Saturday, March 19, 2005

A Visa for Mr. Modi (Addendum)

Just added the following paragraph to my earlier post:

"An Indian friend or two have fobbed off the issue of this being "an insult to the nation", as Modi's supporters like to put it, by saying, omething to the effect of "He's not my leader; he's just part of a group that manipulated the system and exploited communal tensions to get into power." This is basically a variation of what detractors of US Presidents and citizens of military-ruled countries like Pakistan some times say; the "He's not my President" cop out. Well, as someone's who's been on what I can only call the receiving end of a "World's Largest Democracy" or a "We're a Secular Democracy, and that's why we have a great country" lecture, I just don't really buy that. The question I would like to ask US voters is "But why are you so ineffective that the other guy got close enough for one county to tip the vote?" And to whiny Pakistanis, "So why don't you start a dang revolution? Where are there no riots in the streets when your democracies break records for corruption or your army rides roughshod over your constitution?" And in the same spirit, the question to Indians (both in India and in the diaspora) that only bother to send action alerts or online petitions is the same: What are you doing the other 364 days of the year? Have you done anything concrete? Oh, like maybe join an organization isn't connected with your religious community? Or backed a political cause--or maybe a candidate? Would taking part in that thar great republic of yours be too much to ask of you? Heck those questions are just as appropriate for asking a lot of Pakistanis, too!"

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