An East Delhi Citizen's Blog

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Archive for the category “Leadership”

India has nothing to do with Balochistan: Chidambaram

The damage control is in full swing.

It started almost immediately after the proverbial horse had not only bolted but while bolting, had kicked upwards a large volume of horse manure.

The first gem emanated from the Foreign Secretary, no less. He pronounced this a case of “poor drafting”, with the insouicance that only comes from knowing that his own retirement is nigh. Who drafted this, Mr. FS? You, or your newby boss or his boss, MMS? More importantly, which one of your officers will now be sent to Afghanistan or Sudan as a prize?

We have also heard that joint statements are non-binding and have no legal sanctity. So, this is what we have been reduced to? Taking refuge under technicalities?

And now, Chidambaram has been drafted in to help. His legal training will obviously be handy to defend the indefensible. Of course, given the reticence of the usual defenders of the faith (Avishek Singhvi and Manish Tiwari) to speak on this issue, we all await the PM as he gets up in Parliament on 29th July to again wonder aloud what the fuss is all about.

In the meantime, the Pak Foreign office is behaving like the proverbial dog with a juicy bone in its teeth. It just administered a rebuke to the “Twitter Minister” for gratuitously seeking to explain the difference between a “diplomatic paper” and a “legal document”.

Raj Chengappa, writing in India Today, headlines his article: Timid India. And then, spells out Timid with the meaning of the word in all its shades.

Nasty.

And, what is our party of the opposition doing? True to character, BJP contended itself with issuing public statements, staging a walkout and then busying themselves with their internal concerns.
As people of India, we fully deserve our ruling party. Do we also deserve our shambolic opposition?

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Manmohan Singh: time to become the President?

Honestly, I don’t care if MMS became the President or not. Just get him somewhere where he can’t do anymore damage.

And, he should take with him all those who went with him to the Egyptian beach resort to have fun and frolic and should instead have been sitting in diplomacy 101 class instead.

Go Manmohan, go! This country can take only so much. Political naivete and gullibility (not the same as guileless-ness; S Prasannaranjan of India Today, you are too charitable, in your otherwise brilliant essay, Shame-el-Sheikh) can only be rewarded by the Gandhi dynasty, why are we paying the price?

And, for the sheer inventiveness, nay toadying displayed by Shekhar Gupta in Indian Express today (The big Rewrite ), well, what are Padma Awards for, if not for rewarding these?

I am waiting for the time Manmohan meets Hu Jintao next. Will not surprise me at all to see a joint-statement like “India and China want to negotiate the future of Arunachal Pradesh which is occupied by India for a long time”.

Go, Manmohan, GO. You have done your bit for posterity. Now, let us, all Indians, clean up the mess.

Why our bomb was a strategic blunder

Indian genius can be put to better use
I am motivated to write this post because of this great post in Pak Tea House blog by Pervez Hoodbhoy.
I am not going to quote chapter and verse from the post, except to say that if you read the whole article and substitute the word “India” for “Pakistan” in the first couple of paragrpahs in the article, it will still make a lot of sense.

I was probably among the one percent people in the country who did not agree that we needed to set off crackers under the Rajasthan deserts to make a point. 

I am not a peacenik; I think those that hold cadlelight vigils every year at the Wagah border are out of touch with reality. My point that time and now is simply this:
A deterrent ceases to be a deterrent when both sides have it.
Ten years back, we had clear superiority in conventional arms over Pakistan. We did not need the nuclear deterrence. Especially since, all our intelligence reports must have already told us that Pakistan also has the necessary bomb-making kit in a SKD condition. Our explosion made us “high” on “swabhimaan” for a few days; but, more worryingly conceded the moral high ground to Pakistan where they could always claim that, “we did not do it first”.

So, from a deterrence based on conventional arms superiority we moved to a nuclear parity. For what? To what purpose?
Another example of identity politics gone haywire. And, it was done in the time of my favourite prime minister
Of course, we are different from Pakistan. Our exports are far more voluminous, have much more technology content  and as a whole we rank a lot higher than Pakistan in technological and scientific progress.  But, it must be asked whether any of this progress could not have been achieved without pandering to empty identity politics. A bomb does not spawn technological advancement.

I would like to end by quoting Mr. Hoodbhoy from the article:
“Eleven years ago a few Pakistanis and Indians had argued that the bomb would bring no security, no peace. They were condemned as traitors and sellouts by their fellow citizens. But each passing year shows just how right we were.”

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