Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Indian leaders meet White westerners and turn to putty!
What an irony! India that has never signed the Non Proliferation Treaty appears to demand in so many words that Iran should stick to its obligations under the NPT. And that too, when there is clear unequivocal assertion by Iran that it has no program to develop a nuclear device. It is understandable, that Israel and its supporters in the West, in general and French President Sarkozy in particular, who is himself Jewish, has Israel’s ‘national interest’ always at heart, should be pressing our Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh, to rise up to the occasion of signing deals in France for the purchase of civilian nuclear plants, and say a word in favour of that ‘beleaguered’ nation of Israel, that has neatly tucked up a few if not hundreds of nuclear devices of its own in its secret armory. But it seems to be a weakness of our leaders that once they are meeting the western white leaders, they completely lose their composure.
Only last week, PM Manmohan Singh was so full of himself, that he found it nothing off when he addressed President George Bush in White House and said, ‘India loves you’. For a lame duck US President, whose own people have forsaken him and who is loathed around the world, as per a Pew survey, our Prime Minister’s poetic overshoot, was most jarring to Indians back home. Just like the Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who became so effusive while meeting Sarah Palin, the Republican Party nominee for Vice-Presidential slot, a mother of 5, as to be virtually flirting with her on camera; our own Prime Minister lost all his self-respect and dignity and could have gone on his knees to thank Bush for receiving him in the Oval Office? (Granted Oval Office has some magic that could even overpower a nubile Monica to perform unthinkables. But our PM has his years behind him to help fortify his composure and do proud to our country.)
One is reminded of the sorry plight of an earlier Indian minister, Lal Krishna Advani, who as per the protocol, was not eligible to meet President Bush, but in the interest of his own country, George W. Bush was very ‘generous’ in granting him an audience.
That honour so shook Advani, that once President Bush had to throw his arm around Advani’s shoulder and Advani instantly promised to send Indian troops to fight on the side of US forces in that illegal invasion of a friendly country of Iraq, that supplied oil to India on heavily subsidized rate all through the years that Saddam was ruling. Advani had to eat his words when back home Indian people roared against any such misadventure and the people came out right at the end of it all.
One is at loss to figure out how India would fare in the hands of such putty personalities, who stalk high when at home, but turn gooey when confronting a white westerner. The inroad that Israel is making, especially as supplier of defence material, is most worrisome when it is matched with the Army’s recent stand on more pay. How this interaction between a foreign supplier and our putty soldiers, if any, will fold out, should be watched with keen caution, lest our army goes the way of the Pakistan army, under such ‘friendly’ camaraderie.
In this regard, it will be not amiss to remember Indira Gandhi, who carried the full weight and glory of India on her shoulders, when she met foreign leaders. Another example of hard nut performance by any Indian abroad could not ignore our Commerce Minister Kamalnath’s brave and courageous move to stand firm for the country’s interest and defy all the pressures of the western powers by calling off the whole world trade Doha round of negotiations.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai