Yes, they have become traitors

By RAJEEV SRINIVASAN

“It seemed like the entire country was up for sale.” That is a verbatim quote from the Mitrokhin Archive, Volume II, referring to India. Somehow that is not even shocking; Indians have come to expect no better from their politicians and their media.

For long, some have felt that the Congress Party is for sale to the highest bidder, and it has appeared to be in complete hock to Christian and Muslim interests. Marxists are clearly beholden to China. Given Mitrokhin’s excruciating detail about KGB operations, we can imagine far bigger operations by Chinese handlers managing their Indian Marxist “sleepers.” Remember how the Chinese spent megabucks to buy influence during the Clinton administration?

There was the Bofors saga, then Mitrokhin, and as this goes to press, the Volcker Report. They are all damning indictments of the fecklessness of the Congress Party, which is explicitly named in the Iraq food-for-oil morass. And of the Marxists, explicitly named by Mitrokhin. And also of the Indian media: at least 10 newspapers were on the KGB payroll, and in a short period, 3,789 articles were planted in them.

What has not been remarked upon is that the politicians of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) come through smelling of roses. Of course, the media has been completely silent about the fact that the people they have been slandering all along turn out not to be traitors. Curious, isn’t it? The “communal, divisive, fundamentalists” are nationalists after all?

There is only one word for what the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the media have committed: treason. It is a harsh word, but what else does one call what the Congress-Marxist nexus and the media have done?

The only thing that amazed many about the Volcker Report is that Natwar Singh got only about Rs. 37 million ($810,000) out of this deal. A self-respecting foreign minister-to-be of any self-respecting country would have demanded far more money. You’d never be able to buy a U.S. senator for so little, for instance.

Neither Mitrokhin nor Volcker has any particular vested interest in attacking the Congress Party, so it’s likely they are telling the truth. The first impulse of the Congress, as always, has been to brazen it out via convoluted scenarios that “prove” its innocence. But by Occam’s Razor, the simplest explanation is likely to be the correct one: Natwar Singh actually did take the money for the benefit of the Congress Party.

Yes, India’s media and politicians are virulently anti-national and in the pay of foreigners. Even with these revelations, nothing will happen, no public outrage. In a self-respecting country, there would be a revolution and blood on the streets. But in India this too will be accepted; cry, beloved country.

Rajeev Srinivasan wrote this from Pondicherry, India.

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No, this is a wild exaggeration

By S. GOPIKRISHNA

A classical question circling back on itself is attributed to Epimenides, a wise Cretan philosopher who asserted that all Cretans were liars. But since Epimenides was Cretan himself, could his assertion about other Cretans be truthful? How credible is a liar calling others liars? The mind boggles.

Substitute Cretan with “media” or “politicians,” and you get the paradox of relying on one unreliable witness accusing another of lacking credibility.

The reality is: both the media and politics are intensely competitive in India and abroad. Exaggeration, insinuation, and assertion are the building blocks of this universe. Everything in this make-believe world has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Telling tall tales is a national pastime in India. Remember the enterprising lad who declared himself an international topper in an examination allegedly conducted by NASA? And politicians who appeal to voter sentiment by accusing each other of “robbing” water of electricity by constructing dams? How can news be taken at face value in such a place?

It all goes back to Indira Gandhi’s halcyon days—she and her underlings blamed every ill on “spies” conspiring with nations jealous of our success. Since the ruling party had close ties to Moscow, the baddies were either aligned with Beijing or Washington—a “fact” unquestioningly reported by the press, which had divided itself into similar warring camps.

Politicians and journalists accused everybody else of being a KGB plant or a CIA plant while they were the sole exceptions, crusading for justice and righteousness. Imagine an army of Don Quixotes at war with themselves and each other.

Not surprisingly, the Moscow-leaning Indira Gandhi regime saw umpteen CIA spies being unmasked (the late MP Piloo Mody hilariously donned an “I am a CIA operative” badge) while the pro-Washington Janata government uncovered many KGB “spies.” The late Morarji Desai breathed his last convinced that the KGB had engineered his fall by bribing H.N. Bahuguna and others.

Interestingly, none of these alleged spies are named by Mitrokhin, or declassified CIA files, or other independent witnesses, adding to the confusion. Were there two CIAs and two KGBs operating independently? Even if this contradiction were overlooked, how can stereotypically dumb politicians metamorphose into smart spies whose skills would put James Bond to shame?

As for journalists minting money by supporting foreign regimes, wouldn’t journalism then become as lucrative a profession as rent-seeking employment at the PWD department? Why do Indians then regard journalists as living hand-to-mouth, as is proved by the reluctance of “achievers” to pursue journalism.

Rest assured, India is no more overrun with fifth columnists than with penguins. The worst they are guilty of is confusing journalistic spice with spies.

Toronto-based S. Gopikrishna writes on issues pertinent to India and Indians.

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