Saturday, July 23, 2005

Prime Minister's loose talk

One of the undesirable habits the Indian Prime Minister has picked up recently is to indulge in loosetalk!! His recent statements regarding Pakistan in his interviews to the US media are reminiscent of the past and should have been avoided at best.

Agreed he has expressed his views candidly in response to questions, but I wonder whether they are in conformance with India's foreign policy objectives. We no longer have to highlight Pakistan's misdemeanors to the world. Pakistan is already on the mat and Manmohan Singh is only withering away the recent goodwill generated between India and Pakistan by indulging in such Pakistan bashing.

That apart his statement about the feasibility of the Iran gas pipeline is really atrocious. Mani Shankar Aiyar is putting in tremendous effort to realize this project and more importantly until now both India and Pakistan had shown no inclination to bow to US pressure. But by casting doubts on the project right here in the United States, the Prime Minister has shocked everyone. His statement has really left a bad taste. I hope it was not the epitaph for the pipeline project.

While receiving his honary doctorate from Oxford University recently, he seems to have made statements praising the British rule in India. Although we should not make a fuss about this, I wonder what was the necessity to make such a speech. Strangely he doesn't find the need to comment on the fatwa issued against Imraana. (Oh.. he seems to have a become "secular" politician alright!).

And finally what was that "Not one of our 150 million muslims has joined the Al-Qaeda" nonsense? Am I to believe that Kashmiri militants, SIMI activists, Dawood Ibrahim, Al-Umma are all saints? Curiously a day after his "certificate" to Indian Muslims, one Mohammed Afroz was convicted by a Mumbai court for his Al-Qaeda links. I seem to forget that saying...was it... Foot in the mouth...


Anonymous said...

A man should voice his views, if he is the PM it does not mean he is is speaking for the country.

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Balaji said...

Thanks for the comments although I can hardly understand what the second comment is about!! "If he is the PM it does not mean he is speaking for the country" - Well!, a prime minister on an official tour not speaking on behalf of the nation......not sure whether I can accept that!


Anonymous said...

Incorrect assumption about the PM. If you had read the full speech given my the Honorable Prime Minister of India at Oxford, you would appreciate the wisdom of the man.
Here is the classic speech given at Oxford.


Balaji said...

Yep! I find nothing wrong with the speech. I must confess I hadn't read the speech but only heard of the controversy through the media. But this wasn't the smoking gun for my blog. I maintain his statements in the united states were immature and out of place. Particularly the one about "Pakistan's nuclear arsenal getting into Terrorist hands" when the ink had not dried on the Indo-US nuclear agreement was very cheap.


Anonymous said...

Let us review the comments, shall we?

> That apart his statement about the
> feasibility of the Iran gas
> pipeline is really atrocious.

I happen to agree with the PM simply because the pipeline passes through Pakistan. Let there be no misconception that this is toeing the American Line. India has always had strong ties with Iran and I see no reason why that should not continue.
But having a pipeline through Pakistan? Our sworn enemy? Alright, the relations are pretty good now...But what happens after another dec 13 or another hijack? We have a standoff and Pakistan cuts off the pipeline? Ouch! Energy is critical infrastructure of the far as I am concerned. What about the insurance firms? What are they betting on - The superb India-Pakistan relationship seen in the past 6 decades?
Come on...pipeline through Pakistan? come on...(mind you, we capricornians are always practical)

>And finally what was that "Not one >of our 150 million muslims has >joined the Al-Qaeda" nonsense? Am I >to believe that Kashmiri militants, >SIMI activists, Dawood Ibrahim, >Al-Umma are all saints?

Alright, I agree, this is a joke/farce. But then as an elected leader of the nation, can he say otherwise? He can't label indian muslims as terrorists - he will be ripped apart in the India democracy setup.
Its a fine line, isnt it?

Anonymous said...

Ok. The Prime-Minister is letting me down here...His recent comments on Vajpayee's thoughts on the US-India Nuclear deal was stupid.

Vajpayee's had made good observations and asked interesting questions on the recent US-India Nuclear deal.

I won't defend Mr. Singh here.

Balaji said...'ve just robbed me of the story for my next blog!


GuNs said...

I think Mannu is the sissiest prime minister we ever had. Don't ask me to justify that statement because I just don't feel the need to. I'd be happier if Jaspal Bhatti was our PM - he seems to have more wit/brains.