An Indian view on history, current affairs and politics

June 1, 2023

Why India’s aggressive posturing on Devyani isn’t impressing US

Amid the raging controversy around Devyani issue, India today cleared a defence purchase agreement with US worth 4000 crores. This despite, the unwarranted humiliation of the diplomat and snub from US state department to demands of apology and dropping of charges. They went a step further and denied claims of Indian foreign minister Salman Khusheed of a proposed meeting with John Kerry to sort the issue. The question i’m forced to ask is, is this how a self respecting country registers its protest?

That India has been prone to external manipulation is a known fact but starting 90′s, they actually lost their spine entirely. Barring the NDA rule from 1998-2004, when India showed some strength in its foreign policy dealings, the entire history is littered with shameful cowering before US diktats.India probably is the worst victim of sustained state sponsored terrorism. Thousands of its citizens both military and civilians have met their tragic end at the hands of Pakistan sponsored terrorists. All India did in response was complain to Americans. Pakistan continues to employ political, economic and violent means to sustain a proxy war aimed at bleeding India with thousand cuts. It’s been 21 years since Bombay bomb blasts. 5 years since 26/11 and the master minds are still safe in Pakistan. We continue to complain to Americans. The fact that a key conspirator of 26/11 Headley’s custody is flatly denied by US doesn’t outrage us tells a lot. Pakistan acquired nuclear weapons technology in full US knowledge while we were slapped with rigorous sanction for our indigenous efforts. Yet we deem fit to let Americans police our foreign policy. Kargil was an invasion in our territory yet Clinton had enough leverage on us to enforce a ceasefire. We continue to look towards them whenever we are attacked. Did they do anything? No. Did they pressure us to calm down and act maturely? Yes . Did we learn anything from this ? A big No. It just shows we lack the will and conviction in our abilities to defend ourselves.

One of the most successful ethnic cleansing of modern times happened in Jammu and Kashmir where millions of kashmiri pandits were butchered and force to flee their lands. They became refugees in their own country while the Indian state failed to save them from persecution. The ruling dispensation has found a rather unique way of tackling terrorism. Ignoring the original perpetrators and inventing easier targets to catch. Suddenly all terror attacks are home grown and Saffron terror is the new in thing with government, media and elites despite no proof that it exists. Home Secretary RK Singh during whose tenure Home minister Shinde coined the term Saffron terror denied any such thing exists. Not a single conviction of so called saffron terrorist has been announced yet most of them are languishing in jails for several years some of them not even chargesheeted yet. Soldiers and security personnel are being attacked and butchered internally by Maoists and externally by rampaging Pak based Jehadis and yet debate is not about supporting them but curtailing their powers by removing AFSPA. Self proclaimed human rights activists, foreign funded NGOs, biased media and short sighted politicians are quick to defend Maoist killers calling them Gandhians with guns, appeal for mercy for convicted terrorists but brutally relentless in demonizing security forces insinuating rapes and extra judicial killing by forces. Terrorists like Ishrat Jahan are eulogized called Bihar ki Beti while officers are questioned and Jailed. Sacrifices of officers like Mohan chand Sharma are discarded by calling encounters fake. Politicians, instead of going into their constituency, go to Pakistan for vote bank politics. It shows our rulers have traded the national pride and self respect for vote bank politics of convenience.

Indian soldiers are killed and mutilated, our sovereignty challenged by almost every neighbor and yet we remain mute. Thousands of Indians are rotting in foreign jails and government isn’t bothered to act. Consider this, when Snowden affair came to light India was first to reject his request for immunity. India didn’t even utter a word of protest despite being fifth largest target of US snooping. Brazil, which is a country smaller in economy and military might than India, protested strongly and cancelled a USD 4bn contract which was almost ready for signature. Failure of Indian foreign policy was glaring in recent presidential stand off in Maldives.

Those in the government, parliament and in public who justify India’s anger at Devyani’s humiliation because she was representing India should pause and think for a minute. Was Narendra Modi not representing people of India when US unilaterally denied him a Visa? He is a three term elected chief minister of a state of India yet 65 parliamentarians sent Obama a letter requesting him to deny a visa to Modi. Many were gloating when Wharton school cancelled his speech. It wasn’t just an insult of a Chief Minister but also people of India and Indian justice system  which cleared him of all charges after a decade long  investigation. Baba Ramdev was deliberately insulted by issuing a red alert notice in his name. Former President Abdul Kalam Azad was searched despite having all clearances. The government of India did not see any wrong when political opponents were being insulted. Now they’ve lost the moral authority to outrage. Given the history of Indian stand on issues of domestic, military and international importance the Americans seem convinced, Indians lack the bite to match their bark.