Saudis ghraib an Indian national

India must protect its nationals

The Religious Policeman reports that the Saudi ‘mutawwa’ arrested and brutally tortured Brian Savio O’Connor, a native of Hubli, Karnataka on the suspicion that he was trying to preach Christianity.

It doesn’t get any better after that, in fact it gets worse. Upsetting stuff to read. One of his misfortunes, of course, is that he is an Indian National, and the Indian Government needs the Saudis more than vice versa. Not that it helps being a US or UK national, but they do tend to get listened to more readily. [Religious Policeman]

Its quite clear that the Indian government’s groveling before the Saudis does not guarantee the security of its citizens in the Kingdom. That springs from the tendency of paleo-con Congress governments to see the Arab countries as a homogenous entity. The Arab world has changed – there are countries like Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who although under constant pressure from Saudi Arabia are trying to become progressive nations. India should improve relations with these elements. But as far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, there seems to be little difference between official Saudis and the al Qaeda terrorists as far as attitude towards Indians is concerned. It appears that the dominant image of India in the eyes of the Saudis is that of a supplicant. It is time that is changed.

4 thoughts on “Saudis ghraib an Indian national”

  1. Nitin:
    If you talk about the attitude of the Saudis then I must add something here. Their attitude is barbaric, not at all civil and not necessarily it limits to non-muslims only. I remember long time ago I alongwith my family were in Jeddah en-route to Dhaka from Germany. One airport officer misbehaved with my father on the issue of excess luggege which is beyond any imagination. Their general view is that the residents of South Asian countries are all miskins (beggers) and treat everybody with the same gesture. I promised then that I will avoid Saudi Arabia for any transit route.

    There are numerous examples of mistreating the natinals (mostly less educated workers) of the South Asian region. Our governments must take a tougher stand to protect the interest of their nationals. This will be easier for India than Bangladesh for many reasons.

    They have the upperhand now because they have oil money. But remember, oil reserves are not eternal. They have to come down to earth and learn from us what civic behavior means.

  2. It is not just the Saudis who maltreat South Asians, so do the Gulf states.

    If you are unfortunate to have a Bangladeshi passport, you are treated much differently.

    My uncle and brother were passing through Dubai on their way back to the US. They decided to overnight at a hotel. To do so you need a visa, which you can get at the airport.

    My uncle, who holds a Bangladeshi passport, got a mere 24-hour visa. My brother, a US citizen, got a one month visa.

  3. I’ve been hearing of similar mistreatments for years now. However, there seems to be no change in either the Indian govts protests (or lack thereof) nor on the Saudi’s part.

    Avoiding the Gulf states for transit is one option – how effective it is remains to be seen. Only when the Saudi’s feel that there is a “loss”, will there be any effect. When the supply of transit passengers is more than the demand for them, they’ll be treated the same, sadly.

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