Introduction: Arvind Kejriwal’s dubious funding sources
There is no denying the fact that Arvind Kejriwal, a newly commissioned secular anarchist romping across India’s political theatre has confounded many analysts and political pundits. His emergence as a motor-mouth political know-all requires an in-depth analysis.
By now most Indians know that Kejriwal and his political gorilla, Aam Aadmi Party, have been funded and sired by the Central Intelligence Agency of the USA through its powerful financial arm, the Ford Foundation. Even so, the truth about the funding of AAP by some foreign-based anti-India forces has not fully reached the crores of marginalized hoi polloi, trapped in hunger and penury, across rural India. There has been media spotlight on an NGO Kabir, run by Kejriwal and his closest confidante Manish Sisodia and other camp followers.
It is alleged that Kejri’s Kabir had received a financial largesse totaling $ 3,97,000 as grants from the Ford Foundation. Another prominent member of AAP Yogendra Yadav,a former Fellow of the Centre for Developing Societies, New Delhi, has allegedly received substantial funds from Ford Foundation through the ICSSR. Similarly some other members of AAP have allegedly received funds from some dubious sources.
Admittedly Kejriwal is a sharp-shooter strategist who knows his onions well. But the successful debut of AAP on the political horizon during Delhi Assembly elections did expose another secret relationship of Team Kejri with our hostile neighbour which needs to be made public and debated. In addition to the Ford Foundation, Kejriwal has perhaps some more powerful foreign connections, too–maybe in West Asia and possibly even in Pakistan!
Kejriwal pampers fundamentalist Muslim clerics
The unusual success of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi elections had caused tectonic tremors across the country. especially in the ranks of the BJP brass who were caught napping. No wonder the party paid a high price for not being able to read the tea leaves of AAP narrative and its crafty founder, Kejriwal, who stonewalled the formation of a BJP government in the national capital.
The rise and rise of Kejriwal began with his well planned and timely association with the anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare launched in April 2011, for enacting the Lok Pal Bill. Interestingly neither Anna nor most of his associates, except perhaps to some extent Kiran Bedi, could decipher Kejriwal’s ultra-clever game plan.
The clue to the shape of things to come was reflected in Kejri’s meetings with the Imam of Jama Masjid and other Muslim leaders at whose instance in the third week of August, 2011, Bharat Mata’s portrait was suddenly removed from Anna’s stage and replaced with the likeness of Gandhiji. The shrewd implications of this “meaningful” change was neither analysed nor understood either by our unpaid or ‘paid’ media or by the BJP. In this context, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid disclosed that Hazare’s team members had also asked him to share the stage with them at Ramlila Maidan but he was not inclined to go there. He claimed to have told Kejri that “if you want to include Muslims in your movement, you will also have to understand their pain and problems, and you would do well to also highlight issues of concern to Muslims,” He further added that the greater evil in the country was communalism which should be addressed first. Additionally, Imam Bukhari told Kejri and his teammates that communal powers were also participating in their campaign due to which it was difficult for Muslims to join them.
Equally surprising was the ignorance of our political analysts on the import of Kejri’s sudden but meaningful two hours long meeting with the fundamentalist fatwa-issuing cleric, Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan of Bareilly, who had issued a ‘fatwa’ in 2007 promising a reward for forcing Taslima Nasreen to burn her books and leave India. Earlier in the March 2006, the same cleric had issued a ‘fatwa’ for beheading the American President George Bush when he visited India. Though clever Kejri tried to dismiss his meeting with the notorious Maulana as a courtesy call, the latter was more frank. He admitted that Kejriwal had come to his house for a 2 hours long meeting with him. In fact, he showered praise on Arvind Kejriwal in the following words:
“Kejriwal came to meet me at my residence. I liked his simplicity. He is against the Congress and BJP. This is a common factor between us and I assured him of my support”1
According to a reliable source, Maulana Tauqeer had reportedly agreed to address some meetings in Delhi for AAP. The plan was, however, changed at the instance of Kejriwal who decided to use his favourite SMS route to reach and win the Muslim voters.
Now, Maulana Tauqeer is the head of a fundamentalist outfit called the Ittehad-e-Millat Council which is closely associated with several fundamentalist organizations in India and abroad. No wonder, at the height of the campaign for the Delhi assembly, a group of prominent Muslim clerics and leaders held a conference in Delhi in November 2013. Thereafter Kejriwal’s time-tested SMS plan was put into operation for winning Muslim voters. Under the guidance of a newly formed outfit, United Muslim Forum, approximately 15 lakh text messages were sent to Muslim voters, urging them to vote for AAP and not to vote for Congress. Twenty-five teams tasked with campaigning for AAP and against the Congress were sent to various constituencies of the Delhi Assembly. These teams had a significant Muslim presence. The forum, which had the blessings of Maulana Tauqeer and many other Muslim leaders, also distributed campaign material on ‘Congress misdeeds’ and gave advertisements in Delhi’s Urdu newspapers which are the staple reading material of the Muslim community. ‘Vote for AAP, not Congress’, the ads proclaimed loudly. Any reference to the BJP was avoided because the campaigners knew that no Muslim will vote for the politically pariahed saffron party.
Kejriwal’s seamy side exposed
The most seamy side of the Kejriwal’s narrative was, however, laid bare in an article posted by a Baloch journalist, Aamna Shahwani in The Afghanistan Times, Kabul, on 4 March, 2014.2 Briefly, the well-researched article highlighted the following facts to which the eternal Quiz Master Kejriwal must respond:
1. After Kejri’s AAP won 28 seats out of the 70, the Pakistani media was full of praise for AAP. Although the BJP had won a few more seats than the AAP, the well known Pakistani newspaper Dawn, totally ignored it but emphasized the AAP victory by frontpaging the news. The Pakistani media also started praising Kejriwal for his spectacular success. No one knows why Kejri became a darling of of Pakistani chatterati.
2. There were celebrations in different cities of Pakistan, especially in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Can Kejri explain what led the jihadi tribe to laud and celebrate AAP’s political debut in Delhi Assembly elections?
3. There was a big spurt in the online donations from Pakistanis to AAP. According to Aamna, more support was likely come to AAP from Pakistan because the ISI wants to have a puppet regime in New Delhi. Surely, why there was a sudden spurt in online donations for AAP from Pakistan needs to be explained to the Indian masses?
4. In February 2014, the ga-ga-singing Pakistani journalists and media groups interviewed Kejri. Even the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, proclaimed that the victory of Kejri will help in resolving the Kashmir dispute. What made Kejriwal a darling of the Pakistani politicians?
5. The prime reason for Pakistan’s love for Kejri and AAP is their anti-India stand on the Kashmir dispute. The Baloch columnist Aamna pointed out that at least three members of AAP had delivered anti-India and pro-secessionist statements on Kashmir, including the option of referendum or plebiscite voiced by Prashant Bhushan. Why do the AAP activists have a pro-secessionist approach on Kashmir?
6. It needs to be observed that AAP has many members who had pleaded for sparing the life of Ajmal Kasab who was convicted for waging war against India on 26/11 in Mumbai. Kejri must explain why AAP leaders had a soft corner for Ajmal Kasab.
7. Aamna Shahwani has also alleged that no attempt was made by Kejriwal during his regime to recover the long pending electricity bills running into several lakh rupees from the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid. Was the soft corner of the AAP leadership towards the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid for not making any attempt to recover the long pending electricity bills occasioned by his proximity to the radical Islamists’ vote bank?
8. After the post-poll alliance with the Congress Party, Kejriwal forgot his earlier charge sheet against the former Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit. Further, AAP also removed earlier posts charging Sheila Dikshit with mammoth bribery from their website. Why?
9. While addressing a gathering of Muslims at the Islamic Centre in New Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal publicly pronounced that communalism was a bigger threat than even corruption. He suddenly changed his focus like the shifting sands of Arabia and started parroting the same communal rhetoric which had been voiced by the Imam of Jama Masjid in August 2011. What caused this sudden somersault from his focus on his favourite issue of corruption to the so-called communalism?
10. It was further pointed out that a new entrant to AAP, Rajmohan Gandhi–a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi–had launched a campaign in the USA for releasing the notorious ISI spy, Ghulam Nabi Fai. Equally, why did some members of the AAP openly campaign in favour of mercy for Afzal Guru who was sentenced to death for the December, 2001, attack on the Indian Parliament ?
The ISI’s honeybee
Although it is difficult to identify the hand(s) responsible for nurturing and financing the self-confessed anarchist Kejriwal and his AAP, it will be pertinent to recall that Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott had highlighted in their extensively researched tome, The Seige, that Major Iqbal of the ISI had boasted about planting in India of a super spy agent codenamed “Honeybee.” The Pakistani Major had further revealed that there was a retinue of chuhes (i.e., rats) working for the ISI across India.
Prima facie, till now the Intelligence Bureau does not appear to have made any worthwhile attempt to trace and arrest the so-called Honeybee and his or her rats. An alert was, however, sounded by the Bureau in January 2014, warning that the ISI and LeT were trying to infiltrate into Indian political parties.4 In the circumstances, the startling revelations made by Aamna Shahwani in The Afghanistan Times on March 4, 2014, certainly point to the urgent requirement of identifying the hidden hand of Pakistan’s Honeybee.
Indeed, the facts-rich article of Aamna Shahwani published in The Afghanistan Times on March 4, 2014, has cited more than one proof of the AAP being funded and supported by the ISI of Pakistan.
Finally the ‘communal cat’ jumped out of Kejriwal’s ‘secular topi’’ when recently the Washington-based Association of Indian Muslims of America issued an “appeal to Indian Muslim citizens and voters to raise funds for and support Aam Aadmi Party” in the upcoming parliamentary elections of 2014. Showering encomiums on the Aam Aadmi Party the press release of American Indian Muslims Association displayed Kejriwal’s photograph and his famous ‘broom’ to enthuse the Muslim voters. The press release claimed that AAP will help the deprived Muslim community escape the police brutality, denial of justice, etc.
Add to this the vigorous efforts for online fund collection made by Kejriwal’s trusted lieutenant, Shazia Ilmi, during her visit to the Middle East in February, 2014. While Kejriwal and his cabinet sat on a dharna at Rail Bhawan, Shazia Ilmi went touring abroad to collect funds to enable her party to fight the 2014 general elections.
Kejriwal needs to answer his Pak connection
The time has come for the anarchist Kejriwal and his team mates to respond truthfully to the questions raised by Aamna Shahwani. They must come clean now to dispel the doubts troubling the minds of millions of patriotic Indians, especially when there are hush-hush rumours in the Lutyens garden city about Kejriwal’s proximity to the Political Adviser of the UPA Chairperson and some prominent members of the National Advisory Council !
The ISI and many other spy agencies have been using the methodology of bogus online funding to destabilise nations hostile to them. According to knowledgeable foreign sources, several members of the American Indian Muslims Association were in close touch with the ISI of Pakistan through Dr.Ghulam Fai of Kashmiri American Council, who was arrested by the United States police in July 2011 on charges of illegal activities and espionage. Interestingly the shadowy Pak agent Dr. Fai was also responsible for getting bogus online funds rolled over by the ISI through online donations for promoting the cause of Kashmiri secessionists. The Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered that he was in regular touch with Abdul Majeed Tramboo and Nazir Ahmad Shawl who ran the Kashmir Centres in Brussels and London respectively. Bogus online funding is a well known trick used for espionage.
Surprisingly, during the last one year, Indian intelligence agencies have made no worthwhile attempt to unravel the mysterious rise of AAP nor questioned the sources of the outfit’s remarkable success in fund-raising across West Asia and Pakistan. They have also miserably failed to identify and capture the ISI’s ‘Honeybee’ and Major Iqbal’s chuhe operating in India. The politicization of the Intelligence Bureau and other security agencies cannot be ruled out.
- www. ndtv.com/article/assembly polls/cleric-who-issued fatwa-against taslima-nasreen -441919
- Aamna Shahwani, Afghanistan Times, Kabul, March 4, 2004.
- Adrian Levy & Cathy Scott-clark, The Seige. Pp.44, 56, 115, 293.
- ‘Intel Warning: ISI- LeT to infiltrate parties, The Asian Age, New Delhi, 27 January, 2014.
[The author is a retired senior IPS officer]
Ram Ohri is a former IPS officer and writes regularly on security issues, demographics, and occasionally, on policy.