Like most Indians I was shocked at the brutal killing of our Jawans on the border. It doesn’t really matter who killed them- whether they were Pakistanis( as the normal Indian would like to believe) or Jehadis dressed as Pakistanis ( as the Indian Government would have us believe) or Indians dressed as Pakistanis ( as the Pakistanis would have us believe) – what matters is the sensationalization of the subsequent Press Release that makes this incident a mere blip on the radar and our whole country the laughing stock of the world.
“If Obama can cancel his trip to Russia because it gave asylum to Snowden, why can’t the PM refuse to meet Nawaz Sharif in New York????” thundered an indignant Arnav Goswami on TV last night. He was not alone. Every news channel was asking why the Government couldn’t take a tougher stand and retaliate, why the Government did an about turn on its Press Release etc etc etc.
While all the channels aired clips of Parliamentary proceedings, I was shocked to see both Mr. Antony and our PM sit silentlythrough all the chaos that ensued. Why couldn’t they stand up and defend themselves, relying instead on others to come to their defence to interpret their actions as though they were not there?
Let’s face it, we are not the United States of America, so Arnav, our PM cannot behave the way the American President does. We are the dis-United States of India with a population too large for any of us to count on their fingers and with Telangana becoming the 29th State of India and possibly setting a precedent for many more dissentious States waiting to be born in the wings, we are once again proving the adage that divided we fall. While every country in the world has voices of discontent simmering in the background, the picture that is presented to the world is airbrushed, photo-shopped and absolutely perfect. Why can’t we at least present a picture that is near perfect? Why do we have to portray ourselves stark naked – warts and all?
Is this because we are truly honest and want to be open and transparent?
Is it because we are truly democratic and are allowed to express our opinions?
Is it because we are intrinsically so egoistic that all that we are interested in is one-upmanship?
Or is because we are like that only?