best known to them,” the standard practice in spycraft would have been to “have a Baloch or a Pakistani national” do the “intelligence gathering job for us.” He added that it was “foolish for to set an Indian the task to obtain intelligence from a country as hostile as Pakistan.”

Sources said that soon after Jadhav was trapped and caught in March 2016, a few records relating to payments made to him were destroyed, leaving “no trace” of his existence as far the RAW is concerned. But a former agency chief, who retired in the closing years of the previous decade, said, “No professional agency should have recruited him. I cannot even imagine that Jadhav was because it has been a disaster.”

He asked pointedly: “Every operation should have an objective. What huge intelligence or foreign policy objective was to be achieved by tasking Jadhav to operate in Balochitan?”

 

Also Read: Will India’s Raking up of the Shoes Episode Harm Jadhav’s Case?

 

(Breathe In, Breathe Out: Are you finding it tough to breathe polluted air? Join hands with FIT in partnership with #MyRightToBreathe to find a solution to pollution. Send in your suggestions to fit@thequint.com or WhatsApp @ +919999008335)

 


Screenshot of the Webpage as it appeared at the same time


Rearranged for better readability into two Columns

Advertisements

NGT – Not Good Try Again

What does one do, when they go out of circulation and unnoticed for a long time? Piggy back on to something/someone popular – Exactly what NGT seem to be trying to implement to perfection these days. After their unwarranted and vengeful attempt to defame and derail  World Culture Festival, during which they were exposed by their own Expert Panel with Observations that cannot even be categorised as Amateurish, the recent “Selective” targeting of the Art of Living’s  Temple of Knowledge by the EKW Management Authority (EKWMA) comes in handy for them. Who better to piggy back than world renowned Spiritual Master & Guru of Joy Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji, the founder of Art of Living.

Since I am in the know about some facts and background of this project, thought this should be recorded here. Here we go…

First up, every single legal norms warranted by all concerned regulatory authorities has been complied with by the Vaidic Dharma Sansthan Trust of the Art of Living in respect of the Temple of Knowledge Project  

On Oct 25, 2017, Kolkata NGT, ordered the demolition of the Temple of Knowledge (ToK) – the structure owned by the Vaidic Dharma Sansthan (VDS) Trust by relying upon an order passed by the East ​Kolkata Wetlands Authority on the previous day i.e 24 October 2017, UNILATERALLY without even serving the same to VDS for it to deal with it legally. VDS has come to know of the said order of EKWMA through the Media. Basic premise and process of Natural justice is to afford an opportunity to all parties or atleast keep affected parties informed. Especially since VDS has all records and FACTS to prove that the order of EKWMA’s order is legally Void and Erroneous – which is well known to EKWMA and the NGT – (Was it the reason to go ahead and issue the order almost surreptitiously?)

It is pertinent to note here that the plot of the Trust has been categorised under the schedule to the East Kolkata Wetlands (Conservation and Preservation) Act 2006, as one in which Rural and Urban Settlement was allowed. The structure of the Trust was therefore perfectly legal and valid.

A cursory drive past would reveal existence of more than a thousand private and ​commercial projects, schools, colleges in the wetland area. Why is it that a Not for Profit Charitable ToK, VDS & Art of Living being singled out – Vendetta?

Let it be known that when the construction of the ‘Temple for Knowledge’ began, a group of volunteers started it based on the sanction plan given to VDS by the donor. The East ​Kolkata Wetlands Management Authority was not even functional then. VDS had obtained all required permissions from regulatory departments.

It is in this context that Selectively ToK building which is for the public good been ordered to be razed down. I hope VDS trust won’t let itself to be bullied by these kind of over-reach and use of discretionary powers and move higher court against this arbitrary order of EKWMA and NGT.

Some pictures of permanent structures existing in the same area where the Trust has been singled out.

View of Wetlands and Structures on it
Structures that has been spared
A view from the Under Construction ToK
Temple of Knowledge Building

NOTE: This rebuttal could have well been provided to the Media who had published the report, but it would be sending more hits to their portal which I don’t wish to do. A responsible media would have first sought Art of Living/VDS Trust’s reaction before they went to town with a one sided reportage.

Additional Reading: This is by no means an attempt to say Two wrongs don’t make a right. But to put things in perspective – Witch hunting (for reasons that is anyone’s guess) a legally cleared and permitted Not-For-Profit Organisation while commercial activities goes unchecked.

  1. In a meeting on July 14, the first of the reconstituted authority chaired by Chatterjee, the newly constituted EKWMA committee (this committee was created by the Government just to bull doze decisions on the Authority) made a series of decisions which, environmentalists allege, have formalised encroachment within the wetlands. This sitting cleared several Government Project (In-Principle approvals).A five kilometre flyover which will see 146 piers constructed within eight water bodies in the core of the Ramsar site is not a danger? Also note this has come post establishment of the authority unlike ToK which was much before.  Click on the picture below for details.

    Wastewater is released into the Kolkata wetlands at the Bantala Lock Gate
  2. A 5 km long flyover over the wetland – WB Government cared two hoots to the concerns raised.
  3. Clearance for dumping of City”s Solid waste (yes! You read it right) – Though this has been resisted, Minister Chatterjee has been very vocal with this demand.
  4. Two roads that would definitely damage and adverserly affect the Wetlands.
  5. This committee has allowed the Meghnath Saha Institute of Technology to procure land outside the wetland area and turn it into a water body (this was expressly banned by the authority and now overturned by this Committee)
  6. As evident from the pictures above, huge skyscrapers are also being permitted brazenly and the Authority nor the NGT seem to be bothered.
  7. There are reports that there is rampant and illegal sale of Wetlands (and on August 15th 2017, there was even violence between two parties including firing due to differences in sharing the spoils)

 

Shami Patra & its Significance for Vijayadashami

India is a country where everything in the creation is revered – both living and non-living. Every festival or celebrations includes this aspect in some form or the other.

After the holy nine night, the Navaratris, Vijayadashami is a day to Celebrate Victory of Good over Evil. While every region has its own unique flavour and significance for the day, this is a piece discussing a ritualistic practice – Worship of Shammi Vruksha (Tree) and giving Shammi Patra (Banni ele in Kannada) to others.

Source: Wikipedia

Some scientific facts (sourced from Web):

The binomial Botanical name of  Shammi Tree is Prosopis cineraria, which is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. It is native to arid portions of Western Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, including Afghanistan, Iran, India, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. It is the state tree of Rajasthan and Telangana in India. A large and well-known example of the species is the Tree of Life in Bahrain – approximately 400 years old and growing in a desert devoid of any obvious sources of water.It is also the national tree of the United Arab Emirates.

Religious Significance:

Shami, is highly revered among Hindus and worshipped as part of Dasara festival. This tree takes importance during the tenth day of Dasara Festival when it is worshipped in various parts of India. Historically among Rajputs, the Ranas, who were the high priest and the king, used to perform the worship and then they used to liberate a jay which was considered the sacred bird of Lord Rama. In the Deccan, as part of the tenth day ritual of Dasara, the Marathas used to shoot arrows on to the leaf of the tree and gather the falling leaf into their turbans as a custom.
In Karnataka (and many other places too), Banni mara is believed to be the tree where the Pandavas hid their weapons during exile and revered and worshipped on Vijay-Dashami day. Banni mara or the Shammi Vruksha holds a special place in the Mysore Dasara where its worshipped on the Vijay-dashami day.
In the Mahabharata, the Pandavas are known to have spent their thirteenth year of exile in disguise in the kingdom of Virata. Before going to Virata, they are known to have hung their celestial weapons in this tree for safe keeping for a year. When they returned after a year, they found their weapons safe in the branches of the Shami tree. Before taking the weapons, they worshipped the tree and thanked it for keeping their weapons safe.

The Legend ( in Karnataka)

There lived a very poor destitute child Shamivruta who despite being an orphan was an epitome of good qualities. In the same place existed a Gurukul (India Traditional School) called Sisu managed by Guru Mahaana. Hardworking and diligent Shamivruta came to the Gurukul and began his education with extreme sincerity and commitment. He also had Prince Vrukshita, son of the Maharaja of that Kingdom as his classmate.

Art of Living – Gurukul

As Guru Mahaana used say, Good Education demands a lot of humility and would also mean going hungry at times to acquire knowledge – Shamivruta followed this unscrupulously but Vrukshita used to believe that “enthusiasm and knowledge can be acquired only when the stomach has no hunger. Else a student is as good as a breathing dead body”

Years flew past and their education in Gurukul Sisu came to an end and it was time for everyone to move out to face the real world and put their knowledge to worldly use. Before they embarked on to their native places, Guru Mahaana says that he will come to each one of them in due course for receiving his Gurudakshina (Reverential Offering/Gift made to a Guru in return for knowledge imparted).

One day Guru Mahaana arrives at the palace of Vrukshita who had become the king by the time. He receives the Guru with ceremonies befitting a royal reception. He wanted to gift his Guru something that no one should have given before or no one can gift later.  He also wanted the Guru to realize the worth of this royal student who is now the king. He then loaded the Palace elephant with chests of Gold Coins, Gems and Jewels sent it along with the Guru. He then secretly followed the Guru just to witness the misery of Shamivruta – who would surely be repenting due to his inability to give anything to his Guru

As Guru Mahaana reaches Shamivruta’s humble hutment, he receives his Guru with utmost devotion and offers him Milk and fruits. He enquired about the wellbeing of the Guru. Despite knowing he has nothing to offer, Shamivruta tells his Guru to ask anything and he ensure that is  made available. To everyone’s surprise Guru Mahaana demands Shamivruta to give him a complete Shami Tree with fully grown fresh green leaves from the Garden of his backyard. Shamivruta who believed that there is nothing Greater than a Guru and nothing beyond death, offers it to the Guru right away and takes him to the backyard.

As soon as Guru Mahaana touches the tree, all the leaves on the tree turns into Gold coins. And it started dropping down from tree one by one growing into a huge heap. Surprisingly, tree was still not bereft of leaves.

Guru Mahaana then tells, “Even a leaf given with love is equivalent to Gold compared to any gift given out of pride” He then summons Vruskhita and tells him that Gold may be available anywhere, but it can never buy Love, and Good relationship. He then asks Vrukshita to seek forgiveness from his friend Shamivruta. Since both of them become one and thick friends due to the greatness of this tree – it was came to be known as Shami Vruksha after both of them.

Thus began the practice of giving Shami patri or Banni ele, (leaves) on Vijayadashami to symbolize a gift equivalent to gold but filled with love. We say “Banni Bangaaravaagona” while handing over leaves – which has two meanings. Literally it means – Come, let us become Gold – but symbolically it means, let us be like the Banni/Shami Gold relation

|Banni Bangaaravaagona|

Shanitrastu, Pushitrastu, Thushtirastu.

May you be blessed with Peace, Prosperity and Contentment.

On this auspicious occasion, please watch this video – a message from the Art of Living‘s Founder  Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji