Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif constrained out of office, on account of the Panama Papers
Sharif’s leave comes after a long-drawn fight in court which finished ominously for him
This raised questions about whether India’s mighty are at all prone to meet a similar destiny that Nawaz Sharif did
New Delhi, August 3, 2017: Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson of Iceland and Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan are similar in ways that they cannot be proud of. Both of them are prime ministers who were constrained out of office, on account of the Panama Papers, which is an investigative news coverage activity that revealed offshore shell organizations and tax shelters in light of spilled records from Panamanian law office Mossack Fonseca.
Be that as it may, while Gunnlaugsson surrendered, not long after the Panama Papers report prompted dissents in Iceland a year ago, Sharif’s leave today arrives after a fight that was long-drawn in court which finished ominously for him.
In India as well, there is not lack of prominent names that were included in the list of Panama Papers. Indian Panama incorporates best legal counselor Harish Salve, industrialist Gautam Adani’s senior sibling Vinod Adani, and Bollywood hotshot Amitabh Bachchan. But contrasted with the speed at which Pakistan’s offices and judiciary followed up on the case of Sharif, is the pace of India on the subject of Panama Papers impressively slower?
The following is a passage from an article in Indian Express by Ritu Sarin in March 2017, one of the writers who was a part of the group exploring the Panama Papers.
“Nearly a year after The Indian Express published the Panama Papers, tax authorities have succeeded in obtaining 165 replies — partial or complete — from among 13 jurisdictions where Indian nationals had incorporated offshore companies through the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. According to data made available at the latest meeting of the Multi Agency Group (MAG) last month, the number of Indian clients of Mossack Fonseca, whose PAN numbers had been traced, has swelled to 424. Of these, 205 have accepted links to offshore entities named in the global expose. However, 60 other Indians named in the Panama Papers remain untraced.”
Sarin feels that it would be unfair to put an allegation on the Indian agencies of being relaxed in tackling the Panama Papers. Rita Sarin added that she had hardly noticed the tax department act in such a swift manner. She compared investing offshore to the long process of peeling an onion, where you have to go layer by layer.
It is a fact that Pakistan managed to finish the Nawaz Sharif Panama case in barely a year, but what about the procedures on the prominent names of Indians displayed in the Panama Papers?
Sarin mentioned that all the individuals named in the Panama Papers, including the famous people were sent a notice. There will be a PIL in the Supreme Court. Notwithstanding when the duty dept is giving status reports to the SC. So in the event that they are not obliged to let even the SC know, there is no compulsion on them to tell us. Tax probes are exceptionally private, that is the idea of a duty examination. We will just become more acquainted with when individuals are prosecuted.
“All I can say is that each one of the people named by us were given tax notices. They must have been subsequently summoned and the case is in progress. Whenever there was a requirement or a suspicion of tax evasion, those requests were sent to the offshore jurisdictions. So that process is underway” she elaborated.
Indeed, even if the jokes proceed with it is worth asking if India’s mighty are prone to meet a similar destiny as Nawaz Sharif. Or, on the other hand, will their position and status postpone this test indefinitely?
-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of Newsgram. Twitter Hkaur1025
According to entertainment news, about 54 per cent of online videos that Indians watch are in Hindi, while English is preferred by only 16 per cent of the viewing population, followed by Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Bengali, Google-owned YouTube said in a report on Tuesday.
Telugu is preferred by seven per cent of viewing population, Kannada six per cent, Tamil five per cent and Bengali is preferred by three per cent, said the study titled “Understanding India’s online video viewer”.
The research revealed that Indian users watch online videos for an average of 67 minutes everyday.
More than 70 per cent of viewership comes from 15-34 year olds and 37 per cent of users come from rural geographies.
The total online video user population is expected to reach 500 million by the end of the year, said the report.
According to YouTube, entertainment emerged to be the favourite genre along with learning content which is consumed in 43 per cent of the video viewing occasions.
The study also highlighted the ‘Four Ps’ of motivation for watching — Pleasure, emPower, Purpose and People.
Explaining these further, pleasure accounts for 55 per cent and is all about enjoyment and de-stressing; empower is 20 per cent and fulfils the need to be confident and free; purpose accounts for 14 per cent and is about progress and staying updated; people is 11 per cent and reflects the need to connect and bond.
Around 60 percent Indians are not happy with the relaxations imposed by the government in the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown, reveals a new survey.
The survey, conducted over 2.5 lakh people by Public, a location-based homegrown social app revealed 86 percent even said that they are not going out for dining, socializing or travelling, after completion of the third phase of lockdown.
The survey which captured 300+ districts, had people giving their opinion on how they are adjusting with the extended lockdown and the ease of restrictions.
With the relaxation announced by Prime minister Narendra Modi for the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown, only 13.2 percent claimed that they are going out for dining, socializing with their friends or travelling. Additionally, 49 percent feared that India is yet to control the spread of coronavirus. Indians might be unhappy with the decision.
Europeans have a horrifying record regarding human rights violations. Germany is well known for an unprecedented, systematic holocaust of Jews and gypsies right in the middle of Europe only 80 years ago. Yet Britain, France, Portugal and others were as brutal with equal or even higher number of humans killed in their colonies. Their victims count many millions and many of them were Indians.
The Arabs, Turks and Mongols, too, have a horrifying record regarding human rights. The number of victims killed also goes into many millions, and many of them were Indians.
The Muslims invaded India already over thousand years ago and were as brutal as ISIS in our times. Unspeakable torture and beheadings were done on massive scale. Even the supposedly benign “Akbar the Great” slaughtered Hindus in huge numbers. The collective sacred threads of the Brahmins massacred by him is said to have weighed 200 kilogram. Can one even imagine such incredible injustice and brutality to civilians and priests? Thousands of temples were destroyed. Hindu women were sold into sex slavery. Hindus even had to open their mouth and receive gratefully the spittle by Muslims sitting on horses, and slaughtering cows was seen as “noblest deed” because it was so painful for Hindus, is recounted in “Legacy of Jihad” by Andrew Bostom.
The brutality experienced by Hindus was so horrendous that, even in independent India, they hardly dare to complain when they are subjected to cruel discrimination. It is painful to read comments whenever Hindus are killed or raped by Muslims: “This won’t make news, as the victim is only a Hindu”. It is so sad, but understandable after what they have gone through for over thousand years. They had no way to get justice; had to bear their suffering silently.
Guru Nanak cried out to the Supreme, and it is part of the Grant Sahib, “Having lifted Islam to its head, You have engulfed Hindustan in dread… Such cruelties they have inflicted and yet Your mercy remains unmoved….Oh Lord, these dogs have destroyed the diamond-like Hindustan.”
The British colonial masters were not less brutal. Their disdain for the natives was incredible. Winston Churchill is on record saying that he “hated Indians” and considered them a “beastly people with a beastly religion”. Celebrities like Charles Dickens wanted the Indian race ‘exterminated’ and considered them vile savages and Max Mueller wanted them all converted to Christianity.
Britain looted and reduced the formerly wealthiest country of the world to painful poverty, where during their rule over 25 million people starved to death, 3 million as late as in 1943 in Bengal.
The crimes of the British colonialists are, like those of the Muslim invaders, too numerous to list. They tied Indians to the mouth of canons and blew them up, hanged scores of them on trees, and even just after over one million Indian soldiers had helped Britain to be victorious in the First World War with many thousands sacrificing their lives, General Dyer gave orders to shoot at a peaceful gathering in Amritsar in 1919 where thousands died. An old coffee planter in Kodagu told me that even in the early 1950s there was a board in front of the club house in Madikeri. It read: “Dogs and Indians not allowed”.
Can anyone imagine the pain those Indian generations went through, having arrogant, often uncouth ruffians looting their land and despising them as dogs?
How could Europeans and Arabs be so cruel to other human beings? The reason is that they saw themselves as superior and others not quite as human.
Religion played a big role in making them feel superior. Both Christianity and Islam teach their members that only their religion is true and that the Creator will reward them with eternal heaven, but will severely punish all those who do not follow their ‘true’ religion. If God himself will torture them eternally in hellfire, why should his followers be good to them? Wouldn’t it mean siding with God’s enemies and betraying Him?
But on what basis do they consider only their religion as true and themselves as superior? The reason is that the respective founder of their religion allegedly said so. No other reason exists and no proof. On this flimsy basis, Christians and Muslims treated other human beings most inhumanly, believing they are destined for hell while they themselves are God’s favorites and will go to heaven. This brainwashing in the name of religion happens even in our times and its effect is still not questioned and analysed.
Yet today, neither white Christians, nor Arab or Turkish Muslims are constantly reminded of those terrible crimes of their forefathers. “The present generation must not be held accountable for the sins of their fathers”, is however not applied to Hindus and especially not to Brahmins. Media keeps hitting out at them as if they had been the worst violators of human rights in the past. Hinduism is portrayed as the villain due to the “horrific and oppressive” caste system.
Anyone, who knows a little about history, knows that this is false and malicious. The structure of Hindu society into four varnas or categories is mentioned in the Vedas and depends on one’s aptitude and profession – Brahmins, who memorise and teach the Vedas, Kshatriyas, who administer and defend society, Vaishyas who supply the society with goods and Shudras, who are the service sector. The varnas are not fixed by birth in texts like Bhagavad Gita or Manusmriti. But the British themselves cemented ‘castes’ (a Portuguese word) in their census and then turned around and accused Hindus of their birth-based, fixed caste system.
There was however one more category which the whole world has been told about and which is used to the hilt to despise Hinduism. They were the untouchables who do unclean work, like handling dead animals, cleaning sewers, etc. The fact that other varnas avoided touching them is still made a huge issue of in the West. In fact it is portrayed, as if this practice made Hindus the greatest violators of human rights and makes the millions tortured and killed by Christians and Muslims pale in comparison.
Yet there is no proof that even one of those untouchables has been killed for doing unclean work. Higher castes may indeed have looked down or still look down on those whose job involves dirt, which is unfortunately a human trait in all societies. It has nothing to do with Hinduism. Most people are aware that such work also needs to be done.
There is in all likelihood another angle regarding “untouchability”, which the British did not realize: Ayurveda knew already 3000 years ago that invisible germs can cause serious illness and those dealing with cadavers and dirt are more likely to carry and spread those. However, the British didn’t know about this fact till only some 150 years ago, when Louis Pasteur claimed that germs cause sickness. (By the way, Google describes this discovery as “crowning achievement of the French scientist”, and avoids mentioning India’s ancient Ayurveda).
Now in today’s time of “social distancing” due to the Corona Virus, we know that not touching others is a precaution to prevent potential infection and has nothing to do with discrimination. The British could have given Hindus the benefit of doubt that they avoided physical contact with certain people due to caution. But since the British didn’t have the advanced knowledge about harmful germs they could not see the possible reason behind it.
Since Independence, the caste system is officially abolished and discrimination against lower castes is a non-bailable offense. Yet the West still makes a huge issue of the caste system and untouchables. Why? Was this the greatest crime the British could find against the “natives” and therefore exaggerated it tremendously?
This is not to say that people of higher castes didn’t or don’t look down on lower castes, but the demonization of Brahmins is most unwarranted, as Brahmins are least likely to harbour hatred for others due to their strict rules for sadhana which requires them to keep a very high standard of mental and physical purity. Yet evangelicals, NGOs, international media, Muslim organisations, they all are after them and Hindus in general. They attack them for “atrocities” which never even happened, while the unspeakable atrocities, which were perpetrated upon them, are ignored. It’s a classic case of noticing the speck in the brother’s eye, but not the beam of wood in one’s own eye.
They got away with it for too long, because Hindus didn’t react. The meekness of Hindus was legendary. They were even called cowards. Yet in recent time, Hindus are becoming more assertive. They realize that the constant attacks on them are malicious, and that they are being fooled in the name of secularism because neither Christians nor Muslims can be secular. They are by nature communal because they need to make their community spread all over the world.
It is time to call out this blatant insincerity. When a head of state, like Imran Khan, accuses the Modi government in a tweet of “moving towards Hindu Rashtra with its Hindutva Supremacist, fascist ideology”, he better looks at his own country and his own ideology. A Hindu Rashtra with its inclusiveness and freedom are any time better than the exclusive, supremacist ideologies of Islam and Christianity, which force human beings into a strait-jacket of blind belief and several Muslim states threaten even today those who want to get out with death sentence.