Thursday, August 14, 2008

More on our Bahu

First, about the author of the article to be presented below from wiki:

Brahma Chellaney is Professor of Strategic Studies at the New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research, an independent, privately funded think-tank. He is also a Member of the Policy Advisory Group headed by the Foreign Minister of India. Professor Chellaney is also a newspaper columnist and television commentator. He writes opinion articles for the International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, The Japan Times, The Asian Age, The Times of India and The Hindustan Times. In 1985, he won the Overseas Press Club of America's Citation for Excellence.

In his article "Sending A Wrong Signal", the author argues that Sonia Gandhi’s Beijing visit is not good diplomacy.

This is an excellent article, but what really caught my attention are bits about Ms. Gandhi's personality, esp when one looks through the prism of the present circumstances.

For instance--
Sonia’s fascination with China, as this writer learned long ago in a one-to-one meeting with her, dates back to her 1988 Beijing visit with late husband Rajiv Gandhi. The Chinese leadership rolled out all the pomp and pageantry, although that visit followed the 1987 Sumdorong Chu military showdown that brought war clouds out of a clear blue sky. Beijing’s perception of Sonia as someone it can work with was reinforced by her visit last October, when it accorded her a welcome fit for a head of state.

Dangerous already. China has found an easy catch.. Ms.Gandhi fell for the communist charms.
Her visit cannot be defended as personal or apolitical, for her presence at the Games ceremony sends out a potent political message. To go with children and grandchildren and treat the trip as all fun and games will be out of step with her political status. After all, she heads India’s ruling party and her son is its general secretary. A jaunt fraught with foreign-policy implications is irreconcilable with such standing.

Is That all?
Vision, consistency and tenacity are critical to good diplomacy. Nothing can undermine foreign policy more than spur-of-the-moment initiatives or actions based on personal whims and fancies. Pragmatic foreign policy, as legendary French diplomat Charles-Maurice de Tellyrand-PĂ©rigord said, cannot display too much zeal. In that light, Sonia Gandhi’s sudden decision to go to the Beijing Olympics runs counter to the central precepts of sound diplomacy.
That this is her second visit to China in less than a year smacks not just of overzealousness but borders on indiscretion, coming as it does in the face of mounting Chinese assertiveness. Her previous visit last October, in the company of son Rahul Gandhi, was ill-timed because it followed several provocative Chinese actions, including Beijing publicly upping the ante on territorial disputes, compelling India to call off an IAS officers’ tour by denying a visa to an Arunachali officer, and repudiating a 2005 agreement that any border-related settlement should not disturb settled populations. Her latest visit, with members of her extended family, follows more Chinese provocations, including border incidents (like the demolition of makeshift Indian army bunkers at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction) and the post-midnight summoning of the Indian ambassador.

And so we have our own Marie Antoinette out to bankrupt the state of its political capital, and of course the national self esteem.
Her latest visit, at a time when China has stepped up pressure on India, will only help engender more Chinese pressure. By sowing confusion in India’s China policy, it not only sends out a message incongruous with Indian interest, but also unconsciously plays into Beijing’s game-plan to belittle the elected government as ineffectual and rudderless and reach out to her. Beijing is content that the Indian officialdom has fallen into the Chinese trap of talking about talks in a never-ending process. That leaves China free to pursue “congagement” with India, a blend of containment symbolized by aggressive flanking manoeuvres and engagement aided through the instrumentality of Sonia Gandhi.

And this final salvo from the author:
Ad hoc, personality-driven approach is no way to deal with such a state that calculatedly plays to its national pride and resolutely pursues long-term strategic interests. To upstage your own government through presence at China’s coming-out party is no mean matter. Once the party is over, it may not be long before China takes its gloves off. Given its growing bellicosity, can anyone discount the possibility that it may try to give India a bloody nose through a lightening but localized military expedition?

What I gather from the article is that Ms.Gandhi has absolutely no idea of what statesmanship, diplomacy, and strategy are. She has absolutely no clue no what China is and whats behind their sweet talk. A totally dispensable mediocre entity with no idea of whats going on either inside or outside the country is ruling our country through her nefarious minions and now, she is holding it hostage to her personal whims and fancies. Forget good governance and nation-building.... whither democracy, for starters?


Attila said...

"And so we have our own Marie Antoinette"

Very aptly written, she might as well have said, "Let them eat grass" with this affinity for China..

Our national heroes of yore would surely be turning in their graves with "leaders" (vomit) like these

Gandaragolaka said...

have u watched the teleserial "chanakya"?

Attila said...

I was too young when that was aired, but of late, I've went through whatever was there on google videos.

So, is Sonia chankyan?

Gandaragolaka said...

hahaha! I wish!

But no... Chanakya is the protagonist of the serial. And his arthashastra is still relevant regd. the duties of a king and ministers in most conceivable situations.

Thiagarajan M said...

I would not agree with your last para, after reading "Who is Sonia" by Subramanian Swamy. She has, or rather she assumes that she has idea about what she is doing. But she has to remember that these Chinese are not like "RG" :)

Gandaragolaka said...

Good point. I did think about it while writing.

But we need to remember that though a person may have a smart and scheming personality, he/she may still be clueless when it comes to bigger issues like national esteem and international affairs.

Most of our other politicians know what they are doing, and even know it when they are wrong.

For example, Ms.Mayawati might know whats right, but she might still do the wrong thing when she can take the liberty. But here, it seems that the only way this woman knows is the crooked one, which is why I said "mediocre", not a "total dumbo".

Also, why would the chinese take the trouble to invite her instead of the official heads of state such as the President and the PM (bot of whom can serve the chinese well, if needed) unless they know that they can get a better bargain out of this woman?