Saturday, July 18, 2009

For Manmohan, Indian blood is cheap

So he compromises national interest; caves in to US arm-twisting; capitulates to Pakistani blackmail at Sharm el-Sheikh

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a decent and honest man. His admirers would say he is an economist too. His detractors (a plague on their houses!) don’t quite see it that way and his critics (may they never escape the damnation of hell!) think he is a feckless man given to spinning webs of deceit to cover up his sins of omission and commission. So, there is no reason to doubt that when he met Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (yes, it still exists) Summit at Sharm el-Sheikh last Thursday, Mr Singh did the tough-guys-don’t-cry act with him.

“I conveyed to him the strong sentiments of the people of India over the issue of terrorism, especially the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. We are reviewing the dossier of investigations into these attacks which Pakistan has provided to us. I also conveyed to Prime Minister Gilani that sustained, effective and credible action needs to be taken not only to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack to justice, but also to shut down the operations of terrorist groups so as to prevent any future attacks,” the Prime Minister told Parliament on Friday. Since he is a man of impeccable integrity, and because the Right to Information Act won’t allow us access to the ‘Record of Discussion’, we must believe that this is indeed what he told Mr Gilani.

And having read out the riot act, presumably in a stern though whiny voice and with an unsmiling face, the Prime Minister agreed to endorse a joint statement along with Mr Gilani, whose contents, in both letter and spirit, fly ruthlessly in the face of what he now claims to have said. Since 72 hours is a long time for public memory to remain fresh, it would be in order to quote the salient points of the joint statement:

“Both leaders agreed that terrorism is the main threat to both countries.”

“Prime Minister Singh reiterated the need to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice. Prime Minister Gilani assured that Pakistan will do everything in its power in this regard.”

“Both leaders agreed that the two countries will share real time, credible and actionable information on any future terrorist threats.”

“Prime Minister Gilani mentioned that Pakistan has some information on threats in Balochistan and other areas.”

“Both Prime Ministers recognised that dialogue is the only way forward. Action on terrorism should not be linked to the Composite Dialogue process and these should not be bracketed. Prime Minister Singh said that India was ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues.”

Here’s a commonsensical interpretation, which is not quite different from how diplomats with commonsense would interpret it, of the joint statement, based entirely on an understanding of what used to be the Queen’s language:

The Pakistan-sponsored jihadi terrorism India has to cope with, and pay for with the blood of innocent Indians, according to Mr Singh, is no different from the bloodletting in Pakistan caused by those jihadis who have turned rabid and begun to bite the hand that once lovingly fed them. Nothing distinguishes the victim, our saintly Prime Minister believes, from the perpetrator of macabre misdeeds. So, 10-year-old Devika Rotawan, whose right leg has been disabled after she was shot during last November’s fidayeen attack on Mumbai, should feel contrite for deposing against Ajmal Kasab, the Pakistani who remorselessly crippled her and sat grinning in the court while she relived the horror of that night at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

Our firm and not easily persuaded Prime Minister demanded Pakistan must bring those responsible for 26/11 to justice. Mr Gilani assured him everything is being done in this regard. We must believe Mr Gilani, because our wise Prime Minister trusts him. Never mind minor details like Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the chief terrorist of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba who operates under the cover of a bogus Islamic charity, Jamaat-ud-Dawa’h, and the mastermind behind the carnage in Mumbai, being allowed to walk free and plot the next attack on India. Nor should we feel distraught if others ‘arrested’ in the case by Pakistani authorities are also set free on account of ‘insufficient evidence’.

The US, more specifically the CIA, wants us to share real time, credible and actionable intelligence with Pakistan. The Americans have been haranguing us on this score for some time now. We might as well give in and do Washington’s (or should it be Langley’s?) bidding. Why rub the Americans the wrong way, especially since they have us by our short and curly over our now compromised nuclear programme? And why upset the 300-million-strong middle class which aspires to see India become an American stooge? After all, they determined the outcome of this summer’s general election and ensured that we would continue to have a decent, honest and, not to forget, economist Prime Minister who oozes integrity. So, we shall pass on real time, credible and actionable intelligence to the Pakistanis and they shall rework their terror strategy accordingly so that our security agencies cannot pre-empt future jihadi attacks. No, there's no need to get upset about it. To cavil would be unpatriotic as all patriots are expected to back the Prime Minister who genuinely believes capitulation will “serve to further advance India’s interests”.

Pakistan, we are now told, has “some information on threats in Balochistan and other areas”. The sly reference to Balochi separatism in the joint statement need not shock us, even though this amounts to legitimising Pakistan’s absurd claim that Indian agencies, more specifically R&AW, have been fomenting trouble in Balochistan. The Prime Minister says there’s nothing to fear, ours is an “open book”. So, why feel apprehensive that this shall pave the way to Islamabad accusing New Delhi, and convincingly so, that India has been doing unto Pakistan what Pakistan has been doing unto India? The Prime Minister’s silence on the inclusion of Balochistan in the joint statement when he spoke in Parliament need not intrigue us — he wasn’t being cunning or deceitful; that’s not what decent and honest men do; he was merely glossing over a minor detail whose consequences can be disastrous.

The Prime Minister sincerely believes “action on terrorism should not be linked to the Composite Dialogue process and these should not be bracketed”. He is also “ready to discuss”, as the US wants him to, “all issues with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues”. However, this does not really mean what it means, or so we are told by the Prime Minister. What it really means, and I quote from his statement in Parliament, is that “action on terrorism should not be linked to the composite dialogue process”.

Further comment would be tantamount to questioning the integrity of a decent and honest man, and lending credence to what the Prime Minister’s critics say, that he is a feckless man given to spinning webs of deceit.


Nikhil said...

Love your Marc Antony inspired "For Manmohan is an honourable man" writeup!!

Sundararaman said...

Be ready to welcome the next nobel laureaute of India Dr. Manmohan Singh. What if that entails ripping the head of the nation by causing a chasm in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir

Aryan said...

We looked away when they sold the economic interests, Because hey how does it affect me? We looked away when they sold the national interests, because they how does it affect me? We will look away when the talibs march on Delhi, why should it affect a Dhimmi like me.

psudo said...

You guys in BJP, don't raise important issues in proper way, i don't know why? Tell me Hellary Clinton met Advani ji also no? So basically all politicians have agreed to American interference. Just see how Swami Ramdevji is raising important National issues and BJP will do only walkouts from parliament, that's what BJP is anything. I think BJP has lost connection with people and to most extent with itself.

Anonymous said...

Arun said...

The Pakistan-sponsored jihadi terrorism India has to cope with, and pay for with the blood of innocent Indians, according to Mr Singh, is no different from the bloodletting in Pakistan caused by those jihadis who have turned rabid and begun to bite the hand that once lovingly fed them.

This sums it up. Suddenly Pak's existence is threatened by its Frankenstein.

Agree with 'Psudo', the BJP has become so ineffective. Time for a second party overseen by the Sangh. Hope they realize that a single party is not reliable enough.

mpanj said...

Phew!!!!! WOW!!!!!

To call this PM spineless would be a compliment.

He has the blood of Martyrs on his hands.

God Save India.

Rakesh Singh - राकेश सिंह said...

MMS care about the Muslim or Christian blood. The only blood he does not care is Hindu (Sikh, Jain, Buddh.....).

Anyway we Indians don't care about our own blood.

Anonymous said...

Put ur house in order before criticizing others. MM Joshi gives statement after statement on 377. He tries to be in the news for nonsense reasons. He sits in Nagpur persuading the Sangh to make him Advani's successor. When it comes to the most important issue, he is clueless on what statement to issue.

iamfordemocracy said...

There is little evidence Advani or BJP cares about Indian or Hindu blood. When he made those remarks about Jinah, did he give a thought to the rivers of Indian blood let at Jinah's behest? Even otherwise, what has Advani/BJP done to address violence against Indians?

Shourie writes countless articles about Maoist trouble but all that he did while in ministry was sell some Indian companies cheap. Indian Blood is cheap for all Indian politicians, why single out Manmohan?

Bhavananda said...

I second Sundararaman's point - over the next 5 yrs we are going to buy peace (or piss?) by giving up JK on the north and AP in the North-East, while our PM will go on to win a Nobel peace prize for his efforts to ensure peace in South Asia!
And the 300 million Indians would be happy and fully of praise for the dynasty, just as it did 50 yrs back when Jinnah and Nehru ensured peace in South Asia by the partition of India.
I sometimes wonder, do we deserve any better ?

Swabhimaan said...

what else can you expect of a spineless govt and a spineless PM? A PM who practically does not have any views on any matter is bound to be dictated.

M. Patil said...

Kanchan da wrote

"And why upset the 300-million-strong middle class which aspires to see India become an American stooge? "

How do you know that 300 million Indian middle class aspires to be American stooges? Honestly, you need to have some data to back up your contention. My anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a lot of disquiet regarding India's foreign policy among the well educated.


M. Patil said...

Kanchan da,

Why blame the middle class for the mistakes of BJP. If MMS is still percieved to be a decent man a big chunk of the blame goes to BJP for not educating the people.

Why is it that a person who is responsible for

(i) Quatrochi's release.
(ii) Naveen Chawla's appointment.
(iii) Cash for votes, during the Parliment confidence motion.
(iv) Corruption (ex, Telecom scandal)
(v) Now abject surrender of Indian interests.
(vi) Letting down heros and victims of Mumbai

is considered honorable, just because some vested interests (ELM) claim to be?


M. Patil said...

Indian voters punished NDA govt for price of onions. Now prices of all essentials like rice, toor dal, urad dal and vegetables has goe up signifucantly, if BJP cannot capitalize on this disastrous fiscal management we need a new opposition.

b.t.w check those EVMs they are fraud prone


Jaideep said...

M.Patil, your logic is brilliant. Its the people who have voted for Manmohan Singh over the BJP. Why blame the BJP for the voters mistake. Educate the voters. What the hell. Everything has been crystal clear if people refuse to look beyond their noses its not entirely the BJP's fault. Its time the voters took the balme for reelecting a PM like Manmohan Singh.

Swabhimaan said...

Good write-up by Brahma Chellaney

Bhavananda said...

@Jaideep: Blaming voters for not voting for BJP is like blaming the teachers for not giving a student enough marks. Isn't it the duty of student to prepare well for the exams? Isn't it the duty of BJP to educate the voters well? Sure, the ELM went all out for the Congress, but then BJP made terrible mistakes too, isn't it? I don't want to preach anyone on BJP's mistakes - this has been done almost a million times, but let me tell this: Congress had a long term vision and has been true to its Muslim votebank whereas BJP, out of short term greed, has dumped its core Hindu voters in the name of "coalition politics" and see what has happened.
So, yes, MMS is worse but far more criticism is due for many BJP leaders. Its time we pull our leaders up!

Suyash said...

Educating the voters for the "mistake" of electing MMS? lol

I wonder how all of the 5-10 commentators here managed to corner all of the education amongst themselves!! Has the possibility ever occured to you guys here that voter is sufficiently educated and has therefore made the decision to elect MMS? :):)

Bhavananda said...

Suyash's comments were not directed at anyone, but looks like he picked up on what I said, so let me clarify.
First of all, I certainly didn't ask BJP to educate the voters for any mistake they made. As I gave the example with the teacher, the decision of the voter is paramount. Which means that the deficiency is with the BJP NOT the voters.

But, yes, the voters need to be fully informed. Chatting on the internet, with full access to all the information that is available, my fellow commentator forgot that only, say 10%, of actual voters have that privilege. The rest vote on the basis of what the village headman, or the family or friends have to say, and more often than not on the basis of what the party members have to say - this is where the BJP can reach out or educate the voters.

Bhavananda said...

In other words, the voter is highly educated but often poorly INFORMED.

Swabhimaan said...

Manmohan should be barred from attending such meets.
The opposition should call for resignation of the PM. This should not go unpunished.

Jaideep said...

@Bhavanada by all means criticise the BJP but also remember that the BJP had put forward a similar issue and warned the people but if people choose to ignore saying all are the same then dont blame the BJP blame the people.
Arun Shourie had specifically brought out that the Manmohan Singh govt was willing to give away Siachen and it was only the last minute intervention of Pranab that saved it. Shourie warned that this is the inclination of the Prime Minsiter. With this track record why are you surprised about the Joint statement. People have ignored this and voted for Manmohan to be reelected. Manmohan is being true to himself. If you dont like what he is doing blame the people I say. They had a choice and they made it.

Bhavananda said...

@Jaideep: In my opinion, the mandate of the public is supreme and beyond question - that is the basis of democracy. YES, this means that if people make wrong choices, it could ruin a country - but, thats how democracy is.
And when people makes (apparently??) wrong choices, its largely because they were ill-informed. So the blame largely rests first on the Media for not informing the public, and THEN on the BJP for everything else.
I hope that takes into account all the things Shourie-ji said and people (probably) did not listen to. IMHO, the blame for the current Indian situation lies ~50% on the media and the rest shared by politicians and others. May be the owner of this blog can shed some light on why media is the way it is!

M. Patil said...

Jaideep said
"People have ignored this and voted for Manmohan to be reelected"

Yes, people voted for Manmohan IF EVMs are to be belived. However, in the opinion polls taken just before the elections, LKA had a much higher approval rating than MMS. And, several congress MP's won with a majority of few thousands (3 thousand). Chidambarans election is being contested in courts in TN. More over, AIADMK is boycotting the byelections because of EVMs. TDP in AP is asking for paper ballot, and the EC is rejecting the request.

Hopefully BJP leaders join other parties and either demand a paper trail or paper ballots for the upcomming elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. Or else we will be wondering if the Indian electorate has become suicidal in November.


M. Patil said...

Jaideep said

"Arun Shourie had specifically brought out that the Manmohan Singh govt was willing to give away Siachen and it was only the last minute intervention of Pranab that saved it. Shourie warned that this is the inclination of the Prime Minsiter. With this track record why are you surprised about the Joint statement."

Well Jaideep, you know the track record and I do, so we don't even think MMS is an gentleman PM. His track record during the last 5 years is shameful. I think history will judge him harshly unlike the contemporary ELM. Perhaps, it is the stimulus money(bribe) that is behind the mass adulation.

However, do not over estimate the average voter. They get their News from Nehru Dynasty TV(NDTV) or CNN-IBN. What did the BJP do to counter the propaganda of ELM? Nothing. When 'all politicians' got blamed for the 26/11 attack did they protest? Did they tell the voters that the politicians in power should be held responsible not those who cannot even tranfer a class III employee?

It is my contention that BJP did nothing to counter the ELM propaganda. As Bhavananda noted the voters are misinformed and for that part of the blame lies with BJP.

A party with 19% vote has no media presence. This clearly is not a tenable position.



Dosabandit said...

Manmohan Singh's judgement is suspect. He has failed to keep India's interests on several occasions.

On the other hand, the Congress seems to be using this opportunity to pave the way for yuvaraj. Wheels seem to be in motion.

mpanj said...

>>It is my contention that BJP did nothing to counter the ELM propaganda. As Bhavananda noted the voters are misinformed and for that part of the blame lies with BJP.

When Arun Jaitley was attending the 'Friends of BJP' meeting in Mumbai, he was asked by an audience member as to why BJP was doing little to counter the anti-hindu channels.

His response: You cannot take on the media - they are too powerful.

You have to remember that the general public absorbs news in bite-sized pieces. Between earning a living and raising a family most Indians dont have much time beyond sound bites.

Next time there's an anti-BJP controversy pay attention to something. The story will begin and end with anti-BJP propoganda and somewhere in between they will bury BJP's POV. Just to maintain a facade of objectivity.

The average viewer will not get to BJP's version - may never see it. That is how falsehood is spread and this is how our public is being 'informed'.

Look at how the US is arm twisting India using the nuclear agreement.

Even I was taken in by the 'positive' spin put on by our channels and some hindutva supporters.

Shourieji's opposition to the deal was the only reason that curbed my enthusiasm.

And now we see what is going down.

MMS is giving in to Pakistan under Obama's pressure. Soon china will demand and get concessions on Arunachal.

The public is too occupied with their EMIs and Page 3s to take a closer look.

Arun Narendhranath said...

Waking from its sleep
Jul 23rd 2009

From The Economist print edition

A quiet revolution has begun in the Arab world; it will be complete only when the last failed dictatorship is voted out

WHAT ails the Arabs? The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week published the fifth in a series of hard-hitting reports on the state of the Arab world. It makes depressing reading. The Arabs are a dynamic and inventive people whose long and proud history includes fabulous contributions to art, culture, science and, of course, religion. The score of modern Arab states, on the other hand, have been impressive mainly for their consistent record of failure.

They have, for a start, failed to make their people free: six Arab countries have an outright ban on political parties and the rest restrict them slyly. They have failed to make their people rich: despite their oil, the UN reports that about two out of five people in the Arab world live on $2 or less a day. They have failed to keep their people safe: the report argues that overpowerful internal security forces often turn the Arab state into a menace to its own people. And they are about to fail their young people. The UNDP reckons the Arab world must create 50m new jobs by 2020 to accommodate a growing, youthful workforce—virtually impossible on present trends.

Arab governments are used to shrugging off criticism. They had to endure a lot of it when George Bush was president and America’s neoconservatives blamed the rise of al-Qaeda on the lack of Arab democracy. Long practice has made Arab rulers expert at explaining their failings away. They point to their culture and say it is unsuited to Western forms of democracy. Or they point to their history, and say that in modern times they would have done much better had they not had to deal with the intrusions of imperialists, Zionists and cold warriors.

Some of this is undeniable. A case can indeed be made that Islam complicates democracy. And, yes, oil, Israel and the rivalry between America and the Soviet Union meant that the Arab world was not left to find its own way after the colonial period ended. More recently the Arabs have been buffeted by the invasion of Iraq. Now they find themselves caught in the middle as America and Iran jostle for regional dominance.

Strangely, your highness, they like voting
Still, as the decades roll by the excuses wear thin. Islam has not prevented democracy from taking root in the Muslim countries of Asia. Even after its recent flawed election, Iran, a supposed theocracy, shows greater democratic vitality than most Arab countries. As for outside intrusion, some of the more robust Arab elections of recent years have been held by Palestinians, under Israeli occupation, and by Iraqis after America’s invasion. When they are given a chance to take part in genuine elections—as, lately, the Lebanese were—Arabs have no difficulty understanding what is at stake and they turn out to vote in large numbers. By and large it is their own leaders who have chosen to prevent, rig or disregard elections, for fear that if Arabs had a say most would vote to throw the rascals out.

Arun Narendhranath said...


For this reason, you can bet that if the regimes have their way, Arabs will not get the chance. Arab rulers hold on to power through a cynical combination of coercion, intimidation and co-option. From time to time they let hollow parties fight bogus elections, which then return them to power. Where genuine opposition exists it tends to be fatally split between Islamist movements on one hand and, on the other, secular parties that fear the Islamists more than they dislike the regimes themselves. Most of the small cosmetic reforms Arab leaders enacted when Mr Bush was pushing his “freedom agenda” on unwilling allies have since been rolled back. If anything, sad to say, the cause of democracy became tainted by association with a president most Arabs despised for invading Iraq.

The illusion of permanence
Can regimes that are failing their people so clearly really hold sway over some 350m people indefinitely? Hosni Mubarak has been Egypt’s president for 28 years; Muammar Qaddafi has run Libya since 1969. When Hafez Assad died after three decades as president of Syria, power passed smoothly to his son Bashar. After the failure of Mr Bush’s efforts to promote democracy, and the debacle in Iraq, Barack Obama has put “respect” rather than “freedom” at the centre of America’s discourse with the Muslim world. That may be wise: since the advent of Mr Obama, America’s standing has risen in Arab eyes, and Mr Bush’s zeal for reforming other countries was counterproductive anyway. But this suggests that if the Arabs want democracy, they will have to grab it for themselves.

Some in the West are wary of Arab elections, fearing that Islamists would exploit the chance to seize power on the principle of “one man, one vote, one time”. Yet Islamists seem to struggle to raise their support much above 20% of the electorate. Non-Arab Muslim countries like Turkey and Indonesia suggest that democracy is the best way to draw the poison of extremism. Repression only makes it more dangerous.

Democracy is more than just elections. It is about education, tolerance and building independent institutions such as a judiciary and a free press. The hard question is how much ordinary Arabs want all this. There have been precious few Tehran-style protests on the streets of Cairo. Most Arabs still seem unwilling to pay the price of change. Or perhaps, observing Iraq, they prefer stagnation to the chaos that change might bring. But regimes would be unwise to count on permanent passivity. As our special report in this issue argues, behind the political stagnation of the Arab world a great social upheaval is under way, with far-reaching consequences.

In almost every Arab country, fertility is in decline, more people, especially women, are becoming educated, and businessmen want a bigger say in economies dominated by the state. Above all, a revolution in satellite television has broken the spell of the state-run media and created a public that wants the rulers to explain and justify themselves as never before. On their own, none of these changes seems big enough to prompt a revolution. But taken together they are creating a great agitation under the surface. The old pattern of Arab government—corrupt, opaque and authoritarian—has failed on every level and does not deserve to survive. At some point it will almost certainly collapse. The great unknown is when.

Bhavananda said...

@Arun Narendranath: Could you please post a link to the article instead of copy-pasting the entire article?

@mpanj: I agree with mpanj very much. I indeed listened to the friendsofbjp meet and what Arun Jaitley said is a politically correct answer and a right one. BJP leaders on the top cannot take on media up front. But, what shocking and something everyone of the BJP leaders CAN DO AND SHOULD DO is stop appearing like clowns in front of 5 anti-Hindu activists on a debate and be beaten to pulp. Its beyond me why on earth does any BJP leader appear on TV. Similarly, given the anti-Hindu nature of NDTV, what prompted LKA to receive an award [sic] from Prannoy Roy of NDTV? It seemed to me that a Dilip Kumar receiving a Nishan-e-Imtiaz from Pak!

shail said...

Manmohan and congress are making a habit out of this. I guess they wont rest in peace till they sell our nation either to pakistan or usa.

60 years of congress misrule in the country yet we blame everything on bjp wow !

what about people of india, are they so brainless that they cannot decide what's good for the country.Isnt it our responsibility to see which party is working for the betterment of the nation, its definatley not the congress.

What manmohan has done is a biggest sellout after nehru.
Bjp never played with the nation.

Rakesh Singh - राकेश सिंह said...

Shail people of India is a bit brainless they do not want to see or face the reality. Some of my friend just supporting Congress because they thought it will be good for share market. Initially I could not believe it. but that's the reality. Many people say MMS is educated so he is always right. I tell them a famous sanskrit sloka ' मणिना भूषित सर्पः किमसो न भयंकरः ? ' it means " isn't a mani equipped snake dangerous ?". But how to let the people know that a well educated men can be more dangerous to country if he goes wrong direction. If we see history also we will find a daemon GURU ' Sukracharyaa' , he was really dangerous because he was a brahmin and well educated. More or less MMS is economist like snake which try to kill India itself.