There was a joke I remember – Qs: “How long did the french fight the Germans before surrendering in World War II” Ans: “The amount of time it took to hold up one’s arms (in surrender)”. While this is a joke , it is probably true of our foreign policy and the ideals by which the Ministry of External Affairs probably lives by.(The ministry was just recently taken over by Salman Khurshid – who incidentally I have a high regard for as he was an educator affiliated with my alma mater DPS – we all need to have a high regard for our educators)
Our Neighbours (other than Pakistan)
Nepal – the only Hindu State – a strong cultural relationship and inter-mingling over centuries – essentially considered to be a part of India during the British Rule (a feudatory state – like many other Indian feudatory states). By feudatory, I mean a princely state under the protection of the British (their feudal lord) and not that they were always feuding among each other with is also very true . Sri Lanka – a small Island to the south with a majority of Buddhists, and Maldives – an archipelago further south – comprising of a few islands – made popular during the Royal Honeymoon .
Nepal, Mao & China
What do these places have in common. They give too hoots about India. China has managed to get a strong foothold in Nepal thanks to the lackadaisical nature of our babu’s – “hota hai – hone do , chalta hai , chalne do, etc” – It was clear to Prachanda the maoist leader that India is doing its siesta , that our Ministry of External affairs has no say, no power to provide any help to the opposition who were more democratically inclined. So where’s the first trip he makes ? To China. Even though in China they don’t like the word Mao anymore (it is affiliated with a not so bright part of their history) – but they would welcome him as in their book control of Nepal is important to control of any dissidence in Tibet. And how is our ministry handling our Indian Interests in Nepal – how is our long standing relationship being maintained ? No one knows – Indian Foreign policy has been a total failure here. We have left the opposition in Nepal at the mercy of the Maoists.
Sri Lanka and the Tamils
Lets move to a smaller state – Sri Lanka. The Tamil minority are being subject to various forms of torture with total impunity. What is the response in India – we are towing the middle line (read – do nothing) – we are trying to maintain good relationships with the government in Sri Lanka and at the same time pay our condolences to those being killed (sic!).
To add insult to injury, even a small nation like Maldives is pointing their middle finger at US. First claiming that Nasheed will not be captured once released from the Indian Embassy and then immediately capturing him upon release. I am sure some pot-bellied bureaucrat must have negotiated this on India’s behalf and who also must have given the maldivian authorities confidence to do as they wanted even after agreeing to a deal.
Latest News! – War On India
Stop The Press! – Latest News! – The Kingdom of Burundi (population 10) has declared war on India – Our Ministry of External Affairs has negotiated a truce in return for us giving up our rights on the Taj Mahal !
Image Source : IANS