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Published in the 1-15 Apr 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

ISSUES

Well done, Georgie!

By P. Radhakrishnan

The Milli Gazette Online 

The denial of visa to Narendra Modi by the US is a welcome decision. However, its meaning and message do not seem to be clear to the opportunistic politicians who still rule India. Otherwise, what is the need for the Government of India to issue a statement that it will take up the matter with the US, then take up the matter with the US Embassy, and despite the convincing explanation given by the Embassy, ask it to reconsider the issue? 

Does the Government of India issue press statements on and take up with the US government denial of visas to all Indian citizens, leave alone a communal killer and purveyor of communal hate? Obviously, there is a chip in the arm of the UPA government; and its slip is clearly showing. Its actions are worse than, though comparable to, the appeal of the pseudo-secular Congress rulers at the Centre to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa, to go "soft" on the Sankaracharya, albeit both may be disingenuous and only for public consumption.

I was one of the many signatories to a petition against any reception to Modi in the US, and I am happy that the US took note of the concerns of discerning citizens, particularly Indians in different parts of the world.

If the Government of India persists with the policy of running with the hare and hunting with the hound [or whatever the appropriate phraseology may be], it will only embolden the many Modis in this largest democracy of the world.

How can political parties with secular postures now supposed to be ruling at the Centre, explain the present pro-Modi stand? Rather than feeling happy that the US has done something good in India that the Government of India could not do, why is the Government of India persisting with political opportunism?

While on the Modi issue, I am tempted to exhort many other countries to follow the example of George Bush, and deny him and his coterie access to their countries for the Bush and Company's devastation of and genocide in Iraq, and many other countries. If what Georgie has done results in a global trigger rebounding on the US, apart from helping to correct the distortions that have crept into countries like India, Georgie will also be using his action to clean his own Augean Stables. That will be a small retribution to his misdeeds.

The writer is a professor at MIDS, Chennai, prk@mids.ac.in

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