SUBIR BHAUMIK The burning down of 9 crude oil tankers in Upper Assam points to a change in equations between rebel groups in India’s Northeast. Indian intelligence agencies now confirm that this violent action was carried by joint squads of ULFA (Independent) and NSCN (Issak-Muivah) guerrillas. But ULFA(I) is in the rebel coalition UNLFSWEA that was…
Apropos your news item Amar Desh’s Mahmudur questions Subir Bhaumik’s motive for reporting ‘PM murder plot ‘ and the Bengali version, I wish to make three things clear.
For those who make this allegation that I am a R&AW agent, I advise them to read my Oxford thesis and first book ” Insurgent Crossfire”, where I detailed R&AW’s involvement in sponsoring the CHT armed movement (1975-96) in graphic detail, which no Bangladeshi has done so far. Is R&AW so kind to its critics !
Nandita Haksar, who defended even Indian parliament attack accused Afzal Guru and so many others charged by the Indian state, played a role in getting Soe Myint out of jail and relieved of his hijack charges. Soe is a passionate defender of Burmese democracy and so to club as a supporter of the Tatmadaw (Burmese army) would be a huge joke
It is true that in course of my long professional career I have known R&AW officers, like I have known those of ISI, DGFI, NSI and possibly other agencies of global powers who operate under consular cover. But I never fought shy of exposing R&AW when it merited – be it in CHT or when they secretly started liaison with BNP’s Tareque Rahman. That upset R&AW officials like J K Sinha and Amitabh “Tony” Mathur and they tried to paint me an ULFA agent, because I had close relations with Paresh Baruah and other ULFA leaders. Thankfully neither of them made it to the top of R&AW, so I escaped possible harassment from them.
I have been as passionate a supporter for the cause of Burmese democracy as of the ‘Spirit of 1971’ in Bangladesh. I and my good friend Nandita Haksar, who defended even Indian parliament attack accused Afzal Guru and so many others charged by the Indian state, played a role in getting Soe Myint out of jail and relieved of his hijack charges. Soe is a passionate defender of Burmese democracy and so to club as a supporter of the Tatmadaw (Burmese army) would be a huge joke. His is the only media house in Myanmar that uses the term Rohingya (and not the state-enforced illegal Bengali) and he has allowed me and other foreign writers enough editorial freedom that may sometime upset powers that be. Soe is impressed by Indian democracy and federalism, as thousands of Burmese are, but that’s where it ends.
As far as I am concerned, I only started getting Burmese visa in 2012 after an elected government came to power. He is a Burmese (not Burman) patriot and if people like Mahmudur can’t understand the difference, let me explain. A Burman nationalist is xenophobic proponent of supremacy of the Burman race, a Burmese nationalist is one who believes in inclusive nationalism that brings together diverse peoples of Myanmar into its fold. If you know the history of ethnic conflicts in Myanmar, you will know what I mean.
As a student of a leading military school in India, I believe in a strong professional military but not one that needlessly dabbles in politics. Mahmudur says I have an Indian connection – yes I am Indian by birth and my passport is Indian but I am probably a more passionately Bengali than him and my Indian connection is in the real of values, like civilian supremacy, federal democracy and secular polity, which in my country today is under serious challenge.