Dont Throw the Baby With the Bath Water (JULY 19, 2008)


Don't Throw the Baby
With the Bath Water

Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam expresses annoyance at the way Muslims are being presented as humorous characters in the ongoing political tragi-comedy. However, he warns against rejecting UPA along with the nuclear deal.

The country is witnessing a political farce that has all the elements of bad humour, questionable ethics and shoddy public manners. It is a tragi-comedy - a tragedy for the country and a comedy for the political class.

In this terrible drama some of our politicians are trying to present Indian Muslims in the role of a joker. The Muslims don't find it humorous at all; they do not find it amusing. The whole exercise is tasteless.

I am deeply upset about the non-seriousness of our political class. I have always averred that most Indians vote for caste, class and community considerations. Muslims, on the other hand, vote exclusively for the national interest.

What is going on today in the political arena also draws the same response from Muslims. As every party and most individual politicians are mouthing platitudes about national interest, they are most of the time concerned about their party interest or individual interest only. Again, it is the Muslims who are exclusively focussed on the national interest.

Like a majority of Indians, Muslims believe that the nuclear deal has the possibility of turning India into a sidekick of the United States, a mere stooge who is there to serve America's imperial interests. That is a disturbing thought for most Indians, including Muslims.

Let me clarify that we look at the deal and the question of UPA government's survival as two separate issues. We have delinked the two. Today we have come to a sorry pass where we are in the danger of throwing away the baby with the bath water. We must remember the logical principle of choosing the Lesser Evil. We are not pleased at the nuclear deal, but we are sure that toppling the UPA government is not in the national interest.

It we topple the UPA government we would practically be leaving the field open to divisive, communal and violent forces to have their play. Already Indians are deeply divided over the nuclear deal. By allowing communal forces to occupy centrestage we will be ensuring that these forces further divide the country on religious lines.

We must never do that. We must allow the government to survive, but we must put our dissenting note before the UPA. We have to tell it that we are not in favour of diluting our independent foreign policy by getting unreasonably close to the US establishment.  g

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