Sunday, November 30, 2014

Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden--from 9/11 to Abbottabad by Peter Bergen

Peter Bergen is the author of  4 books on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. He is CNN's national security Analyst and in the Manhunt, writes a detailed account of the search for Osama Bin Laden from 9/11 to his eventual assassination on May 2, 2011. Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were the perpetrators of the greatest terrorist attack in the history of Jihad. which left the American people stupefied and enraged. While it also brought Jihad, which had been restricted mostly to two countries i.e. Israel and India to global prominence.

Thus started the manhunt for the leader of Al Qaeda( which translates to 'The Base' in English from Arabic). Bin Laden was of course hiding in Afghanistan under the protection of the Islamic fundamentalist group, Taliban, which was and is headed by the shadowy and enigmatic leader Mullah Omar. Taliban had been propped up by Pakistan to have control over Afghanistan and limit India's perceived hegemony in the region. Taliban is ultra conservative, with it's illiterate leader at the helm. It is mentioned about Mullah Omar in the book that the dude was so radical that he did not allow pictures of even himself, he refused to meet non Muslims and ordered the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas.

USA invaded Afghanistan to seek revenge, as Taliban had refused to handover Osama Bin Laden. America overthrew Taliban and launched scathing attacks on Al Qaeda. Many Al Qaeda leaders were either killed or captured but No 1 and No 2 remained elusive i.e. Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman Al Zawahiri.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Operation Blue Star by KS Brar

Synopsis:

Its 1984, Punjab is burning. Sikh fundamentalists are spawning the flame of communalism. The movement for a separate Sikh state, Khalistan, is being spearheaded by the legendary Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Bhindranwale's popularity has reached a crescendo, hailing from the Damdami Taksal, the sikh educational organization, Bhindranwale became a symbol of resistance to the perceived hegemony of the Indian state in the minds of the ordinary Sikhs. Some Sikhs even branding him as the 11 Guru of Sikhs.

Bhinderwale had unleashed a host of terrors on the minority community and all who opposed him, he had unmitigated control over the affairs in Punjab and the elected government had just become a puppet. He had set up his base in the Golden Temple, which is the holiest shrine for Sikhs and had put up personally over the room above the Akal Takht. Golden Temple had been turned into a military fortress with fortifications on all side, backed up by motivated, hardcore fundamentalists Bhinderwale looked invincible. Reports from the temple suggested that there were at least 500-600 militants holed up inside threatening the security and integrity of the Indian state.

While Lt Gen KS Brar fails to go into any details about the reason for discontent in Sikhs, he goes into intricate details about the Blue Star operation itself. Brar, a Sikh himself was handpicked to conduct one of the most dangerous and emotionally charged operations.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

India's Biggest Cover up by Anuj Dhar

Japan had been defeated by the Allied Powers and the INA was defeated along with them. All hopes of Independence of India through an armed struggle were dead. Japan surrendered to British on 15 August, 1945. was it a mere coincidence that India was granted independence on Aug 15, 1947?

On Aug 18, 1945, Subash Chandra Bose, former president of the CWC and the head of the INA died in a plane crash in Taipei while he was on his way to Tokyo to negotiate a separate surrender for the INA to the Allies.

This is what all of us have read in NCERT text books, but things are not always what they seem. Anuj Dhar claims that Bose or Netaji as he was lovingly called by his followers, did not die in the plane crash, and it was all a conspiracy hatched by Netaji and some of his closest followers.

I'm a total skeptic when it comes to conspiracy theories, the evidence and the arguments put forward by Mr Dhar have convinced me that there was some cover up, something happened on the fateful day of Aug-18 1945 that we are still struggling to comprehend.