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Tails & Tales of a Camel, a Donkey and a Fish called Manmohan

While state dinners are usually idle rhetoric in a gathering of mutual back-scratchers, once in a while they net a gullible fish which gets skewered and perishes. Such is the fate of India led by an ignorant and naive Manmohan Singh who was reeled in by the lure of a civilian nuclear pact by the cunning Bush. To India's misfortune he is foolish enough to believe that the 123 agreement can change the pact. His ministers and minions are lying to the Indian public. Interested readers can refer to the op-ed "Hyde-bound N-deal cannot be accepted" by A. Gopalkrishnan the former Chairman of the Atomic Agency.  

State dinners and summit meetings are occasions for mutual back scratching and rarely lead to any substantial results. These formal occasions sometimes are Black Ties and sometimes White Ties and wearing Tails (white jackets and a coat with long tails). In the past week the Shrub was feting Queen Elizabeth at a white tie state dinner and will probably earn an entry into the Guinness book of records for the biggest lie ever told. He had the temerity to say that British explorers were responsible for spreading freedom and democracy all over the world. It is true that British explorers like Captain Cook, Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh, Richard Burton etc. traveled far and wide and visited many parts of the world, but they brought conquest, colonization, slavery, exploitation and plunder, but never freedom or democracy.

India, Burma, Ceylon, Afghanistan were subjugated and ruled on the pretext of trade. Africa was simply conquered and enslaved. Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Zambia, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda all became part of empire. Iran, Gulf States, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iraq were ruled indirectly. Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Fiji were taken over with incontrovertible genocide in some. Even tiny Belize in Central America and the Falkland islands in the South Atlantic did not escape the British greed for empire. Canada and the USA were settled, conquered and colonized by decimation of the natives. No freedom or democracy was ever contemplated until the bankruptcy of Britain after WW1 and then the possessions were relinquished reluctantly and often by sowing division and later civil wars as after Indian partition, Biafra secession from Nigeria, insurgency of Mugabe against Ian Smith's Rhodesia and the ANC against apartheid South Africa.

'W' topped it all by including the US as a spreader of freedom and democracy. I thought he was fertilizing the White House Lawn with BS. He never had any real education and probably does not know US history and that may be why he spoke like that, but I suspect he was deliberately lying as he did about Iraq. It may be my aging visual acuity but I had an impression that his nose had grown longer. I didn't have my glasses on so I could be mistaken, but the boy king reminds me so much of the wooden puppet Pinocchio. Ever since the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny, the US has slaughtered native Americans, enslaved Africans, bullied, exploited and looted almost every nation in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Middle East, Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia) and islands in the Pacific including the Philippines. It is certainly not spreading freedom and democracy in Haiti, Iraq or Afghanistan even now.

As they say, they were speaking 'diplomatese'. As the English adage defines an ambassador as an honest man who lies abroad for the good of the nation. My diagnosis is that our present boy George is the bizarro version doppelganger of the one who chopped the cherry tree and could not tell a lie. God has his Satan and the electron its positron so why can't the truthful George have his lying opposite. In fact the lying George has acquired a phenomenal lying ability. He has reached the perfection level allegedly ascribed to Lillian Hellman by her rival Mary McCarthy when she is said to have stated 'Every word she writes is a lie including 'and' and 'the'.'. The boy is not to be outdone and probably every word he uses including verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, participles, articles, prepositions, conjunctions and even neologisms, on expert scrutiny and given time are likely to prove to be lies. Maybe it is something to do with the name George. Once you are named thus, there is no choice. Either you are scrupulously truthful or perpetually lying. I seem to remember another George who lied about his lies after getting a medal for it.

One thing about Sanskrit and the genius of its ancient speakers is they wrote great stories and poetry like the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Puranas, Panchtantra etc. A beautiful Sanskrit verse is as follows '

Ushtraanaam vivaheshu gito gayante gardhabhani
Parasparam prashansayante, aho rupam, aho dhvani.

In the wedding ceremony of the camel, 
The donkey is the crooner (musician). 
What a handsome groom, sings the donkey. 
What a beautiful voice, replies the camel.

In fairness to the seasoned Queen Elizabeth, she replied with compliments which were small lies unlikely to provoke derisive guffaws and restricted her words to the laudable collusion between two thieving nations. She is worldly wise and trained for these ceremonial roles.

It, however, had a deleterious effect on our paisano Manmohan Singh when he dropped in for a state dinner. When he was told that the US recognizes India as a responsible nuclear power and wants to make India a great power, he gullibly believed every word, swallowed the hook, line and sinker and is now flailing like a fish out of water to escape, but resigned to being fileted, fried and finished. 


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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