|HOME | NEWS | COLUMNISTS | ANIL ATHALE|
|June 1, 2001||
Anil A Athale
The Curse of Kandahar
The Indian subcontinent is delineated from Central Asia by the Hindu Kush mountains. Hindu Kush in the local language means 'Death to the Hindus'. This name was given by the locals as the mountain passes witnessed the deaths of many Hindus while being taken in slave convoys to Central Asia. The satanic Taleban regime is living up to the reputation. The rabid regime's recent decree ordering Hindus there to wear identification tags reminds one of the approach of Nazi goons to minorities during Hitler's rule in Germany.
What is most painful is that the Russians and Americans discussed the plight of Hindus at a meeting in Washington on May 25, but our country merely issued a protest note, and that is that.
There have been protests over this in Jerusalem, but not in Mumbai!
India can give refuge to lakhs of Tibetans, harbour crores of Bangladeshis, evacuate lakhs of workers from Kuwait during the Gulf War, but have no time or feeling for the hapless thousands of Hindus. Let there be no mistake, these people are being persecuted due to their connection with India.
It is surprising that the otherwise vocal 'human rights' lobbies are deafeningly silent over this issue. This should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the Indian scene. After all, these organisations were equally silent when nearly 200,000 Kashmiri Pandits were thrown out of their homes and are living a life of refugees in their own country for the last nine years.
The satanic Taleban have been emboldened by the abject surrender of the Indian State during the hijack drama two years ago. It is therefore no surprise that they have embarked upon adventure after adventure like the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues. The UN sanctions are ineffective as Pakistan continues to flout them and help the Taleban.
In our bureaucratic and political culture, there is this wide gap of knowledge. The stage was set by our first prime minister, when he noted on a file: 'Why should the government pay Rs 400 per month to a lieutenant in the army when we can get a police sub-inspector for Rs 250!' Indian politicians and bureaucrats have never understood the fact that the nation's armed forces are not chowkidars guarding the country, but an instrument of State power! Even 54 years on, we are still to imbibe the first lessons of statecraft.
There are not more than 1,500 odd people, virtually held hostage there. They cannot move out as there are no flights due to the UN sanctions; by land they can only go to Pakistan or Iran, which is like going from the fire to the frying pan.
The Government of India should take up the matter with the UN and get a third country acceptable to the Taleban (Saudi Arabia, for instance) to fly out these people. Surely, India is large enough to accommodate a few thousand refugees.
If we do not evacuate the Hindus and Sikhs now, there is every chance that the mad regime in Kabul will at some point in time use them as a human shield and blackmail us and the international community when the world finally decides to take action against them.
India seems to have lost its sensitivity to the plight of its own people in foreign lands. One could understand our inaction on the plight of Indians in Fiji as that was beyond our military means. But a bunch of illiterate fundamentalists defying a nation of one billion and armed with nuclear weapons is a sorry sight. Or has the whole country, like our prime minister, got weak knees?
ASTROLOGY | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEDDING | ROMANCE | WEATHER | WOMEN | E-CARDS | SEARCH
HOMEPAGES | FREE MESSENGER | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK