Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh while in Beijing on Saturday spoke to the media. He described the policies of India ’s Home Minister as “alarmist” and “paranoid” towards China’s companies. He was referring to the Indian government’s decision to bloc entry in certain sectors to a Chinese telecom company, Hua-wei, owned by the People’s Liberation Army that had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Taliban government headed by Mullah Omar, heavily influenced by Osama bin laden, on the 9/11 day itself. The Indian government’s decision doubtless was also influenced by the current high level cyber-hacking activity attributed to China by credible international authorities.
Mr Ramesh told the media in Beijing : “There is a large security establishment which is uncomfortable even with the Copenhagen spirit. They keep asking me, ‘Why are you collaborating with China on the climate change? After all, China is the world’s largest emitter, with 23 percent of the world’s emissions, and we account for less than 5 percent’.” The Minister explained that there was a “strategic” interest involved. The Copenhagen spirit led to improved ties in other areas.
This was an extraordinary performance by a central minister speaking on foreign soil. He rubbished his cabinet colleague. He ridiculed the Indian government’s declared policies. As a Minister of Environment he pontificated on India’s foreign policy. And in the process he projected a view of India-China relations that was positively stupid.
However his stupid views are not relevant. It is likely that he might consider this scribe’s views about India-China relations equally, if not more, stupid. Democracy gives everyone the right to propagate stupid views. But diplomatic discourse between governments certainly does not allow ministers to publicly rubbish their own governments, colleagues and declared policies on foreign soil in an effort to propitiate the host country. Jairam Ramesh did precisely that in a manner more crude than what any procurer of any harlot would attempt. It is possible that his utterances might have pleased certain quarters in Washington. They have shamed the people of India.
Jairam Ramesh should be dismissed from the government. If his performance had the blessing of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh should go. It is to be seen how the government reacts. This is not the last on the matter.