A Rajya Sabha Resolution From India Against US Congress Will Surely Lead To Frosty Relations Between The Two Countries
During a visit to Washington in September, Indian Videsh Mantri Jaishankar had been approached by major American think-tanks in Washington and New York to enquire as to why India had revoked article 370 of the Indian constitution that gave special status to Kashmir and put restrictions on communications. Jaishankar cleared all their doubts.
However just a few days after Jaishankar’s visit, the Appropriations Committee of the US Senate had referred to the “humanitarian crisis in Kashmir” in its report accompanying a legislation on annual funding for the US State Department. It had the temerity to call for India to remove the communication blockade, security restrictions and release of political detainees.
They pompously also carried out a nonsensical Congressional committee hearing on 23 October and yet another by the US Congress Human Rights Commission – instead of focusing on eradicating the American gun culture and racial discriminations in their own country, these chaps wasted their tax payers money on discussing internal affairs of India.
Naturally the US Administration had seemed quite upset and tried walking a tight rope on the Kashmir matter. In her testimony the acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells said Washington welcomed New Delhi’s attempts to improve the situation and “address local grievances” in Kashmir while being concerned about the detention of local political leaders and activists and the internet blackout.
Well, firstly what our Videsh Mantri did not say was that if an American President could declare a Civil War against those States trying to leave the United States then the Indian Government can also revoke an article of the Indian Constitution which as it is was of temporary nature. We must also add that Alice Wells should not be concerned at all regarding India’s internal matters, instead should focus on numerous festering problems inside her own country.
We Indians also feel ashamed of the fact that by introducing such a stupid resolution in the House of Representatives, the Indian origin American Democrat Pramila Jayapal who represents Washington’s 7th district in the US Congress, has demonstrated that even Indian origin is no guarantee from being intellectually handicapped.
This Jayapal character also had bipartisan support — Republican Congressman Steve Watkins from Kansas as a co-sponsor. In fact Jayapal’s twits trying to defend her actions were quite pathetic especially in light of killings of Indian students and Indian Sikhs in USA.
Also illegal trapping of Indian students carried out by the American Immigration Department. Here we are not even talking of all the racial discrimination heaped on the American Blacks and other immigrants. The racial profiling done on visitors from various countries to USA, especially China.
Traditionally, Democrats have been seen as more vocal on issues like human rights and nuclear non proliferation vis a vis India in the past, though since the early years of the 21st century, human rights issues have rarely figured as a major talking point in India-US dialogues.
Thus instead of strengthening the special U.S.-India relationship, this action of the US Congress is going to harm it. A swift retort from the Indian Parliament will show the American Congress its rightful place. The Indian people too are deeply concerned about the American authorities detaining people w/out charge, severely limiting communications, & blocking neutral third-parties from visiting the American Mexican borders and the offshore American detention cum torture centres. This is certainly harmful to our close, critical bilateral relationship.
When American authorities behaved like headless chicken after the World Trade Centre attack, India had recognized the dire security challenges faced by the US Government. Similarly the American politicians must recognize India’s concerns in Jammu and Kashmir and the continuing threat of state-supported cross-border terrorism.
They should note that the 14 February attack in Kashmir, that led to Indian punitive strike inside Pakistan Aand subsequent shooting down of an American supplied F16 by IAF MiG 21 was carried out by a member of Pakistan-based, foreign terrorist organization ( acknowledged as such even by USA).
The most foolish thing about this American resolution is that the resolution comes ahead of two key Indian ministers – Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh and Videsh Mantri S Jaishankar visiting the US for the “2+2″ dialogue on 18 December.
The American Congress resolution proposes six steps New Delhi should take that range from lifting restrictions on communication, restoration of internet access, releasing all “arbitrarily detained people” to allowing international human rights observers and journalists access Jammu and Kashmir. Well the Rajya Sabha resolution should be that the Americans start implementing the above in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prison then India may think of considering the American Petition.