While an independent country is respected, even if small, a country that is under the control of another is treated with disdain, no matter what its size. Hamid Karzai, the formal head of government in Afghanistan, has to get clearance from NATO for every major decision he takes, and several minor ones as well. And of course, NATO relies overwhelmingly on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the two ?experts? on the ?Muslim World?.
Small wonder that the only thing that the international media concentrates on is Karzai'scloak. For all other matters concerning Afghanistan, they need to contact the NATO commanders and their political superiors. Similar is the case of Iraq, where for two months the elected parliament was unable to generate a government, because the new masters of Iraq, the US and the UK, did not approve of Ibrahim Al Jaafari as the head of the new administration. The reason is clearly that Al Jaafari is not as pliant as a Karzai or an Allawi.
Today, there is a third country that has joined Iraq and Afghanistan in their present status of newly-colonised countries, and this is the Republic of India. Today'sUPA government?under the orders of Sonia Gandhi and her chosen instrument, Manmohan Singh?functions as a tributary of Washington. George W. Bush is a generous man, and he has given chosen favourites such as the UK and Germany an important voice in the council of government in India. Another country with substantial influence over India is Italy, but this country of course does not need the US to take care of its interests in India. The UPA itself does the job, for reasons that the Indian media never discuss.
?Coincidentally?, two cabinet ministers known to be against the unipolar world view followed by South Block have been turfed out, one from his job, the other from a sensitive portfolio. Entirely accidently, it turns out that both of Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran'soffspring are in the US, while one of Montek Singh Ahluwalia'sis, the other being in London. Naturally, while one of the daughters of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh jet sets, the other is based in?where else??the US. And as for ?India?s? envoy to the US, Ronen Sen, information from Washington suggests that one of his children has already become a US citizen, while the other is well on the way to that particular nirvana. The list of foreign connections of leading lights in the UPA government would fill a telephone directory.
Small wonder that the steady growth of Maoist enclaves and the increasing temerity of the jehadis do not worry them. After all, they can always go away to the homes of the children and other close relatives who have sworn allegiance to alien flags. It is people like us?who do not have close relatives who are foreign nationals?who are at risk as the country begins to crumble. While in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the US and its allies had to go to war to control the governments in Kabul and Baghdad, in India all it has taken are a list of Swiss bank account numbers and a few Green Cards to achieve the same result.
Looking at the way the UPA has transformed a free country into a colony in two years, it is not surprising why India became enslaved for over a thousand years. Provided independence is taken away in bits and pieces, there is no protest, nor even notice. And this is what is taking place now. The country'sfreedom of action is being taken away in thin slices, like the Japanese method of kaizen.
Today, it is seen as ?normal? for the union government to ignore the role of the Pakistan army in the killing of Hindus in Doda, and for the Prime Minister to sit down for discussions with individuals who have for two decades backed the jehadis. It is seen as ?natural? for the Prime Minister to hand over the future energy security of India to the mercy of the US Congress. Once the country goes in for $20 billion worth of atomic power plants from the US and its allies, and becomes dependent on fuel from those sources, the country'seconomy can be shut down by Washington and its allies at any time, by simply turning off the nuclear fuel tap, the way they did at Tarapur. One needs to congratulate Sonia Gandhi.
Even the Left parties have become accomplices in the handover of India to an outside power Sonia Gandhi may not have the qualities that some see in her, at least on record. But she has remained true to her core beliefs since she settled in India in the 1960s. Although she talks loud and long about ?her? family (meaning the Nehrus), the fact is that relatives from Rajiv'sside of the family tree are almost never seen in 10 Janpath, much less staying there as guests the way those from her side of the fence do. A list of Sonia Gandhi'shouse guests over the past years would illustrate the enormous distance between her and ?her? family. It is easier for a diplomat from a western embassy to gain access to 10 Janpath than it is for a member of the Union Cabinet, if one excludes those who haunt her ante-room, such as H.R. Bharadwaj and Suresh Pachauri.
Small wonder that Manmohan Singh?who openly tells his staff that he cannot take decisions without clearance from ?Madam??has converted India into as obedient a poodle of alien interests as Afghanistan and Iraq. Whether it is the former foreign ministers Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul and Natwar Singh in New Delhi, or Ibrahim Al Jafaari in Baghdad, those blackballed by Washington and its NATO allies have zero chance of remaining in high office. From now onwards, the best way to preferment in India is through the resident US envoy, as Sonia Gandhi has secluded herself from most of the natives.
If any proof is needed that India has become insignificant, it can be found in Kathmandu. The King of Nepal refused to even see the Foreign Secretary of India, and even for relative, Karan Singh, he spared only a mealtime slot. On the other hand, there is time aplenty for even junior officials from the US, as King Gyanendra knows exactly who is in charge in New Delhi. There is no need to waste time on Shyam Saran when it is Nicholas Burns who calls the shots in the MEA, as has been made clear by the ministry'sinterventions within the DAE to force through acceptance of the US position on issues connected with the nuclear deal. Or the PMO and the MEA'sadopting the US position on Siachen, as opposed to that favoured by the Army.
Of course, even the NDA had elements that had allowed outside influences to dominate, as for example when the Bangladesh Rifles tortured and killed several BSF personnel. Not only was there no retaliatory action taken, a smear campaign was launched to make it appear as though it was the BSF that was to blame for being killed. Similarly, after Doda, there has not been a word of condemnation for the ISI, which is still masterminding the insurgency in Kashmir, Pervez Musharraf knows that Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh are his best bet for prising loose the Kashmir Valley from India, and to accelerate the takeover of Jammu and Ladakh by elements who have inflitrated from the Pakistan side.
Hundreds of jehadis are now being allowed to re-enter the Valley, after ?promising? to renounce violence. Indications are that it is a cohort of such returnees who was responsible for Doda. If so, the charge of murder can be laid at the door of those in New Delhi who are looking the other way while a steady flow of fanatics crosses back freely into that part of Kashmir still nominally in Indian control. In bits and pieces, Indian interests are being first compromised and then surrendered. Today, one fifth of the districts in the country are in the control of Maoists. Key areas on the international borders of UP, West Bengal and Assam are in the control of jehadi fanatics. Ten years from now, even as the UPA'sleaders enjoy their peaceful existence in the US and Europe, the country will look like Nepal today. There too, civil society did not act until it was too late.