India! I dare you to be rich

Category Archive: Current Affairs

Sorry, Modi, you can’t hide Amit Shah’s criminality. Censoring newspapers doesn’t work – any more.

Amit Shah and Modi seem to be working overtime to remove all traces of Amit Shah's criminality. This article published by DNA is no longer available. There is no explanation provided by DNA. The only logical implication is that this article – which was widely shared on social media – was inconvenient for the Modi government, which must have asked DNA to remove it.

But censorship doesn't work today. Thanks to Google. And the internet.

I'm re-publishing the copy retrieved from Google cache.


Thank you, Google!



The full text below, followed by the image copy. Let there be freedom of the press in India. Already one of the least free countries in the world, Modi wants to make India a basket case.

[Opinion] A new low in Indian politics

Wednesday, 9 July 2014 – 5:11pm IST | Agency: DNA

Late last week, a special CBI court adjourned the bail application of Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter cases, accepting his excuse that he was engaged in political work in New Delhi. Shah, 49, the first serving Home minister of a state to have gone behind bars in a criminal case of murder and conspiracy had a legitimate reason to skip court hearings. He was presiding and taking part in day-long meetings in Delhi with senior RSS leaders and BJP functionaries who were all set to seal his fate as the next BJP President

There is a significant back story to his exemption which did find its way as a small snippet in the media but needs to be brought to light as Shah, the man who waved the magic wand for BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the PM’s confidante and the number two in the government now takes over the reins of the party. Amit Shah had twice in the past sought exemption from personal appearance citing political work, but the then CBI judge JT Utpat had found his excuse inadequate for the court to grant him relief. On June 20, while hearing the application, Utpat allowed the same but made a scathing remark “Everytime you are giving this exemption application without assigning any reason,” he told Shahs counsel. In less than a week, Utpat was transferred to a Pune court before he could preside over Shahs discharge application. Shah managed his way out with a tried and tested formula of transferring judges, practiced brazenly in his home state of Gujarat through his tenure as Home Minister.

As a journalist covering Gujarat extensively since 2005, as someone who exposed Shah’s role in the fake encounters in the state and who can claim to have knowledge of his political trajectory, I would not mince my words in suggesting that by appointing Amit Shah as the president of the party, the BJP has hugely disrespected the law of the land and signalled an all time low for the criminal justice system of India. For the cases against Shah are for crimes so gruesome that the cloak of political astuteness will be too short to cover it.

In its chargesheet filed in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, the CBI which had been investigating the case under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court of India had not just named Shah as one of the key accused and conspirators but also named him as the head of an extortion racket which involved underworld thugs, politicians and businessmen. In its submission before the apex court bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan, the CBI stated that the minister was in cahoots with senior cops from Gujarat including the likes of DG Vanzara and Abhay Chudasama who had been sentenced for cold-blooded murder – concluding that Shah was a hardcore criminal. Shah was also chargesheeted in the murder of Kauser Bi, the wife of Sohrabuddin who according to the official papers was raped, sedated, killed and her body burnt and thrown in a river.

One could have well debated the merits of the CBI chargesheet and read political motives but for the fact that the Supreme court itself gave CBI the sanction to arrest Shah at the same time, coming down harshly on the Gujarat state police investigation led by the then top cop Geeta Johri for going slow and misleading the courts. If the SIT verdict on Narendra Modi’s role in the Gujarat encounters is to be held as the final word, by virtue of it being monitored by the apex court, it is baffling then that Narendra Modi who promised clean and transparent governance to this country and setting up fast track courts to look into cases of criminal charges against politicians has turned a blind eye to Shah’s criminal past.

Shah has been Modi’s confidante since his days as a pracharak in Gujarat and Maharashtra. With Shah's induction on the national scene first as the General Secretary of the BJP and now as the BJP President, Modi has risked his own political image for the sake of his ally and friend who has put to shame the best political pundits and strategists from North India with his shrewd manoeuvring. In the coming days, the party will have to prove its popularity not just in the by-elections of Uttar Pradesh but also in the forthcoming Assembly Elections in three states, the most significant being the battle for Maharashtra. Party insiders have stressed on Maharashtra being a prestige battle for Modi whose party swept the Lok Sabha elections a couple of months ago. Going by the minutes of the internal meetings held between Modi, Shah and senior heads in the BJP and the RSS, the Prime Minister has silenced his detractors in the party who were against Shah's elevation citing his ability to churn out big numbers.

Many in the Gujarat BJP believe that Modi has been under tremendous pressure by Shah to return the favours he has allegedly bestowed on his mentor in the last two decades of their association. It’s a well known fact that during Modi's rebellion against former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and in his fight with the ex-Home Minister of Gujarat Haren Pandya, it was Shah who stood firmly by Modi's side galvanizing the cadres and leaders in favour of his boss.

As the second in command in the Modi dispensation, the youngest minister in his cabinet who held charge of twelve ministries including the powerful Minister of State for Home, Shah single-handedly thwarted all trouble that came in the way of Modi with his office getting the infamous tag of the “dirty tricks department of the CM”. It was under his tenure as Home Minister that the Gujarat police went on a spree of fake encounters in the state – holding regular press conferences for the media with the bodies of the alleged assassins on display. The officers would claim that the Gujarat CM was under threat from jihadists who were out to assassinate the man who brought back Hindu asmita in Gujarat.

While the chief minister managed to leave unscathed during the investigations of most of the encounters which were later pronounced as fake, Shah found himself listed as the prime accused in three encounters, his role in the other two being probed by the CBI with investigations in the case still on.

Another major dent in Shah's image came with his alleged involvement in the Snoopgate scandal, in which he is heard instructing one of his key lieutenants – IPS officer GL Singhal who was then incharge of the ATS, to carry on surveillance on a young woman. The tapes which were released late last year created a furore after it became obvious that Shah as the Home Minister of the state was using state machinery to snoop on innocent civilians, monitoring their moves. In this particular case, a young woman whose movements, including aspects of her personal life were being reported to the CM on a daily basis.

With such serious criminal charges against him, has Modi denigrated the position of the party president by handing over Shah the reins of the party. Would it now be safe to assume that Prime Minister Narendra Modi acted against the interests of the judiciary by rejecting the nomination of Gopal Subramaniam as a Supreme court judge as he was also the amicus curiae in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. Ever since the Prime Minister assumed office, ex-CBI directors including Ashwini Kumar and AP Singh who were at the helm of affairs in the CBI during the investigation of the encounters, find themselves being at the receiving end of Shah's wrath. While Kumar has stepped down as governor of Nagaland, AP Singh is reportedly under pressure to step down as member of the UPSC after the Income Tax department served notices to him and his family members in an investigation into alleged tax evasion by meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

These could all well be coincidences if one were to take a larger liberal view of the developments including the transfer of 89-year-old ailing governor of Gujarat Kamla Beniwal, who under her tenure locked horns with Modi and Shah over the appointment of Lokayukta in the state. But even if one were to dismiss these actions against officials, lawyers, judges who played significant roles in the criminal justice process involving Amit Shah as conjectures, will it not be pertinent to suggest that by appointing Shah as the BJP President, Modi has acted in contradiction to his promise of a free and fair government, which will have no space for vindictiveness. Hasn't Modi and the BJP under the guidance of the RSS just made the first attack on the principle of clean governance on the basis of which the party came to power? Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to answer this one.

Rana Ayyub is a journalist and a writer. She tweets at @RanaAyyub
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of dna​.

[click image to view a larger copy]

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What advantage do Bitcoins possess that cannot be secured through the purchase of gold?

A reader asked this question today (the  title of this blog post).

My response:

Once risks to its survival are perceived to have reduced (i.e. regulators have failed to stop it) then it will behave like any other risky asset with limited circulation (e.g. like a Picasso painting). Total number of bitcoins are limited by design, and can only be 'mined' (through grunt force of computers) at incrementally higher and higher cost. This further imposes a limit on the total number that can be put into circulation.

Unlike a central bank that can increase money supply, or gold – more of which can be found in the future – Bitcoin supply is fixed for ever.

In the long run, therefore – assuming regulators can't shut it down one day – Bitcoin will perform better than gold as a store of value. The more the people who buy Bitcoins, the greater its value becomes. There is an in-built virtuous cycle in Bitcoin design.

People may prefer to park their dollars in Bitcoins instead of in banks, since Bitcoins should, on average, grow in value over time.

However, Bitcoins are not free of risk – at least for another couple of years. But once risk is further reduced, there is only an up-side.

There is also an advantage to Bitcoin in comparison to gold or a painting by Picasso: that one doesn't have to hold Bitcoin physically. These can be parked in any Bitcoin exchange at very low transaction cost.

Similar properties apply to all alternative cryptocurrencies. However, since Bitcoin is driven by "belief", people have voted with their money for Bitcoin and are abandoning other cryptocurrencies. This doesn't mean that the risk of the "herd" moving to another currency doesn't exist – which will reduce the value of Bitcoin. However, like Facebok has now comprehensively taken over the social media space and eliminated all other rivals – due to "herd" preference, so also Bitcoin seems to have become the cryptocurrency of choice of the "herd".


Further, here is an example of ongoing regulatory risk:

It is possible, though, that such international regulations can provide a large boost to the value of these currencies.

My sense, though, is that these currencies can't be regulated in any meaningful way.

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My experiment with Bitcoin and musings on its future: From negative to neutral, even a little bit positive.

Despite my objections to Bitcoin and my negative views about it (see this and this), I think Singapore is right to undertake due diligence to understand it properly.

Singapore keeps pushing ahead while the West stagnates: there is a culture of deep innovation in its public sector (which is essentially private). Singapore does not ignore new technologies. It tries to understand them and take advantage where possible.

Following this lead from Singapore, I've also put a tiny bit of money into bitcoin and one other alternative currency, so I can understand what is going on. I also managed to read up quite extensively about these alternative currencies. This is money well spent to get a better understanding of cryptocurrencies.

My concerns are largely regulatory, and many of these concerns still remain. But I find that regulators have had a very long time and done NOTHING about Bitcoin. Therefore, this has now grown too big to deal with. It is a REAL thing, that needs to be given real consideration.

I've purchased these cryptocurrencies through a Hong Kong based exchange. There was very diligent validation of identity by the exchange. That should help lower money laundering risk. I had transferred AUD through my bank, so this is a fully recorded transaction.

BUT I understand that customers of the exchange can plunk in their bitcoins directly into the exchange (i.e.not through banks). These bitcoins, being totally anonymous, could have been purchased/ mined in any number of ways unrelated to the regulatory system – including through drug/corrupt money.

My question is: how can any regulator even possibly deal with this issue? Maybe that's why they are sitting on the sidelines, confused about what they can do.

The exchange can be regulated and can check ID, but how can anyone identify "black-money" bitcoins? All bitcoins look the same, like drops of water in the ocean.

I can report the following:

1) There is THICK trading – very active trading of bitcoins in the Hong Kong based exchange. Spreads are very small, as a result. Trading is instantaneous. 

2) There is very THIN trading in alternative currencies: only a few of them are convertible into dollars, only very small amounts are traded, with very wide spreads. 

3) Most alternative currencies that are traded (very few are) have been declining in value over the past many months.

4) Bitcoin volatility has dramatically reduced over the past few months.

5) Bitcoin market capitalisation is around $8 billion compared with the nearest competitor, Litecoin, at $200 million. 

6) Hundreds of thousands of businesses accept Bitcoin, compared with almost none for most others.

This indicates:

- Just like Facebook displaced Myspace and Okrut comprehensively and totally, so also the "eyeball" factor, the thick trading factor, and the assurance that the black money and corrupt industry of the world will always act as a "base" for the bitcoin market, have meant that alternative currencies are being wiped out, even as Bitcoin is now becoming more of a "store of value" and more likely to be used/traded across the world. Alternative currencies are fighting a losing battle. This is not about the First Mover advantage, but about the acceptance and hence liquidity and credibility of the market.

- There is not much to distinguish between various crypto-currencies, some minor technical matters notwithstanding. As commodities, it is now merely a matter of consumer preference (thickness of markets) that will dictate which one "wins".

- Regulators have had plenty of time to resolve the money-laundering and black-money issues that plague Bitcoin, but they simply CAN'T. They've thrown up their hands. Therefore, bitcoins are likely to flourish regardless of what regulators do.

- Bitcoin has started behaving more like an asset (an appreciating store of value) than currency. I don't have a digital wallet yet and don't see the need to create one. That will require me to hold bitcoins at my own risk and I could lose them if I lost my digital wallet. Much better to store them in a digital exchange, like an asset.

- As bitcoin is increasingly seen by more people as an asset that increases in value, demand for bitcoins could increse, leading to a self-fulfilling explosion in value. THE MORE THE PEOPLE THAT BUY BITCOIN, THE MORE THAT WILL BUY IT, AND THE MORE ITS VALUE WILL INCREASE.

- Bitcoin is increasingly likely to become part of people's diversified portfolios.

- The moment any two or three governments "validate" bitcoin (through regulatory means), its "desirability" will radically increase, thereby causing a RUSH TO BUY, which will dramatically increase its value, and therefore desirability.

- Regulators are likely to realise that they best way to regulate Bitcoin is to work out agreements with Bitcoin exchanges to share data of their citizens. E.g. the Hong Kong exchange could provide data to Australia about my purchase – and particularly when I sell Bitcoin. Regulators will increasingly seek to enforce money laundering and other laws at the point when Bitcoins are converted into dollars, being largely unable to control conversion from dollars into Bitcoin.

- Bitcoin – once it has reached 'critical mass' – is unlikely to lead to a 'run on the bank' – i.e. panic sale, which is a relatively common problem with paper money.

- People are more likely to want to be paid salaries in Bitcoin once it has become established as an alternative currency-asset (it has both properties).

If regulators aren't able to "ping" Bitcoin rather quickly now (they've already taken too long), then I expect Bitcoin to become a very disruptive technology. Its impacts could be very far reaching and completely unprecedented. Vast economies could come into existence that never convert Bitcoin into dollars, and trades occur through internet/electronic means, totally invisible to regulators. E.g. if people in the peer-to-peer (e.g. TaskRabbit/ Uber) economy prefer to be paid in Bitcoin and more businesses accept Bitcoin as payment, which means many transactions will become invisible to the economy.

[I doubt, though, that regulators will allow large assets, e.g. homes or cars, to be ever purchased through Bitcoin. Payments to employees in the visible economy could also be restricted to "official" currencies - but to date, regualators seem to have not done anything concrete to stop the runaway train that is Bitcoin. Furture regulation could prevent the purchase and sale of property in Bitcoin - or at least requiring full disclosure of exchange value in local currency on the date of transaction. - one way is to use an anti-avoidance clause that allows stamp duty to be charged on a higher value if there is a low consideration paid.] 

This could mean the rapid decline of taxes and the growth of economies (and even legal systems) entirely invisible to the government.

Do I recommend BitCoin now? No, I still recommend great caution, just in case a big regulator somewhere manages to find a way to shut it down. But the risk of any regulatory closure of Bitcoin is fast diminishing. At best, it is likely to be regulated and therefore "regularised" (hence made more popular: once that happens, Bitcoin will shoot up in value to astronomical levels).

Bitcoin is potentially the reverse of a Ponzi game, as it relies on (a) limited issue of coins and (b) complete absence of regulatory disruption. Therefore, once enough people "believe" in it, it only has an upside, not downside.



Deciphering the cryptic world of bitcoin, July 13, 2014

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Modi is almost certainly the mastermind behind the murder of Haren Pandya: further proof

The good thing about writing a blog is that over time some relevant people – while searching for specific information, perhaps – get to read it and comment.

In this case one Jitendra, who claims to be the "the closest relative of Haren" has provided a strong PUBLIC statement on this blog:

"Haren few days before his murder had told me that his life is in Danger from his political rival involved in controversy happened since last few months as he was knowing lots of political truth that might have turned the tables of the then ruler and the party."

As far as I can see, this is fully ACTIONABLE material by the Police – assuming they CARE.

There is absolutely no doubt – in my mind – based on strong evidence that Modi was the ONLY person personally threatened by Haren Pandya – particularly his disclosure to the Justice Iyer panel about what Sanjiv Bhatt was to confirm many years later: a meeting in Modi's house in which Modi asked the administration to go slow. Not only did Modi deny him an opportunity to recontest his seat in December 2002 (a seat he had held for 15 years), he tried to fully destroy his political career. Just when Haren was being politically rehabilitated by BJP in Delhi, Modi organised the killing.

And as Sanjiv Bhatt wrote on FB:

Modi is the ONLY man with mens rea, a motive. Haren Pandya's father has clearly pointed his finger at Modi.

This was a DIRECT political fight. Had Haren become powerful in Delhi, he would have destroyed Modi and seen him put behind the bars. [Note that Haren was not a saint by any means and was himself involved in mass killings - and should himself have been put behind bars.]

I know that most police and CBI are fully bribed so there is no possibility of ever finding the mastermind behind the killing of Haren Pandya (he is now visible to the whole world in open sight!). Unfortunately for Modi, in this case even his fully bribed High Court could not accept the nonsensical theory postulated by the CBI (and here I'm leaving aside the issue of Modi locking up an innocent man in jail for nearly a decade).

Why has Haren Pandya's murderer not been found yet?


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BJP has taken advantage of over Rs.300 crores in foreign funding through Sangh Parivar’s foreign affiliates. This MUST stop!

I have been conscientious from the beginning that the liberals will not accept any foreign funding. FTI is technically able to receive foreign funds (if it applies for FCRA exemption, it will surely be able to receive it) but has explicitly refused to do so. Similarly, there is no plan or possibility that SKC Federation will receive foreign funds.

But the Hindutvawadis are FLOODED in foreign funds.

India-based Sangh affiliates receive social and financial support from its U.S.-based wings, the latter of which exist largely as tax-exempt non-profit organizations in the United States: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), Sewa International USA, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation-USA. The Overseas Friends of the Bharatiya Janata Party – USA (OFBJP) is active as well, though it is not a tax-exempt group.

From 2001 and 2012, five Sangh-affiliated charitable groups (India Development and Relief Fund, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of America, Param Shakti Peeth, Sewa International, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America) allocated over $55 million dollars to their program services, funds which are largely sent to groups in India. [Source]

The problem is that these activities are being used to promote Hindutva – a POLITICAL ideology. 

I oppose all foreign funding of Indian political activities. This includes religious activities. Let all foreign Islamic or Christian money also be stopped.

Just like the Khalistani terrorist movement was funded by Canadian dollars, so also BJP's growth is being funded by "Hindus" abroad.

The huge distortion of public debate amounts to direct foreign interference in India's affairs, and must be brought to an end.

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Cuba, ruled by ULTRA-VIOLENT murderers, is no role model for India! The truth about Cuba & its blatant LIES about healthcare.

Last year while I was in India I was surprised to hear someone say that Cuba should be role model for India. I brushed aside this preposterous idea. But this idea has not yet died. It is essential to kill it completely.

Someone has asked my opinion on these youtube videos, from Michael Moor's Sicko. Do watch them. ( and

The man Michael Moore is a bogus clown who has ZERO research capabilities. He is the hero of "pop-socialists" who never care to study any issue in detail. Michael Moore has become a multi-millionaire by taking millions of gullible Americans (and others, worldwide) for a ride. Just like Deepak Chopra. These are dangerous people, like India's many bogus magicians and "godmen".

The truth of about Cuba is extremely bitter. Let me outline a few points first. To save time, I've cut/paste and/or paraphrased from here and there:

In 1959, Castro held “war crimes” trials that targeted wealthy Cubans and the political opposition. As the news cameras rolled, Castro coldheartedly condemned prisoners to death. Castro and Castro-appointed judges threw countless other opposition members into prison or exiled them. Firing squads executed more than 600 people after these mock trials. Castro had the trials televised live.

Castro seized landholdings of large U.S. companies, such as the United Fruit Company. In the summer of 1960, he seized U.S. and British oil companies for their refusal to refine Soviet petroleum. In August 1960, the Cuban government seized the American-owned telephone and electricity companies and sugar mills.

From 1989 onwards hundreds of thousands of Cuban political refugees have poured into the United States. In 1980, Castro announced that 125,000 Cubans could legally depart for the United States from the Cuban port of Mariel. Over the next several months, a large number of “boat people” died trying to cross the Straits of Florida in unsafe boats and rafts.
In August 1994, food shortages and prolonged blackouts caused Cubans to riot in Havana. The Cuban government responded by allowing 30,000 more Cubans to leave by boat for the United States. A large number of “boat people” died trying to cross the Straits of Florida. In May 1995, the United States and Cuba agreed to permit 20,000 Cubans to immigrate legally to the United States each year. To encourage legal immigration, the United States also began sending all boat people found at sea back to Cuba.

In 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved. Since then, Cuba’s economy has suffered severe shortages of food and oil (products Cuba could no longer import from the Soviet Union). Today Cuba lives off Venezuela and tourism. It is a BEGGAR NATION.


In announcing the “Draft Guidelines for Economic and Social Policy”—upon which the reforms are based—at the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party in October 2010, Cuban officials acknowledged inefficiencies in the economic model. These included: low economic growth, especially in industry and agriculture; inefficiencies in investment; low levels of investment in productivity and infrastructure; the gap between workers’ incomes and the rising prices of goods and services, both in markets free from price controls and the state foreign currency, and convertible peso markets; lack of connection between workers’ productivity and salaries; excessive economic centralization; increased state restrictions on certain goods and services; the low level of housing construction; and the foreign and domestic deficits. [Source and this]


There is NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH in Cuba. You can't speak your mind unless you wish to be killed. There are "systematic human rights abuses, including arbitrary imprisonment, unfair trials, and extrajudicial executions" [Source]


Che's daughter makes out her father to be a great man. In reality he was one of the greatest butchers of innocent people, a man who should be ranked among the greatest monsters of mankind.

"Soon after overthrowing Batista, Guevara choreographed the executions of hundreds of Batista officials without any fair trials. He thought nothing of summarily executing even fellow guerrillas suspected of disloyalty and shot one himself with no due process." [Source - including MUCH more detail - here]

Watch this for more gory details (I'll publish a separate blog post only on Che):


There is no doubt that Cuba spends relatively more of its budget on health care than many other socialist countries (the rest it spends on guns). As a result of the total control it exercises over its doctors (who are paid a paltry $30 per month – Rs.1500 per month!), it has been able to provide a modicum of healthcare to its population.

But because there is NO independent source of data from Cuba, and because ALL socialist governments (including India) tell lies, the "data" about Cuba's great health achievements must be discounted by half. I would be surprised if its actual figures come even close to that of Third World India, leave alone any developed country.


Hospitals and clinics are crumbling. Conditions are so unsanitary, patients may be better off at home, whatever home is. If they do have to go to the hospital, they must bring their own bedsheets, soap, towels, food, light bulbs — even toilet paper. And basic medications are scarce. In Sicko, even sophisticated medications are plentiful and cheap. In the real Cuba, finding an aspirin can be a chore. And an antibiotic will fetch a fortune on the black market.

A nurse spoke to Isabel Vincent of Canada’s National Post. “We have nothing,” said the nurse. “I haven’t seen aspirin in a Cuban store here for more than a year. If you have any pills in your purse, I’ll take them. Even if they have passed their expiry date.”

The equipment that doctors have to work with is either antiquated or nonexistent. Doctors have been known to reuse latex gloves — there is no choice. When they travel to the island, on errands of mercy, American doctors make sure to take as much equipment and as many supplies as they can carry. One told the Associated Press, “The [Cuban] doctors are pretty well trained, but they have nothing to work with. It’s like operating with knives and spoons.” [Source - do read this in full]

There are PLENTY of videos on the internet that demolish the LIES touted by Michael Moore and the MENTALLY SICK DAUGHTER OF GUEVARA. I'll provide a few, below.

Cuba is a joke nation – We don't need to listen to the FALSEHOODS OF the daughter of a butcher, who is part of the elite of a nation that has ENSLAVED millions of its people. Under no circumstance should India – gifted by Ambekar with at least a modicum of liberty – follow in the footsteps of such MURDERERS AND BLATANT LIARS.

Start with this video.


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