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Blinkered prism of Lutyens and Liberals exposed by Blinken's 'candid talks'

WebdeskJul 30, 2021, 08:11 AM IST

Blinkered prism of Lutyens and Liberals exposed by Blinken's 'candid talks'

                                                                                                                                                                    Nirendra Dev


Why Blinken's outbursts hailing 'Indian democracy' came as a shocker for some was because there was a latent buildup before the Secretary of State's visit to India. 


New Delhi: Let us face it. The truth is that the Indian 'sickular club', when faced with damning evidence, would try to wriggle out of one mess and embarrassment and wait for the next turn.


"Indian democracy is powered by its free-thinking citizens. I approach this with humility," - note the comment came from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and not any 'Modi Bhakt' or Sangh disciple.


These words were music to the ears. These were not of an American Republican leader either.


There were more.


"It's the largest expression of free political will by citizens anywhere on Earth.... The most remarkable democratic election in the world, in many ways, is here in India,” Blinken told a press conference in the presence of a soft-spoken career diplomat Indian foreign minister Dr S Jaishankar.


These words went down as 'cruel and shocking' to those - the permanent Narendra Modi detractors. They rejoice whenever 'firangis' and even Chinese comrades in the neighbourhood make any negative and sarcastic remarks on the NDA dispensation.


But it goes without stating that the BJP leaders could not have it better! The much-planned and well-orchestrated propaganda against their 'bete noire' for life, the Prime Minister, has fallen flat.



BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia and other leaders were all grinning and said Blinken's free and candid talks was a letdown for the lobby that was banking on foreign powers and top diplomatic executives to show India in a poor light.


According to some BJP insiders, Blinken showed a 'mirror' to the anti-Modi forces.


Some of them went off the hook and virtually disappeared from social media.


PM Modi himself later talked about the shared democratic values of the two countries.


"I welcome President Biden's strong commitment to strengthening the India-US Strategic Partnership, which is anchored in our shared democratic values and is a force for global good," Modi tweeted after his meeting with Blinken.


One caustic remark from the other side was - "Blinken’s reaction tells me that not just we citizens of India fear in making comments against present dispensation, in fact even the foreign dignitaries fear to speak the truth.” The real frustration could not be concealed. This came from a Christian leader.  




Sanjay Jha, a 'suspended' Congress leader, said - "America is self focused because if it looks at a big consumer market or labor market — that is India."


However, it goes without stating that the same Congress leaders have said Indian consumer power in economic terms has lost post-Covid infected crises.


Why Blinken's outbursts hailing 'Indian democracy' came as a shocker for some was because there was a latent buildup before the Secretary of State's visit to India.


A well known English daily, known for behaving as a PIB-extension counter during UPA days (remember the coup dictum), already tried to build up that Blinken would take up 'human rights' in a more earnest manner than expected.


Thus, it was presumed that Blinken would do some speaking when the Indian government is in constant confrontation with Twitter.


The government is also raging rows with media as the phones of a 'number of journalists' and opposition leaders have allegedly been spied on using Pegasus software.


There was another reason that raised hopes that Blinken would talk in a manner that could upset Jaishankar-Ajit Doval and the PM Modi team.


Assistant Secretary of State Dean Thompson had said in Washington: “With respect to the human rights and democracy question, yes, you are right; I will tell you that we will raise it [during Blinken's meeting with his Indian counterpart] and we will continue that conversation."


But success, they say, could be a 'bondage' too. Blinken represents Democrats in the US polity, but he is the Secretary of State and would need India for the 'unfinished' works in Afghanistan.



There are other issues too. China is a big-time common rival to both democracies.


Even in the past, the Democrats have done business with PM Modi. In 2014, Barack Obama received Modi with Gujarati salutation 'Kem chho.'


2005 is far off in the past and part of some 'lost chapters' when the US could deny a visa to a Gujarati Chief Minister.


But for India, they have to sing different tunes. Take this, for instance, Donald Trump, the last Republican President, said in September 2019 - "Like a father would bring it together. Maybe he (Modi) is the father of India."


Diplomatic visits are about tough questions, new ideas and also a few gaffes.


There must be some really good reasons for the differences between Democrats and Republicans in American politics.


But once in power, the 'real' strategic situation has transformed.


So, when it comes to candid talk about 'human rights and media freedom' issues in India, especially under Modi, the differences between the Biden administration and the one run by Republican Donald Trump seem to have done a vanishing act.


Has India won when the 'sickular' or Lutyens Club has lost the game?


user profile image
on Jul 31 2021 09:51:35

lootyens gang end is near

user profile image
Rajen Singh
on Jul 30 2021 12:15:29

Good comment. Yes, Lutyens thought that Modi will have tough time with Biden. I commented US can't live without India now. Whether it's Democrat or Republican.

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