Tuesday, June 08, 2010

On Israel, India plays Boy Scout


India has violated Sri Lanka's sovereignty to 'help' Tamils!
India has blockaded Nepal to 'teach Kathmandu a lesson'!
India votes with OIC countries; OIC countries votes against India!


It was the summer of 1987 and passions were running high in Tamil Nadu over the Sri Lankan Government’s decision to impose a blockade on Jaffna peninsula, which was the stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Colombo believed that it could force a breach between the Tamils of Jaffna and the LTTE by using coercive, non-military measures like an economic blockade: Starving masses would any day settle for food over homeland.

It didn’t quite work that way. The LTTE was in those days a fearsome fighting force and the civilian patrons of the Tigers were sufficiently impressed by V Prabhakaran’s machismo to begin believing in the balderdash about how Tamils constitute a separate nation and should not hesitate to pay any price for a Tamil Eelam. The LTTE demanded that the people of Jaffna should simply grin and bear the hunger and hardship caused by the blockade; the masses had no option but to concur.

Soon, the Tamils in India were seething with anger, as were their leaders with both AIADMK and DMK trying to outdo each other in ‘standing by’ their brethren in Jaffna. They demanded immediate intervention by India to ‘liberate’ Jaffna from the ‘clutches’ of Colombo. Rajiv Gandhi, who was then Prime Minister, was not particularly bothered about the deprivations forced on Jaffna’s Tamils by the blockade, but he was in a rage: How could Colombo thumb its nose at New Delhi in so blatant a manner in the middle of peace negotiations?

It was not possible to send an Indian armada across the Palk Strait, but Rajiv Gandhi did what he (or his advisers) thought was the next best thing: Indian planes were despatched to drop food packets over Jaffna. Six AN-32 aircraft made repeated sorties from Chennai to Jaffna, dropped food packets, and returned to base. Ostensibly, New Delhi was determined to showcase its human face in the neighbourhood. Of course, it’s another story that the same Rajiv Gandhi had ordered a virtual economic blockade of Nepal by closing all except one border crossing with Nepal to force Kathmandu to fall in line with New Delhi.

On spotting the AN-32 over Jaffna, it was Colombo’s turn to feel outraged: Its airspace had been violated with impunity by India. Nor were the Tamils of Jaffna pleased. This was no aid but mere scoring of political points. The subsequent India-Sri Lanka Accord and the disastrous Indian peace-keeping expedition are now footnotes of history.

Years later, Pakistan decided to repeat that act of Indian belligerence, albeit with a twist. It encouraged various Government-sponsored pro-azadi organisations based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to organise a long march to Srinagar. The idea was to create a spectacle of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children rushing through the Line of Control, leaving Indian security forces nonplussed: They couldn’t possibly shoot at civilians in such large numbers. Mediapersons from around the world gathered for the event as PV Narasimha Rao went into a tizzy, desperately trying to ward off a showdown. In the end, Mr Nawaz Sharif panicked (some say after a harsh telephone call from the White House prompted by Rao pleading with the Americans) and the Pakistani Rangers didn’t allow the ‘freedom marchers’ to proceed beyond Muzaffarabad.

The point is that India is the last country which should feel compelled to criticise Israel’s use of force to prevent the so-called ‘Freedom Flotilla’ led by a Turkish ship from breaching the naval blockade of Gaza. Having violated a similar blockade in another country and paid a terrible price for that folly, and also having enforced a pernicious blockade on Nepal which caused enormous and lasting damage to bilateral relations, and, last but not least, having scurried to the Americans for their help to stall a ‘Freedom March’ from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to Srinagar, it ill behoves us to issue a denunciatory statement even before the full facts of what happened on the sea off the coast of Gaza were known. Had those who drafted the statement admonishing India bothered to watch the videotapes of the Israeli raid on the flotilla, they would have desisted from formally issuing it.

[Text of statement on 'incident involving boats carrying supplies for Gaza' issued by Ministry of External Affairs on May 31, 2010:

India deplores the tragic loss of life and the reports of killings and injuries to people on the boats carrying supplies for Gaza. There can be no justification for such indiscriminate use of force, which we condemn. We extend our sympathies to the families of the dead and wounded. It is our firm conviction that lasting peace and security in the region can be achieved only through peaceful dialogue and not through use of force.
New Delhi.]

It is amazing that we have not yet learned a lesson from voting blindly with the block of Organisation of Islamic Conference countries at all international and multilateral fora every time they have chosen to denounce Israel. This has not fetched India any benefits, diplomatic or otherwise. Nor has it stopped the OIC from adopting anti-India resolutions and repudiating India’s sovereign right over Jammu & Kashmir.

We can vote against Iran at the IAEA to please America (it would have been an entirely defensible and justifiable decision had New Delhi voted against Tehran on its own and not at Washington’s behest) but we can’t refuse to vote against Israel bearing in mind our national interest? Must we forget that Israel came to India’s help at a moment of national crisis when we urgently needed battlefield hardware during the Kargil incursion by Pakistani soldiers? More importantly, must we remain captive to vacuous political posturing of the past when it was fashionable to align with the Arabs against the Jewish state?

By rushing into criticising Israel, we may think we have scored brownie points with Turkey, which has recalled its Ambassador to Tel Aviv and threatened to snap six decades of diplomatic relations, but such expectations are entirely misplaced. The Islamist AKP regime in Ankara has made it abundantly clear that its sympathies lie with Islamabad and not New Delhi on a host of issues, especially the future role of Pakistan and India in Afghanistan; that it will facilitate Tehran’s bomb-in-the-basement programme through subterfuge and sleight of hand and, that it sees itself as the new centre of Islamic politics and Islamist revanchism.

If anything, India looks as silly as Nicaragua and South Africa — the first is trying to rediscover Left radicalism in a world that cruelly mocks at the Left; the second is blessed with a succession of Muslim Deputy Foreign Ministers who abuse Israel to satiate their lust for anti-Semitism. As if that were not enough, we have been bracketed with China which amazingly lectured Israel on the need to be mindful about safeguarding human rights. We could, of course, compare our hypocrisy with that of Britain which earlier this year expelled an Israeli diplomat over the targeted killing of a Hamas terrorist in Dubai. Few know that sanctimonious Britain provides caring shelter to Islamists wanted for horrible crimes around the world.

[This appeared as my weekly column Coffee Break in The Pioneer on June 6, 2010.]

19 comments:

Shankara said...

Dada,India kowtows OIC because of the 5th column syndrome. Its fears that any public show of sympathy with Israel would antagonise the whole muslim world who would then openly support Pak in its claim of J&K. Fund and idealogical support will fire up internal muslim discord. As of now OIC does not make +ve remarks about India but most muslim nations dont openly support Pak either just like India does not openly support Israel openly. Imagine what would happen if all OIC members start releasing press statement against India in favour of Pak and pressuring India world wide and at the UN on whimsical allegations of treatment of muslim minority. Can you imagine the Indian muslim public mood not to say what happens with India's foreign policy where lakhs of desis get employment on the Arabian peninsula (big source of Forex).

We would be Israel without crutches namely USA&EU. More over the press release by India saying nothing but talks of peaceful solution. Its harmless comment. In Macro Political terms its nothing. BTW I just coined this phrase :)

On the other hand there is a tacit approval between Israel and India. 'We will make noise against you but then its for general public consumption, you know our compulsions. Don't mind what we say lets concentrate on what we achieve together'

WRT LTTE from what ever source of information I have and in public domain it had become very Xtian funded. Norway was a major player along with Canada and USA for missionary support. SL has a more stronger Buddhist nationalist movement going on right now and we should support that. We cannot loose them like Nepal.

India's foreign policy is dictated by the 5th column syndrome till we don't get a nationalist govt in place which will have support of the majority people. Because obviously Congress plays to muslim vote banks and cannot antagonise them.

Lets get a Hindu nationalist govt and we can take on all comers from the OIC or further west.

This is my humble submission. Its reads more like a post than a comment LOL.

Shankara said...

Dada,India kowtows OIC because of the 5th column syndrome. Its fears that any public show of sympathy with Israel would antagonise the whole muslim world who would then openly support Pak in its claim of J&K. Fund and idealogical support will fire up internal muslim discord. As of now OIC does not make +ve remarks about India but most muslim nations dont openly support Pak either just like India does not openly support Israel openly. Imagine what would happen if all OIC members start releasing press statement against India in favour of Pak and pressuring India world wide and at the UN on whimsical allegations of treatment of muslim minority. Can you imagine the Indian muslim public mood not to say what happens with India's foreign policy where lakhs of desis get employment on the Arabian peninsula (big source of Forex).

We would be Israel without crutches namely USA&EU. More over the press release by India saying nothing but talks of peaceful solution. Its harmless comment. In Macro Political terms its nothing. BTW I just coined this phrase :)

On the other hand there is a tacit approval between Israel and India. 'We will make noise against you but then its for general public consumption, you know our compulsions. Don't mind what we say lets concentrate on what we achieve together'

WRT LTTE from what ever source of information I have and in public domain it had become very Xtian funded. Norway was a major player along with Canada and USA for missionary support. SL has a more stronger Buddhist nationalist movement going on right now and we should support that. We cannot loose them like Nepal.

India's foreign policy is dictated by the 5th column syndrome till we don't get a nationalist govt in place which will have support of the majority people. Because obviously Congress plays to muslim vote banks and cannot antagonise them.

Lets get a Hindu nationalist govt and we can take on all comers from the OIC or further west.

This is my humble submission. Its reads more like a post than a comment LOL.

Anonymous said...

Do you think it was right to recognize israel as a sovereign state in the first place?

Viva Kermani said...

What hypocrisy !
For India to support Turkish led Freedom Flotilla is absurd. Everyone knows that Turkey systematically killed the Kurds - and simply refuses to acknowledge their role in the Armenian Genocide.

Will India support an Israeli flotilla that lends to support to the Kurds ? Not over my dead body.

Its time the Indian Govt got over this anti Israel hangover and stop supporting theocracies for the wrong reasons.


Viva Kermani

Freaky said...

Do take the Israeli citizenship as you seem to be in love with them.

Suresh said...

Sir,

Israel has always stood shoulder to shoulder with India.

It is just because of the domestic political compulsions i.e. minority appeasement, the Govt is hell bent on critisizing Israel

wht Israel did in its self defence wasextremely right and would not hesitate to do again if the need arises

JYK said...

Viva Kermani.. If you really want indian govt. stop supporting theocrasies, know that Israel is a totally theocratic state and what Turkey is a laik and democratic state, actually it's a candidate to EU, if you have an idea about what it means.

But the subject here is the attack of a country to an Aid ship in international waters. The ships were bringing Aid to people of Gaza who are being suffered from illegal siege of Israel for years. UN Security Council Resolution 1860 stated that the embargo is illegal and a violation of human rights and has to be removed immediately. So the siege is illegal. Israeli attack to flotilla is illegal. At the end of this attack 9 ppl were killed. One of them was 19 years old boy and he was murdered by 4 bullet in his head 1 into his chest!

So you defend a theocratic state which does not care about international laws and do not hesitate to murder 9 peace activists in international waters. Bravo!

संजय बेंगाणी said...

i support Israel.

Anonymous said...

i would really like your opinion on this Kanchan Gupta sir, Do you think it was right for the internationla community and also India to accept israel as a sovereign state?

dadarocks said...

Just a week before turkey bombarded kurdish region of Iraq. Not to mention their obduracy over even acceptign the armenian massacre.. these idiots are championing human rights.

I think India should used milded word if it must reprimand israel since we need opil and mullah nation need to be humoured.. it's a tight-rope walk

Viva Kermani said...

JYK,

You spew more hypocrisy.
Israel is a democracy first and there is freedom of religion.So I am amazed that you think Israel is a theocratic state. When were you there last ?

And as for this fraud flotilla -if it really cared about the citizens of Gaza why did they not allow Israel to deliver the goods and why the hell did they have expired medicines ? Any why did they not agree to deliver the letter for Gilad Shalit ?

As for Turkey joining the EU - this is not a good time for Turkey to get ambitious about it - remember what Merkel said about Turkey being "too Muslim" ? And this was 3 months ago.

Lets get real here and really figure out who is the villain of the peace !

Nithin Rao Panambur said...

Isreal has always done what they percieved as right for their self defence without giving a damn for the rest of the world. They dont have much option considering the neighbours they have

Nithin Rao Panambur said...

Isreal have always done what they percieved is best for their self defence.

akhil said...

Pranaam Kanchan Da,
I am ashamed to call myself an Indian, this is because from Bhopal Tragedy to 26/11 None of our governments have stuck to the constitutional commitment of providing protection to the citizens. Israel/America/Europe on the other hand values the life of its people. Manmohan Singh needs to let oxygen get in his head so that he is able to identify friends from foes. God help us if congress stays in power !

@MR.JYK ,

Israel has been a well wisher of India for decades, for India to suddenly jump on Israel's chest for rightfully defending their frontiers is a crossover of the last line of stupidity!
Flotilla refused to obey the requests make by the IDF, they used fire bombs against Israeli Soldiers, if they did not deserve to be shot then what else ?
It must not be forgotten that the ISLAMIC TERRORISTS now fancy intruding a nation via waters, as proved by the 26/11 incident. I know where you come from,lastly Mr. J.Younis Khan Hamas and other Muslims outfits need to be neutralized by whatever means necessary, this world has taken enough shit in the name of international peace, but no more should be embraced.

akhil said...

Pranaam Kanchan Da,
I am ashamed to call myself an Indian, this is because from Bhopal Tragedy to 26/11 None of our governments have stuck to the constitutional commitment of providing protection to the citizens. Israel/America/Europe on the other hand values the life of its people. Manmohan Singh needs to let oxygen get in his head so that he is able to identify friends from foes. God help us if congress stays in power !

@MR.JYK ,

Israel has been a well wisher of India for decades, for India to suddenly jump on Israel's chest for rightfully defending their frontiers is a crossover of the last line of stupidity!
Flotilla refused to obey the requests make by the IDF, they used fire bombs against Israeli Soldiers, if they did not deserve to be shot then what else ?
It must not be forgotten that the ISLAMIC TERRORISTS now fancy intruding a nation via waters, as proved by the 26/11 incident. I know where you come from,lastly Mr. J.Younis Khan Hamas and other Muslims outfits need to be neutralized by whatever means necessary, this world has taken enough shit in the name of international peace, but no more should be embraced.

Sathish Mayil said...

Israel is a state which always does what it thinks is best for itself. It helped India during kargil becz we were fighting a Muslim nation and maybe becz they get money.

The whole world knows how cruel Israel is, be happy that MEA is putting up a good act(for it's a true act, we have just condemened and not did anything else).

संजय बेंगाणी said...

आपने अंग्रेजी में पूछा है फिर भी आम भारतीय की राय से मिलते परिणाम दिख रहे है. जबकी माना जाता है कि अंग्रेजी भाषी ज्यादा ही सेक्युलर (?) होते है.

अगर आपने हिन्दी में पूछा होता कि "क्या इजराइल ने उचित काम किया है?" तो यकिन करें 98% जवाब मिलता कि सही किया है.

Anonymous said...

it's irritating to publish people's blog comments without answering their question even though they've specifically requested an answer.
"Do you think we are right to recognize israel's sovereignty?"

Anonymous said...

bla