Random Thoughts

Lebanon A Panchtantra for Foolish Indians

An ancient Indian king had three foolish sons and was worried that his three princes would destroy his kingdom. He announced a huge prize to any teacher who could educate his idiotic princes. A pundit took up the challenge and the stories he told the princes and the morals thereof are known as the Panchtantra. Lebanon should serve the purpose for our current retarded leaders and ignorant compatriots.

After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WW1, it was dismantled and the Caliphate was abolished. Kemal Ataturk took over the government and Turkey became a republic. The Ottoman province of Syria was under French mandate. Portions around the Mediterranean coast had a large number of Christians from the early days and as a result of the Crusader conquests. When France gave sort of independence to the region, it divided the area into Syria and Lebanon, the latter with nearly 50% Maronite Christians. France did not want the Christians to be under majority Muslim rule and set up the Lebanese government in such a way as to be dominated by the Christians even though they were a minority.

The parallel to the British instigating and ultimately engineering the division of the Raj into India and the two Pakistans is striking. The Muslim population of Lebanon increased due to higher birthrates and the Christian population decreased due to migration to Europe and America but the control of power remained in the hands of the shrinking minority of Christians. The covert divisive tactics of the West ultimately led to a civil war and the ruin of Lebanon. Once again the parallel to the Punjabi domination of the joint Pakistan and the later secession of Bangladesh due to the Pakistani civil war comes to mind.

India has already seen the Khalistan insurgency from a least expected source. Hinduism has literally midwifed and supported Sikhism from its very inception. Currently we are seeing support for terrorists from Indian Muslims and secession movements by Christian minorities in the Northeastern states converted to Christianity under the Raj or post-independence. Freedom of religion is enshrined in the constitutions of democratic nations but it is a luxury that a poor nation can ill afford. When there is no freedom from basic wants in a poor country, freedom of religion is used by richer religious nations to bribe the poor to change their religion. The rice Christians and Muslims, to maintain their self-respect then show more devoutness and piety and influence their children to outdo them. In a generation or two the country is left with populations more devoted to their religion than their nation. We cannot have missionary Christians and Western NGOs serving as spearheads for conversion by bribery with the fanatic idiot converts of the second generation ascribing earthquakes and other natural calamities to being the punishment of the angry true Christian god of the wrong and heretic nature of Hinduism.

It was not divine logic or angelic communication that made Mahavira and Buddha to retain the doctrine of Karma, Mohammed to retain the primacy of the Kaba, circumcision, not eating pork and menstrual taboos, Christ to claim to be the Messiah or Sikhism to retain Ikonkar and have five pillars. The first two were trying to convert Hindus, the third and fourth to convert pagans and Jews, and the fifth to convert Hindus and Muslims to their respective new religions. To move their trains from the old track to the new one, they needed some connecting common siding to achieve their desired goal. Islam with its concept of the Ummah trumping nationhood often ends up seeding the state with fifth columnists. A classic but foolish example of that is the agitation of Indian Muslims in the Khilafat movement after WW1 when the Turkish Caliphate was abolished. These Muslims far from rising up against British rule in their native India, where they lived as discriminated second class citizens, indulged in violent protests against the abolishment of the Turkish monarchy by a Muslim Turk.

Even after Lebanon recovered somewhat from the civil war, the west continued to deepen the divide between Muslims and Christians and the recall of the Lebanese ambassador to America last week for criticizing the Israeli invasion, blockade and bombardment, by the pro-western current Lebanese government shows the disunity in that country. The kid-napping of Israeli soldiers by Hizbollah and Hamas deserves condemnation but the biased western press does not inform the ignorant world that Israel is holding some Lebanese prisoners and thousands of Palestinian prisoners illegally as well. The initial Israeli attacks on Lebanon were met with condemnation of Hizbollah instead of a united front condemning the over-reaction of massive Israeli attacks on the civilian population and infrastructure like the airport, power generation, water and sewage plants. It is only after an appeal to the UN Security Council for Israeli condemnation was blocked by an American veto, that the western puppet government of Lebanon woke up to reality.

America has used its veto to support Israel at the UN all the time and continues to arm Israel to kill Palestinian civilians and occupy and usurp their land. US or international newspapers rarely if ever report that Israeli Arabs and Palestinians have different rights for the use of highways, water and other civic facilities. It may take half a day for a Palestinian to drive a few miles through Israeli checkpoints and thus be denied emergency medical services or the ability to commute to work. Terrorism is most often unjust and an atrocity carried out by the weak as a desperate means while war is the same thing used by the strong and most often equally unjust and often a greater atrocity. One has to strongly condemn terrorism in any form but its antidote is not propaganda but removing the causes thereof.

The lesson for India is that a hyper-power which arms our neighboring enemy and gives it massive financial support can't be a true friend or ally. We must respect its power and accommodate to it using realpolitik but not gullibly believe its statements and definitely not act to jeopardize our national interests as some of our elected leaders and bureaucrats are doing for personal greed, fame or bribes.

Our ministers and secretaries are outright liars when they tell us that we have to accept the US congressional modifications to the civil nuclear agreement. Their argument is that America is our largest trading partner, a big source of foreign investment and technology and the lone superpower. China's trade with the US is ten times bigger and it receives equally large dollops of technology and investment but one doesn't see China kowtowing and letting America dictate its foreign policy, international relationships or taking permission before a missile launch. China did not agree to any such debasing clauses and restraints in its nuclear agreement with America or the IAEA or with its uranium supply from Australia. Those who say so privately or in newspapers are lying through their teeth, just as Bush lied to Manmohan Singh. The Indian government should have realized or will painfully realize that America needs Pakistan more than it needs India and is more afraid of Pakistani nukes being used in terrorist attacks because of the fanatic suicidal tendencies of its Islamic terrorists, as the Lebanese government just realized that despite words of support America will always side with Israel.

The foolish arguments of Arundhati Roy, Praful Bidwai, Pankaj Mishra and other ignorant but romantic peaceniks and pacifists have received their demolishing answers in the current Lebanon crisis and Israeli aggression. These utopian and naive brainwashed individuals with a craving for western approval, prizes and accolades, who often write more than they read, and lack knowledge and memory of history, with their cries for unilateral nuclear and other disarmament would put India at the mercy of any powerful aggressor. They have forgotten what happened to India in the 1962 aggression of China and the recent toll on our Jawans at Kargil.

As Chomsky has stated nation states are not moral agents. Realpolitik and national interests dictate foreign policy. It is important to understand that both America and Israel from birth to present have behaved despicably towards other human beings and many nations. Those interested may read my seven part history of the US under Random Thoughts at this site and the many articles on Israel at www.zmag.org and books of Noam Chomsky, Norman Solomon and Howard Zinn. All three are Jewish and not some rabid Muslim conspiracy theorists. There is much good that we enjoy due to the efforts, integrity and genius of some Jews, so this is not an anti-Semitic diatribe. India's attempts to appease the Islamic nations have not altered their pro-Pakistani policies and in the radical Islamists concept of Ummah trumping nationhood. India has to align with USA and Israel because they are the enemies of our enemies and they have arms, technology and finances, but not be subjugated to a subservient status. As the saying goes, "If one has to sup with the devil, one better have and use a long spoon". Mohammed aligned himself with Jews, Christ gave unto Caesar his due and Dharmaraja lied to Drona when asked by him if Ashwatthama was dead?

Finally, rather than the convenient and expedient accommodation or lies of the Congress party, Samajwadi party or the RJD, honest leaders should make the Indian Muslims understand that India is not joining the Western war, oppression and exploitation of Islamic countries but simply ensuring its own survival by alliances dictated by necessity. It wants to assimilate its own religious minorities and provide them a level playing field, but in return clearly expects them to have their allegiance to the nation state and its laws and not some Ummah, Shariah or Papacy. 


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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