Friday, March 18, 2005


These days the US denies visas to Indian citizens at random, and quite arbitrarily. So when I heard the news of Narendra Modi, the Gujrat chief minister, being refused visa, I wondered if it was the extension of the same process. But Modi, his notoriety notwithstanding, is a well-known poltical persona. How could he treated on par with ordinary Indians like us? The US embassy comes forth with the reason: Modi violated religious freedom, whatever it means.

I have ambivalent reaction to this episode. First, I've a problem in accepting US's high moralistic posture. Look at its doings the world over, Iraq in particular: it has systematically demolished nations, cultures, civilizations, populations without a care for world opinion. Can it take action against Modi on atrocities it's itself accused of, on a larger scale?

But then I'm a bit amused too. Despite his heinous act, Modi has not yet been dumped by either the people or the history. The US's action is a step to that end, though in a farcical way.

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