Saturday, December 18, 2010

Uncle Sam would love this nephew


An elusive contact becomes a key interlocutor for Americans!

Contrary to media reports and popular perception, the ‘secret’ cable despatched from the US Embassy in New Delhi on August 3, 2009 was not only about Mr Rahul Gandhi’s views on Hindu terror. A close reading of the cable, marked for the State Department and signed by US Ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer, would show that it was a report on efforts by the American mission aimed at “reaching out to Rahul Gandhi and other young parliamentarians”. The cable’s summary says: “In a review of the career and potential of Rahul Gandhi, 40-year-old heir apparent to the leadership of India’s ruling Congress party, the US Ambassador reports conversations with the young politician, speaking appreciatively of recent statements and potential for the future.” The key words, lest you miss them, are “reaching out”, “career and potential”, “heir apparent”, “appreciatively” and “future”. The man who represents American interests in India was keen on establishing ‘contact’ with the second most important person in the current, US-friendly dispensation in New Delhi; and it’s a hurrah! note to headquarters from him after having established that contact. As Mr Roemer highlights in his cable, “(Rahul) Gandhi… could become a key interlocutor… as we pursue a strategic dialogue with India.” Diplomats know who matters how much in which regime and which ‘key interlocutor’ can help push their country’s agenda. In this case, the agenda of the US, as it would like to see implemented in its newly discovered outpost in South Asia.

The cable mentions that Mr Roemer met Mr Gandhi at a lunch hosted by the Prime Minister “in honour of the Secretary” — his reference is to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Among the invitees was Indian Congress Party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, as well as other prominent figures from politics, business and civil society.” But notwithstanding their ‘prominence’, these worthies do not merit mention by name in the cable. Mr Gandhi does — he “was seated next to the Ambassador” and “shared his views on a range of political topics, social challenges and electoral issues for the Congress in the next five years”. Since the discussion took place three months after the UPA won a second term in office, we can assume that Mr Gandhi had by then worked out everything for the Congress till 2014; he had charted the course for the party, so to say, to a third, and spectacular, victory in a row, thus enabling his transition from heir apparent to ruler.


[Massacre at CST: Mumbai's -- and India's -- night of terror, November 26, 2008, when Pakistani LeT terrorists launched multiple attacks on the city.]

In between pointing out that the Congress, or the UPA if you wish, had a rather short honeymoon in its second term and detailing his plans to “find younger party members who would not carry some of the baggage of older Congress candidates” to contest and win elections, he commented on “the tensions created by some of the more polarising figures in the BJP such as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi” (these words have been used by Mr Roemer, we can’t be sure whether Mr Gandhi used them in his conversation). It is in this context that Mr Roemer asked Mr Gandhi about the “Lashkar-e-Tayyeba’s activities in the region and immediate threat to India”. It would be in order to mention here that another US Embassy cable mentions that the LeT’s threat to India is real, has not diminished since 26/11 and the Pakistan-based group is planning high profile strikes, including a plot to assassinate Mr Narendra Modi.

We can only speculate on whether Mr Roemer’s query was in the context of that cable or he was subtly provoking a political response to a security issue to gauge any shift in the Government’s policy. It would be absurd to believe that the American Ambassador was unaware of hostilities between the Congress Dynasty and the Congress Destroyer in Gujarat. Be that as it may, Mr Gandhi’s response provides a glimpse into the intellectual abilities of the Prince who would be King one day. “(Rahul) Gandhi said there was evidence of some support for the group among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community. However, Gandhi warned, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community… The risk of a ‘home-grown’ extremist front, reacting to terror attacks coming from Pakistan or from Islamist groups in India, was a growing concern and one that demanded constant attention.” (The emphasis is that of Mr Roemer’s and not this writer’s.)


[The two-year-old girl who was injured in the Varanasi ghat bombing by Indian Mujahideen on December 7, 2010. She lost the battle to stay alive.]

The US Ambassador’s conclusion, based on the lunch table conversation, tells its own story: “Over the last four years, he was an elusive contact, but he could be interested in reaching out to the United States, given a thoughtful, politically sensitive and strategic approach on our part. We will seek other opportunities to engage with him…” It’s natural that there should be some amount of concern in Washington, DC about policy after the Regent vacates the masnad of Delhi for the Prince. If there’s one thing the American establishment is mindful of, it is that continuity is of the essence to promote and push national interest in foreign lands; regime change can have disastrous consequences. As for what the US mission really (emphasis added by this writer) thinks of Mr Gandhi, readers should look up the ‘secret’ cable tagged ‘Delhi Diary, January 30-February 19, 2010’, in which “A US diplomat romps through three weeks of Indian politics, from the chauvinism of the Shiv Sena to a new law allowing gay couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

In keeping with the style of the cables that have been ‘leaked’ into the public domain, here’s a summary: Outrage over Mr Gandhi’s frivolous analysis of the internal security scenario of India and his ill-informed commentary on terrorism is fine, but only up to a point. What is of greater import is the ease with which the proverbial ‘Quiet American’ can co-opt those who desire to rule India through “a thoughtful, politically sensitive and strategic approach”. Somewhere out there, Mrs Indira Gandhi’s soul would be most distressed following the disclosure of this particular cable, but then, when alive she carried the “baggage of older Congress candidates” as her grandson disparagingly describes those who have served the party (and presumably the country) for decades.

[This appears as my Sunday column Coffee Break in The Pioneer on December 19, 2010.]

14 comments:

Divineslap said...

All this and still some people or should I say his own 'old baggage' projects him as the next PM.
But I would like to add certain things here yes it is true radicalization in any form can be threatening in the form of 'dangaas' but it has been happening since India was actually born take Punjab 1947 Bengal 1947 then UP 1992 and gujarat 2002 which were short lived but but but it was very wrong of him to actually pin point the growing radicalization in Hindus which a commoner like me cannot see even if it is all true then there was no need for baba to tell this to a 'gora'.

sunaath said...

A very revealing account of the idiot prince!

Sushant jain said...

Nice blog...

balaji said...

Probably the Americans would have thought this Congress party will never stop to flag conspiracy theories even in private conversations,Rahul's conversation with the American ambassador was like a campaign speech in Bihar.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Just one question: does the fact that Rahul is lucky to have been born with the Gandhi surname (and I am not even too sure that he is all that lucky, seeing that four people with that name have been assassinated since 1948, unlike, say, people with surnames like Bachchan and Tendulkar and Ambani) automatically make him an 'idiot'? Pardon my stupidity if that is a stupid question...

JayKumar said...

"Ghar ka Bhedi Lanka Dhaye"
Bhedi is Raul Vinci

If congress's secularism is all about Hindu bashing then I think there party which is INC must be renamed as "Islamic National Congress."

First let Sonia answer's Yeddy's letter and then she must say that Yeddy's is not a transparent BJP person but a corrupted? Why she should not answer?

Of course she is answerable to a democratically elected leaders and who is leading a state?

she is not queen of this country?

What I think why congress is so much desperate to paint Sangh as terrorist organization is all because the next day when Modi spoke about WikiLeaks Modi was seen surrounded full of women and moreover it was a private function, so it shows the popularity Modi enjoys among women also and congress is not able to digest this popularity of Modi at any cost. Next to Modi was seen fashion designer Saina N C a young promising BJP leader from Mumbai this also would have made congress very nervous.

raj said...

The mentality of the heir apparent Mr. Rahul can be read clearly. The old leadership of the congress is old baggage for him while an average indian will feel happy to be in the midst of their elders. The heir apparent is really a burden for the Indian public. But the sycophants in the congress and the Padmabhooshan Journalists like of Burkha Dutt and the Sardeasais are creating a bogus atmosphere for this idiot to have his own space. We can expect much more responsible thoughts from the son of Chidambaram.P but Mr Karthik will not so fortunate as in the case of Idiot Prince as he has not been a member of the Ruling Family. Mother is the president, Son is the General secretary and the nephew if any will be the next prince in line.

Anonymous said...

China, Pak and Cong, CPM, Maoists - they are all enemies of india. Cong, CPM and Maoists are agents of Chinese imperialism, busy to break up India using their communal policies. Before they hand over the country to China, they are plundering the country and sending their loots to Swiss bank.

Anonymous said...

Just popping in to say nice site.

SuzyQ said...

I am not a fan of the Gandhi family by a long shot, and neither do I think Islamic terror is to be trivialized. But for those of you who cannot see small aspects of "Hindutva", culture protection and other such groups raising their heads slowly but surely, are you blind? Is the Shiv Sena not supressing freedon of speech? Weren't those women in B'lore beaten up for the "crime" of consuming alcohol in a free country? Why does nobody pay any attention to these groups? Remember, the Nazis started as book clubs and "culture" meetings.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Yes SuzyQ, the Nazis started as book clubs and "culture" meetings, and then started using the media for their disinformation and misinformation campaign and worshipping the dictator. Today we see the same chilling parallel in the JNUs, Churches, the hate mongering media. NDTV, cnn-ibn et. el. are working 24x7 telling lies after lies and spewing venom against anything Hindu. HINDOOS are being persecuted in their own land, cleansed from their own land and butchered by merchants of death sponsored by the all powerful ruling dynasty. Fascism is definitely coming to India, Mussolini style.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for good stuff.

Raj said...

its like the departed... Jack Nicholson finding the perfect stooge to milk Matt Damon