Dr. Singh, you know that when the world praises you to the skies, it is also laughing at us under its breath. They know the best way to work with India and Indians is to praise them and that opens the doors. No need for discussions or negotiations after that. We are such suckers for these false praises that we will offer anything in return. A British diplomat was quoted as saying that the best way to do business in India is to flatter them to an extent that you feel you are overdoing it, and then double it.
By Rajesh Kalra
The Prime Minister appeared in front of editors of national and international TV channels on February 16, supposedly to boost this government’s rapidly plummeting ratings. For a Prime Minister, I am sure that was the right thing to do, for things have really spiraled out of control and who better than the nation’s CEO to stem the rot?
But did his appearance achieve the result that he, his spin doctors, or the beleaguered government he heads, had expected? I don’t think so. On the contrary, he failed miserably. Dwelling on platitudes and shockingly, blaming the media for exposing the scams.
The trend started from the opening remarks when he said the relentless exposes have weakened the nation and its prestige. Of course we know that, Prime Minister, but what do you want the media to do? Remain quiet and ignore the blatant loot of the nation being indulged in by the unscrupulous that include Ministers, politicians, industrialists and babus?
No, Prime Minister, that is not on. Your exhorting the media to dwell on positives and shun negative stories is good only on paper. In reality, it is only a free license for the looters to plunder us even more. And if the media had indeed not exposed these scams, the country would never have known the reality behind the Commonwealth Games, 2-G spectrum, Adarsh Society, the appointment of the CVC, or the latest, the deal between the Department of Space and a tainted company for satellite bandwidth.
Sir, if exposing all this earns the country a bad name, I am all for it. I think, it is time to call a spade a spade and not shun exposes, but shun platitudes and that is the other point I want to raise.
The mouthing of platitudes rankled, and distinctly so. I have often said that we, as a nation, serve platitudes to our gullible citizens even more than the dictatorships such as North Korea do. How great we are, how great our democracy is, how we invented the zero and so on. Dr. Singh continued the tradition with: “Wherever I go in the world, people marvel at India. They marvel at our growth rates. Our functioning democracy.”
Sure, Dr. Singh, but I hope you also know that when the world praises you to the skies, it is also laughing at us under its breath. They know the best way to work with India and Indians is to praise them and that opens the doors. No need for discussions or negotiations after that. We are such suckers for these false praises that we will offer anything in return. It was something I had addressed in a post on July last year too: We are the best and we love it where a British diplomat was quoted as saying that the best way to do business in India is to flatter them to an extent that you feel you are overdoing it, and then double it.
Further on the Prime Minister’s conference, most of the responses were motherhood statements, or something we already know. There are compulsions of coalition politics or we are well equipped with adequate mechanisms in place to handle all graft cases or the country will be governed well and the country deserves a good working government that he is committed to provide and so on.
And the only time a question that could have rattled him was asked, about who is correct, the CBI when it says there was a loss in 2-G spectrum allocation or the lawyer-cum-Communications Minister Kapil Sibal, who says there is zero loss, the Prime Minister’s media adviser shut the questioner with: “show courtesy to the Prime Minister, please.”
No, Prime Minister, in keeping with the record of this government, this too was a poor performance. You let us down, yet again.
Courtesy: Times of India