Atanu Dey On India's Development

TOI’s Cunning “Aman ki Asha” Plan

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The Times of India recently came up an idea that essentially amounts to this: if Indians and Pakistanis have a love-fest, there will be no war. That reminded me of this piece of dialog from Rowan Atkinson’s Blackadder:

Blackadder: Baldrick, I have a very, very, very cunning plan.
Baldrick: Is it as cunning as a fox what used to be Professor of Cunning at Oxford University but has moved on, and is now working for the UN at the High Commission of International Cunning Planning?
Blackadder: Yes, it is.
Baldrick: Mm… That’s cunning!

TOI’s plan is cunning like that. But wait, there’s more. Here’s a different snippet from another episode:

Blackadder: You see, Baldrick, in order to prevent a war in Europe, two super blocs developed: us, the French and the Russians on one side; and the Germans and Austro-Hungary on the other. The idea was to have two vast, opposing armies, each acting as the other’s deterrent. That way, there could never be a war.
Baldrick: Except, well, this is sort of a war, isn’t it?
Blackadder: That’s right. There was one tiny flaw in the plan.
George: Oh, what was that?
Blackadder: It was bollocks.

TOI’s cunning plan is also bollocks. I suppose they started off in the newspaper business, reporting stories and other assorted news. Then to drum up readership, they decided to print sleaze and color pictures of scantily dressed skanky women. For that and for running paid for editorial pieces, it earned the more descriptive name “The Slimes of India.” Now they are getting into the holier than thou foreign policy and “let’s make love, not war” business. They do come up with some priceless howlers and this one about making kissy-kissy with Pakistanis is more stinky than the toilets of an Air India 747 ferrying mullahs on haj.

To start off with, the Pakistanis whom the TOI wants Indians to get into bed with are not in charge of the nukes or even the army. The military-jihadi complex is not run by cricketers, qawwali singers and assorted movie actors and their hanger-ons. The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is not interpreted by consulting those cardboard cutouts who fly into India to play footsies with their counterparts in India. The sharia — Islamic law that rules Pakistan — is not for the convenience of the glitterati.

The generals and the mullahs control Pakistan. It is said that the three A’s matter to Pakistan: America, Army and Allah. But it appears that the Taliban, the soldiers of Allah, are giving a good fight to the Army and America. There’s infighting among the forces that dictate Pakistan’s fortunes. In a sense, India, even if it meant to harm Pakistan — and I am sure that India does not mean harm — it would be wholly unnecessary. The three A’s are more than capable of destroying Pakistan, without India’s help.

But I don’t suppose the TOI will allow facts to intrude into their fantastic wet-dreams of love transforming the foaming at the mouth mullahs into peaceniks or dismantling the Islam nukes that ummah celebrates.

The TOI published a hilarious piece titled “Peace with Pak: Pitching for friendship, On And Off The Field” today. A bunch of cricketers from India and Pakistan writing about how wonderful they all are.

I think it is unfair to publish what cricketers write or say about matters not related to cricket or their own bowel movements. They are not for the most part celebrities for their ability to reason or analyse matters. Their reasoning ability compares rather unfavorably with my ability to play cricket — and I don’t even know what is the proper way to hold the racket for playing cricket.

Here’s what Krish Srikkanth writes in that TOI piece:

In 1989, when I toured Pakistan as the Indian captain, that series was historical in many ways. It was during that series that Sachin Tendulkar emerged as an international star. In 1989, Pakistan had a great team. Their captain Imran Khan wanted to beat us in the series, but we drew all the four matches. Even though we lost the ODI series badly, it was a great experience. It was one of the toughest tours for me. The tour was also a great learning experience for me. I still nurture great friendships with many former Pakistani cricketers. What I like most about the Pakistanis is that they are very hospitable people. They know how to treat their guests. And at their parties, you can taste the best of cuisines.

Like I say, you too would poke fun at me if you were to see me swinging the racket at a cricket court trying to bowl a spinner (or whatever.)

Krish finds it remarkable that Imran Khan wanted to win the series. Wow! You cannot get anything past Krish, can you. He’s sharp. And the food — shubhaan allah! al humdullilah! With “best of cuisines” like that, how can anyone even think of fighting wars with Pakistan. Touba, touba.

Actually, the cricketers are not the worst offenders when it comes to the paeans they sing to how hospitable the Pakistanis are. The jhollawalahs are much worse. They go to Pakistan, sit around in mushairas, eat biriyani and give each other hugs. Then they come back and lecture Indians that they are evil and that India should disband its military and disarm because how can anyone have anything to fear from such loving people.

The people you meet at fancy parties can afford to be loving. They can afford to stuff you with rich food, even as a hundred million of their fellow Pakistanis are starving. They can tell you how much they appreciate your wonderful friendship. But that does not change the reality that Pakistani state policy is dictated by America, Army and Allah.

Gratuitous Advice to TOI: It’s a cunning plan. It is also bullocks. And I think it is better that you stick to sleazy skanks and advertorials, and leave matters of importance to people who have, unlike you, at least some acquaintance with reality.