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Modi’s Still There, Innit?

Why take umbrage at UK’s “re-engagement” with Modi? After all, India’s indulged in many similar diplomatic relations itself.

Why do we deal with Saudi Arabia? It isn’t really a country known to share too many qualities with lovely, democratic India – or, at any rate, qualities that we would like to emulate here. The lack of free speech, political freedom, women’s rights, not to mention the export-quality crazy-mullah Wahabi version of Islam, are features that should, on paper, turn off even the most realpolitick-tocking Delhi administration. And they do.

But who says you can be facebook friends only with friends? We continue to engage with Riyadh for reasons which are useful to us. And the reasons go beyond petro-resources, remittances and our penchant for bling in general. One primal reason for us maintaining chummy relations with the House of Saud was amply made clear earlier this week when the media reported that another suspected terrorist allegedly responsible for the 2010 bomb attack in Bangalore was detained and deported to India by the Saudi authorities.

Fasih Mehmood, who was wanted by Indian authorities in connection with the 2010 attack, is in Indian custody ready to face Indian justice. Thanks to the Saudis, whose conduct in their own backyard should give us the heebie-jeebies if they don’t already, the third suspect in the Bangalore blast has been detained in the last four months and is now up for questioning for his suspected role in the September 19, 2010 Jama Masjid terrorist attack in Delhi as well. Jolly good show, I say chaps!

So it seems that, quite in line with the norms of diplomacy (and, indeed cost-benefit ethics), we can maintain friendly relations with an embarrassing entity. If Gabbar Singh strikes a deal with parents by which he makes their children go to sleep at night so that the todgers don’t drive their parents crazy, it would be okay to look away when he goes pillaging a village nearby. A few necessary remarks to maintain our love for law and order can be made. But if we’ve already told Gabbar that we need to make these remarks not to look like daku-lovers, he’ll understand.

As does Saudi Arabia.

But India doesn’t even have much of a decent track record about mouthing “concerns” when it comes to “friends” who are the source of such concerns. When the Soviet Union invaded Hungary in 1956, democratic but “non-aligned” India under Jawaharlal Nehru maintained “that, according to facts in his possession… What appeared to have occurred in Hungary is a civil conflict on rather a large scale, to begin with, among the Hungarians themselves”. (Nehru at the All India Congress Committee meet in Calcutta, November 9, 1956.)

India didn’t even bother to come up with any show of “concern” when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. The Indian UN representative, as mentioned in George Perkovich’s book, India’s Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation, had stated that the Soviet forces had been “invited” by the Afghan government and that the Government of India had “no reason to doubt assurances that they would withdraw when requested to do so by the Afghan government”. It was only after the newly elected prime minister Indira Gandhi came under a lot of pressure – even from within the Non-Aligned Movement – and after a meeting with the British Foreign Secretary, that she issued a statement about no country having the right to enter another country.

So, why this mini-lecture on the history of Indian diplomacy all of a sudden? Well, what applies to Saudi Arabia also applies to India’s pirouette in its Tibet and Burma policies, the latter turning out to be a bit of an embarrassment with a political thaw breaking out in Myanmar even as India was getting to be buddies with the Junta and expected the ice to remain frozen.

In all cases, Saudi, Myanmarese, Tibetan and Soviet, India’s dealings have been conducted according to that primary rule of “national interest”. If some things are good for the country, even if that means hanging out with a thug or two, it’s worth pursuing. As we’ve learnt independently of the virtues of what the American Secretary of State Cordell Hull once said of Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of the Dominican Republic, “He may be a son-of-a-bitch. But he’s our son-of-a-bitch”.

Which, of course, leads me finally to Britain “re-engaging” with Narendra Modi and the news upsetting a lot of folks both here in India and Britain. While I can understand the outrage in some quarters of Britain, with shades of Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler coming to some imaginative minds, I’m a little bemused to find Indian liberals finding the “thaw” ghastly. British High Commissioner James Bevan explained his meeting with Narendra Modi, under whose administration thousands of Muslims were murdered by goons affiliated to his party and government, that it was an “engagement with Gujarat and Gujarat as a whole and not an engagement with any individual”.

Responding to media queries, Bevan said that he disagreed with perceptions that Britain was “rehabilitating” or “endorsing” Modi, who for all his Gangnam-style wooing of foreign investment (his last serious wooing for business buddies before the Brits came knocking were the Japanese) still remains under the shadow of being the hand that unleashed – or, at least, didn’t rein in – the 2002 Gujarat riots.

And here, I tend to agree with Bevan. Let’s face it. As an outsider, I’m looking not at Modi but at India as a whole. A chief minister of a state against whom major human rights and law and order charges are yet to be proved or disproved; who is in the reckoning to be the next prime minister of India by pretty much every Indian media platform; who continues to be chief minister of the state since the riots took place through the democratic machinery of free and fair elections; and – most importantly for an outsider – seems to be one of the few people in Indian public service with whom doing business does not involve taking up one of those impossible, nerve-wracking Kama Sutra positions… Frankly, to continue boycotting the state he administers simply because he’s still administering it, seems a bit odd.

With most of the British business community of Patels – which can be a rather large portion of Britain’s business community – finding little reason for Britain to sidestep doing business with Gujarat, I would think Bevan and his bosses must have thought this through before finally saying, “Hey! Everyone in India, even those who are convinced that Narendra Modi is a ‘mass murderer’ are doing business with Gujarat. So why, when we need some money in these dark times, sit out?”

And with the government of India not really the paragon of virtue when it comes to dealing with artful dodgers and worse, the British figured that it would deal with Gujarat on Indian terms. Last heard, no one clamped sanctions against Gujarat from New Delhi.

So while Britain has decided to “re-engage” with Gujarat and its infamous chief minister – something that the European Union continues not to – what I’m curious to know is why we here in India are judging Britain for hanging out again with Modi. We’ve been hanging out with Modi all this while. And I’m not even going to go back to why, despite all the good things that come out of it, we hang out with the rotters in Riyadh.

 

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  • UK

    UK had to sooner or later and so will USA very soon. After all, you cant ignore good governance and “clean” opportunity for business and investment. The US/UK ban was as a result of a campaign by pseudo-secularists lead by the Congress that culminated in Sonia Gandhi having to eat humble pie (after her infamous “Maut ka saudhagar” statement). I hope the Congress and the pro-Congress media/press recogonize the real anger of the Mango people against Congress misrule and its sycopancy culture. This govt under Sonia has done many times more damage than Indira Gandhi did using the emergency. Sonia has brought that element of Italian mafia into Indian public life – the grim faced figure sitting behind with all sycopants ranting, her angry fighting when any allegation is made that hits her or her survival, is all so similar to the mafia style that we have read about. Indians have tolerated Sonia with utmoast courtsey & genorisity which she has misused and its high time we showed her the door.

  • shaktifabian

    when some years ago modi was denied a visa to the u s and uk the left liberals and pseudo seculars were over the moon and it was given huge importance by their friends in the media particularly so called mainstream english media both print and television and now that the british govt goes overboard to welcome modi to uk the reaction of the very same left liberal press a strange deathly silence

  • Satyam Sharma

    Wait a second … did this Indrajit Hazra really write: “Narendra Modi, under whose administration thousands of Muslims were murdered by goons affiliated to his party and government”?!

    Typical of left-libber pseudo-secular mediocre Indian “journalists” like Indrajit Hazra to be factually challenged and ignorant of basic history.

    1. After coming to power, the Congress/UPA govt set up multiple judicial commission and enquiries on the post-Godhra 2002 Gujarat riots. As per the Congress/UPA govt’s own statement in parliament, the post-Godhra communal riots led to the deaths of ~800 Muslims and ~250 Hindus.

    The latter number does not even include the 60-odd Hindu pilgrims (of whom 40 were women and children) returning from Ayodhya who were roasted alive and massacred in the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express at Signal Falia in Godhra, the mass-murder incident that led to the post-Godhra riots.

    Questions for Indrajit Hazra:

    * Is the number “800” fit to be called “thousands”? Then why did you do so? Purposeful and mischievous exaggeration?

    * When you recount the post-Godhra 2002 Gujarat communal riots, why do you always remember the ~800 Muslim victims but not the ~300 Hindu victim?

    * Are two-sided “riots” in which 800 Muslims and 300 Hindus die worthy of being called “pogroms” or a “genocide”? Do you even know what the latter terms mean? Can the latter terms be applied to every single act of widespread violence? Do you even know the difference between two-sided “riots” and “genocide”?

    * Are you ignorant of basic facts (like 99.99% of the other so-called “journalists” in India) that I have recounted above?

    * Or are you purposefully blatantly lying and spreading mischievous misinformation propaganda?

    * Who the hell does fact-checking of articles on Newslaundry?

    2. Nearly ~200 of the respondents against whom FIRs relating both to the Godhra massacre and the post-Godhra communal riots have been filed are Congress politicians. Nearly 25 Congress politicians and workers have already been convicted for their crimes by the courts.

    Congress politicians totally dominate the list of convicted masterminds of the Godhra train burning incident. Mehmud Hussain Kalota was the convener of the Congress Panchmahal district minority cell and president of the Godhra municipal corporation. Salim Abdul Ghaffar Sheikh was the president of the Youth Congress Panchmahal district. Farroukh Bhana was secretary of the Congress Panchmahal district committee. Abdul Rehman Abdul Majid Ghantia and Haji Bilal were known Congress workers. Even in the post-Godhra communal riots, Congress politicians participated from both Muslim and Hindu sides to mass-murder the opposite community. Ahmedabad Mayor Himmatsinh Patel was a Congressman. Baroda MLA Mehrsinh Chaudhry was a Congressman. Baroda Deputy Mayor Nissar Bapu was a Congressman. And these people were leading different mobs from different sides throughout the nights and mass-murdering Hindus and Muslims.

    The case against Narendra Modi is totally false and politically motivated. Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand has shamelessly accepted in multiple interviews that she gets crores of rupees worth of funding from the Congress and the CPM, as well as from dubious foreign agencies. Sanjiv Bhatt and Manoj Mitta (TOI journalist) ghostwrite affidavits for other “witnesses” under the guidance of Teesta and Javed, and almost all are in the dock now on charges of perjury, something even noted by the courts. Narendra Modi, on the other hand, has come out unscathed after the Justices Nanavati-Mehta judicial commission enquiries as well as the Supreme Court-appointed SC-led SC-monitored CBI Special Investigation Team reports that completely exonerate Modi of any wrongdoing whatsoever.

    But the case against Congress politicians is not just about “unleashing” or “failing to rein in” the riots. The Congress politicians personally indulged in street massacres and mass murders.

    Questions for Indrajit Hazra:

    * Are you ignorant of basic facts (like 99.99% of the other so-called “journalists” in India) that I have recounted above?

    * If not, then why are you blaming Modi and “goons affiliated to his party and government” only of participating in the riots?

    * Why the studied silence on the role of the Congress party in the Godhra massacre and the post-Godhra mass murders?

    * Or are you purposefully blatantly lying and spreading mischievous misinformation propaganda?

    * Who the hell does fact-checking of articles on Newslaundry?

    • Arihant Zenab

      Awesome bro.. you ripped apart the authoris feeble attempt to malign Modi.. Now i understand y does Modi has so much followers. U read a negative article about him then read the comments and ur faith on Modi become 1000 times more stronger than before… Keep up the good work

      PS : I hope u dont have any problem if I take some excerpts from ur comment for my blog.. :)

      • Satyam Sharma

        Please go ahead and feel free to share my comment. :-)

        You are 100% right about how the social media has empowered the common man both to find out real facts (hidden from us by the dictatorial Congress govts and a mainstream media completely subservient to the Nehru dynasty) as well as to express himself and spread the truth. I also spend more time reading and conversing in the comments than the articles themselves (have seen some of your good posts on FP too, I am “satyamsh” there).

        BTW, the “failing to rein in the riots quickly” charge against Narendra Modi is also without substance. The army was called in within 2 days, and got deployed by the 3rd day in most districts of the state. Police and paramilitary help was sought (but not received) from the neighbouring states of Rajasthan, MP and Maharashtra too, all three of which were under Congress govts in 2002. If anything, Modi did a terrific job in containing such a widespread outbreak of violence in a large state like Gujarat that has seen many communal riots since independence. But the 2002 riots are the only riots to be overhyped, both to attack Modi and the BJP, as well as to sweep the Congress’ own massive riots (Delhi 1984, Nellie 1983, Bhagalpur 1989, Hashimpura 1987, Surat 1993, Bombay 1992) that were even bigger in scale and casualties, and raged on for weeks and months, under the carpet. It is a testimony to the Modi govt’s prompt actions that the 2002 riots were contained quickly and were therefore less destructive than many others in the history of modern India.

        • Arihant Zenab

          Thanx.. Yup,Infact I am quiet amazed to figure out that inspite of such mudslinging from political as well as media side,Modi has brought Gujarat from rags to riches.. Imagine what wud he had done without such hostility… Whats even more amazing is that in almost all cases Supreme Court has given clean chit to Modi and even lauded modi for controlling riots in the best possible time.

          I have read full Nanawati Commission report,full SIT report and also Gujarat part of Sachar Committee report… u read such crap articles as this and then read GoI authorised reports (that too not BJP but UPA govt) and u can see the difference is such stark…

          Sometimes I feel pity for Modi baiters,such a pathetic loosers they are.Even if a man with no balls will screw his wife for 11 years she also might conceive a baby but these Modi-bashers could’nt harm an iota of Modi’s charisma instead have mad Modi even more respectable figure… I know this coz I myself was a Modi basher till 2007 but this 24X7 bashing of Modi by such paid-articles during Sept-dec 2007 made me think there must be sumthing in this guy that even after so much mud slinging he remains quiet and his baiters are jumping and scratching their hair off but cannot do a thing about him..

          Really.. respect for a man like Modi increases by many folds by reading such articles.. who thought a man sitting in Gujarat can shake the foundations of “Delhi Sultanet” the way he is doing for 11 years,just imagine what havoc he will create in the heart of Congressi sycophants once he comes to national Politics..

        • Arihant

          Thanx.. Yup,Infact I am quiet amazed to figure out that inspite of such mudslinging from political as well as media side,Modi has brought Gujarat from rags to riches.. Imagine what wud he had done without such hostility… Whats even more amazing is that in almost all cases Supreme Court has given clean chit to Modi and even lauded modi for controlling riots in the best possible time.

          I have read full Nanawati Commission report,full SIT report and also Gujarat part of Sachar Committee report… u read such crap articles as this and then read GoI authorised reports (that too not BJP but UPA govt) and u can see the difference is such stark…

          Sometimes I feel pity for Modi baiters,such a pathetic loosers they are.Even if a man with no balls will screw his wife for 11 years she also might conceive a baby but these Modi-bashers could’nt harm an iota of Modi’s charisma instead have mad Modi even more respectable figure… I know this coz I myself was a Modi basher till 2007 but this 24X7 bashing of Modi by such paid-articles during Sept-dec 2007 made me think there must be sumthing in this guy that even after so much mud slinging he remains quiet and his baiters are jumping and scratching their hair off but cannot do a thing about him..

          Really.. respect for a man like Modi increases by many folds by reading such articles.. who thought a man sitting in Gujarat can shake the foundations of “Delhi Sultanet” the way he is doing for 11 years,just imagine what havoc he will create in the heart of Congressi sycophants once he comes to national Politics..

        • shaktifabian

          during the congress chief minister hitendra desai the communal rights in ahmedabad went on non stop for 10 months in 1969

    • Prashant Kumar

      Dude, you just demolished this article …..!!! Great going.

    • http://twitter.com/mayank2408 Mayank Batra

      Let us try putting it this way. You are absolutely right on the facts and i agree with you. I actually applaud Modi for a lot of development that has happened in Gujarat. I believe he is focused and that’s a good things.

      But i cant help but notice that till very recently he did have very very strong Hindutva views. The only question that remains is did he in any way intentionally try to stop the police from acting or not. At least i do remember that both hindus and muslims died that day. But i cant blame all muslims for it, neither would i blame all hindus for it. But was there anything that Modi could do to stop and save maybe even 1 life and he didnt intentionally do it. I have no proof on either side, it seems all such hear say. But someone overshadowed like this, i hope it gets out completely clear asap. And if congress is guilty it should be punished too. and believing your facts it seems it is being punished.

      Everyone who did something wrong should be punished, Modi or Congress or someone down in the party line.

      But i can assure you, our views would have been very different if someone we knew would have died that days.

  • Devesh

    Article FULL OF CRAP AGAINST MODI.. The Real FACTS & FIGURES are in Comment from Mr Satyam Sharma

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