June 29, 2008 11:21:01 pm
In these waning moments of the United Progressive Alliance Government when things look bleak on every front and even the monsoon is being tricky, the only hope is to rise above the joyless political and economic landscape and look at the bright side. I have found myself doing this to get through days of relentless bad news: Record inflation, crashing stock markets, rampaging Gurjjars, Sikhs, Gorkhas and Kashmiris and Leftist bullying on the nuclear deal.
The bright side is that we have lessons to learn. The first is that we must never again accept a government headed by more than one leader. We have suffered from having a prime minister and a super prime minister. This unique exercise in governance bestowed on us by Shrimati Sonia Gandhi’s ‘sacrifice’ has made the Indian Government look like a political joke. If Shrimatiji’s ‘inner voice’ had not misled her, it would have been better because then she would have been forced to accept responsibility for the Government’s mistakes. The way it has turned out is that we have two prime ministers and neither of them is accountable. They now speak in different voices. The Prime Minister says he will not back down on the nuclear deal even as the super prime minister plunges into cosy negotiations with her Marxist friends.
Speaking of Marxists, we come to lesson number two. In the next general election, we must do our best to ensure that whoever comes to power in Delhi does not need the support of a group that prefers totalitarian and Islamist regimes to the US of A. America and India share the same values. We believe in democratic principles and freedom. The Marxists do not, so they would have us get chummy with Iran, North Korea and China rather than the United States. The minute the Prime Minister tried in his feeble way to object to their interference in foreign policy, they targeted him as a running dog of capitalism or whatever the current fashionable term for that is.
I have no taste for Marxists or Marxism, but remain fascinated since the days of my mildly Leftist youth by their turn of phrase. I read their statements and publications to giggle over expressions like the ‘drumbeaters of US imperialism’ and ‘cheerleaders of India Inc’. So, when I heard last week that Commissar Karat had attacked the Prime Minister in the Communist Party Marxist weekly rag I Googled it up. I could not find the Commissar’s article, but came across a most interesting editorial in which the CPI(M) is portrayed as the party defending India’s sovereignty against those who would sell it via the nuclear deal. Listen.
“Those who are willing to eagerly surrender India’s sovereignty to US imperialism will do well to refrain from offering unsolicited advise and certificates of patriotism. If our detractors are worthy of character and substance, then they ought to meet our arguments on their merits, not through perfidy.”
Right. Here goes. Your arguments Comrade Commissar do not have merit because they seem based entirely on an irrational, hysterical hatred of the United States. How is it that we never heard one word ever against India’s unhealthy and debilitating friendship with the late, unlamented Soviet Union? You dare to talk about the threat to Indian sovereignty when we hear not one word from you against the Chinese eating up bits and pieces of our territory in the Northeast? When China lays claim to Arunachal Pradesh do you consider it an infringement of India’s sovereignty? When it swallowed up Tibet did you think it was infringement of sovereignty? You know that China’s closest friends include North Korea and Sudan, why do you never raise your voice for human rights in those countries?
We have seen weak governments in Delhi before. We have seen weak prime ministers. But, rarely have we seen a Government of India that has been so bullied, berated, and belittled by its own allies. The situation is so untenable that I have friends in the Congress Party who admit privately that they want the Government to fall. A minister who shall remain nameless said to me last week, “What is the point of us staying in Government if we cannot be allowed to govern. All we will get if we succumb to the Left on the nuclear deal is that the election will come a few months early. It’s not worth it”.
I could not have put it better myself and would only like to add that as a patriotic Indian I am beginning to feel embarrassed by the UPA Government. What do you think foreign visitors to our ancient land make of us when after meeting the Prime Minister they are packed off to pay homage at 10 Janpath?
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