This has to be the most disgustingly sycophantic article I’ve ever come across till date. If anything, Mr.Jha seems to be hell-bent on making Sonia madam the Prime Minister of India and thereby guarantee the tyrannical dynastic democracy that plagued India for 50+ years and reduced it to what it is today. It’s a masterpiece, a collector’s item in the art of shameless flattery.
Reading it without any prior knowledge of Indian politics and post-independence history would give an impression that Sonia Gandhi is a saint. Our Mr.Jha places her in the league of Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Theresa. One clarification: I reserve my views on MT for later, but I do respect Gandhiji for his services to our country as a patriot whatever his faults maybe. To top it, our man ambitiously titles his trash as "Who is an Indian?" while he doesn’t answer the question at all. I suppose, like his employer, Mr.Vinod Mehta, Jha too is on the Congress payroll. This article reads like Congress propaganda.
Why? Here goes:
Opinion polls have shown that support for the nda has been slipping?and that for the Congress rising?over the past three years.
Generalizations galore, a patent of Outlook’s articles. Which "Opinion Poll?" The ones conducted by Outlook? The less said the better about them. We all saw what the "Opinion Poll" on Gujarat elections predicted, and what turned out in reality.
Tavleen Singh, columnist of The Indian Express, who said yet again last Sunday, in her usual forthright manner, that she felt insulted by the prospect of having a ‘foreign’ prime minister. Tavleen’s comment made me sit up and think. I too would be outraged if I were to find myself ruled by a foreign prime minister. But is Sonia Gandhi foreign? Try as I might, I simply cannot see how she is.
Jha, like you, Tavleen too has her right to voice her opinion. Why be so patronizing to her instead of logically arguing out your case? What has she say, and how do you understand what is meant by this:
She (Sonia) has definitely become more Indian were among the more analytical comments I heard with, extraordinary though this may sound, not a single person commenting on what she actually said. So, her presence as our political alternative number one has diminished public discourse so much that qualifications for our next prime minister are reduced to an ability to speak Hindi and an ability to be confident and Indian. Surely being a confident Indian with an ability to speak Hindi should be considered pre-qualifications and not qualifications but the comments I quote above come not from street vox populi but from retired military men, serving bureaucrats and aspiring political pundits." And she has also said this, which you have dismissed with a wave of your hand, "But, despite my fundamental objections to a foreigner being Prime Minister of India, I like to think of myself as a fair person and am always ready to give Sonia a chance. " Read the full text of Tavleen Singh’s article. Unlike you, Mr.Jha, Tavleen Singh has backed up her assertions with facts straight from the horse’s mouth. On your other point, you of course cannot see her as a foreigner simply because I suspect she’s paid you for not seeing. For a person who was forced to obtain an Indian citizenship–a mere 5-6 years ago–because she wanted to contest the elections, don’t you think saying this is shameful on your part–if you have any shame, that is.
…are the million-plus people from India who now live and work in the US and Canada Indians?
This is but the beginning of an insidious assertion of all writers of his ilk–Bidwullah, Pritish Nandy, Arundhati Roy, Kuldip Nayar–that NRI=despicable, RI=good, patriotic, all based on assumptions and prejudices. The pattern is the same: start with a general averment that NRIs are somehow "unpatriotic" and then proceed to trash them. But tell me, Jha, why aren’t they Indians? Gimme a good reason, Jha boy, one good reason.
Barring the very rare exception, they can hardly claim to be contributing to India’s gnp or to its pool of knowledge and enterprise.
I’m aware that several NRIs read my blog fairly regularly. I’ll let them answer this question.
Not one of these, to my knowledge, has come back to India and offered his expertise on the quiet to the Indian government, let alone spied for it as Israelis and Chinese scientists have done for their countries of origin.But against these one needs to weigh the fact that the Congress is more united today than it has been at any time since the days of Indira Gandhi….that the unity has been obtained not by inspiring fear, but through tact and consideration
Partly agree. But why don’t you ask yourself why they haven’t done so? Precisely because the party you love the most, when it was in power, drove them out of India in the first place. You now want them to come back forsaking the countries that gave them recognition, respect and wealth. The Sanskrit verse, "Janani Janmabhoomisca Swargadapi Gariyasi" (Mother and Motherland are greater than Heaven itself) was proved false post-independence in the land of its origin. Which Prime Minister, which leader of the successive governments has inspired patriotism, in the strain of Bhagat Singh, Netaji, or Azad? But I digress.
By the same token, was Mother Teresa a foreigner? Admittedly, she was born in the Balkans, and came to India via Belgium. But no one since Mahatma Gandhi has poured forth his or her love, caring and compassion on India’s poor and needy, as she did.
Mother Theresa? I wouldn’t call her a "saint." I admit she’s done good work, charity, etc., but in face of plenty of unsettled opposition, I wouldn’t call her that. Educate yourself, Mr.Jha. For starters, read this and this and this. Jha is a skilful writer, a master builder of seductive arguments that lead to fool the reader. If we follow on this train, it leads us to this:
It is not the accident of birth that determines nationality, but the positive, unstinting commitment of one’s adult life. One has absolutely no control over the former, but a large measure of control over the latter. By that measure the NRIs/PIOs in North America do not qualify as Indians. Mother Teresa did. So does Sonia Gandhi.
Bravo! How’s that?? In one stroke, our man has denounced all NRIs as NOT (not "Non Resident," the difference is significant) Indians, plus has elevated Sonia Gandhi, a self-serving politician as all others in our country are, to the status of "uplifter of the poor and downtrodden," and an "apostle of non-violence." But he’s careful not to go overboard, as he says,
Mrs Gandhi is not in the same league as Mother Teresa, but no one can deny the depths of her attachment and her commitment to this country
Ah! but she may not be a saint after all, but she’s "deeply committed," poor lady, she deserves our affection, whatever her faults are, let’s make her the PM.
She gave up her country decades ago to live in a strange land because of her love for her husband;
Really? Who wouldn’t? Who could ask for a better catch than Rajiv Gandhi, the then all-powerful Indira’s son? What was her stature? A waitress. No, I don’t say that a waitress’ job is demeaning or undignified or whatever, but given a choice, the elder Mrs.Gandhi wouldn’t have "arranged" her son’s marriage with a waitress–Indian or otherwise. Love for her husband? I’m no one to comment on that, but I’d like Mr.Prem Shankar Jha to remember two things in light of this, and his earlier note on her "attachment and commitment." One, during the Indo-Pak war of 1971, the selfsame Sonia packed her bags off to Italy, along with hubby and kids, in fear. She repeated the same exercise–but this time, she fled to the Italian Embassy in New Delhi–when the elder Mrs.Gandhi lost the elections. Speaks a lot about "commitment and attachment," doesn’t it?
…her children are Indian by birth and race and they have not become NRIs
Jha, aren’t you ever-so-subtle in your NRI-bashing? Should we interpret this as "thank God, they’ve not become NRIs!," and "Shame on them that they’ve become NRIs?"
She did not want to enter politics, but did so in January 1998 only when the party faced imminent disintegration.
Balls! Whom are you trying to kid? Agree she took a loooong time to give her consent. And she didn’t do so because she wanted to "save" "the party." It’s precisely because the shameless, cringing, and sterile Sitaram Kesari licked her feet, begging her to bestow her grace on the party with grand promises of Prime Ministership that she came in. I still remember what I had thought: they’re all the same.
She thus saved not only the party but the bipartisanship of Indian politics that is its surest safeguard against the tyranny of a majority. Her contribution to India is thus already inestimable.
Tyranny? If anybody, it was the Emergency, clamped by the very Congress you worship so ardently that set the precedent for tyranny. Why do you want to go on mouthing bullshit like this despite being faced with stark facts? Inestimable? That’s rich! Hail Sonia, the new Indira Gandhi! It was India=Indira then, do we want to see India=Sonia? Inestimable how? I repeat, isn’t there any man–Indian–worth his salt to stand up and take leadership of the Congress? Why do the Congressmen still want to suck up to that dynasty that has visited more harm than good on the country? Hang on, Jha isn’t done yet! The juicy bit comes now:
There are some drawbacks to not being Indian-born. Sonia Gandhi may lack the gut instinct for Indian politics that her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi had. She has a limited knowledge of Indian languages and dialects that restricts her contact with ordinary people beyond what is dictated by concern for her security. And she is camera shy. All this tends to create a shortage of leadership at crucial moments when a worried public wants reassurance, or to hear another point of view.
Ahh! I’m touched to the core! But liar Jha says she’s camera shy. How come I see footage given to her on every other channel, every other day? Maybe that’s his definition of her camera-shyness. And no, I’m not worried–well, actually, I am worried at the Return of the Dynasty. The same caste-vote-bank politics, the same stifling bureaucracy (as if we’re not suffering enough already), the same cycle of appeasement, lies and corruption. And I’ve heard the "other point of view" for about 15 years as my parents have for about 40+ years.
What unity are you talking about, moron? Haven’t you heard of the ongoing inhouse feud between Karunakaran and Antony in Kerala? Or the repeated attempts at dethroning S.M. Krishna in Karnataka, led now by Jaffer Sharief and again by the likes of H.K.Patil? Or the erstwhile fiasco in Maharashtra? Maybe the recent crisis in Rajasthan is another indicator? Tact? Consideration? All the Congress "leaders" are but impotent eunuchs (double-adjective, but truly deserving) who can’t muster spine enough to take the lead of the party.
It is true that, despite the unprecedented mobility bestowed upon the world’s population by globalisation, a majority of the countries of the world, including several of the richest and most modern, still determine nationality on the basis of birth and race. But this has already become something of an anachronism and is becoming more so every day.
Huh? How else would you like to determine your citizenship? What would you write in the column, "Nationality" in say, any Government application form? What would you write, Mr.Jha? "World-citizen?" Anachronism? Please care to explain how and why it is an anachronism? As long as countries exist, geographical borders exist, birth happens to be one of the chief criteria for determining your nationality. Try come with a convincing alternative and we’ll work out the logistics together.
India shares with only a few other countries the distinction of being fairly open and tolerant towards ‘foreigners’. This is not a recent development but goes back more than two millennia, and is born of the fact that most Indians can trace their roots to one or the other of numerous waves of immigration-cum-invasion from the steppes of central Asia.
Don’t talk about things which you don’t know, or even if you do know, don’t lie. Haven’t you heard about the decades-ago-debunked theory of the (in)famous Aryan Invasion Theory? Or do you still share the Red School of Lies chaired by Dean Romila Thapar?
The culture that has developed in our country is therefore tolerant almost to a fault. This was demonstrated by the people of constituencies in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh who voted Sonia Gandhi into Parliament in the last election.
On this, I can’t dispute you, nay, I couldn’t agree with you more! The very fact that we still tolerate you spouting nonsense like this proves the fact. Karnataka because the previous government was miserable, and people had no other choice. I can safely say today, that the Krishna government is worse than the ones that preceded it and our CM is sure to lose the elections this time around. The less you speak about UP, the better. And where does Sonia Gandhi stand for, during the elections? Like all politicians, from rural constituencies where votes can be bought for a song.
Congress spokesmen cannot therefore keep on claiming that the last parliamentary elections showed Sonia Gandhi’s foreignness to be a ‘non-issue’. It is an issue and needs to be tackled head-on.
Ah! the Grand Finale! The Clarion Call: Indian Congressmen of the World, Unite! Bring back pseudo-secularism to power! Jha, this made for a copy pamphlet, a commendable job. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
However, just one doubt remains: You’ve never asked the question you posted: Who is an Indian?
PS: Shanti, can you add this man to your Moron Watch list?