Stooping until it can stoop no more
The Hindu – known for its leftist and lofty-softy leanings – has hit the rock bottom. What’s worse, it disguises its spinelessness with a brave sounding editorial headline, exhorting the government to ‘act decisively on the hostage issue‘.
The Iraqis made clear by their action that they see little difference between those who fight on the side of the occupation and those who convey supplies for the foreign troops or provide other kinds of support. The UPA Government should accept the logic inherent in such an approach and show greater earnestness in stopping Indian nationals from working for the occupation in any capacity. If it immediately comes out with a policy statement asking all Indian nationals to leave occupied and war-torn Iraq and committing itself to strict enforcement of this decision, perhaps the lives of the Indian hostages can be saved. [The Hindu]
What The Hindu should ask itself is why those Iraqis are targeting citizens of a country that has so vocally refused to support the invasion of Iraq or to send troops for invasion, occupation or reconstruction. Contrary to what the wimps in the editorial chambers would like the readers believe, the Iraqi insurgents are terrorists; not because they are or are not aligned with the Osama bin Laden school, but because of the methods they use. Every time a government develops cold feet and buckles to terror tactics, terrorists elsewhere are energised. The fronts may be different and unconnected, but if India is seen to succumb to terrorism in one theatre, it will be seen as vulnerable to the same in others. India has always blinked, from Rubaiya Saeed’s kidnapping in 1990 to the IC-814 hijacking in 1999. Every single one of those craven acts convinced terrorists of every persuasion that it is easy to bring the Indian state to its knees by holding its unarmed civilians to ransom.
India should stand up to kidnappers and terrorists, not because of American platitudes but because it is in its own interests. The Indian government must demonstrate some of the bravery that it demands and receives from its soldiers and ordinary citizens, wimps be damned.
Unfortunately, the Indian government has taken the same wimpish line advocated by The Hindu. It has stopped giving emigration clearance to those workers heading for Iraq.
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are petty men.” [Shakespeare: Julius Caesar-1:2]