Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Our political degeneration and ideological perversion

JNU has exposed and brought our political degeneration and ideological perversion to the fore.
Entire world is watching with amusement...
Sudhar jao bhai logon...

JNU row 2,000 liquor bottles, 3,000 condoms found daily at JNU, says BJP MLA:http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/jnu-row-2000-liquor-bottles-3000-condoms-found-daily-at-jnu-says-bjp-mla/

Monday, 22 February 2016

Remote Controlled Police

Remote Controlled Police

Recently from January 30th to February 1st, 2016, I along Justice (Retd) Markanday Katju of the Supreme Court of India, visited Behbal Kalan and Kot Kapura, both located in district Faridkot of Punjab to enquire into the incidents of police firing and lathi charge, on 14th October, 2015, in which two persons were killed and several others injured. Large number of eye witnesses deposed before the Commission and also submitted affidavits stating that police action on peaceful crowd which had gathered to express indignation over large scale incidents of desecration of Shri Guru Granth Sahib was sudden, excessive and without any provocation from the civilians.

Though the Chairman of the Commission, Justice (Retd) Katju is busy examining ‘evidence’ given to him, I can not help recalling some startling information which came up before us but to which no one was prepared to swear upon because of fear of retribution and reprisals from Punjab Police and their political masters.
During days of militancy, some police chiefs, at various levels, were excessively fond of getting their names written in ‘police log book’ in golden letters hoping to en-cash it at a later date; while getting their names sent for gallantry awards and hoping ‘better postings (in terms of monetary benefits)’and even ‘good post retirement benefits’, in certain other cases. Some such leaders of the force often participated in live police action on remote control; giving orders on wireless while sitting safely several kilometers away guzzling chilled beer or even hard drinks. Men on ground fought, often laying their lives but their names got only recorded in the ‘pall bearers book’ which is ritually taken out on October 21st every year on the occasion of Police Commemoration Day and then filed away to catch dust till the next year. These remotely controlled operations were both a source of sarcastic ridicule and indignation within police circles.

During our visit to Behbal Kalan, a number of eye witnesses stated, though off the record, that a certain senior police officer, immediately after reaching the spot was seen talking excitedly to someone on his mobile phone and then once the call was over, gave a ‘thumbs-up’ sign to police contingent present on the spot and then suddenly all hell was let loose. Police resorted to lathi charge duly accompanied with their blasting guns. Intermittent firing went on for quite some time culminating in two deaths and several injuries.

My journalist friends talked about a somewhat similar scenario in Kot Kapura where a larger civilian congregation had assembled peacefully under the leadership of very prominent Sikh Pracharaks and religious leaders. On account of a more serious situation here, very senior police officers were present informing their still higher-ups of the situation on ground. Two of my different journalist friend informed me of a telephonic conversation between one of the senior officer in charge and a top political leader, which, they claimed, was over heard by them. The political leader, after having been apprised of situation had allegedly just given only one line order, ‘Clear the place in ten minutes flat’. And then like in Behbal Kalan incident, all hell was said to have been let loose in the form of lathi charge, tear gas, and water spray along with police firing.

Who says that Punjab Police has changed? It is still remote controlled. During militancy senior cops held the remote control and now it is the turn of some of the alleged ‘Political Dons’.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Chapter 4, The Death Route: ‘Genocide’ of a Great Civilization'

Chapter 4

What is Heroin?

It Is Nothing A Sure Way To Untimely & Painful Death...

Heroin, a highly intoxicating substance ranging from blackish to brown to dirty and then pure white in colour; is derived from raw opium. Opium poppy is known to have been cultivated in lower Mesopotamia as back as 3400 BC. Heroin salt, that is ‘Diamorphine’, as such, however, got discovered only in 1874 when C. R. Alder Wright, an English chemist working at St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London accidentally synthesized it while experimenting combinations of morphine with various acids.

Wright's invention, however, did not lead to any further developments, and this product namely ‘Diamorphine became popular only after it was independently re-synthesized 23 years later by another chemist, Felix Hoffmann of Bayer pharmaceutical company in Elberfeld, Germany. They gave it the name ‘heroin, based on the German ‘Heroisch’ which means ‘heroic, strong.' At that point of time it was supposed to be just an analgesic, cough suppressant and an anti diarrheal medicine. From 1898 through to 1910, Diamorphine was, thus marketed under the trademark name ‘Heroin’ as a ‘non-addictive’ morphine substitute and cough suppressant.


                                                                ‘Heroisch’ (Heroin)

It is painful indeed that this ‘medicine’, like other pharmaceuticals including those belonging to Amphetamine and Meth- Amphetamine groups, soon became more popular because of its ‘side effects’ rather that what they were originally intended to be and in no time became famous as ‘recreational medicines’ giving a terrible ‘high’, though with disastrous side effects. As on date it is a ‘banned substance’ almost all over the world. It is, however, illegally consumed by addicts in a number of ways. Intravenous injection is the fastest route of administration, causing blood concentrations to rise most quickly, followed by smoking, suppository (anal or vaginal insertion), insufflations (snorting), and ingestion (swallowing).
               Intravenous injection                           Smoking
                     Suppository                            Insufflations (snorting)
                                     Ingestion (swallowing)
There are several types of heroin making round in the markets and they include; Black heroin, Tar heroin, Brown heroin and White heroin
 Heroin purity has been classified into four grades. No.4 is the purest form – white powder (salt) which can be easily dissolved and injected. No.3 is ‘brown sugar’ and used for smoking (base). No.1 and No.2 are unprocessed raw heroin (salt or base).

                                              This is what Heroin looks like

  Heroin production 
Heroin production is almost a cottage or home grown industry in Afghanistan, which is the largest opium and consequently heroin producing area as well in the world, closely followed by countries like Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and neighbouring areas of Thai Land. Basically it involves four steps, namely;
1- Collection of raw opium (Pictures courtesy, the Net)

2- Converting raw opium to morphine base with the help of some basic chemicals and hot water. (Pictures courtesy, the Net)

3- Conversion in to a Brown heroin Base with the help of some acids and ‘precursor’ elements. (Pictures courtesy, the Net)

4- Further refinement in to the White heroin base in the same way but with the help of some different chemicals / precursors. (Pictures courtesy, the Net)

5- Collecting the final product that is the White heroin hydrochloride. (Pictures courtesy, the Net)

Short Term Effects of Heroin Use
Heroin is a highly addictive drug. It binds the opium receptor in the body, releasing   dopamine which gives ‘feelings of pleasure leading to growing addiction thereof. It hits the central nervous system leading to Drowsiness, Sedation and Lethargy and then to ‘nodding’, that is periods of being awake and being asleep. The ‘high’ from heroin decreases with continued use and the user becomes increasingly addicted to the drug. The onset of ‘tolerance’ frequently promotes ingestion of higher and higher amounts, which result in overdose and ultimately leads to death. The risk of death from overdose is a concern for people using heroin both in short or long terms because ‘dosing’ is impossible to measure due to difference in purity. Essentially, it's never a safe time to use heroin either by a first timer or a veteran user.
Short time effects of heroin include; Nausea and vomiting,   grogginess, confusion, dry mouth, itchy skin, miotic or constricted pupils’ ,light sensitivity, lower than normal body temperature, slowed respiration, slowed heart rate, cyanotic (bluish) hands, feet, lips, etc.
Many of these complications and side effects are compounded by using other substances with heroin, especially those which depress the body, for example, alcohol or sedatives. The combined effects can lead to dangerously slow breathing, lack of oxygen to the brain, heart problems, coma, and death.

Long term effects
Long term effects of heroin use include; Decreased dental health marked by damaged teeth and gum swelling, Excoriated skin from scratching, severe constipation, increased susceptibility to disease from diminished immune system, weakness and sedation, poor appetite and malnutrition, sleeping problems and decrease in sexual functioning etc. Some of the great risks of long term heroin use are the potential for irreversible impact on the liver or kidneys from damage or from infectious diseases. The brain can also be adversely affected due to lack of oxygen. Problems from abscesses, bacterial infections, and infections of the heart valves are also common. Pregnant women who use heroin are at risk of miscarriage, and place their children at risk of communicable disease, as well as being addicted to the drug right from birth.
Additionally, someone addicted to heroin is also likely to experience numerous personal consequences, such as financial issues, relationship turmoil, school or employment troubles and legal penalties etc..
Heroin Dependence
One of the most dangerous aspects of heroin is its ‘dependence’. It includes; restlessness and discomfort, pounding or racing heartbeat, anxiety, shaking, sweating, shivering, pain/aches in the muscles and bones, diarrhea, vomiting and inability to sleep.


Chapter 3; The Death Route: ‘Genocide’ of a Great Civilization'

Chapter 3

The Silk Route

To understand the entire story which I am trying to narrate, we will have to go back into the history by a few hundreds of years. Yes, this travel in to a past time zone is very important to understand my story, no matter how quickly I want to get done away with it.

I don’t know if you are interested in history, but if you have your basic general knowledge intact, I am sure that you must have read about the famous and historic ‘Silk Route’. In our school history books, most of us must have read about it; the famous and legendary ‘Silk Route’. The ancient route through which silk produced in China was transported all over the world, ultimate destination being the old kingdoms of India, Persia, Turkey and Rome.  

                                                 The ancient ‘Silk Route’

It is the story of one of the world’s oldest and historically most important trade routes and its influence on the cultures of China, Central Asia, India and even the West. Extending over 6,437 kilometers, about 4000 miles, it is estimated to have started around the commencement of the Han dynasty in 206 BC. This dynasty is estimated to have lasted till around 220 AD. Since silk comprised large proportion of trade along this route; in 1877, it was named ‘The Silk Road’ by Ferdinand von Richthofen, an eminent German geographer. The route consisted of several ‘roads’, but the most important one began from Chang’an (now Xian); then, through the Hexi corridor to Dunhuang, where it got divided into three sub routes; the Southern Route, Central Route and the Northern Route. These three routes spread all over the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region; extended as far as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and further ahead to Iran, Iraq, Turkey and then to Rome. All along the history of the region, this route, which was discovered by ancient traders, was destined to play immensely important, yet distinctly different roles.

The first conversion was to be from the ‘Silk Route’, to become the...

 ‘Invasion Route’.

It was primarily through this route that Greeks, followed by fierce Mongols and other tribes of Central Asia chose to invade India, which then included the areas which now form part of the present Pakistan and even beyond. This was the route through which the great Moguls also came in to India and made it their home. It was at this time, the time of the Moguls that this route once again became a primary ‘Trade Route’.

The Trade Route 2


This was the time normal trade again flourished through this route; major merchandise being silk, precious stones and metals, carpets, textiles and condiments, dried fruits of Peshawar, included. According to some old narrations, it was also the route, even then, through which opium, produced in China, was also traded.

The trade, including limited influx of opium, through this route, continued even during the British Raj in India when some parts of the country were further encouraged to cultivate the opium plant, which is Poppy.

                                                        Poppy, the flower of 'death'?

In context of modern history, the route about which we mentioned and which was popularly known as the Silk Route is the one which extends from the Central Asia, the region which now comprises of Afghanistan and North West area of Pakistan, to different sides including India on one side and from across the Balkans etc, off to Europe thorough the newly created countries of Kyrgyzstan,  Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan as also Iran and then off to Turkey. 


                                                                    British Raj                                                                                                                                                
 In context of this book, we will now specifically talk about the route from Central Asia to India, via Pakistan and then into the Indian Punjab. This historic and traditional route has also been changing its tone, tenor and colour from time to time, just like we Indians have also been changing the colour of our head gear from time to time and in accordance with the ‘colour’ of the political leadership; from turbans of different shapes and sizes during ancient empires to hats during the British time and then on to Gandhi and other caps and turbans of various colours, hues and shapes after the ‘so called independence’.
                                                               Changing Colours

This shiny silk route to India, which brought in riches as also invaders, has also been changing its colour and tenor from time to time, from the sheen and luster of silk to colours of precious stones, mixed with a bit of black colour of opium to ‘blood red’ off and on and then to a ‘painful red’ during the initial years of our independence, the fateful year of 1947.

                                                Silk                                                  Gems

Red of Blood

    Conversion to 'The Red Route'    

   The Painful & Bloody 1947



                                                            Images of ghastly 1947
This old Silk Road got drenched with the Hindu, Sikh and Muslim blood. It was an irony because the colour and chemical composition of all this blood was and still is the same. Religion and politics had divided the human race living in this region and led to one of the cruelest bloodshed, one of the cruelest bloodshed ever because of petty political consideration under the subterfuge of religion as well. Brotherly ties became ‘bloody’ and then all of a sudden this legendary and immortal route again opened up. This time the good old ‘Silk Route’ had got covered with blood and became the ‘Red Route’, the ‘Blood Route’. It was the human blood with which that part of earth became red, blood of countless number of individuals, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. It was the greatest tragedy for the region when human life was taken by erstwhile brothers in the name of religion, caste, creed and country. Hatred reigned supreme.
Time is a great healer and over a period of time; continued and still continuing outburst of mutual hatred notwithstanding; things got settled to an extent or other and trade, both legal and illegal, opened up. Various items including dried fruit and ‘Afghani Afeem’ came in from Afghanistan and gold through Pakistan. Since the initial years of independence till about the end of eighties there was immense difference in the prices of gold in India and abroad. Though on account of the Indian taxation policy, still the prices of gold in indie and abroad, do vary but at that time, the profit margin were immense and ‘risks’ were lesser. This led to a spurt in smuggling of gold. Routes of smuggling of gold into India were many but more important ones were either on the west coast of India, the coastal areas of Maharashtra, particularly around the Mumbai harbour or through the porous Indo- Pak border along Punjab. As far as Punjab is concerned, on account of centuries old strong commercial, social and ethnic links between Punjabis living in Indian and Pakistani Punjabis, gold ‘smuggling’ picked up almost instantaneously. Religion and political leanings notwithstanding, Punjabi speaking populace on both sides of the Indo-Pak border through Indian and Pakistani Punjab, is the same. Same historic legacy, same language and same sub castes. Cheemas, Bains, Ranas, Choudhuries and a lot many other sub castes with similar surnames and sub-castes exist on both sides of the border. Commercial ties and trade requires substantial monetary backing and ‘investments’. Punjabis living on both sides of the border were and still are rich, unlike their poorer brethren living along the Rajasthan and other borders. Both sides had and have money and guts and as such, willing to ‘invest’ in the gold smuggling. The porous borders made things still easier, a child’s game. Villages on either side of the border became hot beds of smugglers.    

Old kothies on either side of the border

 My hereditary village Maddoke Brar located on Indo-Pak border belt of Amritsar was one of such most notorious of places involved in smuggling of gold and an abode of a number of notorious gold smugglers. Though decades ago our family had moved out of the village to Baghdad and then to England, but it did hurt when I came to know of all fact. A good number of remaining individuals of the clan and a number of other ‘docile’ individuals were also subsequently ‘kicked out’ of their native village. Their houses, lands and property like our own were grabbed by some such of notorious persons.
Understandably smuggling requires political and police protection, and some of the renowned politicians of yester years, living on both sides of the border got involved in one way or the other and became more than willing partners in smuggling of gold through this border. Some of the prominent politicians of yester years of Punjab were known to be top gold smugglers themselves where as a number of others provided protection and received protection money. Police and civil officers posted and working in the region are also said to have became wilful patrons of gold smugglers and very often used their official clout, resources and men for smuggling of gold. A number of them were themselves said to be the couriers of gold from Punjab further into remaining parts of India. Bullion markets in the country primarily thrived on supplies through Punjab and the west coast of the then Bombay and neighbouring region. The good old ‘Silk Route’ had given way to the ‘Yellow Route’.                                      

                                                                   Gold bars


'Conversion to White'

Smuggling along the route remained ‘yellow’ till about mid 1980s and then it again changed its colour. This time it was destined to become ‘white’. White, the colour of peace, was now to become the colour of death, decaying white corpses. It was the commencement of the era of heroin and smack.


                                                              Heroin / Smack

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Cover Page of Book; The Death Route: ‘Genocide’ of a Great Civilisation An illustrated revelation

The Death Route:
‘Genocide’ of a Great Civilization
An illustrated revelation

                                                                                                                                          …..Shashi Kant

Monday, 15 February 2016

Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Punjab, the land of Gurus...


Whenever I meet and interact with foreigners and Indians living outside Punjab, in other parts of this country, my head hangs in shame while telling them that I am from the state of Punjab. The moment they come to know about my 'ethnicity', they start shooting their volley of questions about drugs and the reason why Punjab is so heavily into drugs?

 It is indeed lamentable that this holy land of Gurus has now become synonymous with drugs and its smuggling. Many of foreigners have stated that now Punjab is internationally come to be known as the drug capital of third world. Some time back officials of a particular country which has become a major drug route itself, claimed that was a growing opinion in a section of their government that Punjabis entering their country should not only be frisked allowing them only their birth suit but  also be kept under continuous watch. That they were also thinking  in terms of establishing a special task force for this purpose. They, however further stated that only problem coming their way was the substantial Punjabi population permanently settled in their country and their ever increasing role in the political dynamics.

It was really appalling to hear all this. I wanted to call it ‘racial discrimination’ but then stopped myself and ate my words. A small section of Punjabis living and visiting abroad have brought shame to the entire  race. I want to rise and oppose it all as ‘sham propaganda’ but then how to do it because while in service, i saw quite a few of these getting VIP treatment both by politicians and officials alike? I had and still see many of such like disgusting foreigners of Indian origin moving around duly 'piloted by siren blaring government gypsies and hordes gun men shamelessly brandishing their assault rifles. I had also seen a few of these shameless merchants of death being ferried in certain choppers. The billion dollar questions is, why the heck?' No one, just no one, showers these 'honours' for nothing.


Well, anyhow, we appear to have lost our moral right to call such condemnable acts of these foreign governments, an act of ‘racial discrimination’. Perhaps they are doing it 'rightly or wrongly' in their own so-called national interests, I do not know. I just do not know. 

Anyhow, coming back to subject, a large number of our own politicians of our own state of Punjab are themselves stated to be on drugs. I remember that some time back I had stated that politicians who intend to contest elections in Punjab, should be put to dope test, besides the Election Commission of India obtaining their sworn affidavits to the effect that they are 'clean'. It had led to  massive furors from a number of politicians, who however, could not do anything except sniggering at my proposal. But again a number of our politicians are stated to be on opium and in fact one of the top varieties of opium still stands named after the village of a particular politician. Some of our comparatively younger politicians are also alleged to be either on synthetic drugs or cocaine, most probably the cocaine. Often they are hyper active, living in their own virtual world.


'Perpetually High'

 This transition towards notoriety is scandalous and abhorring. Traditionally this distinction was reserved for parts of China, Burma and their neighbouring areas. Then, a few decades ago, this dubious distinction went to Afghanistan where immense amount of pure heroin is still being manufactured under the very nose of the elite international community. Pakistan plays an important and willing role in its onward 'trading' (read smuggling).


                                                         Painful Transition 

A good chunk of opiates; heroine / smack; coming from Afghanistan through Pakistan, passed and still passes through Punjab, on its way to the world markets; the most important of them being the North American sub continent, still more specifically, United States of America. This ultimate destination is closely followed by a number of countries of  European Union,  United Kingdom and now even Australia, besides other ‘minor’ countries all over the world.

But as if it was not enough, Punjab has, unfortunately, come up quickly on the international market of synthetic drugs as well. Punjab is internationally also known as the major international synthetic drug export market. But why only in the international market, it is known to be so even nationally as well. From here substantial quantity of opiates and synthetic drugs are getting inundated in to remaining parts of India as well. Sizable chunks of these drugs are being used with in Punjab by various age groups, particularly the youth. It is a pity that none of the successive governments of Punjab have ever tried even to study this problem. No official figures are available. No scientific study has ever been undertaken for obvious reason, which is the complicity and involvement of the governments.

                                                        Major Drug Trafficking Routes

As indicated in this map, India is one of the major routes for international drug smuggling. Punjab remains the most important of routes for  smuggling of opiates that is heroin coming in from Pakistan. It is also one of the more important of places for the manufacture of synthetic drugs and its subsequent smuggling abroad and else where with in the country. Lower grades of heroin is being used by lesser mortals and the high grade, the grade four, and synthetics by the affluent sections. it is simple economics. and consequently it appears that most of the Punjab is ‘doing drugs’.              

Doped Out

There are all sorts of figures on net stating that about 70 to 75% youth of  Punjab are into drugs. That about 60% school going kids have consumed drugs at one point of time or the other, but nothing official or totally credible. No government has ever bothered to study this problem and its magnitude through a meaningful study. Whatever surveys were done, hardly any of them had any satisfactory sample size. On account of this inflow as also indigenous production, Punjab majorly also controls the supply of drugs to the remaining parts of India. Almost an entire generation of Punjab is lost to the drugs.  There are hundreds of documentaries on the subject. Several thousands of articles have been published nationally and internationally, innumerable number of seminars have been organised, but of no avail. They all have consistently failed to wake up the people as such or the successive governments of the days that were or are; in their ‘induced slumber of power and greed’. These governments even refuse to peep out of their ivory towers made of wads of ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ of various denominations.this variety of Gandhi had done the damage.

And the million dollar question remains as to who all are fault...
...the God (people love to call it all ‘the will of god’. in Punjabi they use a particular phrase for all such situations. 'rabb da (p)bhanna manno, accept it as the will of god), 
...Governments both of the center and states, their official 'organs’ included; 
...slow moving and ‘evidence (which no one wants to give) oriented Judiciary; 
...People themselves who do not want look beyond their ‘today’?