SSCP – A Tamil tiger trap and a Tamil spider trap

SSCP – A Tamil tiger’s and a Tamil spider’s trap -I

V SUNDARAM | Fri, 01 Feb, 2008 , 07:15 PM

When I see the way in which T R Baalu has bypassed  the Union Ministry of Defence and the Navy, while going ahead with his SSCP Project—a monument of fraud and folly— with typical Dravidian contempt for our National Security and territorial integrity, I am only reminded of the following telling Nursery Rhyme:

“Will you walk into my parlour,” said the Spider to the Fly
He wove a subtle web in a
little corner sly, and set his table ready,
to dine upon the Fly.
He dragged her up his winding stair,
into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour-but
she ne’er came out again!


The Coast Guard Director General Vice Admiral Rusi Contractor has covered himself with everlasting glory yesterday, (31January, 2008) when he declared boldly in New Delhi yesterday that the much touted Sethu Samudram Canal Project (SSCP) will be a disastrous project from the point of view of National Security. He was speaking at a press conference to mark the 31st Anniversary of his force.  The Coast is of the view that if the seaway falling between India and Sri Lanka is opened up, there could be dangerous issues of piracy.  Vice Admiral Rusi Contractor referred to Sri Lanka indirectly when he said “There is also the question of the close proximity of the maritime boundary with a country which is having a problem”. 

I have spoken to some very senior Officers of the Indian Navy.  They are all of the view that the SSCP will pose a permanent threat to National Security and India’s territorial integrity unnecessarily forcing the Indian Navy to keep a large Naval Fighting Force in the Gulf of Mannar.  They have also expressed the serious concerns about the problems in moving ships in a narrow lane through the SSCP.  There would be insurmountable problems in manoeuvring big ships which move in formations.  As the ships will be constrained to cross the seaway at a very slow speed in the proposed narrow SSCP channel, they would become vulnerable to enemy attacks all the time.  The Navy is also not happy that it was not consulted when the SSCP was conceptualised.  It is understood that the Naval Head Quarters has also conveyed its concerns like terror threats and non-state actors using the SSCP to infiltrate into India.

Captain Balakrishnan, formerly of the Indian Navy and an authority on Anti-Submarine Warfare, has rightly said that Vice Admiral “Rusi” Contractor, Director General, Indian Coast Guard, has rendered signal service to the Nation by placing the ‘security implications’ of the SSCP in public domain. Naval history is replete with examples of the dangers to shipping navigating through the ‘narrows’ and ‘straits’. The ‘Battle of Leyte Gulf’ in the Phillipines during the Second World War in the Pacific Campaign is a ‘classic example’. The Indian Navy and Coast Guard WILL NOT RELEARN THE LESSONS OF LEYTE GULF!! To quote Captain Balakrishnan’s exact words in this context: “National Security is too serious a subject to be held hostage by parochial regional politics – coalition ‘dharma’ notwithstanding. The SSCP imbroglio has clearly highlighted the myopic views of regionalism, precluding a larger pan-Indian canvas.  Now that the “considered views” of Naval and Coast Guard Headquarters are in public domain, it is high time the SSCP was given a quiet and decent burial in larger National interests.”

Captain Balakrishnan has been consistently writing articles in the Newspapers ever since May 2007 making it clear that the SSCP makes no nautical sense and that it will be a national disaster from the point of view of our National Security.  In these columns I had written six articles (in two series) clearly bringing out the irrefutable facts and conclusions arrived at by Captain Balakrishnan in this context.  Later I also had the opportunity of listening to his talk on “SECURITY AND THE SSCP” which he delivered at the Observer Research Foundation – Chennai- (ORF-C) on 3NOV 2007. During the course of his talk, he dwelt on some of the salient threats that could possibly impinge on vessels navigating through the SSCP.  He spoke about the following threats:

(a)  Piracy and Armed Robbery
(b)  Maritime Terrorism
(c)  Countering the threats

Captain Balakrishnan rightly warned that Security analysts across the globe are increasingly veering around to the view that the lines of demarcation between piracy and terrorism are getting intertwined. That is, “Piracy on the High Seas is becoming a key Tactic of Terrorist Groups”.

Captain Balakrishnan was emphatic in pointing out that the proposed SSCP would be put to most effective operational use by LTTE for all their terrorist activities.  From India’s point of view, the most worrisome terrorist organization with a well developed and well tested capability for acts of Maritime Terrorism is the LTTE. They have displayed considerable ingenuity and daring in sea borne insurgency. The SSCP is verily a “next-door-neighbour” in the area of operations of the Sea Tigers!

These legitimate fears of Captain Balakrishnan expressed in November 2007, have been completely borne out today by the fact that the Sri Lankan Navy have laid mines on the approaches to Kachaa Theevu and Delft Island.  These very views have been echoed by Coast Guard Director General Vice Admiral Rusi Contractor yesterday in New Delhi in unmistakable terms.

Dr Subramanian Swamy, Former Union Minister and Janata Party President has been passionately vocal and consistent about his concern for National Security vis-à-vis SSCP.  On June 9, 2007, he sent a letter to Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony, raising questions of National Security in the context of SSCP.  He also attached a 31 page enclosure prepared by Captain Balakrishnan, formerly of the Indian Navy, to substantiate his claim.  The irresponsibly incriminating fact of T.R. Baalu having intentionally bypassed the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Navy was brought out by him in this letter to A.K. Antony when he said “I am given to believe by officials of your Ministry that the Sethu Samudram Canal Project (SSCP) was finalized without an input from the Navy especially from the angle of National Security. The discourse on the SSCP has so far been restricted to whether the Rama Setu is ‘a natural formation’ or an ‘artificial construct’.  Your colleague, the Union Minister for Shipping and Transport T.R. Baalu in his daily media obfuscations has derailed the discussion away from the National Security perspective.  Captain Balakrishnan has analysed the whole gamut of the SSCP and has produced a three- part paper on the subject (enclosed) …… The writer has highlighted the threat of the LTTE SEA TIGERS who control the seas on the Sri Lankan side of the IMBL.  The recent attack on the Sri Lankan Naval Base at the Delft Island, poses a clear danger to shipping in the SSCP.  That the DMK to which Baalu belongs, is known from the days I was a Union Minister, as compliant to the LTTE’s needs, and hence the LTTE  SEA TIGERS may not be regarded by him as a threatening element.” 

Thus Dr Subramanian Swamy had clearly exposed the politically criminal and anti-national overtures of T.R. Baalu in his letter of June 9, 2007 addressed not to the President of a defunct Social Welfare Club in New Delhi but to A K Antony, the Union Defence Minister of India. The fact that no action was taken on Dr Swamy’s letter clearly shows that our Defence Minister derives his daily inspiration for his Alzheimer-type Coma from our ever-sleeping Prime Minister who can be woken up occasionally only by an occasional telephone call from that defacto woman Prime Minister who has a stranglehold on the otherwise helpless apparatus of the already dead Indian State.

Reacting to the views of Vice Admiral Rusi Contractor, Dr. Subramanian Swamy has said: “Now that the Director General of the Coast Guard Admiral Homi Contractor has categorically and clearly stated that the Setu Samudram Project is a security threat to the nation, confirming my allegations made earlier in the Madras High Court and subsequently in the Supreme Court, I would demand that the Prime Minister intervene and order scrapping the Project forthwith.  The Rs.800 crores that have been spent so far have been done at the behest of the Union Shipping and Transport Minister Mr.T.R. Baalu without security clearance from the armed forces and intelligence agencies as well as without obtaining prior clearance of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, and hence the amount should be recovered by prosecuting Mr.T.R.Baalu and by attaching his assets and his benami companies. Moreover, Mr. Karunanidhi’s propensities to favour the LTTE are well known. In 1990, I as Law Minister in Chandrashekhar’s government was forwarded by the PMO about 10,000 pages of documents, intercepts of LTTE communications, and human intelligence such as Mr. Karunanidhi’s conversations with LTTE operative Baby Subramanian, which shocked me. Tamilnadu was on the verge of becoming another Lebanon if we had allowed the matters to drift. I won over Rajiv Gandhi support to the idea of dismissing the DMK government, then argued for it in the CCPA, after which we did dismiss the government on January 31st, 1991 despite the then Governor Barnala refusal to sign the order. But constitutionally I discovered it was not necessary. The Tamil people welcomed the move and in the subsequent elections DMK was wiped out. I think the time to sack the DMK Government has again arrived because of their pushing the SSCP for their love of the LTTE, and betraying the nation. The DG of the Coast Guard has vindicated my stand on the project”.

(To be contd…)

Saturday, 02 February, 2008 , 04:38 PM .     Today both the Chief of Naval  Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta  and the Director General Coast Guard Vice Admiral Rusi Contractor have categorically confirmed that the proposed Setu Samudram Canal Project (SSCP) poses a grave threat to our National Security and territorial integrity. I can confirm that the same position prevailed in July 1982.   I was the first Chairman of Tuticorin Port Trust and I also had the opportunity of serving as a Member of the Laxmi Narayanan Setu Samudram Project Committee (SSCP) which was appointed in 1981.  Laxmi Narayanan was then the Development Adviser in the Ministry of Shipping. I participated in the programme of Public Hearings organised by the Laxmi Narayanan Committee in Ramanathapuram, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Madras and Cochin between July 1981 and May 1982.    I clearly recall the meeting I and Laxmi Narayanan had with Sri.Mohinder Singh IAS (Rajasthan Cadre) who was then Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Shipping and Transport on 4th of July 1982 at his Office in Transport Bhavan, New Delhi.  Sri Mohinder Singh had received a letter from the then Union Defence Secretary (I don’t remember his name) and he informed us in very clear terms: “The Defence Secretary has categorically stated that the Setu Samudram Canal Project (SSCP) will be a disastrous project from the more vital point of view of National Security. Thus the Defence Ministry will never be in a position to give their concurrence to SSCP.  This means that Laxmi Narayanan Committee will be viewed only as an academic exercise and put in cold storage by the Government of India.” That is what precisely happened subsequently.    Dr Subramanian Swamy told the Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony as early as in June 2007, that T R Baalu had deliberately bypassed the Union Defence Ministry in general and the Naval Head Quarters in particular in obtaining Cabinet clearance for the SSCP. The Union Cabinet could not have been unaware of T.R. Baalu’s treasonable perfidy on that occasion.  I am neither amused nor annoyed by T.R. Baalu’s flippant observation that those who oppose the Setu Samudram Shipping Canal Project are anti-Tamils.  As one who has taken his oath of office  to respect the Indian Constitution in letter and spirit and as one who has violated it with impunity in a vital matter affecting India’s National Security, he has no standing whatsoever to talk in this fashion.  Does he mean to say that the Chief of Naval Staff  Admiral Sureesh Mehta and the Director General Coast Guard Vice Admiral Rusi Contractor both of whom have expressed their honest opinions and views on SSCP are anti-Tamils?  In my view T R Baalu is patently not only anti-Tamils but also anti-National for the following reasons:  a)   Why has he deliberately set aside the cogent and valid arguments presented by tsunami specialists like Dr. Tad S. Murthy of Canada who have clearly indicated that the alignment proposed for SSCP would pose a grave threat to the coast line both on the East and the West in South India in the event of the next tsunami?  Does this not show that T.R. Baalu has no concern for the safety of lives of millions of people living in the coastal areas of South India?  Does he have plenipotentiary superhuman powers to impose a ban on future tsunamis through a Government of India Notification?  b)  Why has he not consulted the Union Defence Ministry before he started implementing the SSCP?  Why did he deliberately avoid the Naval Head Quarters?  Can we not view his planned avoidance of the Ministry of Defence in a vital Project affecting National Security, as an act reflecting the fact that he is not only anti-Tamils but also anti- National?  Whether the anti-National Communists of India like it or want it or not, the fact remains that communism is dead in Russia. It is also being given a decent burial in a phased manner in China.  Thousands of statues of Lenin and Stalin installed between 1917 and 1985 in different parts of far flung Russia have been brought down and destroyed by the Russian people—not by the people belonging to the Sangh Parivar in India!  The petty, vicious and anti-National Communists of India oppose the Indo-Nuclear deal today only because of their ‘Communist concern’ for Russia and China!  These known Communist traitors of ‘Quit India’ fame dating back to 1942 are now strongly advocating the SSCP which in my view is a monument of fraud and folly.  They are not worried about our National Security that would get permanently endangered by the SSCP.  Against this background, the Communists of India are not only anti-Tamils but also anti-Indian and anti-National.  In these columns I had observed as early as in March 2007,: “I am of the view that the Setu Samudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) is a monument of fraud and national infamy.  The office of the Prime Minister, the Union  Ministry of Shipping and Transport, the Tuticorin Port Trust have collectively bungled in a calculated manner in according sanction to this Project which in my view will only lead to disastrous consequences …. No one can dispute the fact that the SSCP has been planned , organized and launched as a Private Political Asset for a few Cabinet Ministers in the UPA Government and some of their counterparts in Tamil Nadu. According to expert, unbiased technical and scientific opinion in India and abroad, SSCP is a scientifically inconsistent, technologically non-feasible project at the present time.  The cogent arguments presented by Tsunami Specialists and Earth Specialists of international  fame and stature have not been considered or answered in open transparent forums by the leading proponents of the projects.  Many of the vital questions originally raised by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in March 2005 were bypassed in a subterranean manner by viciously imaginative, covert, sly and stealthy manoeuvres and operations.  What is amazing is that the top brass of the Indian Navy has remained silent or neutral on the SSCP and the brazen political promoters of the SSCP – I mean the firmly entrenched vested interests involved only in a private loot under the garb of public interest—HAVE BECOME THE NAVAL STRATEGISTS OF PALK BAY!”   When I see the ever shifting and ever changing ravings and rantings of our Cabinet Ministers and Political Leaders on the SSCP from time to time, the following immortal words of John Adams (1735-1826), the first Vice President (1789-1797) and the Second President of United States (1797-1801) come to my mind: “Be not intimidated… nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretence of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: