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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Some Thoughts on Overseas Indians from Minorities

It is not a secret that “minorities” receive preferential treatment at our foreign office. The reasons are not hard to fathom: Bharat is a vibrant and plural democracy, and it helps to showcase that. That is a perfectly fine stance, and I personally have nothing against it. Just recently we saw Syed Akbaruddin stage a brilliant defense of Bharat at the UN against Pakistani forces, and we all applauded him. 

However, what I do find unworthy is when some such appointments do not repay the faith the nation has invested in them. Consider a few cases:

Navtej Sarna was once Bharat’s ambassador to the US. Notice how his twitter handle shows hardly any pro-Bharat activity. Rather a lot of it is about his religious affiliations. It also seems more used to showcase his other associations to increase his stature.

Given the organized hatred for our PM driven by several forces in the US (among whom are Khalistani organizations) during his US trip, one would expect a devoted servant of the nation to at least say one word in defense of our country and PM.   However, that was not forthcoming, which is disappointing. 

We also have the strange case of vice President Hamid Ansari, who, by a RAW agent’s accounts, seems to have actually helped Iranian intelligence during his stay as envoy in Iran. 

We often see overseas Sikhs towing an anti-Bharat line.  One example of such a person is Arjun Sethi who speaks on BBC against Bharat and Modi.

Most of these people try to pass off in the West as “human rights caring liberals.”  Strange that the plight of Kashmiri Hindus, or the Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan (who routinely have their young daughters kidnapped and converted by force) do not come under the purview of their human rights.

Soft-pedaling of this is done by most Hindu media groups: notice how so many channels did not mention that the protests against the ‘Howdy Modi’ program were also being picked up at one Gurudwara, in addition to 16 mosques. 

It is sad to see that a segment of Sikhs in the US are openly pro-Khalistan and anti-Bharat, while still holding employment in Bharatiya establishments and surviving almost entirely due to Bharatiya businesses and Bharatiya customers who are, quite often, unaware of their political leanings. 

A large number arrived in the US in the 80s and 90s under fraudulent “asylum from persecution” pleas. Even recently, several such arrived and are being kept in jails in the US, where some are under hunger strike: again the same plea of persecution. Really: Sikhs are being persecuted in Punjab?  That must count as a joke of the type that “so and so is a religion of peace.” 

As far as paid lobbying goes, we are far behind Pakistan.  Pakistan seems to have a stable of paid stooges: Arjun Singh Sethi is one such perhaps. It would not surprise me if Navtej Sarna is also, indirectly, some kind of recipient of pro-Pak lobbies like we had seen in the Ghulam Nabi Fai case.

Once you benefit from the largesse of a lobby group, it is hard to speak against them, and Pakistan probably is far ahead of Bharat at the art of “buying” people (who may even be unaware that it is Pakistani money that is behind some cheques they have received). 

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