Friday, 2 November 2007

Manipulating Perceptions--for whose benefit?

It appears that the Left has convinced the Congress to go slow on 123, by stating that its pro-US policies have alienated Indian Muslims. However, as this article makes it clear, India has not transformed itself into a US stooge--it has simply not been confrontational when dealing with the US. In fact, as Mr. Prem Shankar Jha states, we’ve refused to send troops to Iraq in 2003, continued to fund the Palestinian Authority once Hamas took over, and insisted that Iran be dealt with by the IAEA on the issue of concealing its nuclear programme without raising our voice or banging our shoes (a la Khrushchev) in the UN General Assembly. Since the Left understands nothing other than rhetoric and confrontation, they see this as being soft on the US! The US, in turn, needs a democratic South Asian country with the second largest Muslim population that has not yet turned fundamentalist in large numbers, on its side. They are prepared now, as they were not in the Cold War years, to listen to India’s objections to their foreign policy moves.


However, the Left in general and Comrade Karat in particular are revealing their true colors--they’re very concerned that the growing closeness between the US and India will isolate China, "the most powerful socialist country....". What I find very puzzling in all this is--surely Comrade Karat and members of his party are Indian citizens? Then why this concern for China, which is "socialist" only in name? Capitalism, albeit with a communist face, is the new buzzword in China, which does not hesitate to ally itself with any group or regime that will provide it sufficient energy resources to feed its economy. In fact, only a few months ago, the US was doing its best to wean China away from supporters of the Janjaweed militia! The reason why the West is so concerned about China’s economic clout is because of the dismal Chinese record on human rights.


And talking about manipulating perceptions, there’s the story about some child laborers being liberated from an embroidery workshop in Shahpur Jat.Many of the children rescued come from some of the poorest areas in India(including districts in West Bengal--ruled by a Left Front government over the last 22 years)--one of the children said that he did not enjoy the work, but he saw no future, because his parents could not afford to feed him. Can the government provide food, clothing, suitable homes, and education for these children? If not, what happens to these children rescued from sweatshops? Where do they end up? Many child laborers end up working in fireworks factories--in fact, 11 have been hurt in a fire that erupted in such a factory in Hyderabad.

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