Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The reported threat of the Prime Minister to resign if the Indo-US Nuclear Deal is not operationalised has set the cat among some really big rats. They fear the cat alright but believe that they have enough bulk to shoo it away if they collectively face it without looking or sounding aggressive or threatening in any manner.

The last few days have seen endless political parleys among all the top leaders of the ruling United Progressive Alliance(UPA) to get them individually and collectively out of the terrible insecurity that the threat of the Prime Minister has thrown them into all of a sudden. Last year, they had rather quickly put Dr Manmohan Singh into the defeated hole of solitary confinement when he had first staked his personal prestige for the deal. No one had then even imagined that this wounded, defeated, clawless cat would ever have the courage to take them on again. Now that he has, confusion and panic has gripped everyone.

No alliance partner has had the courage to disagree with the PM publicly; they all know that doing so at this stage will be worse than committing hara kiri. But, to them deal or no deal is of virtually no significance. All that matters is that they should not have to get out of power even a day too soon.

A Hindi news channel aptly described the hypocrisy and bottomless greed of India’s politicians when it said that while they all were vociferously supporting the Prime Minister on the deal, they were only concerned about the ‘Malai’(milk cream) that they can keep skimming off, (mostly illegally and under the table, it may be added) for as long as possible while they are in power. So, they first tried very hard to get the commies to give up their opposition to the deal so that the government could stay in power for a few more months. When, predictably they failed, they tried to con the PM by pretending that though they were solidly with him for the deal, they felt that this was not the time to go for elections, given the soaring prices that have hit the common man. Another classic excuse was that any ’weakening’ of the UPA at this stage will strengthen communal forces! Who are you fooling guys?

Commies have stuck to their sordid anti national stance(I will not hypocritically call it anything else) based ostensibly on their ideology based pathological hatred for the US. China shed that cloak decades ago; our commies continue to feel compelled to remain more Maoist than even the only-in-name commies of what was once Mao-land but is something else altogether now. Look at the new low level in their political behaviour. When they found that the Samajwadi Party(SP) might support the government on the nuclear deal and thereby give gasping rats fresh oxygen and help them survive without the commies, they unleashed another really dirty weapon: the Muslim card.

MK Pandhe, politburo member of the Communist Party of India(Marxist) has warned the SP of a Muslim backlash if it supports the deal. In addition to being friends of China, they have become friends of Muslims too. The so called secular commies have needlessly communalised an issue which involves national interest above and beyond these dangerously divisive dimensions. Their communal face is actually not new, despite the camouflage of ideology. Everyone in Bengal knows how they have quietly encouraged Bangladeshis to settle down in West Bengal as Indian citizens, solely for the purpose of ensuring their electoral victory.

The use of the hitherto almost unheard of Muslim opposition to the deal to frighten not just the SP but even the Congress - both target Muslims as their major vote banks - is one more example of the disgraceful level to which Indian politicians can shamelessly stoop to, to not just fan but even create dangerous fault lines for electoral gain. And they keep doing this again and again even though they know only too well that once created, these fault lines get only bigger and bigger, and never ever disappear.

Mainstream Indian Muslims have never raised a voice against the deal. Even fundamentalist Muslim groups have by and large been muted. The main reason for the latter being quiet is the fact that Pakistan itself had lobbied hard for such a deal with the US unsuccessfully! How can a deal which Pakistan wants in its national interest be opposed by them for their own country? Knowing all this has not stopped our commies from using this potentially incendiary card that will only encourage Muslim fundamentalists who are literally engaged in a religious war, including that of terror, with the Indian state. Perhaps all that concerns the commies now is that playing this card may help in keeping their own carefully cultivated and strengthened Muslim vote bank intact.

The net upshot of this unbecoming battle for Malai and Muslims is that one more quite disgraceful solution has been found just to remain in power. Manmohan Singh will be allowed to save face by sealing the safeguards agreement with the IAEA and the commies will be kept happy by not thereafter allowing the government to operationalise the deal with the US!

This clever tactic, these astute, always hungry political rats calculate, will give them enough time to have their full quota of Malai and also keep intact their imaginary against-the-deal Muslim votes! Who cares what happens after the next elections when they are sure that they will not be back in any case! Who cares too that the whole international community is laughing its guts out at them, the so called leaders of a country which shouts that it deserves to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council!

If ever Manmohan Singh needed to show to us Indians, indeed the world, that he is much more than just an outstanding economist, that he is a real leader of character and substance, the kind India wants but does not have, this is his real chance, the last one he will get. Let us hope he does not sink into the sea of Malai that others are swimming in. What can be worse for him than to be counted as one with them, particularly when he has never even tasted the much coveted Malai?