Two incidents in a row within 48 hours expose the vacuity of the ‘equal partnership’ between the United States and India — President Barack Obama’s unprecedented remarks as to how India’s rulers should run the country’s economy so that US business interests are also served, and, secondly, the shooting incident involving the US Navy killing one Indian and injuring four others.
A consistent trait of Indian behavioural trait all through its feudal history — except perhaps the Buddhist and Mughal periods — comes into view : reserve your kicks to defenceless underlings but unfailingly submit to superior force. The leaderships of neither of the two major political parties in India has bothered to even voice a judicious opinion on the ‘incidents’.
As for the murder of an Indian national by the US Navy, it is a highly condemnable and reprehensible act
. Yet, Congress and BJP lack the integrity to say so. The conclusion must be drawn that these ‘national parties do not want to be spotted as upfront criticising the US.
The government also chickened out. All that External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna would say was that the incident was ‘unfortunate’. Now, Krishna would know he chose the mildest possible form of disapproval in diplomacy. Is that all he could muster to say — ‘unfortunate’? That is, even after the US openly admitted that its navy personnel were involved in the act of homicide.
The government’s reaction is bureaucratic. The South Block made a demarche with the UAE government and will now expect a response. Meanwhile, Pentagon has already taken a view in the matter, which is that the US personnel did nothing wrong.
Curiously, at the same time, they also say they will be transparent in eventually sharing the result of their investigation.
That is, the US will share with us how they unilaterally arrived at a judgment within 24 hours of the incident. Presumably, the UAE authorities will also dutifully pass on the same version to us. Thereafter, we can close the file, isn’t it?
Contrast the Indian authorities’ handling of a similar case of the killing of two Indian fishermen by the Italian Navy in February. The Italians are still adamant that it took place in international waters but we insisted it was nonetheless a “cold-blooded killing.” We wouldn’t even undertake a joint investigation with the Italians.
The conclusion that needs to be drawn is that our elites have established social traits dating back to our feudal history. They will be gutsy with Italy (or Denmark) but they dare not cross the path with the US.
The BJP spokesperson promptly demanded that India should seek an ‘apology’ from the US. Pray, apology for what? is that all that a political party that takes pride in Indian nationalism can think of?
Congress Party has even less to say — in fact, it said nothing. How can India aspire to be a global power when the political class is so confused about what constitutes national honor, fair play and justice?
Posted in Diplomacy, Politics.
– July 18, 2012