Friday, August 25, 2017

Aastika Nirishwarvāda that I adhere to - few notes

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1.PramaaNas -  three valid pramaaNas - pratyaksha, anumaana and shabda (vedvaakya). both for saamkhya and yoga.

vaisheshika, nyaaya and purva-mimaamsa hold four valid pramaaNas - pratyaksha, anumaana, upamaana, shabda.

vedaanta (notably advaita) hold six valid pramaaNas - pratyaksha, anumaana, upamaana, arthaapatti, anupalabdhi, shabda

All these six darshanas hold shabda aka shruti as a valid pramaaNa and consider it apaurusheya. Hence these six darshanas are called "aastika darshanas".

chaarvaka considers only pratyaksha as valid pramaaNa. naastika darshans (buddha and jaina) do not consider shabda (shruti) as a valid pramaaNa. they tried to build a parallel "shruti" wherein shabda means their shruti and not "the shruti". But it still was limited by being man-made.

read this link for more detailed exposition -
http://kalchiron.blogspot.in/2010/09/aastikas-and-naastikas-system-of.html

2, about Eeshvara - for saamkhya, yoga, purva-mimaamsa, nyaaya, vaisheshika - karma rules supreme. when all sanchita karma is exhausted, the seed of ahamkaara vanishes and kaivalya or moksha is attained spontaneously with termination of birth-death cycles. There is no need of an "external eeshvara" who is a "mukunda" (giver of moksha). various devi-devataas (kuladevata, ishTadevata, graama-devata et al) are to be worshipped as per needs or kulaachaara or time. With saadhana or aashirvaada of these devataas, some sequence of impending karma-phala can be altered (that is some good karma-phala which was due later can be brought ahead and current bad-karmaphala can be pushed ahead in time), but NO ONE has power to be above karma and absolve a karma-phala. Hence "eeshvara" is "not needed". Everyone HAS TO go through the phala of their karma, no matter what.

3. creation - no reference to eeshvara creating the existence. Existence Comes from prakruti who after coupling with purusha gives rise to mahat and in turn to ahamkaara that in turn gives rise to three guNas which in turn give rise to maanas, 5 karmendriyas, 5 gnaanendriyas, tanmaatra (5 senses and their analogous 5 mahabhutas) - thus srishti comes into existence. Why purusha coupled with prakruti in first place - don't know. vedaanta says it is leela of eeshvara. But that explanation not possible in this premise. it happens spontaneously.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Maharashtrian water scarcity - political fall out.

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One short primer on issues of MH - the biggest issue here in MH is NOT hindutva. "THE" biggest issue here is water scarcity. Now aamir khan's "paaNi foundation", Nana Patekar-Makarand Anaspure's "Naam foundation", Sri Sri's AOL have done terrific job at water conservation at village level in their capacity. Akshay Kumar is yet another bollywood bigwig who puts in money here.

The biggest star here is Jalyukt Shivaar Yojana (which is frought with shit loads of scams - mostly pertaining to haphazard digging by sand-mafia) which has made tremendous difference. For past 4-5 years, there was continuous drought in most of MH. The numbers of IDPs within MH who came to puNe-Mum is mind-boggling. It got worse since 2014 (until the monsoon of 2016 which was finally a good one after a long wait). The works done in 2014-2015 has ensured that there is lot of water still available to use and tankers have decreased drastically. The second biggest development that has happened sugar-mafia. They have been forced to install water-circulation and reuse units by current govt (includes sugar factories of BJP's sugar barons as well). This is biggest reason for mass-inflow of ppl from NCP to BJP. 

One case-study. A typical sugar factory (owned by a sugar baron - read by sugar lobby article to understand how it works) takes up around 22-25 lakh litres of water per day discharge 16 lakh litres of stillage (post biogas production spent-wash). Imagine the scale of criminal wastage. There are plenty of such sugar factories in Maharashtra. It is due to this reason (and many reasons in every district) the people downstream of godavari in Mararthwada did not get enough water. The very fact that almost all these sugar barons are now scrambling to instal capabilities to ensure "zero-discharge" is THE biggest achievement of this state-govt in my opinion. 

 Our people (our = sangh parivar and other like-minded folks) are collaborating with the above mentioned players and NGOs. That is one the problem which may arise in future times. But right now the situation is so desperate that people do not want to see who is helping them. I am glad to report sangh is participating in all this to ensure our visibility in all this. 

Hindutva is operating system of marathi social mind. It is better if it stays as a wall-paper (i.e. on the backdrop). If it starts popping up again and again, I fear people will get bored (like they are getting bored of shivsena - they have overplayed their hindutva-marathi card).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Nath Sampradaaya

Disclaimer: This article is written from bhautika and adhyatmik perspective. A part of this article deals with anthropological evolution of Naath Sampradaaya (in laukika world and its linear timeline) while remaining article will deal with some key adhyatmik conceptos of the same. Furthermore, I will be using indic terminology to denote indic traditions, concepts. This article is also heavily influenced from an informative marathi article written by Shri. Ambareesh Khare published in Loksatta on 18-12-2015.

अवधूत चिंतन श्री गुरुदेव दत्त... 

Technically, the traditions of Dattatreya and Naathas are different, but they are so inherently intermingled, both in history and their roots in Saamkhya-yoga darshan of aastika philosophies, that one has to look at them together. Recent appointment of Yogi Adityanath who is a mahant of Gorakshapeeth at Gorakhpur, UP, as chief minister of UP has stirred curiosity about this tradition in minds of people. This blog-post will attempt at giving a brief history and fundamentals of nath traditions and its daarshanik moorings in Saamkhya-yoga.

Post revival of aastika traditions under Guptas, many new "sampradaayas" arose throughout India. Some were already extent but were overshadowed by bauddha sampradaaya's rapid expansion in India post Ashoka Maurya's patronage, few others arose anew. Among those traditions, is the sampradaaya of "nine-naaths (nava-naatha). There are various opinions of scholars as to when exactly this sampradaaya originate. What most of them agree is that its origins, like many other sampradaayas is shrouded in mystry. By the time of gupta dominance, various aastika (the six aastika darshans along with seshvarvaadi traditions like shaiva, vaishNava, saura, gaaNapatya, shaakta) and naastika sampradaayas (bauddha, jaina et al) were thriving in India. Post Gupta era, the shaiva sampradaaya was broadly existent in two major branches (shaakhaas): Shrikula and Kaalikula. Meanwhile from the mahaayaana branch of bauddha sampradaaya came vajrayaana or tantrayaana sub-branch around same period. Both the above mentioned branches of shaiva-mat gradually assimillated the saadhana-techniques from vaama-maarga (the left handed path). The teertha of Sri-Shailyam (in modern Andhra Pradesh) was the prominent seat of this vaama-maargi saadhana of the shaivamat. In the couse of this churning, a new sampradaaya arose here gave way to vaama-maarga upaasana methods and focussed primarily on "tatvaanubhuti" (adhyatmik realization of swa-tatva) and yoga. This new sampradaaya was known as "Siddha Sampradaaya".

IN this siddha sampradaaya, those who were "deekshit" (initiated) were referred to with the adjective "naath". The Krishna-Godavari valley (Maharashtra-Karnataka-Andhra) region is the origin of this sampradaaya. While this is the case, this sampradaaya is extended far beyond the current boundaries of Republic of India. The "aadi-guru" of this sampradaaya is shiva Himself which is closely related to the sampradaaya of dattatreya. Many notable members of naath sampradaaya recieved "deeksha" from guru dattatreya Himself. Thus this nath-sampradaaya is known by many names like siddha-mat, naath-mat, avadhoot-mat, avadhoot-sampradaaya (same as that of dattatreya).

The Nine Naths

Parampara of this sampradaaya holds that nine-naths are avataars of nava-naaraayaN Himself. The nine narayanas are - kavi, hari, antarikSha, prabuddha, pippalaayana, aviharetra, drumila, chamasa and karabhaajana. These 9 narayaNas took avataara as 9 nathas in kaliyuga. The names of 9 nathas are as follows - gorakSha, jaalandar, charpaTaashcha, aDabanga, kaaniph, matsyendra, chaurangi, revaaNak, bhatri. However the books of naath sampradaaya also name other naths such as - gahini, naaga, shiva, meena, satya etc. However since the number "nine" became important in this tradition, others although mentioned, the nine took precedence.

matsyendranaatha (machchindranath) and gorakShanaath (gorakhnath) - this duo of guru-shishya are the most well-known figures from this sampradaaya. Various fascinating stories of matsyendranaath are quite popular as well as informative (eg. his birth, his parakaaya-pravesh, his rescue by gorakshanaatha etc). These stories are very deeply percolated in local traditions of Maharashtra.

The nath-sampradaaya also talks about 84 siddhas. Scholars believe that this concept is imported from vajrayaana sub-branch of bauddha-mat. Various "indologists" theorize that during the decline of bauddhamat in India, many bauddhas got assimilated in this growing tradition and brought along with them some of their concepts. The texts are not unanimous about names of these 84-siddhas. However one can safely deduce that many saadhakas attained the "siddha-pad" upon becoming part of this sampradaaya. These siddhas then gave upadesha to their disciples and to society in general, thereby leading to origin of guru-shishya paramparaa within this sampradaaya. Some guru-shishya paramparas are primarily focussed on mantra-gnaana. Few others (especially those which continued to be closely associated/linked with dattatreya upaasana) are tatvagnaana-pradhaana with emphasis on ashTaanga yoga and dhyaana. In Maharashtra, due to advent of vaarkari sampradaya, many in nath-sampradaaya incorporated bhakti in this tradition as well with methods such as naama-sankeertana etc for achieving moksha.

Siddhaanta, Aachaara and other important concepts

The importance of aadi-guru shiva is central in upaasana methods of this sampradaaya. This is strikingly similar to kaashmiri shaivamat principals. It has also incorporated various concepts and ideas from saamkhya-yoga. The most important book which informs us about the saadhana methods within this parampara is "siddha-siddhaanta paddhati" composed by gorakShanaath Himself. This treatise begins with vandana of shiva-shakti pair (purusha-prakruti pair).

आदिनाथ नमस्कृत्य शक्तियुक्तं जगद्गुरुं 
वक्ष्येगोरक्षनाथोऽहं सिद्धसिद्धान्तपद्धतिं 

 (I bow down to pair of shiva-shakti which is the aadiguru. I gorakShanaath procede with elucidated siddha-siddhaanta paddhati)

In this siddhaanta, shakti is not independent, nor is shiva. As per chandra-chandrika nyaaya (chandra and chandrikaa are separate but inseparable in night sky) of saamkhya, the eekaara of shiva is shakti. Without shakti, shiva is shava (corpse). It is due to this pair of purusha-prakruti that creation-sustenance-destruction (Utpatti-sthiti-vilaya) of this sriShTi is manifested. When shakti is in "vyakta-svaroopa" (overtly manifested), shiva can perform the creation-sustenance-destruction jobs in this sriShTi. When She (shakti) is in "avyakta-svaroopa" (covertly manifested), there is no apparent distinction between two, but also there is no "karma" that is performed. They exist in "advaya" form (separate but inseparable/indistinguishable). Continuation of this line, the siddhanta states that what is there is pinDa is also there in brahmaanDa. The concepts of yoga are continually explained further. The serpentine shakti known as "kunDalini" is dormant in moolaadhaara chakra (near sacrum) of a human-being with 3½ twists. Her "milana" with shiva present in sahastrasaara chakra (near shikhaa on head) is the goal of a yogi. That requires saadhana and guru-krupaa. There are 72,000 naaDis in human body. The three important ones linked with vertebral column and respiration are - iDaa, pingalaa and suShumNaa. When (kunDalini) shakti awakens, she is channelized upwards through suShumNaa naaDi towards the sahastrasaara chakra.

Due to sanchita karma of earlier births, the sharira is malina (unclean) and the naaDis are clogged, thus unfit for the sanchaara (movement) of shakti. The six procedures described in haThayoga, namely - basti, dhauti, neti, traaTaka, nauli and kapaalabhaati - saadhaka can gradually cleanse these naaDis, thus making them fir for movement of shakti. As kunDalini moves upwards traversing one chakra at a time, she gives various "siddhis" to the saadhaka. Finally after she traverses aajna chakra in forehead and reaches sahastrasaara (the seat of shiva), the person attains nirbeeja samaadhi and all the karma (sanchita and prarabdha) is exhausted, thereby attaining the kaivalyapada and escaping the cycle of birth-death-rebirth. While all these things are happening, constant supervision of guru is essential, since the siddhis attained in the course of this journey can be distractive at best or detrimental at worst for the saadhaka. Hence guru is immensely important in this sampradaaya.

The guru in this sampradaaya makes his disciple wear a "karNamudra" (a special earring - visibly observed on Yogi Adityanath's ears) and pierces/tears his ear. It is essential for a nathyogi to apply vibhuti over his body. THey are expected to beg for alms by saying the famous words "alakh niranjan". While this is the case, it is repeatedly stated in the compositions of this sampradaaya that external dress is of secondary importance. The aacharaNa (conduct) of a yogi is the most important factor.

As stated earlier, shiva and dattatreya are the two main upaasya devataas of this sampradaaya. However, all those who joined in this tradition brought their own ishTa devataas along with them. So we find mantras invoking various other devatas (such as durgaa, bhairava, narasimha, raam, hanumaana) along with vetaal like devatas of lower class in works of nathyogis. Along with these, there are also mentions of few muslim peers and faqirs in some of the verses. The places were nath-sampradaaya people settled or the nathyogis established thier maThas, they are the teerthakshetras of this tradition. Many places like tryambakeshwara, dvaarika, puShkar, raameshvara, hingaLajaa, girnaar, gorakhpur, paiThaN are few of the many sacred places for people belonging to this sampradaaya. Around 12 sub-branches of this sampradaaya exist as of today, it is believed that some are initiated by matsyendranaath while other by gorakShanaath.

Important siddha-puruShas from this tradition

Nath-panth has produced many siddha puruShas. As per the tradition, matsyendranaath is the first pravartaka (perceptor) of this paramparaa. As per the story, he heard the shiva-paarvati conversation while he was in the abdoman of a fish. Listening to this divine conversation initiated his journey towards kaivalya. He belonged to kaula-maarga which is an important branch of shaakta-mat. He has also authored a treatise on this path named as "kaula-nirNaya". He has presented the path of "sahaja-yoga" based on naama-smaraNa and dhyaana for those people whom the haThayoga is inaccessible or difficult to tread. Another such famous nath was "chauranginaath". He was born a prince of vidarbha, but became disciple of gorakShanath and matsyendranath. He is also mentioned in few Tibetan traditions (thereby underlining the vajrayaana link with nath-sampradaaya). charpaTinath was initiated by guru dattatreya Himself. The most famous siddha from this tradition is of course, gorakShanath. He roamed width and bredth of the country and ensured that the sampradaaya reaches all over the geographical expanse of India.

Navanathas and Maharashtra

This tradition has very close relation with Maharashtra (the MH-KN-AP region of krishNa-godaavari river basin). The samaadhi of kaNeri (disciple of naagaarjuna) is near Nevasa. The shaiva kaapaalikas from this siddha-tradition within sampradaaya included aanandabhairava, manthaanabhairava, kaakachanDi, suraananda were from this region. revaNasiddha and allamaprabhu from veerashaiva sampradaaya too were closely associated with nath-sampradaay. But the most important person from this sampradaaya was Jnaaneshwara himself and his elder brother and sadguru Nivruttinath. Gahininath was guru of nivruttinath who in turn initiated his younger brother into this tradition. Jnaaneshvara has beautifully linked the saamkhya and haThayoga based naath-parampara with bhaagvat-bhakti paramparaa and popularised the techniques of sahajayoga among masses. In recent times, swaami swaroopananda of Paavas was a siddha belonging to this tradition.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

मी लता दीनानाथ मंगेशकर. शब्दांकन - जयश्री देसाई

घरात सतत गाणं असूनही गाणं शिकण्याची माझी भूक भागत नव्हती. त्यामुळे मी आमच्या घराजवळील मुरलीधराच्या शाळेत गेले. कारण तिथे गाण्याचा तास असायचा. शाळा खूप आवडल्याने दुसऱ्या दिवशी अवघ्या सहा महिन्यांच्या आशाला घेऊन शाळेत गेले. शिक्षक त्याबद्दल ओरडले नि माझा मान गेल्याने मी शाळा सोडली. घरी येऊन मी खूप तणतण केली. हक्काचा श्रोता पुन्हा माईच.. ‘मी लता दीनानाथ मंगेशकर! आणि माझा अपमान? मी बिलकूल सहन करणार नाही..’ आज लक्षात येतंय की ‘मी लता दीनानाथ मंगेशकर’ हा अभिमान आमच्या मनात माईने सतत धगधगत ठेवला. त्यानेच अत्यंत विपरीत परिस्थितीतही आम्ही उभे राहू शकलो आणि आजचं यश मिळवू शकलो.

रसिकांच्या ‘दृष्टीआडची माझी सृष्टी’ ही असंख्य रंगांनी भरलेली आहे. त्यात माझ्या लहानपणाच्या खोडय़ांचा, व्रात्यपणाचा रंग जसा आहे, तसाच आमच्या आईच्या म्हणजे माईच्या करारीपणाचा, माझ्या बाबांच्या दिलदारीचा, संगीताच्या ध्यासाचा आणि प्रखर राष्ट्रवादाचा रंगही मिसळलेला आहे. ‘मी, मास्टर दीनानाथांची मुलगी, लता’ या अभिमानाचा रंग जसा आहे, तसा बाबांना जवळच्या मित्रांनीच फसवल्यावर त्यांना आलेल्या वैराग्याचा रंगही आहे.. एकीकडे सतत सन्मान आणि दुसरीकडे प्रचंड वंचना, अपमान.. यातून जाणवलेल्या जीवनाच्या क्षणभंगुरतेचेही रंग त्यात आहेत आणि त्याचबरोबर दैवी कृपेने बहरत गेलेल्या माझ्या संगीत साधनेने दिलेल्या तुम्हा रसिकांच्या अलोट प्रेमाने मला जाणवणाऱ्या कृतज्ञतेचे, साफल्याचेही आहेत.. सगळेच रंग तितकेच गडद.. आज मात्र लहानपण जास्त आठवते.. त्या वेळचा तो निरागस आनंद, त्या निर्मळ खोडय़ा. हे सारं आठवलं की मी एकटीच खूप हसत बसते. आज समाजात जे चाललं आहे, साऱ्या मूल्यांचा, माणुसकीचा जो ऱ्हास बघायला मिळतो आहे त्यामुळे वर्तमानपत्र उघडावंसं वाटत नाही. सुनेला जाळल्याच्या, चिमुरडय़ांवरील बलात्काराच्या, त्यांच्या खुनाच्या, मुलं-सुनेच्या छळामुळे आई-वडिलांनी जीव दिल्याच्या बातम्या वाचल्या की शहारे येतात. त्याचा मला खूपच त्रास होतो. त्यामुळे तशा बातम्या शक्यतो माझ्या कानापर्यंत पोहोचणारच नाहीत याची खबरदारी माझ्या घरचे घेतात, पण तरी जे घडतं ते कानावर येतंच. मला माझ्या नातवंडांची, त्यांच्या एकूणच पिढीची चिंता वाटते. असं वाटतं की आपलं बालपण किती छान होतं.. आजच्या पिढीच्या नशिबी ते भाग्य नाही!

 माझं बालपण तर सुरांनी भारलेलं होतं. बाबांना नटश्रेष्ठ, संगीत रंगभूमीचे अनभिषिक्त सम्राट म्हणून ओळखलं जात होतं यापेक्षाही मला जे विशेष वाटतं ते म्हणजे ते एक अतिशय चांगले माणूस होते, प्रखर देशभक्त होते आणि सर्वात महत्त्वाचं म्हणजे संगीताचे पुजारी होते. आमच्या घरी कुणालाही मुक्त प्रवेश होता.. नुसता प्रवेश नव्हता तर त्याचा आदरसत्कार होत होता. मग स्वातंत्र्यवीर सावरकरांसारखे स्वातंत्र्यसेनानी असतील किंवा एखादा रस्त्यावरचा भणंग माणूस. आम्हा मुलांवर तर त्यांचा फारच जीव होता आणि मी त्यांची विशेष लाडकी होते. आमच्या डोळ्यात पाणी आलेलं त्यांना चालत नसे. पण तेच हे बाबा काही बाबतीत प्रचंड निग्रही होते. कर्मठ होते. राष्ट्रभक्तीशी तडजोड त्यांना खपत नव्हती त्यामुळेच ब्रिटिश गव्हर्नरसमोर ‘परवशता पाश दैवे ज्यांच्या गळा लागला..’ सारखं गाणं गाण्याचं धैर्य त्यांनी दाखवलं होतं.

स्वा. सावरकर (तात्या) आमच्या घरी येत असत. बाबा त्यांना घेऊन हरिजनांच्या वस्तीत गेले होते. मलाही घेऊन गेले होते. हे मी सगळं बघितलं पाहिजे, शिकलं पाहिजे, असं त्यांचं म्हणणं होतं.. ते उत्तम ज्योतिषी होते. त्यामुळे ते लवकर जाणार आणि मी खूप ‘मोठी’ होणार, यश, पैसा, मानसन्मान मिळवणार हे त्यांना माहीत होतं. त्यामुळेच मी कितीही खोडय़ा, व्रात्यपणा केला व माई माझी तक्रार घेऊन त्यांच्याकडे गेली तरी ते चिडत नसत. म्हणायचे, ‘‘असू देत. ती माझा शिवबाबा आहे (कारण ते शंकराचे निस्सीम भक्त होते.). माझ्यानंतर तीच तुम्हाला सांभाळणार आहे.’’ मात्र गंमत म्हणजे मला गाण्यात गती आहे, मी चांगलं गाते हे त्यांना सुरुवातीला माहीत नव्हतं. खरं तर दिवसभर माझ्या खोडय़ाही चालू असत आणि गाणंही.. माझी हक्काची श्रोता म्हणजे आमची माई. तेव्हा चुलीवर स्वयंपाक असे. माई चुलीवर स्वयंपाक करायला बसली की माझा मोर्चा स्वयंपाकघराकडे वळे. तिथे भिंतीशी एक मोठी मांडणी होती. त्या काळात स्टील नव्हतं. बहुधा पत्र्याचीच असावी. पण स्टीलसारखीच चकचकीत होती. त्यावर गहू-तांदूळ, डाळी वगैरे ठेवलेलं असायचं. मी त्यावर चढून बसून माईला गाणी ऐकवायला सुरुवात करी.. ती बिचारी कामात गढलेली असे. त्यामुळे तिचं फार काही लक्ष नसे. ती मला गप्प करायला बघी. गाऊच देत नसे. पण मी जबरदस्तीने तिला ऐकायलाच लावी.. की बघ आता हे सैगलचं गाणं हं. हे त्यानं ‘चंडीदास’मध्ये म्हटलंय.. ही बाबांची चीज.. हे नाटय़गीत.. माझी गाडी सुटलेलीच असे.. आणि ती म्हणे, ‘‘गप गं.. सकाळपासून डोकं खातेयस. जरा गप्प बस.’’ आणि मी म्हणे, ‘‘तू कितीही दम दिलास तरी मी गाणार..’’ पण मी गाते किंवा बरी गाते हे तिनं कधी बाबांना सांगितलं नाही किंवा सांगितलं असेल तर मला माहीत नाही. त्यामुळे मी गाते हे बाबांना माहीतच नव्हतं.. मग हळूहळू माईच्या ओरडण्याला कंटाळून मी एकटीच गायला लागले.. माझ्या मित्रमंडळींत गायला लागले. बाबांनी शिकवलं नसलं तरी गाणं अखंड कानावर पडतच होतं. त्यामुळे मला अनेक राग यायला लागले होते. एखादा चित्रपट बघितला तर त्याचं पाश्र्वसंगीतही जसंच्या तसं लक्षात राहत होतं.

 एकदा काय झालं.. पुढे प्रख्यात नट म्हणून नावारूपाला आलेले चंद्रकांत मांढरे आमच्या सिनेमा कंपनीत कामाला होते. ते बाबांकडे गाणं शिकायला येत. त्यांना सगळे जण ‘टिटय़ा’ म्हणत. एकदा बाबा त्याला ‘पूरिया धनाश्री’ शिकवत होते. मी बाहेरच खेळत होते. पण माझे कान आत सुरांकडेच असायचे. बाबांना काही तरी काम आठवलं म्हणून ते उठले. त्याला म्हणाले, ‘‘टिटय़ा, तू जरा रियाज कर. मी आलोच.’’ ते गेले. तो चुकीचे म्हणतोय हे माझ्या लक्षात आलं. म्हणून मी आत जाऊन त्याला बरोब्बर कसं म्हणायचं हे दाखवलं. मी ते दाखवत असतानाच बाबा कधी मागे येऊन उभे राहिले ते मला कळलंच नाही. पण मी कुणीही न शिकवता ‘पूरिया धनाश्री’ बरोब्बर गात होते. ते बघून बाबा खूप खूश झाले. लगेच दुसऱ्या दिवशी पहाटेपासून माझी शिकवणी सुरू झाली.. आणि तीही पूरिया धनाश्रीनेच सुरू झाली..पहाटेची वेळ होती तरीही! ते रागाचं स्वरूप उलगडून दाखवायचे.. चीजा तब्येतीत शिकवायचे. आलाप-ताना मात्र त्यांनी फारशा कधी शिकवल्या नाहीत. त्या मी ऐकूनच गायची. ते रागाचं स्वरूप मात्र छान उलगडून दाखवायचे. ते सांगायचे की बघ, ‘‘अमुक एका रागाची वेळ संध्याकाळची आहे. ती कातरवेळ असते. मन त्या वेळी उदास असतं. या भावना तर त्या वेळी तो राग गाताना गायकाने प्रक्षेपित केल्या पाहिजेतच. पण त्यांचा स्पर्श स्वत:च्या मनाला होऊ देता कामा नये.’’ हे शिकता शिकता मी बाबांचा संगीताचा ध्यासही बघत होतेच. एकदा ते व एक जण रस्त्याने जात होते. चालता चालता तो गायला लागला. बाबांना ती बंदिश खूपच आवडली पण लिहून घ्यायला कागद नव्हता. तर चक्क त्यांनी अंगातला शर्ट काढून त्याच्यावर ती लिहून घेतली. अनेकांकडून ते सतत अनेक गोष्टी शिकत असायचे. त्या सगळ्याचे संस्कार घेत घेत मी मोठी झाले. त्यामुळे माझ्यातही तेच रुजलं. मला आठवतंय, मी लहान असताना आमच्याकडे नागपूरहून शंकरराव शास्त्री यायचे जे बाबांना फारसी शिकवायचे. मला ते फार आवडायचं. मी बाबांशेजारी बसून ते ऐकायची. शास्त्रीजींचं अक्षर फार सुरेख होतं. मला आजही ते आठवतं. त्यांच्याकडून फारसी शिकल्यावर फारसी गझलांना चाली लावून बाबा म्हणायचेही. मराठी व कानडी ढंगही मराठी नाटय़संगीतात त्यांनी आणला. त्यांना पंजाबी संगीत शिकवायला सुखदेव नावाचे एक गृहस्थ यायचे. असंच एकाकडून ते कानडीही शिकले. मी सतत त्यांच्याबरोबरच राहत असल्याने हे सारे संस्कार माझ्यावरही झाले.

बाळच्या (हृदयनाथ) जन्मानंतर तर आमच्याकडे जवळ-जवळ महिनाभर रोज पोवाडे गायला वेगवेगळे लोक येत होते. छत्रपती शिवरायांचे संस्कार बाळवर व्हावेत म्हणून या सगळ्या लोकांना शिवरायांचेच पोवाडे गाण्यास सांगण्यात आलं होतं. बाबा इतके राष्ट्रवादी होते की हृदयनाथ हे नावसुद्धा प्रख्यात क्रांतिकारक हृदयनाथ कुंजरू यांच्या नावावरून त्यांनी ठेवलं. हा प्रखर राष्ट्रवादाचा संस्कार माझ्यावरही एवढा झालाय की जेव्हा देशाची फाळणी झाली, १९४६ नंतर अनेक ठिकाणी, अगदी मुंबईमध्येही हिंदू-मुस्लीम दंगे झाले, हिंदूंवर अत्याचाराच्या बातम्या यायला लागल्या तेव्हा मलाही तीव्रतेने असं वाटायला लागलं की आपणही हे सगळं सोडून आता हिंदू महासभेचं काम करायला हवं. तेव्हा खरं तर माझं करिअर जोशात होतं. पण मी खूपच अस्वस्थ झाले होते. मी त्यासाठी तात्यांकडे गेलेही, की मला हिंदू महासभेत घ्या, हे सांगायला..पण ते म्हणाले, ‘‘तू जे करतेयस ते चांगलं करतेयस. तू तेच कर.’’ मग मी परत आले. सतत शिकत राहण्याचा आणि राष्ट्रवादाचा हा जो ठसा बाबांनी माझ्यावर उमटवला तो त्यांच्या गाण्याच्या ठशाइतकाच अमिट आहे, असं मला वाटतं.

बाबा गेल्यावर जेव्हा मी नोकरीला लागले तेव्हा मी नृत्य शिकले, पेंटिंग शिकले. फोटोग्राफी शिकले. ‘प्रफुल्ल पिक्चर्स’मध्ये पागे नावाचे एक नृत्यशिक्षक यायचे. त्यांच्याकडे मी वर्षभर कथ्थक शिकलेय. मी त्यांचा एक स्टेज शोसुद्धा केला होता. तिथेच माधवराव शिंदे नावाचे एडिटर होते, त्यांना फोटोग्राफीचा शौक होता. त्यांच्याकडे १९४६ मध्ये मी पहिल्यांदा कॅमेरा बघितला. मला तो खूप आवडला. तेव्हा एका आऊटडोअर शूटच्या वेळेस मी त्यावर एक फोटोही काढला. पण तो फारच खराब आला. मात्र मी हार मानली नाही. शिकत राहिले आणि चांगली फोटोग्राफर बनले, पण मला तरीही रोल घालता येत नव्हता. मग एक दिवस ज्यांचा माझ्यावर खूप प्रभाव आहे ते बाबा भालजी पेंढारकर म्हणाले की, ‘‘साधा रोल घालता येत नाही मग तू कसली फोटोग्राफर? ते येत नाही तोपर्यंत फोटोग्राफी करू नकोस.’’ मग मात्र मी जिद्दीने तेही शिकले. मी स्वत:ला चांगली फोटोग्राफर समजायला लागले होते. मात्र एक दिवस गौतम राजाध्यक्ष यांची फोटोग्राफी बघितली आणि मग मात्र पुन्हा फोटोग्राफी करायची हिम्मत झाली नाही माझी!पेंटिंगसुद्धा मी ‘प्रफुल्ल’मध्ये असतानाच शिकले. माई आणि उषा खूप सुंदर पेंटिंग करत. मला आवड होती. मी रांगोळ्या सुंदर काढत होते, पण मला पेंटिंग येत नव्हतं. तिथे पेंटिंग खात्यात आर्टिस्ट जाधवराव होते, त्यांनी मला पेंटिंग शिकवलं. मॉने हा फ्रेंच आर्टिस्ट माझा आदर्श. मी त्याची पेंटिंग्स गोळा केली एवढंच नव्हे तर मी तब्बल तीनदा पॅरिसच्या त्याच्या घरी जाऊन सगळं बघूनही आले. मात्र हे सगळं पुढे कोल्हापूरला घडलंय. बाबा असताना सांगलीतलं माझं आयुष्य फक्त गाणं आणि व्रात्यपणा यातच सरत होतं.

घरात सतत गाणं असूनही गाणं शिकण्याची माझी भूक जशी भागत नव्हती तशीच माझं गाणं ऐकवण्याची भूकही भागत नव्हती. त्यामुळे मी आमच्या घराजवळील मुरलीधराच्या शाळेत गेले. कारण तिथे गाण्याचा तास असायचा. माझी आते बहीण वासंती त्या शाळेत होती. मी तिला म्हटलं, ‘‘चल. मला पण गाणं शिकता येईल आणि माझं गाणंही तुझ्या बाईंना ऐकवीन. त्या गाऊ शकणार नाहीत माझ्यापुढे.’’ ती म्हणाली, ‘‘तुला काय येतंय? तू काय त्यांना ऐकवणार?’’ मी म्हटलं, ‘‘अगं, मला ना खूप राग येतात. ते मी ऐकवीन..’’ आणि मी तसंच केलं. तिथे गेल्यावर मला संधी मिळताच मी जी काही गाडी सुरू केली ना.. मला येणारे ‘यमन’पासून ‘हिंडोल’पर्यंतचे सगळे राग मी तिथल्या सगळ्या शिक्षकांना ऐकवून दाखवले. त्यांनी कौतुक केलं. मला शाळेतही घेतलं. दुसऱ्या दिवशी आम्हा बिगरीतल्या मुलांना श्रीगणेशा शिकवला गेला. मी जे काढलं त्याने आपण फार खूश झालो असं त्या सरांनी दाखवलं. मला म्हणाले, ‘‘तुला १० पैकी ११ मार्क्‍स.’’ मी प्रचंड खूश झाले. मात्र शाळा खूप आवडल्याने मी दुसऱ्या दिवशी अवघ्या सहा महिन्यांच्या आशाला घेऊन शाळेत गेले. शिक्षक त्याबद्दल ओरडले नि माझा मान गेल्याने, अपमान झाल्याने मी शाळा सोडली. पण घरी येऊन मी खूप तणतण केली. हक्काचा श्रोता पुन्हा माईच.. ‘मी लता दीनानाथ मंगेशकर! आणि माझा अपमान? मी बिलकूल सहन करणार नाही..’

पण आज लक्षात येतंय की ‘मी लता दीनानाथ मंगेशकर’ हा जो अभिमान आमच्या मनात माईने सतत धगधगत ठेवला त्यानेच अत्यंत विपरीत परिस्थितीतही आम्ही उभे राहू शकलो. आजचं यश मिळवू शकलो. मी आवेशात शाळा तर सोडली पण दुसऱ्या दिवशी सकाळी मला चिंता पडली की, आता मी शाळेत गेले नाही तर मला बाबांच्या रेकॉर्डवरचं गाणं कसं वाचता येणार? मग आमच्याकडे एक विठ्ठल नावाचा नोकर होता. तो चौथी-पाचवीपर्यंत शिकलेला होता. त्याच्याकडून मी लिहायला वाचायला शिकले. तो माझा या बाबतीतला पहिला गुरू. मला वाचता यायला लागल्यावर सर्वात आधी मी बाबांची रेकॉर्ड काढून माईला वाचून दाखवलं की बघ यावर ‘शूरा मी वंदिले’ असं लिहिलंय. ती पण खूश झाली. मग मी वासंतीची तिसरीची पुस्तकंही आणून वाचली. त्यात मी पहिल्यांदा संत तुकारामांचा अभंग वाचला. त्यांचा चित्रपट मी पहिला होता. तेव्हा आम्ही मुलं काय करायचो की चित्रपट बघून आलो की, तो जसाच्या तसा त्यातल्या प्रत्येक सीनसह, गाण्यासह, इतकंच नव्हे तर पाश्र्वसंगीताच्या तुकडय़ासह घरी करायचो. त्यात मी तुकाराम हे नक्की! सिनेमाच्या शेवटी तुकाराम वैकुंठाला जातात. ते करण्यासाठी आम्ही काय करायचो माहीत आहे? आमच्याकडे एक खोली होती त्यात साऱ्या गाद्यांचा ढीग ठेवलेला असायचा. मी त्यावर चढून बसायची.. ते माझं विमान होतं वैकुंठाला नेणारं! पण तिसरीच्या पुस्तकातला, ‘का रे नाठविसी कृपाळू देवाशी, पोषितो जगासी एकलाची’ हा अभंग मला इतका आवडला की तो वाचताना प्रत्येक वेळी मला रडायला यायचं. ज्याने तुकारामांना ओढ लावली तो विठ्ठल कसा असेल याची मी कल्पना करत राहायची. मला पंढरीला जायची ओढ लागली.

हा धार्मिकतेचा संस्कारही माझ्या घरातून, माझ्या बाबांकडून, आजीकडून तर माझ्यावर झालाच, पण मला वाटतं की मी तो पूर्वजन्मातूनच घेऊन आलेली आहे. त्यामुळे कुठल्याही मठ-मंदिरात, अगदी चर्च व दग्र्यात गेले ना तरीही मला अशी विलक्षण जाणीव होते की मी या ठिकाणी पूर्वी येऊन गेले आहे.. बाबा तर सतत ‘हरीविजय’ किंवा ‘गीता’ वाचत असायचे. नाटक संपवून मध्यरात्री घरी आले की ते हे वाचायला बसायचे. आम्ही झोपलेले असलो तरी आम्हाला उठवून ते ऐकवायचे. म्हणून असेल कदाचित पण श्रीकृष्ण हे माझं अत्यंत आवडतं दैवत आहे. ज्ञानेश्वरांबद्दल माहिती झाल्यावर व आळंदीला दर्शन घेतल्यानंतर त्यानेही मी भारून गेले आहे. ‘मोगरा फुलला’ गाताना तर मला त्या भावंडांची आणि आमची त्या काळातली वणवण आठवून हळवं व्हायला होतं. कुठे तरी त्या दु:खाशी माझी नाळ जोडली जाते. हा धार्मिकतेचा संस्कार किंवा पूर्वजन्माची पुण्याई हे जे काही आहे ते इतकं घट्ट आहे की माझ्या वयाच्या विशीच्या प्रारंभी मला सतत एक स्वप्न पडे. दिवसाला ६-६, ८-८ गाणी रेकॉर्ड करून येऊन मी थकून झोपायची आणि ते स्वप्न सुरू व्हायचं.. त्यात रोज मला एक समुद्राकाठचं काळ्या पाषाणाचं मंदिर दिसायचं. त्यात देव कोण होता माहीत नाही, पण तिथे प्रार्थना केल्यावर मी मंदिराचं मागचं दार उघडून बाहेर यायची. तिथल्या दगडांवर बसायची आणि मग समुद्राच्या लाटा माझ्या पायापर्यंत यायच्या.. बस्स. तिथे ते स्वप्न संपायचं. हा ईश्वरी कृपेचा संकेत होता बहुतेक.

पण एकूणच मी जे काही यश मिळवलंय त्यात देवाच्या कृपेचा वाटा फार मोठा आहे, असं मला वाटतं.मोठ्ठी गायिका व्हायचं असं काही माझं स्वप्न नव्हतं. खरं तर माझी काही महत्त्वाकांक्षाच नव्हती. पण बाबा गेले आणि मला अचानक सारी जबाबदारी पेलावी लागली.

‘मावळत्या दिनकरा..’ या गाण्यातल्या ओळी आहेत ना,

उपकाराची कुणा आठवण
शिते तोवरी भुते अशी म्हण
जगात भरले तोंडपुजेपण
धरी पाठीवर सरा.
मावळत्या दिनकरा..

 याचा दाहक अनुभव आम्ही रोज घेत होतो. पण माई मोडली नाही. तिने आम्हाला मोडू दिलं नाही. बाबांचा मान कमी होऊ दिला नाही. मला आठवतंय माझ्या काकांचं लग्न होतं. घरातलं सगळं वैभव गेलं होतं. खायचे फाके पडायला लागले होते. घरात बाबांची अतिशय लाडकी अशी एकच हिऱ्याची अंगठी उरली होती. माईने आहेरासाठी ती बाहेर काढली. आम्हाला ते पटत नव्हतं. कारण बाळचं आजारपणही चालू होतं. पण माई म्हणाली, मालकांचा मान जाईल, असं मी काही करणार नाही. पुढे आम्हीही तसंच वागत आलो!मात्र माझ्या घरचं वातावरण आणि बाहेरच्या जगातली तफावत मी काम सुरू केल्यावर माझ्या हळूहळू लक्षात यायला लागली होती. कोण तोंडावर चांगलं वागतं, कोण कसं आहे हे सगळं कळायला लागलं होतं.

एक तर परिस्थितीमुळे होणारी घुसमट, त्यात काम शोधायची धडपड, त्याच्यातच मला होत असलेला सायनसचा त्रास या सगळ्यामुळे असेल कदाचित पण माझा तापटपणा खूप वाढला होता. या काळात मला आधारस्तंभासारखे भेटले ते भालजी पेंढारकर म्हणजे बाबा आणि पंडित नरेंद्र शर्मा. त्यांना मी पप्पा म्हणायची. मला हिंदीची गोडीही त्यांच्यामुळेच लागली. तसं तर मी प्रत्येक संगीतकाराकडून शिकत गेलेय. पण जगायचं कसं, वागायचं कसं, व्यासंग कसा वाढवायचा हे मी यांच्याकडून शिकले. ‘प्रफुल्ल पिक्चर्स’मध्ये असतानाच माझी वि. स. खांडेकर यांच्याशी ओळख झाली होती. ते फारसे कुणाशी बोलत नसत. कुणाला भेटत नसत. पण माझ्याशीच नव्हे तर आमच्या संपूर्ण कुटुंबाशीच त्यांचा घरोबा जुळला होता.

मुंबईमध्ये १९४६ मध्ये दंगे झाले तेव्हा आम्ही सगळे कोल्हापूरला त्यांच्याकडेच जाऊन राहिलो होतो. तेही आमच्याकडे येऊन राहत. त्यांच्याकडूनही मला खूप शिकायला मिळालं. मी प्रत्येकाबद्दल कृतज्ञ आहे. मला आजही असंच वाटतं की ही देवाची कृपा आहे. मला फक्त माझं घर चालवायचं होतं. माझ्या भावंडांना, माईला सुखात ठेवायचं होतं. मला चांगली बुद्धी लाभलीय, आवाज लाभलाय, स्मरणशक्ती लाभलीय, गाणं ऐकताच ते कसं गावं हे मला कळतं, गाता येतं ही सारी देवाची कृपा. मला आता कशाचाच मोह नाही. मोह आहे तो फक्त संगीतातल्या आठव्या सुराचा.. ईश्वराचा!

 - भारतरत्न स्वरसम्राज्ञी लता मंगेशकर
 - शब्दांकन - जयश्री देसाई

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Chinese strategy in Pakistan, the CPEC's Indian impact and the CPEC status today

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.

Author: SSridhar

Before, we look at the tactical questions, I would like to consider the Chinese strategy in Pakistan, the CPEC's Indian impact and the CPEC status today. They are related to the issue on hand, namely my conjecture that PRC may have had a hand in the Uri attack. IMO, China has concluded (may be quite sometime back) that Pakistan could not be saved from being dissolved as an entity, either by India or internal subversion due to various reasons or a combination of both. They cannot be faulted for this conclusion, This is a nightmare scenario for it due to several reasons, not the least of which are, and in no particular order:

  1. Its nuclear weapons and the missiles in Pakistani storage 
  2. Its loss of control over jihadi tanzeems from absorbing/training Uyghurs, which it has so far been successfully managing through blandishments, bribes and pressure 
  3. Loss of the cat's paw which is being used to keep India confined to the South Asia quagmire and leading more importantly, for China to deal directly with India, a situation it relishes 
  4. Loss of Gwadar for PLAN and the oil & gas pipelines to Kashgar 
  5. The failure of the flagship CPEC project, a precursor to other SilkRoad projects 
  6. Loss of access to the riches of Afghanistan 
  7. Failure of the encirclement strategy of India 
  8. Total loss of face that all the might of China could not prevent disintegration of its biggest ally in the world 
So, the Chinese strategy is to be tactical and prolong the existence of Pakistan as a state in its present form & content for as long as possible, in order to tackle the enemy, India, and in the process make gains geoeconomically, geopolitically as much as possible and gain stability in Xinjiang. Khunjerab Pass and Gilgit-Baltistan are the fulcrum of China's India policy. The moment CPEC was formulated, China moved its forces into GB to secure it and advised Pakistan to politically & constitutionally make it as another Pakistani province, no longer to be referred merely as 'Northern Areas'.

The CPEC posed a great dilemma to the Indian strategic community in 2014. The Modi government had just assumed power. It needed time to develop a strategy, to develop linkages with world leaders, and be firmly in saddle. There were always tactical India-Pakistan situations that needed attention - an attack here or another one there (for example, Herat Consulate attack on the very day of assumption of power by Modi)-, depriving it of attention to long-term strategies. China was putting pressure on India to join the project, and be generally on its side in its geopolitical & geoeconomic approaches etc. For example, the formation of AIIB. Nimble-footed China knew that Modi was deeply committed to improving infrastructure and the idea of India joining the Bank was immediately mooted during the visit of Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari to China in June 2014. CPEC was posing a great challenge to the nascent Modi government as it had to carefully choose between not looking 'confrontational' with the Chinese leadership who were wooing India and at the same time protecting the Indian strategic interests which not only included territorial claims (GB, Shaksgam Valley) but also its geopolitical equations with countries such as the USA & Japan. CPEC is a direct challenge to India's sovereignty over all areas of the erstwhile Princely state of J&K. So, India has been forthright on its stance with respect to CPEC whose glib-talking efforts have failed with us.

China is desperate about Pakistan. It indulged Zardari (who forced himself upon the Chinese to the point of annoyance by visiting them every month), it indulged the Sharif brothers with the hope that they would facilitate a smooth implementation of the CPEC. But, they are unable to deliver as they have not only failed miserably in forging a political unanimity but also showing signs of collapsing any minute. The political situation in Pakistan is so fraught that the Chinese are nervous about the implementation of its most ambitious and defining project. It is a great risk to invest in Pakistan at any time but to stake the entire future of Silk Road project on a shaky Pakistan is the riskiest venture, but the Chinese are forced by circumstances to do so. The Army has cleverly manipulated the Tehrik-e-Insaf and the Canadian cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri to successfully bring governance to a grinding halt every now and then. They have also used the Panama Gate to the same effect and make Nawaz Sharif look very shaky. But, Nawaz Sharif is not budging on handing over CPEC to the PA. The Chinese would want to sew this up before the next Chief came in.

Speaking on the 89th founding day of the PLA, Gen. Raheel Sharif said, very pointedly, "Our resolve to break the nexus between terrorists, criminality and corruption is unflinching. Pakistan Army and PLA form the edifice of our overall strategic relations". He also promised to "leave no stone unturned" to provide security to the CPEC project. Gen. Raheel Sharif even conducted a cabinet meeting at GHQ on June 7, 2016 when Nawaz Sharif was undergoing heart surgery at London. That meeting was dedicated to deliberating on the challenges to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. After the meeting, the ISPR statement spoke of "not allowing hostile intelligence agencies and their unnamed facilitators to foment trouble in the country, and protecting core national interests and countering any negative outside influence”. What is even more striking is that immediately after the meeting, the army chief received Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong in his office for a discussion on “regional security and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor”. A month later, Gen. Sharif visited China, incidentally to Urmqui to meet his Chinese counterpart where he pledged to firmly crack down on terrorist forces. The PA is spreading false information about India sabotaging the CPEC project just so that the management of the project would fall into their lap as the Chinese also desire. The kidnapping of Kulbushan Jadhav from Iran is a part of that project.

The CPEC project is completely opaque for even the Chief Ministers of Sindh, Balochistan & KP. Only the Punjab CM, Shahbaz Sharif and the Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif visit China and discusses the project. The PA, predominantly Punjabi, has no problems with the Punjab-centricity of the project and the other three provinces being ignored. However, the other three provinces are agitated greatly.

The only institution that the Chinese can turn to is the Pakistani Army. The Chinese are impatient because they are bereft of any lever vis-a-vis the ruling political elite at this stage, though they have indulged Nawaz & Shahbaz Sharif regularly. The resolution of the question of who manages the CPEC implementation is crucial now. The Chinese have reached a limit now as the political class is unwilling to be pushed on the management of the CPEC project any further, even by the Chinese!

And to add to their woes, the unpredictable Modi mentioned Balochistan, totally out of the blue in his I-Day message. That has stirred the pot. I posted here the reaction of one of China’s South Asia experts, Hu Shisheng (director of state-run think-tank Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceanian Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations affiliated to the Chinese foreign ministry). He said,

“My personal view is that if India is adamant and if Indian factor is found by China or Pakistan in disrupting the process of CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), if that becomes a reality, it will really become a disturbance to China-India relations, India-Pakistan relations. If that happens China and Pakistan could have no other way but take united steps. I want to say that the Pakistan factor could surge again to become the most disturbing factor in China-India relations, even more than the Tibet, border and trade imbalance issues. I think the two countries (China and Pakistan) will do whatsoever to enhance the security and smooth construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. But what kind of forms I have no idea. I am just wondering whether military involvement could be one of the choices but in my personal view, it is very unlikely. If Indian concern is too much, China is also one part of the Kashmir issue. If the accession (area by Pakistan to China) is regarded by India as one part of the problem then let the three of us sit down to talk. In the past Chinese scholars are not so much concerned about India-US ties. We strongly believed that India's strategic independence can be trusted and can be maintained. In recent years, Indian strategic independence is facing some challenges because of security issues. The cooperation has been going really far more forward in the past one year”.

Since China expresses its foreign policy opinions through such myriad opinion-makers and think-tanks, this must be understood by India as a definite Chinese warning. This opinion was followed by an editorial in the Global Times which said that since CPEC "passes through some turbulent regions, Kashmir included" there can be potential "setbacks".

Early last month, Gen. Raheel Sharif announced in GB that the PA was aware of the nefarious design of Modi regarding CPEC and would provide 'fool-proof security. It has been 'leaked' that during his frequent trips to China Gen. Raheel Sharif has been blaming India for the delays & confusion regarding CPEC. Roughly one-fourth of the CPEC projects (USD 11.5B) are delayed or being axed. In January 2016, the Chinese embassy in Islamabad openly expressed concern and asked the relevant parties to "address their differences in order to create favourable conditions".
On what basis can we say China knew "fully well" that India would retaliate for Uri? I don't know if the Pakis were even expecting such a high number of Indian KIA at Uri; most of the deaths were because of tents catching fire. Even if they fully expected 18 deaths, why would they think we would behave any differently this time than after Pathankot? On the contrary, I think PA and ISI were lulled by our non-response to Pathankot into thinking that Modi turned out to be a Hindu Bania solely interested in economic growth, and could thus be needled ad infinitum because he would never do anything to jeopardise the Indian economy.
May be "fully well" was an overstatement. But, some response must have been expected after killing 19 soldiers. Kaluchak did not see retaliation because it was part of the "Twin Peaks" of 2001-2002 and mobilisation was already on and a confrontation was in the works with the Americans working over time to defuse the crisis. This time, it was different. The US-Pakistani relationship is in the doldrums, while the US-India relationship is quite high and the need for the US to intervene is not as much as it was in 2002. No Army, no country can let go after such a brazen attack of killing so many soldiers. That this government meant business was known after the June 2015 strikes inside Myanmar at NSCN-K camps after a similar episode of 18 Indian soldiers being killed. A few months' later, there was a similar strike in the same theatre which was played down. Even diplomatically, India has taken tough, unbending stances since May 2014. As for the large number of 'surprise' KIA, the attackers fully expected a significant Indian casualty because they deliberately chose incendiary phosphorous bombs to set fire to tents. It may be that hitting a fuel tank/pump added to the misery of the sleeping soldiers, but the attackers planned it well and knew exactly what they were doing and the likely fatalities. There is enormous difference between PAFB & Uri attacks. The only similarity is both were military targets. The Pathankot attack came immediately after a surprise visit by Modi to Lahore and it was probably felt that so sudden an attack after the visit could have been only mounted by the usual suspects, thereby giving some leeway to the civilian government. However, the Uri attack came at a different time. Pakistan had stoked a deep unrest in the Kashmir valley for several months and the Pakistani civilian government was in the forefront running the show. Pakistan Army & China couldn't have expected it to go unpunished especially with a so-called 'nationalist 56-inch chest' government. The surgical strikes were meant to convey message to four parties, the Pakistani Army, its Chinese backers, the Pakistani civilian government and the 'world community'. By all accounts, it looks like that he PA/ISI were totally deceived by crafty Indian armed forces.
When even close watchers of the India-TSP situation like us on BRF were surprised at the 28/9 surgical strike, would the Chinese/PA/JeM have bet on such an unprecedented Indian response to help Raheel Sharif secure an extension? It would seem a long shot.
As stated above, any country, especially 'Paranoidistan', must have expected a response after Uri-type attack. In fact, such a strike adds to the paranoia and strengthens the PA's demand to hand over CPEC implementation to itself.

In fact, if the whole thing was a trap laid with full expectation of an Indian surgical strike in response, why weren't PA well prepared for the Indian incursion so that Raheel could claim a victory by giving a mooh-thod jawab? Wouldn't that have made a far better case for his extension than this kerfuffle of PA being caught 400% on the backfoot, and then running around trying to deny the strike ever happened?
PA was well-prepared for some other form of attack as we saw with closing down GB airspace, PAF CAPs, PAF exercises, fighters landing on highways, Lahore/Karachi airspace restrictions, naval deployments etc., but not what happened eventually. The mooh-thod jawab fell apart. For some reason, JeM is a blue-eyed boy of China, for whose leaders China has been strenuously applying technical-hold in UNSC since c. 2009. Probably, the Chinese are sure that Nawaz would not extend the term of Gen. Raheel Sharif and they would like the CPEC management issue to be settled before he left as they might not be sure of the newcomer and in any case, it would take time for him to settle down etc. What is better for the Chinese (and perhaps Gen. Raheel Sharif) than to precipitate a limited skirmish on the LoC (of which there are dozens and they never escalated uncontrollably, the Chinese would know the history) and spin stories about India targeting CPEC? But, the wily fox India took the wind out of the sail, by not indiscriminately attacking Pakistan, not employing air power etc, but by labelling it as a counter-terror op and targeting precisely the launch-pads of the terrorists, informing the Pakistani DGMO of Indian action and announcing the end of operations etc.

Instigating the PA/ISI terror attack at Uri seems a very risky strategy though, and not typical of the Chinese. It may have been far less risky to (say) stage a spectacular terrorist attack against hapless Pakistani Christians or something... then have Raheel step forward as the sole guarantor of Pakistan's internal security, buffing his Zarb-e-Kabr credentials.

For China, there is no risk involved. Nobody suspects a China hand, doesn't it? If there was an escalation, it was for Pakistan to absorb it and possibly China would work extra-hard along with the US to defuse the situation and prevent it from spiralling out of control. But, China would have gamed all that because it knows that if at all, India would go for punitive strikes but not for a total war for this reason. We have to recall the extraordinary support provided to JeM by China including the latest ridiculous defence it has put up yesterday of there being no unanimity in the UNSC 1267 Committee. This support to JeM goes seven years back. After LeT was blacklisted, which was inevitable considering the 26/11 attacks and multiple nationalities being killed in a much televised urban warfare, Masood Azhar and his JeM have been resurrected and LeT cadres are attacking India with the JeM tag. Though the two pro-Sarkari jihadist tanzeems have collaborated with the PA in attacking India for a long time now, the LeT was always preponderant simply by virtue of its numbers, resources and clout. But, these days, we hear more and more of JeM with LeT playing a second fiddle. The proximity, on the one hand, between PRC & PA, combined with the facts that it is JeM that is playing more active role in terror these days and that China is going to ridiculous extents to support a terrorist organization such as JeM repeatedly, each time offering more and more ridiculous excuses, makes one very suspicious. By the way, China is not averse to taking risks. Its nuclear, missile proliferations, very risky support for DPRK & flouting of UNCLOS on Indo-China Sea or the NSG in grand-fathering Pakistani n-reactors are there for all to see. The Deng Xiaoping restriction on 'risky' foreign intel activities (after the 1985 episode) have been rescinded by Xi Jinping.

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