Iran: The US Myths Perpetuate

By Saswat Pattanayak

The recent news that the American government reports regarding Iran’s nuclear activities were motivated and based on systematic lies is no news.

Back in September 2006, the UN had condemned the US reports as false, erroneous and misleading. Vilmos Cserveny, a director of International Atomic Energy Agency had written a letter addressed to Chairman, US House of Representatives, in clear terms saying that the US report “Recognizing Iran as a Strategic Threat: An Intelligence Challenge for the United States” (dated 23rd Aug 2006) contained “erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated information”.

The UN’s responses to US report as blatantly motivated were subsequently ignored by the corporate media at that point. The biggest news monopolies chose not to highlight this factor even as they went on raising apprehensions of Iran as the threat to world security. And the people of the western “democracies” naturally went ahead to parrot their oppressive ruling class stances. During the war against Afghan people, they had not raised voice because most of their media told them it was just and appropriate. During the war against Iraqi people, the first world citizens indeed voted their war mongering leaders back to power because they again believed in their militarist war reports. And now, when the tirade turned against Iran, they blindly allowed their corporate media to project Iran as the threat to the world security by consuming overwhelming proportions of anti-Iran coverage.

Following UN objections, not taking chances, the western media imperialists combined their joint efforts. AP, Reuters and AFP (the American, British and French media monopolists) circulated a story that was generated by some French racists. Agence France-Presse, whose single point agenda has been to defame the Islamic world reported in March 2007 by reinventing the myths and published a concocted story that a UN inspector had been denied access to Iran. This story found such coinage and credibility that even in his August tour of Columbia University, Iranian president faced questions from the University President, a learned professor, to this regard.

The fact that the Columbia University President not only believed in the news reports published by AFP and circulated through news channels in the US, but also without feeling the need to investigate into the UN responses, decided to harshly question the morality of President of a sovereign country is evidence enough as to what extent the ordinary working class American people are gullible to the so-called news reports distributed by their trusted media. From Fox to CNN channels, from conservative to liberal publications, American media have historically heeded to false reports, at times deliberately to protect their own grounds, and at times incidentally as a matter of “professional” routine.

Before accusing an individual of committing a crime, the law, order, judiciary and media claim to leave no stones unturned. And yet, in cases such as this where a head of a sovereign state was being accused of preventing UN inspection team, no one thought twice before republishing AFP lies.

The very fact that elected representatives of many western demoncracies thrived through the cold war period by implanting devious designs into independent territories, installed atrocious dictators to suppress peoples movements, forcibly colonized half of the world through territorial and economic invasions is enough to raise collective suspicion that the fourth pillar of such malicious structures, the press, must be largely responsible for continuing the legacy of oppression. And yet, the fact that the enlightened western audience, the successors of the renaissance heritage, the alumni of the ivy leagues allow themselves to be vulnerable to their corporate media productions and they become active participants in reproducing the elites of their countries must raise some basic questions:

1. Media Myths: Even after the UN itself denied the US reports alleging violations of UN norms by Iran, hundreds of thousands of American people continued to believe their media editorials as more accurate than the source they were referring to. It is because the myth that media are independent entities (from administrative interference) looms large in western hemisphere. Media outlets be in Communistic countries, or in Capitalistic countries are active agencies of the political system they work within. If under Communism, they propagate the action plans of the Party and raise awareness among people about socialistic policies, under Capitalism, the media propagate the conflicting situation faced by the ruling party in a multiparty competition and raise awareness about the merits of individualistic market economy. The question then is, how long do people have to wait till they can force the hypocritical media agencies to declare their affiliations (financial, political and ideological)?

2. False News: What happens when a world news is distorted entirely and presented in a form that suits the interests of the ruling class, solely to the detriment of the ruled people? It has always happened, but to take instance of the present case, people are well aware that the ordinary lower economic youths were sent to Iraq to be killed in order to serve the financial interests of the ruling elites in Washington. Even as the 9-11 reports manufactured by the US government were proven to be inconsistent with the reality and even as the government itself is accused of having role in the terrorist act, the even used as an excuse to bomb Iraq was propagated as the only recourse by the media outlets. The president was elected twice based on false news reports circulated nationwide under the preposition of Patriotism. In the recent sleight of hand against Iran, the US media designs were once again defeated when the UN also denied the allegations that its inspectors were forbidden by Iran. In such cases, how long do people have to wait till they can demand the ouster of editors from the news outlets they have been subscribing to, which parrot the official lines while claiming to be independent?

3. People Power: The primary goal of having media or bestowing certain privileges upon journalists is to ensure that people have a platform as wide, or wider than the political parties they allow to administer their affairs over. As years pass by, we notice that the contrary appears to be true. People have been losing their right to know the truth, to seek clarifications and to demand actions using the media platforms. Instead, people are meted out with corporate advertisements to allure and seduce them into remaining permanent features of an exploiting market economy that thrives through sweatshop practices, domestic slavery and private monopolies. Media (TV, Radio, Print, and now Internet) in the capitalistic societies have emerged as extremely necessary vehicles for consumeristic voyeurism. Beyond that, the remaining spaces are filled with outright lies, motivated news items and editorial columns that lack historical insights. Peoples’ participation has possibly increased as is evident through emergence of blogs and independent websites, but most of them anyway rely on the available news items to generate a comment. Hence, the conversation largely then remains within those groups of people that create and recreate the myths in various permutations. The question then is, how long will people have to wait till they can force their governments to restrict corporate advertisements and instead promote popular participation through activism journalism—the only way people power can be transmitted and translated?

Some of my concerns are philosophical in nature. Indeed, probably all are. But if we continue to ignore the roots of our collective human thoughts that’s getting increasingly conformist over the years by remaining content within the parameters of what is provided, than questions over what is required, then possibly we shall be leaving a deeply uncritical and acquiescing world for the future.


Ahmadinejad, Bollinger, Holocaust: the Great American Hypocrisy

By Saswat Pattanayak

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia University was arguably the most important step taken by a world leader to initiate the global peace that is so much needed in the clearly terrorized world we live in.

Ahmadinejad is a leader of significant importance—chief of a major country and representative of a major world religion– who was humble enough to accept a university invitation, and tolerant enough to appear in front of the most hostile audience that any academic institute in the world could feel ashamed of. And despite the odds, he was clearly on a mission: to promote the spirit of peace and open the road to desirable dialogue.

So, how was he received at the Land of the Free? First, the New York City Mayor displayed his level of arrogance by refusing Ahmadinejad a visit to 9/11 memorial site. Second, the Columbia University President exhibited unparalleled level of ignorance by verbally abusing the Iranian President. Third, the American President bathed in his self glory by refusing to entertain any possibility of any urgent dialogue.

Columbia: Elite University, Elitist Mindsets:
Columbia University characterized the drama usually associated with the great American Hypocrisy that has led to several wars and ideological confrontations during past many decades. One important way in which the First World countries have justified their position as regards to Freedom of Speech is by boasting about it. To prove that America allows freedom of speech, American administration needs to allow a certain amount of dissent to take place. Both the dissent and the freedom then have to be televised appropriately. Finally, the melodramatic confrontations are then needed to be compared with the economically subjugated world so as to prove an innate superiority in the methods of the free world.

In Ahmadinejad’s visit, all the above aspects were clearly evident. First, he was invited by Columbia University as the speaker. He was invited despite vehement protests from various student groups. This proved the spirit of tolerance that American democracy boasts of. However, critically deconstructing such an obvious reflection, one would fathom that the real reason why he was invited was not so much as “despite”, as was “because” of the protests from various groups of people. He was invited to speak on campus, because of the amount of controversy it would generate. And clearly, Columbia University did not do anything to stop the protests. Indeed, it advertised on its website additional permissions to student groups to create the noise and requested the community to bear with the protests which would continue for the entire day. Such vehement noisy protests where anyone could attribute any ghastly name to another country’s chief showcased a circus that was well planned and organized. Students and other social groups were not protesting against Columbia University (which they could have legitimately done by asking people to boycott a visit to the campus), rather they were enjoying the centrestage of press attention by using placards that could allow them to equate Ahmadinejad with Hitler and use any amount of vulgar slangs to denounce Iranian politics. In a country where peace marchers including octogenarian peacenik grandmothers are imprisoned because of silent protests, the rowdy behaviors from various “free speech” and student groups in front of a university was in fact encouraged.

Why was Ahmadinejad invited to the campus if the university was well aware that there would be thousands of people on the streets to protest? It was because the university was not afraid that they will lose reputation. It was not because the university was going to be boycotted. Not because students who resent Ahmadinejad were going to dissuade potential applicants from joining the campus. After all, a university which invites a “Hitler” naturally was going to be branded as anti-semite and was going to get bad press, and was going to be mocked at. The university was going to lose its own face by inviting someone whom many people on campus considered or even studied as a dictator.

Then why did the Columbia University invite someone as a chief guest who was so deeply hated by many in the campus community? In fact, Ahmadinejad was unique because he was (and continues to be) hated by both conservatives and liberals alike. Even several Free Speech coalitions did not have kind words for him. None of the politically correct historians had good thoughts about him. None of the civil rights organizations thought Ahmadinejad should be tolerated.

Lee Bollinger’s speech answered why: Calling the Iranian President “brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated”, even before allowing him an audience, the Columbia University professor proved the invitation was premeditated to be insulting. “You exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator,” Bollinger called Ahmadinejad. It was with the sole purpose of insulting the Iranian head that Ahmadinejad was invited to speak. The spirit of sheer hatred continued as stealth mockery found resonance throughout Bollinger’s long introduction.

Lee Bollinger who in the mask of being a free speech advocate (Michigan Affirmative Action champion) went all the way to demonstrate how utterly vulgar and autocratic he could be. A proclaimed “free-speech” advocate, Bollinger not only did not feel sorry about Ahmadinejad not being granted the freedom to visit 9/11 site, but he went one step further. Even before Ahmadinejad could speak on his “defense”, the Columbian professor went on verbally attacking the Iranian head as befitting a liar, idiot, rogue and conman.

Bollinger said a number of Columbian graduates were the brave fighters serving the American troop in Iraq. That was spoken in order to praise the American war against the Iraqi people! He asked Iranian President on their behalf why “Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq killing US troops”. Whether it is a proxy war that Iran is fighting in Iraq is a matter of dispute. What, however has been true is that the US fought an unjust war in Iraq and American troops caused much military misconduct that have been quite extensively recorded in recent past. What the Columbia University President should have done was to apologize on behalf of the infamous troop that has caused much distress to the world citizenry by its brazen inhuman treatment of peaceful civilians. Even after prison tortures, and civilian rapes committed by American troops (yes the same “brave” Columbian graduates as cohorts), the highly educated and informed professor proved his agenda of falsehoods and pretensions time and again.

Bollinger continued with his series of malicious attacks that were not evidenced nor called for. He brought to the fore the issue of Iran’s nuclear deal, which suggested his lack of awareness about the matter. Contrary to his accusations against Iran as a country working to create an unsafe world, the UN’s agency (International Atomic Energy Agency) has been in close collaboration with Iran and has found no such threats as being decried by the professor. Inviting a guest, and accusing him and the country he leads in highly derogatory terms and verbally abusing him as insane and unintelligent without even having evidence or knowledge to back up marked the genius of Bollinger. Who does Bollinger quote to support his opinions? French president Sarkozy – a right wing conservative—who apparently has lost patience (according to Bollinger) with Iran. Did such trivial information make sense in an introductory speech provided to “welcome” an international guest?

Bollinger then asked Ahmadinejad, “Why have you made the people of your country vulnerable to sanctions?” If Bollinger had any sense of empathy or understanding, he could have instead asked why do the first world powers foster vulnerable conditions for Iranian civilians. In an unsurpassed level of academic elitism that should ideally call for much loath and disgrace, Professor Bollinger outdid his sense of self-glorification by finally challenging the head of state of Iran to respond to his speech: “Let me close with a comment. Frankly and in all candor, Mr President, I doubt you have the intellectual courage to answer these questions but your avoiding them will in itself be meaningful to us. I do expect you to exhibit the fanatical mindset that characterizes so much of what you say and do…I am only a professor who is also a university president, but today I feel all the weight of the modern civilized world yearning to express the revulsion of what you stand for. I only wish I could do better.”

A huge section of Columbia University audience cheered and clapped to their president’s hate speech and waited gleefully for Ahmadinejad to fail the test. In contrast to the obviously arrogant speech of Bollinger, Ahmadinejad’s talk was pensive, thoughtful, full of insights. Ahmadinejad asserted that he was still an instructor at a university and as an instructor he strived for the whole truth. Apart from the questionable religious wisdom and denial of homosexuality in Iran, Ahmadinejad’s speech was more than an answer to Bollinger’s outlandish accusations. Yes, he did not answer anything “straight”, despite pleading from the university for him to answer in “yes” or “no”. But that was more due to the fact that Islam logic is not necessarily as vertically dismissive as Christian expectations. In every sentence that Ahmadinejad spoke, there was humility, a touch of candor and empathetic understanding. In every sentiment of Ahmadinejad, there was a prayer for collaboration, a hope for global peace, a step towards mutual dialogue. In every answer of Ahmadinejad to the Q/A session, there was an assertion of a world leader who was humble enough to raise historical lessons, and of an educated non-elite who was unafraid to research.

Ahmadinejad was forced to revisit his stance on Holocaust. Clearly he had not come to the US to speak about his views on historical revisionism, but to extend a hand of friendship for future peace pacts. Even at that stage he said he was not a Holocaust denier, what he wanted instead was further research into the area of history that has led the world to prepare for the largest unrest in recent times. Palestine did not fight World War II. Europe did. And why are the Palestinians facing the crisis still? Not an easy answer to this question, and Ahmadinejad sought for further research into this aspect. Talking about the halt in Iranian progress, he dwelt on the root cause of the unrest and insecurity. Why was Iran under sanction? Why did the first world powers withdraw unilaterally after assuring nuclear energy support to Iran? Why should there be limitations imposed on Iran’s scientific endeavors especially when IAEA has not found any problem with Iran’s peaceful nuclear program?

Moreover, Ahmadinejad did not just ask questions that were uncalled for. He offered agreements. Despite the insults and abuses and threats outside the campus building that were encouraged by the university officials, he invited American students to visit Iran, attend the universities and speak with civilians. Whether he would agree to hold a dialogue with the White House regarding resolution of US-Iran disputes? Of course, anytime! Ahmadinejad requested for a peaceful dialogue. “Everything can be resolved over talks. We need to talk”.

White House ignored Ahmadinejad during the rest of his stay. Ahmadinejad even called for a meeting of religious leaders to initiate global peace talks and succeeded. Around 140 religious leaders attended the meeting in New York, with the sole exception of any Jewish leader who refused to attend.

On the Homosexuality Question:
I waited for a few days to study media response to such an uncivilized treatment meted out to a state’s head. The American corporate media of course bathing in its biased glories preferred to maintain the line adopted by Columbia University and at their best, tried to provide a “balanced” perspective to the issue that clearly called for critical intellectual intervention.

Most reports mocked at the ignorance of Ahmadinejad when it came to issue of homosexuality. They chose to play moral pundits while not mentioning how America treats its own LGBT community. The fact that the US has consistently failed to provide for basic human rights to homosexual population even after acknowledging their presence in every sphere in social life here is clearly amiss from all reports that attacked Iran’s condition. “Mr President, in your country, homosexuals are treated in this and that way” has been a standard line of both the Columbia University president and our enlightened western press. Not for once did the educated pause awhile to review the fact that not so long ago American Psychology Association (APA), the famed master of all things research, used to consider homosexuality as an abnormality. And even to this date, the major state religion whose dictums appear on the courtroom walls and classroom prayers has been the single biggest enemy to the cause of the LGBT community.

On the Holocaust Question:
Most amount of time devoted by the university professor in his speech and later on by the university during Q/A session, and by media reports before, during and after the visit of Ahmadinejad focused on the alleged “holocaust denial” of the Iranian head. It has been accused severally that he is an Anti-Semite, like most of anyone we know in the recent history who has challenged the Holocaust issue from different perspectives.

Even as we have succeeded in challenging the legacy of Columbus and George Washington, the only and perhaps the largest event of significance has remained beyond recent review. Bollinger, the academician said there was absolutely no need to do any further research on Holocaust while Ahmadinejad said to presume that research on a topic is already exhausted is to underestimate the power of knowledge itself.

The wisdom which Ahmadinejad brought to the conference hall of the New York based university was clearly demolished to pieces with overriding imposition that calling for research into Holocaust amounts to challenging the truth itself.

The fallacious logic applied by the dominant historical thread about Holocaust is clearly evident in the manner in which they are unwilling to entertain any slightest of suggestions that can be introduced to enrich our collective historical knowledge.

If the leading academicians of the western world are so vehement in their resistance to any further research into one specific historical event, then commonsense implies there is something wrong somewhere. Personally, for me, to deny Holocaust is a crime by itself, and I am sure Ahmadinejad has not committed that crime. However it is equally a crime if we refuse to allow any more research on a historical process that changed the geographical face of the planet. Like Ahmadinejad said, we need to conduct research into every possible field in the world. We do not know whether our beliefs will be restored or quashed. The motive behind conducting a research is not to prove one or the other side. The motive of conducting a research has been to excavate further truths that may or may not unsettle previously known knowledge. On the day of his speech, Professor Ahmadinejad had not forgotten the basics of research methods. Professor Bollinger, had clearly forgotten that. And in all earnest observation, Bollinger behaved every bit unlike a student, unlike a teacher. Where is the zeal to conceal truth coming from? What legacy does Holocaust hold?

This is a crucial question of our times. Let me state that each human being of this planet has a stake in this question and each of us have a moral responsibility to respect the multiple truths that emerge from the researches done, and researches awaiting to be done. Neither the professor at Columbia holds the key to a sole truth, nor the head of Israel, Iran or United States.

If fact be told as has been chronicled by every historian of our age, the truth is the people who are steadfastly holding onto the Holocaust theory are probably the ones to have distorted the truth. That is why we need further research into the field. If truth be told, the truth is the mainstream history by denouncing Stalin and Soviet Communism and trumpeting the capitalistic cause of the age have in fact automatically joined the world of holocaust deniers.

The fact is it was the Red Army which for the first time in the world discovered the Auschwitz camps that led to an understanding of the Holocaust. The fact is when Stalin’s administration tried to send out this message to the first world for it to react, none of the western countries came forward either to help the Red Army or the victims of Hitler’s camps as was required. Quite the contrary, as has been well-evidenced, the truth is Western Europe and America were foremost in denying access to the victims of the Nazi camps.

The truth is when the Vatican learned of the secret chambers, it refused to act against the Nazi powers because the Communists had helped release the victims and for the church, communism as a political theory was more dangerous than Nazism was. The truth is Hitler’s army was heavily funded and in fact sustained by most of the leading business empires of America and Europe that continue to amass wealth and do great businesses worldwide. The capitalists during that time were aiding Hitler because for them badmouthing communism was more important than saving the lives of people who were victims of Hitler’s camps. The truth is those corporations today own most of the media business, most automobile industries. Both Ford and General Motors were aiding the Nazis then, and they are as household names in American families even now.

The truth is that the actual Holocaust deniers are those that have been hesitating to give due credits to Stalin and Red Army for their role in letting the world know about the secret chambers, by saving the lives of the remaining survivors, and by revealing the actual number of Nazi massacres to the world.

The truth is the Red Army, the only brave people who fought Hitler to his death, had put the number of dead as 4 million. This is the statistics that remained the only official figure for more than four decades. There was no question of anyone denying Hitler’s concentration camps. Of these 4 million, overwhelming majority of people were communists and communist sympathizers and fellow travelers. Hitler’s main ire—aided by his western capitalistic sponsors and the church—was against the consolidation of communism in the world. The world embracing communistic philosophy that aimed at redistributing private properties for social good was the biggest threat to the Fascist and Nazi forces that ruled the minds and hearts of rulers of every western imperial power then. Recently the formerly classified British intelligence reports have proven how the UK was a partner in crime with the Nazi forces in imprisoning, torturing and murdering communists during the WW II period. Countless American reports have suggested that the apparent threats of McCarthy seemed like a joke when compared to the actual CIA interventions in the lives of the progressives in the world. Anti-communism was the biggest single weapon that was used by Hitler then and continued till Reagan later. Interestingly, between the both, the fact is the same companies financed their respective empires wholeheartedly for them to rise and shine in power ladders.

However, to erase the fact that Communists were the actual victims of Nazi camps, the attempts on part of conservative religious groups finally led to the revision of the 4 million figure. The revisionist conservative historians conveniently “denied” the camps and its death toll and revised the number from 4 million to a little over 1 million. And the revisionists claimed that the number was much less that 4 million because 1 million of them were the Jews that were killed.

Much before Ahmadinejad proposed for a revision, it was Dr. Franciszek Piper who did revisionist research into the number of prison camps, and his research erased more than 3 million people from the total number. And the Poland’s museum which for four decades mentioned 4 million as the number of people killed by the Nazis was forced to revise the number to 1.1 million because of the revisionist historians.

The sole purpose of reducing the number was to discredit the Soviet role in combating Hitler, and to erase the historical truth about the majority of those who were killed. The majority from 4 million were actually murdered because of political reasons, and if research is led in this direction to actually demonstrate the way the Nazi-Capitalism-Church combine led their ugly war against the communists of that era, much academic curiosities will end up perhaps in suggesting the need for further research into this area of history.

Israel was built on the legacy of Holocaust. Soviet Union was disintegrated on the legacy of Communism, and the Third World was ravaged on the legacy of anti-imperialism. This is our history. We must demand to know why the 3 million victims of Nazi Capitalism were forgotten from the history. We must demand to know why the millions of Red Army soldiers were eminently discredited because they fought the Hitler to his death. We must demand to know why the Vatican and the America and the Europe did not admit the Communists to their countries even after aiding the perpetrators of the biggest genocide in recent world history. We must demand to know why the corporate houses and banks that materialized Hitler’s army and funded it to wipe off millions off the face of earth still continue to dominate businesses. We must demand to know why the inhabitants of the land, the Palestinians still continue to remain dispossessed in their own lands while the plans laid out by the perpetrators have been allowed to succeed to decide on their fates. We must demand to know why intellectually dishonest academicians and historians on their own sweet will decide what constitutes apt to be called a history despite their revising it, and why something will be rejected as history simply because they do not approve of it. We must demand to know. We must demand. History is about us.

Helpful Links:
Ahmadinejad Meets Clerics, and Decibels Drop a Notch

Iranian President Ahmadinejad speaks at Columbia University

Film: America and the Holocaust

Film: Amen

POSCO in Orissa – A Case of Global Masters against Local Preys

By Saswat Pattanayak

Pohang Steel Company (POSCO) operates two of the world’s leading steel projects–the Pohang and Gwangyang works, and conducts business in over 60 countries around the globe.

Since last couple of years, POSCO has been setting goals for the economically backward and minerals-rich Orissa. If Vedanta promises the biggest university in the world, POSCO promises the largest steel plant, and the biggest foreign direct investment in history (Rs 51,000 crore). After signing a Memorandum of Understanding with POSCO, Orissa-a largely obscured cultural site for Hindu pilgrims, has now found the biggest reserved location on World Exploitation Map.

According to the MoU signed between the state government and the Korean corporate giant, POSCO will build a 3 million tonne capacity steel plant, blast furnace or Finex route, during the first phase in Paradeep, Orissa between 2007 and 2010, and will expand the final production volume to 12 million tons. The investment proposed is to the tune of US$12 billion, including an initial investment of US$ 3 billion during the first phase, making it the largest steel project to take place in India.

The Orissa government will in turn also grant POSCO mining lease rights for 30 years that will ensure a supply of 600 million tons of iron ore to POSCO, besides granting it permission to export another 400 million tons through its mining partner in the project, BHP Billiton of Australia.

The technical catch

Indian politics does not by itself reach heights of fraudulence. It is enriched by its nexus with international military powers, business houses and elite bureaucracy. In case of POSCO, it is a wise combination of three. South Korea’s allegiance to American military-industrial complex is well-known. Indian central government preferring to conduct business worth billions with this camp tells quite a few things about changing preferences on national security issues. In addition, there is no business like selling off one’s own lands. And ironically, this is the area where the national government of India has allowed for 100 percent foreign investment.

It primarily means that apart from the private properties that the rich landlord class of India has harbored, the vast land masses in forest and rural areas managed and cared for by the poor in a country that still “lives in villages” is always open for transactions. For the rich class in India, the Constitution provides for rights to their private properties. For the poor, the same Constitution is used by the cunning ruling class to take away every human rights to the communal properties.

Communal properties, like human emotions, are supposed to be priceless. They are not owned, they are guarded. And those that safeguard the communal properties should logically be most loved and cared for. But in a society oppressed under individualistic norms, neither human values nor communal properties are taken care of in the interest of the humanity. Consequently, every bit of natural splendors is put on sale to the favored bidders of the class of privately propertied. It is the rich parasites of India who crave for not just the protection of their own properties but also for making good in dealing with communal properties that they historically have forced the poor to safeguard.

In the current neoliberal schemes of corporate expansions of profiteering sweatshop sectors, “investment” is the civilized term for feudal gains out of enslaved labors of landless guardians.

To the blind profiteers, it does not matter if the inhabitants refuse to part with their lands. It does not even matter if what they promise to the people in lieu of realizing their fast money-making opportunities is unkept. Not just the promises of compensations, but also promises of business goals themselves are kept aside as long as the loot is achieved in a shorter frame.

POSCO is yet another example of such fraud that satisfies the hunger of the government officials and business houses in the short run, and loses sight of the goals no sooner than the booty is collected in desired proportion.

POSCO has sought to ship 400 million tons of iron ore over a period of 30 years out of a captive iron ore mine capable of supplying 600 million tons of ore. And this unacceptable absurdity prevails even in the face of Indian Bureau of Mines estimates which depicts it as impractical proposition. India’s iron ore reserves stand at 17,712.4 million tons, which include reserves of Hematite iron ore at 12,317.2 million tons and Magnetite iron ore at 5,395.2 million tons. The total production of iron ore in a fiscal year is around 120 million tones. Out of this, the indigenous consumption is about 60 million tones. The rest, which is used for purpose of exports is about 60 million tons.

It is extremely doubtful that a 30-year sustainability can be achieved out of such projected statistics for POSCO, even if one ignores the fact that local consumption of 200 million tones for 30 years is way shorter than the real market demands in the country today. At the same time, out of the uncommitted iron ore reserves of 2 billion tones that are estimated to be available in Orissa, 1.7 billion tones would be already consumed if the 36 MoUs signed with the Orissa Government are realized. The various MoUs account for 34 million tons of new steel capacity and eventually they will leave only 300 million tons for the POSCO project. Hence, even on the paper, such deals are blatantly shady. With 300 million tons availability, the state government has signed up to supply 600 million tons for POSCO.

POSCO is imagined to be exchanging 30 per cent of the 600 mt ore with iron ore of higher quality by exporting it. Interestingly enough, the company is not expected to be spending anything, since POSCO will not purchase iron ore from Orissa. POSCO has been given mining lease where it will take away iron ore by just paying royalty. Since the existing market rate for one tonne of iron ore ranges from Rs 2000 to Rs 26,000, and POSCO is supposed to take away additional 400 million tons of iron ore, the company will be taking out of Orissa 1000 million tons of iron ore. Even at the manipulated figure of 600 mt (instead of 1000mt), POSCO is slated to take away iron ore worth more than Rs 10 lakh crore. At the minimum price (@ Rs 2000), POSCO will make Rs 1,20,000 crore, and after extraction costs, the net profit will be at least Rs 96,000 crore.

It’s a quick-rich trumpet that merely blows about the capacity of 12 million tons per annum making the project not only the biggest in India but one of the biggest in the world. But before we embark upon realizing the 30-year dream of POSCO, we need to take into consideration the immediate needs of the millions of poor still languishing in Orissa.

Just as the blueprint for corporate success may be invalidated in view of statistical impossibilities, the promises for social upliftment are also as bogus as they come. Whereas even most mainstream media coverages acknowledge that at least 20,000 houses will have to be displaced, POSCO on its official website claims the following: “Interestingly, the topographic features like the soil and vegetation of Pohang (Korea) and Paradip (Orissa) are very comparable. The Pohang project was successfully able to rehabilitate 67,000 residents from the project site; this tremendous experience will be replicated in Orissa as well. The site near Paradip is sandy like Pohang, Korea. It also has stretches of forest like Pohang; the latest estimate says that about 2,000 people of 400 households have to be relocated from the site for the Orissa project whereas about 67,000 residents were rehabilitated for the project site in Pohang.”

Drawing some grossly (and childishly) ambiguous parallels between Pohang and Paradip, the company lies through its tooth about the number of people going to be affected. First of all, households in the projected sites do not have nuclear families. Secondly, the number 400 is astoundingly rubbish. If the company can lay the foundation of lies on its purported victims, one can imagine the extent of manipulations it can resort to in order to maximize profits.

Even before the project has begun, many people have started fleeing from the area in search of livelihood. In a Times of India report headlined “Clashes over POSCO trigger migration in Orissa” , it is informed even by an organization which supports the plant that, “At least 500 people from the affected villages have migrated over three months either to other states such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab or to other districts in Orissa in search of livelihood.” That, a company of such international stature even can afford to ignore the actual number of people who are going to be affected, tells quite much about the things yet to unfold.

And this is not even the beginning of the ordeal for the local poor. Some can of course migrate to other states once they know in advance that the land-grabbers are approaching. But the majority of potential victims are yet clueless. This is because, as of June of 2007, the Korean firm had acquired only 1,135 acres of land out of total 4,000 acres it requires for the project. So whose turn is it going to be next in both the plant site and the mining region? And what options are there for the people? To declare themselves as immigrants in their own lands or just displaced (to homelessness)?

What needs to be debated?

POSCO issue has generated lots of debates. On the face of it most engaged in the discussions are either heartily welcoming of it as a panacea, or are surprised by the manner it has been able to hoodwink the people. Of course those that consider it to be a cure-all, have a stake in the culminated public perception that private capital is after all the way to go.

But what we need to deconstruct are the larger views held by those that oppose POSCO. Why a state government should purchase land for private concerns has surprised many. Bimal Jalan , a current Member of Parliament and formerly Governor of Reserve Bank of India says in an email response: “So far as land acquisition is concerned, it is not desirable for a state government to get directly involved in the purchase of land for a private company-unless there is an overwhelming public interest in doing so.”

Such a view assumes, first that it is alright for the state to be a property pimp for private profiteers with certain conditions. Naturally such conditions keep changing based on who decides what is in the public interest. Ironically the most people who decide the “public interest” are the same bunch of state bureaucrats, and hence it is only a matter of their differential preferences over the company to which they intend to hand over the land, than any principled opposition against mass subjugation. Secondly, Jalan’s comments are merely normative and they do not endorse a plan of action, something which none of the political parties are really doing anything about today in India.

The irony of POSCO crisis is that it has been boiled down into a moral concern. Either one is ethically opposed to it with a disdain, or looking forward to it as a magic potion. The reality is this crisis was long time coming and it must be utilized as a historical unfolding that requires critical attention. What is meant by this is that terms such as FDI, SEZ, etc., are merely coinages to grant legitimacy to the intent of the capitalists, than to acknowledge these as tools of the haves-class to wage war against the landless.

Shailesh Gandhi, leading RTI activist while vehemently opposing POSCO offers quite a few sound arguments: “The top priority of India must be provision of livelihood, and if any concessions have to be given, they should be linked to livelihood generation. Instead large businesses are being given great advantages, solely on the ground of large capital and the equity market is the major criterion of health of the economy after GDP.” Here, the assumption is that India is indeed a socialist economy that needs to have its priorities straight to cater to the interest of the “livelihood generation”.

One of the basic problems, then lies with the manner in which we perceive the Indian nation. Most liberal voices indeed still maintain the primary preposition that the state works for the people. Starting from such a hypothesis, they offer various solutions as regards to what subsequently then, the state should do in order to benefit the larger mass.

Absent from the entire equation of romanticized version of state patriotism is the real question of political economy. This is no hidden knowledge that after the departure of the British, the Indian state has consistently worked for the interest of the rich class that in its turn promoted the ruling elites. For more than four decades, the state served the interests of the propertied class in every way possible while etching out half-hearted five-year plans that remained largely devoid of sensible implementations. The stress on agrarian economy as a primary sector was also conducted to maintain the economic disparities, not to industrialize the needs of the people on their own lands. When the time came for state assistance to industrialize sectors, then domestic capitalist classes were given free hand to choose and create industries on their own terms. As a result, the houses of Tatas, Birlas, Dalmiyas, Singhanias, Thappars, Ambanis etc increased their shares on public lands.

In the early 90’s what transpired was nothing groundbreaking, and yet the era of liberalization or “free market” in India was hailed as though it was a break from the tradition. There were celebrations over the end of what one called the “license raj”. Manmohan Singh was hailed as some architect of this new economy. And the non-Congress parties complimented Singh on this bold step that was perceived to be a break from Congress tradition.

The reality is Singh had merely continued the tradition of the ruling class interests of the country. The reason why even the BJP and its likes of right wing interests did not have much issues with liberalization was that they were in fact waiting for this to happen. Indeed, one might say that BJP was a creation of the liberalization process. It was only when the domestic capitalist classes of India decided to expand their business interests globally to earn profits in international currency, that the ‘license raj’ (which was so far maintained to strengthen the private business interest nationally) posed as a stumbling block.

And lo and behold! With the advent of MacMohan (pun intended!) policies, the private business concerns in India went up for celebrations; they were able to plant a bunch of bribe-seeking politicians (as colorfully illustrated by Tehelka, etc.) to do what they were best at doing: sell off the nationalized industries at dirt cheap prices to the capitalistic combines.

And they offered a sophisticated name to manipulate popular confidence in such hideous transactions: Disinvestment (and even established a ministry after such a name). Just as “Foreign Direct Investment” had become an accepted terminology, instead of calling it “Imperialistic Interests”, likewise “Disinvestment” became legitimized which should have been termed “Loot-Raj” for that is exactly what was witnessed following such a political action.

The primary motive behind loot-raj was of course to strengthen the imperialistic interests. In the nicety of “swim together, sink together”, the coalition of capitalistic class members was a necessity to fulfill the works they had set out to perform.

It would be extremely naïve at this point or any other to either be hopeful of the Indian state administration or their capitalistic partners, both at home and abroad, to either concede to popular demands or to look after the welfare of the people.

Indeed, it is stupid at the best, and reactionary at the worst to expect that things will change through requests, forums, petitions, and any sort of addressing to the India-POSCO combines. At the best they should be lauded for what they have set out to do, that is, carrying out the task of fulfilling their class interests.

Some friends of the progressive forces have raised the issue of “compensation for rehabilitation of displaced people”. This is again unwarranted because by framing the phrase thus, we tend to really legitimize a few things: we end up assuming that people are truly displaced, that they are really in need of rehabilitation, and that higher compensation should prove useful.

This is an extremely dangerous approach that will merely work to pacify local agitation among people whereas the need is to organize workers movement world over. Private capital such as POSCO’s always begins from a gaining ground. That is to say, on the negotiation table, POSCO will always emerge the winner. There is no telling why they will be in a position to increase the compensation amount for people. Many political parties that are opposing POSCO, chiefly the left parties in India, are demanding higher compensations, than actually opposing the political system that has given rise to such a crisis. In response, POSCO with its massive funds has not only opened local offices in Kujang, it has also created an Oriya website to pacify the people and through its excellent public relations skills it has been able to partially convince the local people that its compensation package is the best.

Compensations are issues of consequences, not of cause. These are consequences within the capitalistic ruling terminology. Just as “charity” is. By such terms it is denoted that the rich can keep the poor pacified by throwing bread crumbs at them and getting rid of their own guilt (if any) or getting absolved of their crimes. A renowned Columbia University Professor of Economics and Law Jagdish Bhagwati suggests that:

“I would encourage the foreign multinationals to add to the benefits that their commercial activity must generally speaking bring to Orissa by also doing what is called Corporate Social Responsibility. It has now become a tradition for a couple of decades for the big firms to do something altruistic for the community in which they are situated. For example, building a playground, giving funds to local primary schools for supplies, aiding the destitute etc. Orissa authorities can surely suggest to the multinationals to do this, allowing them the choice of programs that they would like to support. Many of us individuals do the same, of course, and I call it ISR, Individual Social Responsibility. Thus, speaking for myself, I believe that my life’s work as a Professor has been enormously helpful to the countless students I have trained. But I still do ISR, giving away large sums of money to the local church near Columbia University to support its program on helping the homeless rehabilitate themselves, and to organizations such as CRY in India.”

Such pathological approach to social development has at its roots two assumptions: one, that everything is alright at the level of system status quo, meaning that it is not the political economic system that needs to be the issue, rather the trickling consequences that need to be taken care of, and two, those that are wronged need only to be rehabilitated with charity than be organized to take equal claims.

Of course any charity money such as “ISR” as described by Bhagwati are mere leftover funds and hence they are from the outset not meant to empower the dispossessed. And no empowerment deals with power issues where it is reduced to an economic dependence or slavery. Churches and NGOs do their great bit in caging peoples’ aspirations to the basic minimum and such CSRs or ISRs are the primary factors encouraging such social mishaps.

POSCO has also heeded to calls from the elite intellectuals, the famous NRI propertied classes of professors and scientists in the Europe and the US, who stand to gain from an India modeled after the countries where they currently live and fantasize about capitalism as the solution. The Columbia professor in question should have only looked at the Bronx and Brooklyn poverty and Manhattan and Queens homelessness to offer solutions other than charity in the same city he “trains” countless students in.

The path of neoliberalism is strewn with surreptitious moves in action and words. In action, it aims to allow only a handful members of the rich class to dominate over the mass of landless while colluding with their active collaborators drawn from the sections of people it would declare “upper middle class”. In words, neoliberalism is depicted by fraudulent and cunning lexicon of comforting terms that are projected as unalterable normatives. Little wonder that words such as “charity” are associated with the rich class as a greatly generous act, and words such as beggary or stealing associated with the poor mass are denounced as lowly acts, without deconstructing that if not for formation of a class of charity actors, there would have been no scope for beggars and “thieves”.

Instead of conscious efforts to study the genealogy of private properties that inevitably will, shall and should give rise to the crisis of capitalism where poor people are forced to choose between money in charities or jail terms, the sad and effete intellectuals that capitalism produces aplenty are concerned about solving the problems that POSCOs of the world face from the disgruntled masses.

Reuters provide its typical coverage on such an issue. In an article headlined, “Delays raise cost of POSCO’s Orissa steel plant” , it sympathizes with the losses that POSCO has to bear due to people’s unrest in the region. In the typical fashion characteristic of corporate media, the story interviews the POSCO bosses (in this case, POSCO-India’s chairman and managing director Soungsik Cho), not the locals.

The displacement of more than 20,000 people does not become part of the headlines even in the most sensational of media reports. Even the fact that those workers who grow betel vines on state owned forest land would not be eligible for any financial package, does not raise enough eyebrows. Moreover the most necessary debate about financial packages themselves goes amiss from larger discourse.

Cultural Strategies of Class Society

Whereas the urban, upper class culture understands the language of success, achievement, media coverage, celebrity status, Americanization, globalization, or even nationalistic pride, there are uniquely guarded cultural traits among the indigenous peoples everywhere as well. The majority of people dwelling in the forest regions are intelligent, but illiterate, hardworking but unsuccessful, loyal but candidly honest as well. As a result, although they are able to carve out lives in the worst of weather, withstanding the natural onslaughts without regular assistance of the state, build their own homes without qualifying to receive bank loans, they are also almost usually straightforward in their dissent, vocal in protests and possessive when it comes to the rivers, and lands.

The corporate culture of urban India has similar socio-cultural backgrounds as that of their Korean counterparts. It is not surprising that the agony of combating conflicts raised by the lowbrow masses becomes equally intolerable to the capitalist fraternity. The crucial difference that lies between the poor and “backward” rural Orissa population, and the ambitious upper middle class Indians and Koreans is founded on economy, but is consolidated on cultural givens perpetuated by their respective class characters.

The problem would have perhaps been much less or perhaps grown more desirably complicated, had the have-nots class been deciding what would hold good for the haves-class. For example, if the victims of POSCO would have to prescribe what would be better for the development of the world, they could start with advocating for better irrigation projects, small scale village cooperatives, and a ban on high-rises (to prevent unauthorized use of groundwater). There would always be shades of regressive and progressive thoughts when such idea would be entertained. Some villagers would indeed insist on reinforcing superstitions-even as most are merely based on the capitalist-sexist order of a propertied patriarchy.

However, the reality is the voices from the forests are choked by the mainstream media. With the media following their internal rules of thumb when it comes to define the legitimate sources for airing opinions (bureaucrats, business authorities), and they forming the larger framework for what is considered to be commonsense knowledge today, it is but natural that the struggle is entirely lopsided in favor of the educated opportunists.

In POSCO, it is still a ‘Heads I Win, Tails You Lose’ situation for the combine of ruling politicians, parasitical bureaucrats and the greedy capitalists. If the villagers don’t cooperate, they will continue to face the wrath of the state. And now that they have displayed disdain against the local police who serve as custodian of capitalistic interests, the situation is merely going to be worse for the dissenting people. If they succeed at preventing the lands from being exploited, it is they and their family members who must endure the violence on their dignity for generations to come. And if they allow for the state to hoodwink them off their right to land, they will naturally be shoved to obscurity after some bundles of cash are thrown at them.

Those that advocate compensation theory for the displaced naturally assume that money holds greater value in society than human dignity. This is not entirely dramatic, since this holds true for many upper class people. But to conclude that the same notions of cut-throat competitiveness and zeal to walk upon corpses to climb power ladders are inherent with every villager is a dangerous presumption.

And in the maddening race to justify such presumptions as rules that can be generalized on behalf of the humanity, the first casualty/victim of inhuman greed often is the nature herself. Environmental concerns are relegated to backstage entirely by the same consciousness that denies Darwin and Global Warming. As a result, the long standing battle between the people out to protect their land, forest and river and the antagonized business class gets to the next level. Resorting to corruption of mind and morals, the rich class gets the various environmental boards to work for it.

No wonder, the State Pollution Control Board at Bhubaneswar even went ahead and gave clean chit to POSCO, much to the ire of the protesters. The protestors under the banner of a voluntary organization, Navnirmanamiti, had been vehemently opposing the issuance of a No Objection Certificate (NOC). “We are opposing the issuance of the NOC to POSCO by the State Pollution Control Board. We also want to know, on what basis the public hearing on the issue was held, as majority of the people who will be affected by the project were not present during the hearing,” said Akshya Kumar, convener of a voluntary organization to the local media.

Rich get richer as poor state becomes poorer

Amidst the growing presence of POSCO, we must not lose focus of the great progress that people have been making in opposition to the global monster. Protests against POSCO have reached significant scales and it has rendered the state government entirely helpless. Not wanting to repeat the Kalinga Nagar massacres, the government has instead resorted to the trickery that modern day democracies are famous for. Since the people could not be convinced to give up their lands, the Naveen Patnaik regime has offered 3500 acre of government land to POSCO just adjacent to the farm-lands of the threatened cultivators in a bid to compel them to sell away their rights to POSCO, else to face greater crisis. Bigger damages are inevitable since industrial wastes would not let the farmers live in peace in the same locality.

In a micro level study by Dr. M.Mishra, titled, “Health Cost of Industrial Pollution in Angul-Talcher Industrial Area in Orissa, India” , it was found that “economy forces change on the environment, which in turn reacts back forcing unforeseen changes on the economy”, leading to people of Angul-Talcher sustaining a total health damage of Rs.1775.48 millions, per annum on an average.

Although the people bear the brunt of ecological disturbances, POSCO does not even pay its costs. POSCO plant won’t have to worry about electricity or water, because it will be given the facilities by the state. It has already been authorized to produce electricity out of coal mines that it will be provided with; meaning it will not be paying for the coal. Even without a SEZ status, POSCO has been given enough leverages, also on the front of water. No estimates have been conducted as to the amount of water that will be utilized and of its source, in a drought-ridden state. Now that SEZ status is part of the MoU, naturally enough, POSCO will evade all the taxes even while exploiting the natural resources preserved so far by the population it aims to displace.

The Left front has opposed POSCO so far in as symbolic terms as they go. Only after the cat has spilled the milk, the tears have started flowing in. Prakash Karat said to The Hindu that, “We are not against FDI in the mining sector. But the country’s mineral policy is faulty as it allows loot of our mineral wealth by foreign companies. Unless we challenge the country’s mineral policy, we cannot fight the POSCO deal.” So the official Left is not indeed opposed to Imperialism in practice, only that they want it in moderation. Such imbecile logic can only held in jest, not in contempt. The questions being asked in relation to POSCO are still industry-defined, not people-driven.

When it comes to people, questions are being asked related to the number of jobs that will be generated. As misleading the numbers can be, the neoliberal promoters always champion some or the other numerical value to put forward their advocacy. In this case, the talks of annual growth rates will come later perhaps, for now POSCO and Naveen Patnaik administration claim they will be providing direct jobs to 13,000 people, and 35,000 will get indirectly benefited. The quality of jobs are not discussed anywhere, for a state which is identified by its seasonal and disguised unemployment rates. Of course all these numbers include the daily wage laborers, the carpenters and tea-stall boys. Likewise another figure doing the rounds is how the state will gain Rs 22,500 crore in 30 years time and the central government making Rs 89,000 crores in that time period. This amounts to a total Rs 1,11,500 crores for 30 years. Of course this so-called net gain will entirely be used up in the process of granting of SEZ status to POSCO. And all this much ado for nothing is going to be in contrast to the Rs 10,00,000 crores worth of iron ore that Orissa will be giving away to POSCO, not to mention more than 6,000 acres of land, complimentary water, electricity, roads and railways.

Orissa is yet again getting prepared to be massively exploited. But that is just the beginning of the ordeal. What remains to be seen is the extent to which imperialistic designs would continue to make inroads by either taking over, or giving cover to the domestic business partners in areas where the masses are likely to be perished under dual oppression.

(Originally published in Radical Notes)

Vote for Taj! But find for me yet another place!

As India (and the world) goes to vote for Taj Mahal tomorrow, an ugly form of patriotism and appreciation has surfaced utilizing a monument declared to be most beautiful by some.

The claim for “seven wonders” (and one wonders why they need to have it to be only seven, and not thirteen, or a hundred) has been reduced to a competitive exercise where people representing their countries exhibit some version of solidarity to showcase monuments that have absolutely nothing in relevance to either the present, or the future.

Moreover, the past–related to sites like the Taj Mahal–also needs to be investigated further before the glorifications continue in a world where human beings have less worth than marble stones.

In our world where visual appeal and exhibitionism is so rampant as to have become a required criterion for assessment of objects, events and people, it is no wonder that huge architectures are recalled with how they merely have been standardized to generate individualist awe, and not with any form of collective remorse.

To mark this day with regret, therefore, I have translated one song which was written more than four decades ago by the great progressive Urdu poet Sahir Ludhianvi. The original poem follows the translated version:

Taj Mahal

For you, Taj Mahal is no less a splendor of love
Amidst the eldritch, obsessed are you with its trove

My beloved! Discover for me yet another place where we can meet!

Grandeur of royal palace is deliberately contrasted
For the commoners; it’s a sordid message so crafted
We mortals have no permit to tread the paths so strewn
With baits to allure us into that maze, to dream to its tune!

Before being inveigled into the royal sparks, my beloved!
You should have descried the mammoth trickery and fraud!
You could have felt the roars of your insignificant abode!

Countless peoples in our world have showered love in abundance
Who can claim their heartfelt love ever lacked sincere affections
But they lacked the means of advertisement, of crude exhibitions
After all, they were like you and I: submitted by birth to cruel situations

This monument, this mausoleum, this unmitigated embankment
These are apparition of regal wealth and unmerited enchantment
For the records of the wretched, these disdainfully antique afflictions
Were erected upon the toil, labor and sweat of many a poor generations

O my beloved! They must indeed have been in love forever
Those that could shape such magnificence by their love’s labor
Yet not a candle is lighted in memory of those that were enslaved
Nor a lamp they could plant to cherish the love of their beloved
This opulent yard, this palatial lap of luxury that marks the ruler
Bedizened with gaudy presence of stately, colossal architecture
It’s merely an act of mockery on part of an autocratic monarch
Who usurping wealth, has smudged the poor, with this indelible mark!

My beloved! Discover for me yet another place where we can meet!

(Trans. by: Saswat Pattanaya, The Peoples’ Poet)

The original poetry by Sahir Ludhianvi follows:

Taja tere lie eka mazahara-e-ulafata hi sahi
tujha ko isa vadi-e-rangina se aqidata hi sahi
mere mehabuba kahim aura mila kara mujha se

bazama-e-sahi mein gharibom ka guzara kiya maini
sabta jisa raha mein hom satuta sahi ke nisana
usa pe ulafata bhari rahazana ka safara kiya maini
meri mehabuba pase parde tasahira vafa

tune satuta ke nisanom ko to dekha hota
murda sahom ke maqabira se behalane vali
apane tarika makanom ko to dekha hota
anaginata laugom ne duniya mem mauhabbata ki hai
kauna kahata hai ke sadiqa na tha una ke jazabe
lekina una ke liye tasahira ka samana nahim
kyonke vaha lauga bhi apani hi tarah mufalisa the

yaha imarata-va-maqabira ye fasilem ye hisara
matalaqa-ula-hukma sahanasahom ki azamata ke sutum
sina-e-dahara ke nasura haim kahate nasura
jajbe hem una mem tere mere ijadada ka khuna

meri mehabuba, inhem bhi to mauhabbata hogi
jina ki sanai ne bakhasi hai use sakla-e-jamila
una ke piyarom ke maqabira rahe be nama namuda
aja taka ina para jalai na kisi ne qandila
ye chamana zara ye jamana ka kinara, ye mahala
ye munakqasa dara-o-divara ye maharaba ye taqa
ika sahanasaha ne daulata ka sahara le kara
hama gharibom ki mauhabbata ka udaya hai mazaqa

mere mehabuba kahim aura mila kara mujha se