It seems to be the season of flippant remarks and drawing ill-thought out conclusions. First David Miliband,UK’s Foriegn Secretary, arrived on our shores all pumped up with adrenalin(one supposes) at his visit to two countries that hold part of the troubled spot, Kashmir.
Looking youthful and very telegenic he perched elegantly on the edge of a high stool in the NDTV studios and poker faced made those infamous statements about Kashmir and how it provides a stage for jihadists to raise their jihad call from. In one fell swoop he gave the notorious Lashkar-e-Taiba’s anti India stance a legitimacy that even the Pak administration had not openly given.Oh how our liberal/Left media must have loved this school boyish looking Brit when he drew a direct link between the unsettled dispute of Kashmir and the Mumbai attacks!!
Suzanna Arundhati Roy must have hyper-ventilated with excitement at his line of reasoning.After all she has been drawing the same facetious and dangerous links between the riots in Godhra and the terror attacks in India, in various articles in Indian magazines.She is the darling of the Pakistani media and Pakistani bloggers revere her for the blame that she puts squarely on the Indian state for every terror attack that is perpetrated on Indian soil. She is an amazing writer.Years of terror all over the world,Muslim as well as non- Muslim, by the jihadist who answer to the call a pan-islamic ideology of a return to ‘pure Islam’ and a world wide caliphate has not made her draw a link between Islam and terror.She only has to look at the poor Muslims of India and to ‘know’ and state with authority that it is their condition that is inspiring radicalisation amongst them.She never questions why this connection(if it exists at all) should justify Pakistani nationals attacking Indian cities. Yet one Malegaon bomb blast case with its saffron suspect list ( and they could be guilty-I am not gong into denial mode here) and she joins the chorus of “Hindu Terror’.But enough of Suzanna Arundhati Roy.Let us get back to that ‘boy’ from Britain.
Looking younger than your years should not automatically translate to being less mature than expected of your age. Miliband had the audacity to sit amongst an Indian crowd in the post Mumbai-attack climate and state that Pakistani state/ISI/army had no hand in the well planned and well executed attacks of Mumbai(this when the investigations are in the early stages and no clear picture has emerged).He should be thankful that India has imbibed the spirit of democracy and freedom of speech enough to politely listen to him and not take him to task there and then. He not only felt the need to de-link the Pakistani establishment from the attack but also ‘restate’ that position while joining the dots randomly to link the very same attacks to the Kashmiri question.
But let us cut Miliband some slack.He is still a bit green behind the ears in diplomacy,especially foreign diplomacy.He probably jumped the gun because he imagines he has a very real chance to make a bid for the post of the Prime Minister of UK. Gordie dear is uninspiring and has been running low on popularity and ideas.As he fumbles and stumbles along the Tories seem to be gaining ground and the only real chance that the Labour Party has of retaining power is to counter the youthful Tory leader with someone even younger looking and with the same penchant as Tony Blair for making school- boy-debate-team type of speeches in inspiring sounding but hollow words.He has also been going hammer and tongs at Bush,trying to distance labour and himself from the 8 year long disaster of he Bush presidency.He is ambitious and realises that aligning himself favorably with the Obama team will stand him in good stead when he makes his run for the Premier’s post.Politicains everywhere plan and staretgise their gains while making statements.That is as true of a Miliand as it is for a Laloo Yadav or Mulayam Singh.
The Indian government ofcourse woke up from its slumber and made its objections to Miliband’s remarks(made at multiple venues) only after the media and common citizen’s made an issue about them.
The latest(but by no means the last) to join this camp of half baked politicians with little or no knowledge of either history or geography of the conflict spots they love to talk about is Susan Rice,US ambassador designate to the UN. While trying to make an eloquent speech about the hot spots (read dangerous conflict zones) of the world that the Obama administartion is inheriting she clubbed the Balkans,Liberia,East -Timor and Golan heights with Kashmir! Excuse me. She has in the past also referred to the Kashmir as a recruting ground for the Al-Qaeda along with other conflict zones like Iraq and Chechanya.What similarities she sees between Chechanya,Iraq and kasmir only Ms. Rice knows. She like our very own Suzanna Arundhati Roy clubs the huge Indian Muslim population with the Muslims in other countries and thus tarrs them with the same brush………the brush of terrorism and indiscriminate violence towards achieveing some medieval form of a Muslim caliphate.
This is the biggest insult to the Indian Muslims who by and large for the last 61 years have lived as law abiding Indian nationals,sharing the same democratic freedoms as other communities and suffering under the same yoke of poverty and under development as his Hindu,Sikh or Christian brethren.Only a miniscule number of young men have answered the call for jihad against India and when they have done it is usually at the behest of Pakistan.Forget about the Kashmiri youth,even Sikh youths were lured by the guns,drugs and easy money that Pakistan provided during the Punjab insurgency.
As 2009 moves ahead at speed,bouyed by the swearing in of Obama, in a few hours from now, as USA’s 44th President let us resolve to solve our problems ( and we have many)ourselves, while remaining vigilant against those who are wont to thrust fallacious theories about us and our nation on to the world stage.Let the blunders by Rice and Miliband serve as a reminder to our government that signing a nuclear deal with USA does not automatically make it and its allies our NEW BEST FRIENDS.