Saturday, April 1st, 2023 01:22:16

Uncivilised steps

Updated: February 19, 2011 11:04 am

Some people can be really impossible. At least they can be unreasonably unreasonable. For instance, Satiricus recalls reputed columnist Brahma Chellany once writing that the only way to deal with Pakistani terrorists was to repay them in their own coin. That is, if their attack was stealthy, our response must be as stealthy; if they use unconventional and covert ways and means, we must adopt ways and means that are equally covert and unconventional; on top of this, if they come here to destroy us, we must go there to destroy them.

                Fortunately our secularly wise government did not do anything so absurd. For they are already wielding a unique weapon to demolish Pakistani terrorism—the dossier. How many deadly dossiers have been showered on the poor Pakistanis so far? Satiricus has lost count, but he is sure the Pakistanis who read them must be bored to death. Such a civilized way of assuring the death of Pakistani terrorism, no?

                Anyway, we now have another gentleman preaching similar uncivilized steps in another direction, China. It is senior BJP lender and former Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha. Apropos the latest Chinese map claiming 16,000 km of Indian territory as belonging to China, he says in diplomacy, as in physics, action and reaction should be equal and opposite. That is, India’s answer to what he so crassly calls cartographic aggression should be a tit-for-tat map. He says, “There are areas which China claims as its own and which we have always shown as part of Chinese territory. There is no reason why we should not show it as somebody else’s.”

                Good God! He is actually instigating mice to behave like men. Could anything be more unreasonable? Satiricus doubts. Fortunately for us mice, when he talked of “areas” claimed by China, he forgot to produce the long list of areas that China has been claiming for more than 50 years. Such a list is actually on record (along with a corresponding map) in a book titled A brief history of modern China, published in China in 1954. The list contains as many as 19 claimed areas, including Indian territories of Ladakh, Noth-east, Assam, Andaman, and Sikkim; plus Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Malaya, Singapore, Thailand, Indo-China, and Korea; as well as parts of Soviet Russia, both banks of Amu river, two islands of Japan, a Philippines island group, and a Russian island. (Tibet had already been made China by that time.)

                Did we say anything about any one these claims? Of course not. Why not? Because we don’t want to spoil the delightful diplomatic relationship between India and China—the same delicious relationship that exists between a mouse and a mouser (as the Americans call a cat).

Novel idea

Join the Youth Congress and get a vacation at a hill resort. Satiricus recalls reading a newspaper heading like this not long back. Well now, what do you know? The Youth Congress leader of today seems to have come up with the right idea for the youth of today. Now that the pastime of politics can legitimately become a vacation time “time-pass”, Satiricus would not be surprised to see Youth Congress membership shooting up to full occupancy of all hill resorts in India that is blessed Bharat.

                Anyway, joining a political party (rather, THE political party) as vacation-time service of the country is really a novel idea. For when the vacation is over one can go back to the real purpose of politics—making millions by hook or crook, mostly by crook. Only the other day Satiricus had read an article titled “Politics is a lucrative business”. Why, it is so fantastically lucrative that ministers in a certain state keep note-counting machines to calculate the money they make per day. And if we have more states—as everybody seems to want—we will need more ministers, and if we have more ministers we will need more note-counting machines, right ? Finally, how long will it be before our politicians in power change over from note-counting machines to note-printing machines? Satiricus wonders.

Unpatriotic thoughts

Satiricus has been told that second thoughts are saner thoughts. He begs to differ. Take the case of this project of Navodaya schools for Rajiv Gandhi’s birthday. As these schools had come up during Rajiv’s prime ministership, the government official in charge of them first issued a directive ordering that every school was to prepare a sort of green corner on its lawn where a statue of Rajiv was to be installed. There are 570 Navodaya schools across the country, so there were to be 570 such Rajiv statues across the country. Over and above this, the Navodaya Vidyalaya Old Boys’ Association was to rename itself “Rajivites”.

                Satiricus was of course thrilled. But what happened? The said Rajiv bhakta suddenly got second thoughts, withdrew the order, and issued a fresh one saying no Rajiv statues to be installed, only saplings to be planted. Now, can such second thoughts be called saner thoughts? Of course not. In fact they are unpatriotic thoughts. For have we not heard Congressmen saying apropos Bhopal that saying anything against Rajiv was “unpatriotic”? Then is not doing something—like deciding against his statues— much more unpatriotic than saying something? Clearly something needs to be done to stop this fall in the standards of patriotism. And who but the “Rajivites” to do it? Or have Rajivites been succeeded by Rahulites?

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