‘‘His Master’s Voice’’

Modi government's latest act of cringing before the USA and its strategic ally, Japan, is sickening in its nudity as is its retreat before the Chinese in respect of Doklam. Doklam is a small plateau on the Sino-Bhutanese border and hence its future is a matter to be settled exclusively by Bhutan and China, the Government of India having no business in intervening in it by sending troops to that area. But it, posing itself as Bhutan's grand daddy, sent troops to Doklam, and tried to convert the Sino-Bhutanese dispute to a dispute between India and China. This was followed by the boastful claim about India's military capability. The Indian troops have been withdrawn, but the Chinese are continuing with their work of road-building, thus falsifying the assertion of the Home minister that the Indian troops withdrew because the Chinese had done so. Obviously, the lie had to be uttered in order to placate Hindu chauvinists who might otherwise have been exasperated by this retreat. While Bhutan calls it Doka-lam, China claims it as part of its Donglang region. As per China's assertion the Sikkim section of boundary was defined by the 1890 convention between Britain and China.

Now another round of war hysteria against the Chinese is being fomented, although that will in all probability prove to be a self-defeating measure. Another farcical move is to issue, jointly with the Japanese Prime Minister an appeal to North Korea to stop the latter's nuclear experiments. North Korea, however, is not going to oblige them. One is tempted to recall that after the devastation of Iraq in 2002 on the false pretext of accumulation of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hossain and the UNO's impotent role, the US spokesmen boastfully announced that their next target would be North Korea and Iran. Forget about the war in 1952, in which one third of the population of DPRK was killed by the US forces by carpet bombing. Leaders of the DPRK have over time built up their nuclear arsenal so that they could defend themselves against the USA. Their boldness in defying US intimidation has caught Donald Trump on a wrong foot. The Modi government has made it clear which side it (and its nationalism) is on. It thinks that by appeasing Donald Trump and his Japanese allies, it would be able to fulfil its promises to the people. What it can, however, do at most is to kill some innocent Muslims and dalits in the name of Hindutva which, as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh has recently asserted, is synonymous in his eyes with development. But happily enough, this is not going to be accepted so easily because there is no dearth of well-meaning people in this country even in these days of degradation of moral values.

Vol. 50, No.22, Dec 3 - 9, 2017