India – America’s 52nd State?

The pull on Indian legislators of “planet America” (in Christopoher Hitchens’ words) is so strong that some 65 Members of Parliament — 40 of them from the Rajya Sabha, have allowed themselves to be sucked into that planet’s orbit and have, apparently, recruited themselves into a campaign to make India a subsidiary to the United States! How else to explain these worthies signing a letter on the parliamentary letterhead addressed to the current US President Barack Obama, in effect, pleading with him to continue denying Narendra Modi an American visa and entry into the US? The letter dated November 26, 2012 marshaled by a Rajya Sabha JD(U) member, Mohammad Adeeb, made the argument for such action by detailing an entirely Indian domestic issue — the Gujarat riots of 2002, an internal matter that is of no concern to any outside power. Unsurprisingly, among the signatories is the CPI MP Sitaram Yechury. It puts me in mind of the anti-imperialist poseurs, who are dime a dozen, whom Jairam Ramesh lampooned with a tweaked Communist Party slogan — “Yankee Go Home and take us with you”! This Indian political “initiative” set up the American head of state as judge and adjudicator on an issue that establishes the US President as the sovereign over India! And this, mind, was instigated by member of Indian Parliament, that represents this country’s sovereignty. They might as well have petitioned the White House for consideration of India as the 52nd state of the American Union! These are the depths to which the so-called secularist forces are willing to plunge this proud country.

Consider the domestic political impact of the revelation of this letter had those signed this missive not had the misstep of Rajnath Singh, as I called it in my last blog, to point to. However unfortunate the BJP president’s enterprise (in trying to secure Modi an American visa), what needs to be kept in mind is the chronology — the letter by the MPs was mailed late last year. It would have come to light some time or the other in the runup to the general elections, and the sh..t would have hit the fan in any case. So Rajnath’s faux pas will be seen in retrospect as a mindlessly executed self-goal.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in Asian geopolitics, Indian Politics, Internal Security, South Asia, Strategic Relations with the US & West, United States, US.. Bookmark the permalink.

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