To Obama on Modi: Dear MPs, let's stop insulting ourselves

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Can it get more ridiculous than this? A group of Indian parliamentarians, (about 65 of them), have written to US President Barack Obama requesting him not to allow a visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. What are these people thinking?

This sort of situation is perhaps unparalleled in human history. The biggest democracy on earth asking the oldest democracy not to allow one of its democratically elected chief ministers. Is democracy missing somewhere in the entire scheme of things?


Did we ever ask the US to stop dictators?

Our hopeless politicians are making a mockery of the entire nation through such mindless action. If they have any issue with Modi, there is ample space in the domestic politics to sort them out. Why take it across the Atlantic to a foreign shore and embarrass India? Did they ever ask the US government to stop a Pakistani military ruler or a dictator from any other country from entering its territory?

If the USA has anything to do with Modi's visa, let Washington alone decide it. Why are we so perturbed by this fact? The irony is that these Modi critics are actually paving a smooth way for him through their insane actions.

US also divided on the matter, although the final call is its own

Modi himself has never sought a visa for the USA. And neither his delayed visit to the USA has affected his reputation as an able administrator. He has visited other countries for business and development purposes while the European Union has warmed up to the Gujarat leader. The UK has shown leniency towards him and Obama's country is also divided over granting him visa. A massive controversy broke out over Modi's proposed participation via teleconference in an economic forum in Wharton earlier this year and cancellation of his speech saw a number of sponsors pulling back. Hence, the situation in the US on Modi isn't very simple and the authorities in Washington might have to do some tedious exercise before a clear stand is taken.

But that is for the US and future to decide. But why the Indian politicians are restless on the issue? BJP chief Rajnath Singh might have expressed his own concern but was there a need to be explicit? With the general elections less than a year away, the Indian political brains are desperate to make things count and they don't mind even taking the polarisation to the court of Washington.

Why don't we seek similar ban on other tainted politicians of the country?

If Modi, who has not been convicted by any court in India, is considered unfit to travel to the USA, why not other tainted politicians who have countless numbers of criminal charges against them, are also being barred from travelling abroad? Are those people great ambassadors of the country?

We are politicising each and every aspect of the democracy and statecraft? Even Pakistan has made a mature foreign policy move by deciding to seek assistance from Modi for power supply to resolve its crisis.

Why these letters did not matter in the time before Modi's third victory in Gujarat and subsequent rise?

If the Indian parliamentarians are indeed so concerned with banning Modi in the USA, why were they keeping quiet for all these years and woke up just ahead of the polls? Or why didn't they try institutional ways to stop Modi by planning a motion in the parliament to revoke his passport? Instead, they found it easier to run to Washington and made a farce of a democratic nation.

One news channel asked on Tuesday: "Since India's official position is to revoke Modi's visa ban, should MPs be grouping together to ask Obama to maintain status quo?"

Well, we hardly have a position on anything for we hardly have a honest understanding. However, there is a silver lining. That in the last eight-nine months, only 65 MPs could be brought together for the meaningless exercise. The rest of them have yet not lost their senses, thankfully.

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