Vantage point

Wednesday, September 03, 2003


Read Praful Bidwai's latest diatripe on rediff today.

Cancel the Sharon visit!

I usually prefer to ignore his rants but this is really too much. How stupid can leftists get? Cancel the Sharon visit a week before he is supposed to come here? Give me a break!!

I am not going to sit here and defend Israel or Sharon, because frankly, I don't care much. The only reports I like reading about Israel are about how they managed their agriculture and economy very well. Unlike some of my brethren, I do not go into throes of delight everytime Israel "retaliates" by the way of military action. Neither do I rejoice when a suicide bomber kills some Jews. Both the parties in Middle East are locked in an endless spiral of violence and painting one side as evil and the other side as the victim is pure propaganda that only lefties or extreme rightists are capable of.

However I don't see why Sharon is any more unacceptable than most world leaders. Why did Bidwai not protest when 'Comrade' Fidel Castro visited India......oops..."comrade"...I answered my own question. Forget the comrades. Even if all he says about Sharon is true. It can all be applied to Musharraf as well. Yet I did not see Bidwai asking the government to withdraw the invitation to the General in 2001! If you notice Bidwai's writings, he will never refer to it as terrorism when Indians are killed, it will always be "militancy". However when Palestinians die, it becomes terrorism.

This is something we in South Asia are hopelessly afflicted with. Wanting to take on others' sorrows even when they have nothing to do with ours. People here wanted to be human shields in Iraq. They wanted to go and "entertain" Iraqi if we don't have millions of homeless kids here who could be entertained. They will come out on streets in huge numbers to protest the attacks on Afghanistan...but will not move a muscle to protest the killings in Kashmir or the North East. They will destroy Indian property because some American professor abused Prophet Mohammad (!!!!!), but will be totally nonchalant if a lower caste woman is paraded naked in a village.

Why do we have to care so much about the world when the world doesn't care about us? We are not in Chacha Nehru's times, when sermonising the world was our wont. Let us look after our own interests. Everyone is doing that. Who cares what Sharon did? Who cares what Arafat did? They are both heads of states and when they come here, we treat them like heads of states. If we can benefit in the fields of business, military, agriculture, why not? Anyway it is not as if Israel needs Indian cash to bankroll its military operations when it has Fort Knox at its disposal. Why do we keep 'aunty'ing the world? Recent governments....Rao as well as Vajpayee...have shown a pragmatic approach in this regard.

Now look at the Pakistani attitude. I mean I have no problems if they continue doing what they do, but it is just as stupid as us. They will march on their streets by the thousands when someone attacks Iraq or Afghanistan...but their reaction to killings in their own country, like the blasts in so nonchalant. If you read their papers, they are full of Middle-East stuff. If you read the papers in the Middle east, they don't give a damn about Pakistan or the Kashmir issue. Not one Arab country has ever voiced their support to Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. All they've given is petro dollars, which come attached with their brred of Arabic extremism. Yet they keep singing about the Palestinians, even though Arafat will come here and sing praises of the Indian nation and Indian state. There are so many issues plaguing Pakistan right now...just like India....but what gets them moving is West Asia!!

South Asia is full of such weird people. Which is why have not lived up to our own potential. Look at Prafool. He has the power of the pen to influence people's thoughts, which he can do by addressing issues relevant to India. And yet, he writes about such useless issues. When he is not berating Indian achievements, he is furthering the agenda of a people(Palestinians) most of whom would be hard pressed to name the capital of India.