20 August 2011

A small-minded big brother out of control

In 1986, Asiaweek ran a story about Sri Lanka.  The piece was dressed with a photograph of Lalith Athulathmudali getting off a helicopter and being helped to the ground by a foreign pilot.  The picture complemented the story.  Not long afterwards, an Indian newspaper called ‘The Hindu’ carried a front page article based on the photograph, screaming that Sri Lanka was employing foreign merceneries to kill innocent Tamil civilians. 

Twenty five years later, small-minded, pea-brained, big brother is still out of control, it seems to me.   On August 16, 2011, this same paper too pot shots with its editorial pea-shooter at Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary. Gotabaya Rajapaksa.  The title was a scream: ‘A brother out of control’. 
‘Two years after defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and eliminating it as a military entity, Sri Lanka is still struggling to emerge from the woods on some important fronts,’ the Hindu tells us somberly.  Sixty years after India became a nation courtesy the invader, unable to unshackle itself from the invader-given name, India is struggling to acquire the basic intelligence to even acknowledge the trees in the thick woods of impoverishment, illiteracy, inhumanity towards and ill-treatment of it numerous subaltern communities, racism, religious fundamentalism etc.  It still doesn’t know whether it is coming or going on Kashmir.  That’s fine.  Ignorance is not a crime.  Arrogance, however is a bit thick.   
India, The Hindu says, is ‘concerned’ that only ‘nominal steps’ have been taken ‘to put in place a progressive political framework to address Tamil grievances’, and this concern, horror of horrors (!), should be noted, it is implied, because India (supposedly a friend of Sri Lanka) ‘stood by the military effort against the LTTE.  Now had The Hindu mentioned how India gave refuge to, offered logistical support, armed and trained terrorists and intervened to save the LTTE from certain defeat in 1987, thereby prolonging the conflict and facilitating unnecessary deaths to the tune of tens of thousands, these sentiments might not sound as hollow.
The Hindu then salutes the mischievous and indeed immoral posturing of rogue televisions stations such as Channel 4, with no mention whatsoever of the bunkum they dish out and of course nothing on the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Indian military in Kashmir, Punjab and elsewhere which are not allegations made by dubious sources with absolutely no substantiation, but established fact.

The Editor of The Hindu, in his/her arrogance inserts a UN stamp to a largely cock-and-bull story put together by an ignorant, arrogant, politically compromised panel lacking in integrity.  The report mentioned was NOT an UN report, as The Hindu claims, but a hodge-podge of rubbish compiled by some people appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to advise him on Sri Lanka.  As the Defence Secretary recently pointed out, the ‘very reliable sources’ referred to in the report didn’t even know his name.  It is indeed pitiful that The Hindu should give respectability to such sloth and ignorance, but then again, being slothful and ignorant him/herself, the sophomoric tendencies of the Editor of The Hindu is understandable.

The Hindu is upset by what is taken as ‘intemperate remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha’ allegedly made by the Defence Secretary.  Gotabhaya had merely stated that if the lady really loves Sri Lankan Tamils as she claims she does (and The Hindu ought to do a piece about how Sri Lankan Tamil IDPs are treated in Tamil Nadu – it is certainly not with love, kindness, fraternal embrace and such), then she should make sure that Indian fishermen don’t encroach on Sri Lankan waters and thereby deny Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen from engaging in their livelihood, an exercise that the LTTE (thanks largely to India) had denied them by launching a debilitating war. 

That’s not vituperation; it’s common sense!  The Hindu seems to think that Jayalalith is some kind of apolitical human rights activists.  Perhaps The Hindu really has no clue about politics, politicians and political culture and is ignorant of Jayalalitha’s chauvinistic and anti-Sri Lankan posturing.  Sri Lanka does not owe Jayalalitha any favours apart from conferring common courtesies.  We are not required to salute her when she talks rubbish.

The Hindu is upset that Gotabhaya had rubbished the 13th Amendment.  Yes, the Sri Lankan Government was ‘involved’ in the drafting of the 13th Amendment.  Those who surrender have to sign the terms of surrender and in this sense is party to the surrender agreement.  Sri Lanaka wasn’t ‘involved’ in India arming and training terrorists, or in violating national airspace to drop goodies to the LTTE.  The Hindu knows all this.

The ‘sensitivity’ or otherwise of political solutions is serious stuff for The Hindu.  Well, it’s our business Mr/Ms Editor.  For the record, your country has not been at all sensitive to agreements made on Kashmir, has it? 

The Hindu finds it ‘outrageous’ that Gotabhaya had wryly commented that the British woman who claimed that soldiers had raped women, was herself not raped.  I find it outrageous that The Hindu didn’t do a background check (and it’s all on the internet by the way, video-footage and all) on the lady, who was not just fronting for the LTTE in Britain and in other parts of Europe, but in fact had undergone weapons training in the Wanni. 

Let’s get back to the 13th Amendment and constitutional reform.  It’s our business, first and foremost. The 13th was illegal, it was imposed by Rajiv Gandhi arm-twisting the then president, J.R.Jayewardena and accompanied by a brag by this Indian thug who was later assassinated by the very people his mother fed, armed and trained: ‘what we will see is the Bhutanization of Sri Lanka’.  And India is a ‘friendly nation’, did the Editor say? 

The Hindu wants the President to take to task his brother for statements made.  Well, someone should take The Hindu to task for 5th grade journalism.  Will someone do it?  Nah!  Arrogance and ignorance seem to be the occupational diseases of the Indian political leadership, diplomatic corps and mainstream media.  Pea-brains and small-mindedness seem to be necessary qualifications for those who make the numbers in the relevant institutions.    ‘Out of control’, finally and sadly, seems to be ‘business as usual’. 



Anonymous said...

well said, u should send this to hindu..