Which are the ‘forces’ PM is blaming for his Anna woes?

His statement in parliament raises serious questions

prasanna

Prasanna Mohanty | August 17, 2011


India Gate, Tuesday evening.
India Gate, Tuesday evening.

After absolving his government of any role in preventing Anna Hazare from holding his protest fast or even in his arrest, the prime minister made a shocking statement in parliament this morning, alluding to some unseen "forces" behind the countrywide protests that followed.

He said: “India is an emerging economy. We are now emerging as one of the important players on the world stage. There are many forces that would not like to see India realise its true place in the Comity of Nations. We must not play into their hands.”

Whose hands is he talking about?

Old timers will recall Indira Gandhi frequently alluded to “foreign hand” every time she faced a political problem or dissent. This foreign hand came to represent the USA, or more specifically, to the CIA – the US intelligence agency. Those were the days of cold war and the countries were, by and large, divided in their loyalty to either the USA or the Soviet Russia – the then two super powers. We had closer economic and political ties with the Soviet Russia, though officially we were non-aligned.

But the world has changed since then. We live in a more or less unipolar world. The Soviet Russia has disintegrated and we have settled into a very cozy relationship with the US. China is emerging as a rival super power to the US, both economically and politically and many of us would like to arrogate ourselves as a competitor to China.

Is the prime minister alluding to China then?

That would seem a little too farfetched, if not absurd.

The last of the Chinese were sighted at the wrong side of the McMahon Line months before Anna began his crusade. Those working at the Balco plant (whose chimney collapsed killing a few Indians) in Chhattisgarh had left in 2009.

Is he then referring to the BJP, which many of his colleagues see as the unseen force behind both Anna’s and Ramdev’s movement against corruption?

That would seem equally absurd given the fact that for six years it led a government at the centre that pursued the very same economic policies that the prime minister had charted out as finance minister in 1991.

Or we are supposed to assume that the BJP has joined hands with China to derail India’s economic progress?

On fourth thought, is it the Republic of South Sudan, the country that sprang up in July this year somewhere in the African continent, which may like to challenge our place in the ‘Comity of Nations’?

Second-guessing the prime minister is a hazardous job but we are forced to because the prime minister of India is neither expected nor privileged to make flippant remarks.

That is for lesser mortals. If he really believes there are “forces” then he must spell them out, not keep it in the dark. There are indeed national interests involved.

Else, we would be forced to make assumption that doesn’t show our prime minister in a very flattering light.

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