Saturday, March 19, 2011

How Arun Jaitley vanished from media yesterday!

Very interesting development yesterday as all of you must know for sure. Wikileaks – the BJP’s firing cannon on thursday – now released a cable exposing BJP’s double-speak. As I mentioned in my post of Friday, Wikileaks should really be called Wikilies. At best, it should be treated like an entertainment side show and not given any more seriousness than that. But of course, Arun Jaitley couldn’t have cared less on thursday as he went hammer and tongs after the Congress using that day’s expose. Yesterday, when the shoe was on the other foot, Arun Jaitley simply vanished!

So what was yesterday’s entertainment episode of Wikileaks all about? That Advani had reassured the US that it stood for good relations with the US and that it would not scrap the Indo-US nuclear deal if it came to power. Frankly, this is how it should be. The BJP is a known pro-US party......therefore there is nothing wrong in what Advani said. It then raises the question: Why did the BJP not support the deal when it was voted in Parliament? It found excuses to oppose the deal. It took matters to such a level that the government could have collapsed. And that’s exactly what the BJP wanted. Nothing wrong with that either. But there are two things that come out though 1) That the BJP would happily put the country into turmoil by doing anything required (even go against its own principles.....its belief in the deal and the US) just to acquire power and 2) In times of crunch situations, its topmost leaders desert the party. The astute lawyer that Jaitley is, he realized disappearing was the best thing to do!

Frankly, given the geo-political situation around India, we must be clear that being pro-US is in India’s strategic interest. Both Pakistan and China are anti-India and India cannot handle both of them at the same time. There is no Russia left to counter China. In the past, India was not able to gain America’s favors because America would have demanded too much in return given India’s poor economic status in those days. That’s what happened to Pakistan. Pakistan virtually became a US stooge in return for its support. Today however, India is able to get US’s support on its terms. Today, Obama promised India a permanent members of the UNSC....not because he loves India, but because he is struggling to prove his credentials to India. Today, the Americans are wooing India; not the other way round. So there is equality in the relationship. Except for the Left, no political party in India has an antipathy for the US.

At the same time, we mustn’t fool ourselves into believing that the US is our buddy. There are no buddies anywhere in the world. The Russians were buddies with the Brits and the French during WW1 and 2, but turned bitter foes post the war. The US only protects its strategic interest. So should India. India rightly ganged up with China to protect its interests in the environment talks. On a different day, India and China are known competitors. This is the way the world works. So we shouldn’t feel agitated when Hillary Clinton wants to know why it’s Mukherjee who became FM and not Montek. As a major economic power, India matters a lot to the US. Just the same way, our External Affairs mandarins would discuss why it’s Tim Geithner who became US treasury secretary and not someone else. This is a natural debate and discussion that happens in all governments. The only difference is that the Americans could not guard their confidential documents!

But let’s come back to Arun Jaitley. Several points here that he must think about:1) The man said on Thursday that a JPC that looked into the votes-for-cash scam in 2008 found nothing wrong because “in Parliamentary committees, voting anyways happens along party lines”. If he does not believe in Parliamentary committees, why did he and the BJP stop an entire session of Parliament in the demand for a JPC to probe the 2G matter (I don’t call it a scam)? 2) If he believed so much in Wiki on Thursday, then why does he not believe in it on Friday? 3) If he is one of the biggest leaders of the BJP’s, then why was he not there to take the bullets on his chest on Saturday?

And I want to ask our media why they are so blatantly politically aligned? The TOI put Friday’s story on its front page: “Shock after Shock. Wiki nukes hit govt on cash-for-votes”. Today, it has put this latest Wiki story on page 7: “BJP opposition to nuclear deal politically driven”. Why not on the front page as a continuation of its earlier one? See the bias? It’s the same with HT as well. Shouldn’t media’s be apolitical and fair? Doesn’t media realize the amount of power they wield on it’s audiences? (Just do this test on yourself: How much of 2G related stuff do you know which you haven’t read in newspaper or watched on TV? My bet is very little. You only know what media wants you to know). Or are they intentionally abusing their power in trying to achieve some agenda of their own?

The real truth is that the BJP is just another political party. It doesn’t care for anything except grabbing power at whatever cost (just like any other political party). It doesn’t mind toppling the Congress government....even if for wrong reasons. It doesn’t mind making use of fictitious accusations (Sonia Gandhi’s black money; now Wikileaks). It has weak leaders (why was Arun Jaitley hiding y’day?) but strong lawyers. It speaks in divided voices (Sushma, Arun Jaitley and Gadkari all sing different tunes). It’s just another political party with just the same type of least the Congress has Manmohan Singh (who everyone in India still loves) and even Sonia Gandhi (who conducts herself with tremendous dignity.....did you notice how she praised Mayawati in London recently?).....

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