Pickled Politics






  • Family

    • Clairwil
    • Daily Rhino
    • Leon Green
    • Sajini W
    • Sid's blog
    • Sonia Afroz
    • Sunny on CIF
  • Comrades

    • Aqoul
    • Blairwatch
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Butterflies & Wheels
    • Catalyst magazine
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Clive Davis
    • Curious Hamster
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Derek Wall
    • Dr StrangeLove
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feministing
    • Harry's Place
    • Indigo Jo
    • Liberal England
    • Liberal Review
    • Matt Murrell
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Humanist Editor
    • New Statesman blogs
    • open Democracy
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Septicisle
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy's Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Tasneem Khalil
    • The Other India
    • Tim Worstall
    • UK Polling Report
  • In-laws

    • Desi Pundit
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Isheeta
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Real man's fraternity
    • Route 79
    • Sakshi Juneja
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Smalltown Scribbles
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • Turban Head
    • Ultrabrown





  • Site Meter

    Technorati: graph / links

    India’s attitude towards the Burmese


    by Sunny on 12th October, 2007 at 4:54 am    

    Amnesty International has issued an alert saying the Indian government is trying to forcibly return refugees escaping from Burma. The Indian government’s complicity in propping up the Burmese junta seems to have gone broadly unnoticed, which is a huge shame. Earlier this week, it was accused of running secret trials against Burmese rebels. Something to do with economic deals maybe? Manmohan Singh should be ashamed of himself.



    Print this page and comments   |   Trackback link   |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: South Asia




    18 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Nyrone — on 12th October, 2007 at 9:50 am  

      What can people here do about India and Russia’s involvement in propping up the Junta? I am keen to find ways to protest against them for putting business before life.

      I’ve noticed that Laura Bush is pushing harder for increased US sanctions. Can someone provide me with a link so that I can keep track of exactly what the British goverment is doing on a daily basis? After all, didn’t Milliband state that he was looking forward to the time when Aung San Suu Kyi would be leading Burma again? What is he doing about it then?

    2. Nyrone — on 12th October, 2007 at 3:02 pm  

      This is good news about China supporting the UN security council statement.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/burma/story/0,,2189556,00.html

    3. Bartholomew — on 12th October, 2007 at 10:07 pm  

      I read a piece in the Bangkok Nation decrying Thailand’s complicity:

      …Somehow, Rangoon has effectively blackmailed Bangkok for its energy needs. Through inept attitudes and policies, the Thais have failed to respond to Burmese people’s request for basic rights and freedoms…The future is bleak for Thailand to reclaim its place as a leading democratic voice in the region and regain its international credentials.

    4. Pankaj — on 13th October, 2007 at 1:39 am  

      Have you been to Burma? From the few lines you’ve stuck up there - imploring shame at the end on Manmohan Singh - I suspect not Sunny.

      Allow me to impress upon you and your readers the ordinary Burmese person’s attitudes towards Indians (both local and foreign).

      I’m a Singaporean (ethnicity:Indian) and travel (have been doing so for a decade) to Rangoon, where I also have relatives, at least a couple of times a year for business.

      There is a significant South-Asian (mostly Indian and Bangladeshi) minority in Burma, and they belong to opposite ends of society - the poorer bus drivers, barbers and cooks are frequently discriminated by the native Burmese (as they are, mind you, in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia) while the vastly richer, influential business class is grudgingly tolerated.

      Such negative attitudes have prevailed since the days of the British when Indians were found in larger numbers than today and worked mostly as clerks and administrators of the colonial power. (George Orwell’s Burmese Days touches sporadically on the contempt for the Indians by the locals.)

      So I feel it’s pretty fanciful that the Burmese are now requesting Manmohan Singh to pressure the ruling junta for reform, whilst criticizing India for not providing a vehement voice of opposition to the recent crackdowns.

      I’m no supporter of that vile junta but I think India’s priority is to protect its geopolitical and economic interests and not concern itself with the rights of the Burmese people (if you start with one country’s downtrodden, where do you stop? The rights of Filipinos? Indonesians? Tibetans?) - the Indian government should only worry about their people at home, who, I feel, will be served better by the status quo.

      It’s true what they say - people often deserve their governments, and I have no sympathy for the Burmese.

      Tell me which other cowardly populace - conveniently cowering behind saffron robes - would send its noble men of non-violence to face down the might of a nasty dictatorship.

      And such cowardice will only prolong the junta’s stranglehold on power. And neither India nor China will bat an eyelid.

    5. douglas clark — on 13th October, 2007 at 2:09 am  

      Pankaj,

      I had promised myself that, come what may, I would be nice to people who post here. I would not explete an ad hominem ever again, I would see error as an opportunity.

      Well, fuck that.

      So I feel it’s pretty fanciful that the Burmese are now requesting Manmohan Singh to pressure the ruling junta for reform, whilst criticizing India for not providing a vehement voice of opposition to the recent crackdowns.

      I’m no supporter of that vile junta but I think India’s priority is to protect its geopolitical and economic interests and not concern itself with the rights of the Burmese people (if you start with one country’s downtrodden, where do you stop? The rights of Filipinos? Indonesians? Tibetans?) - the Indian government should only worry about their people at home, who, I feel, will be served better by the status quo.

      Are you a human being or a machine? A malfunctioning machine, by thr way. India should not be concerned about the Burmese, because:

      I paraphrase, correct me if I get it wrong. India in the past has not said a lot. And now it is, it is wrong?

      Frankly, that does not make any sense whatsoever. It is always a delight to meet someone who is so limited, so restricted that they see international boundaries as limits on concience. You said:

      “(if you start with one country’s downtrodden, where do you stop? The rights of Filipinos? Indonesians? Tibetans?)”

      The answer to your question is obvious. It is nowhere.

    6. Desi Italiana — on 13th October, 2007 at 6:13 am  

      Pankaj:

      -”There is a significant South-Asian (mostly Indian and Bangladeshi) minority in Burma, and they belong to opposite ends of society - the poorer bus drivers, barbers and cooks are frequently discriminated by the native Burmese”

      This really does suck, and thanks for pointing this out.

      But I don’t get your logic:

      - So I feel it’s pretty fanciful that the Burmese are now requesting Manmohan Singh to pressure the ruling junta for reform, whilst criticizing India for not providing a vehement voice of opposition to the recent crackdowns.”

      The connection between the two assertions? That because South Asians are discriminated against in Burma, Singh can continue arming the regime? If so, then apply this logic across the board to other situations.

      “the Indian government should only worry about their people at home, who, I feel, will be served better by the status quo.”

      So how are the “people” of India being served better by the current relationship between India and Burma? I don’t mean simply Indian politicians, the elite, and arms folks. I mean all 1 billion people.

      -”Tell me which other cowardly populace - conveniently cowering behind saffron robes - would send its noble men of non-violence to face down the might of a nasty dictatorship.”

      The Burmese people didn’t “send” its “noble men of non-violence,” you nitwit. The monks took initiative, organized themselves, and spearheaded the protests. If anything, the Burmese followed their “noble men of nonviolence.”

      And BTW, those monks are indeed non-violent, but they are not new to being politically active in Burma.

      Also, you call the Burmese “cowardly”- yeah, I’m sure that those 3,000 Burmese students, activists, citizens, and monks who were killed in ‘88 by the security forces were “cowardly.”

    7. Pankaj — on 13th October, 2007 at 7:04 am  

      Douglas,

      You should know better than to make promises to yourself.

      And what’s with the swearing?

      My, my, my. I certainly must have offended your cozy, Home Counties sensibilities, coz you’ve worked yourself into a right ol’ snit.

      No surprises then that you’ve gone on to make a complete hash of picking through the bones of my argument.

      Bit of an intellectual lightweight aren’t you?

      Your riposte is laughably undercooked — you’ve merely wrenched two paragraphs out of context from my original post upon which to vent your misguided anger — and completely misses the nub of the issue I’ve raised.

      The Burmese have had, for generations now, an insecurity complex regarding ethnic Indians and one can’t help but feel a sense of ironic justice as they now go boo-hooing to Manmohan Singh for help.

      India’s priority (and rightly so) is to protect its borders and its citizens.

      Whether you like it or not Mr Clark, international boundaries affect the way in which lives are led within it.

      The influx of refugees on a poor country like India will only lead to a humanitarian disaster.

      And when I wrote the following — “if you start with one country’s downtrodden, where do you stop? The rights of Filipinos? Indonesians? Tibetans?” , I was referring to the Indian government’s actions vis-a-vis human rights in other countries.

      India, riven by poverty and struggling with its billion plus population, can’t afford to go around being concerned with the welfare of under-siege citizens in neighbouring countries.

      Bless the Indians but they are nowhere near the superpower that they perceive themselves to be.

      The coalition government in New Delhi is too fractious and too busy running a vast union of 28 states and seven union territories (where gross violations of human rights are made daily in the name of caste, religion and status) to bother about an afterthought of a country whose citizens have been lounging far too long under the excuse of a military government (more than forty-five years and counting) to do anything about their lot.

    8. Pankaj — on 13th October, 2007 at 7:09 am  

      Desi,

      How am I going to argue with someone who believes that three-thousand Burmese were actually killed in 1988?

      You weren’t there so stop buying your material from third, fourth-hand sources.

    9. Pankaj — on 13th October, 2007 at 7:25 am  

      Pickled Politics is fast becoming populated with simple-minded no-hopers like Desi Italiana, LOL!

      You’ve taken apparent offence to the following line in my piece: “Tell me which other cowardly populace - conveniently cowering behind saffron robes - would send its noble men of non-violence to face down the might of a nasty dictatorship.”

      Must I spell it out for you? — With the Burmese public continually being docile, the monks had no other alternative but to make a stand — thus in effect they were sent (and some of them to their deaths mind you) by proxy by the lame cowards that are the people of Burma.

      I hope I’ve made myself clear now.

    10. Desi Italiana — on 13th October, 2007 at 8:15 am  

      “Pickled Politics is fast becoming populated with simple-minded no-hopers like Desi Italiana, LOL!”

      Pankaj didn’t answer any of my questions, LOL!

      And Pickled Politics is fast becoming populated with simple-minded folks who post racist comments like Pankaj, LOL!

    11. sahil — on 13th October, 2007 at 9:28 am  

      “Must I spell it out for you? — With the Burmese public continually being docile, the monks had no other alternative but to make a stand — thus in effect they were sent (and some of them to their deaths mind you) by proxy by the lame cowards that are the people of Burma.”

      Reminds me of the people of Singapore. When the People’s Action Party decides to crack down on any civilian unrest in Singapore, by your logic do not expect any help from anyone. But as long as the shopping is good that won’t happen right??

    12. Pankaj — on 13th October, 2007 at 10:26 am  

      Oh Sahil you’re one sorry half-wit, aren’t you.

      And talk about trying to finish off with a smirky, smart-arsed quip — “as long as the shopping is good that won’t happen right??”

      You’re kidding me right? You’re trying to compare the Burmese junta — the most fantastic coterie of tinpots, buffoons and imbecilic dolts this side of Ankara — with the Singapore government?

      The same Singapore government that overhauled a sleepy third-world colonial port into a first world metropolis — the world’s fourth most important financial centre after New York, London and Tokyo?

      The same Singapore government that created the most efficient transhipment hub with the busiest port in the world?

      The same Singapore government that created the world’s most remarkable transportation system, or the most cutting-edge bio-medical and health care systems around?

      The same Singapore government that created the world’s most important oil-refining centre, the same government that created the most important air-hub in Asia?

      The same Singapore government that has created nothing but unprecedented wealth year upon year upon year for its citizens?

      I rest my case.

      Don’t get all jealous just because astute governance and sheer hard work has allowed people like me — and a vast majority of my compatriots — to make more money than you’ll ever get your grubby hands on and thus enjoy a standard of living you can only ever dream of.

      Civilian unrest in Singapore? What, with all this wealth? This is the land of plenty. We made it ourselves and deserve it.

      You’re a bit of a caveman if you think Singapore’s only about shopping. Why don’t you take off your Far Eastern Economic Review goggles and make a trip down here before working yourself up into such a lather.

      And besides, we’re debating Burma not Sunny Singers.So grab yourself a nice, cold Tiger and chill out.

    13. sahil — on 13th October, 2007 at 10:37 am  

      Errh I lived there for 7 years heh. And guess what I lived there through the 1998 so don’t tell me this year on year growth nonsense. As for the shopping, you talked about indolent Burmese, Singaporeans could teach there Burmese a thing or two about passive acceptance of the status quo as long as there is Orchard Street oh and cheap chili crabs in Pongol. You’ve just reminded why I’m thankful I left that 30×25KM Island. Enjoy going round and round the MRT I prefer to see the Pagodas in Burma. ALl hail the god of money LOL.

    14. Sid — on 13th October, 2007 at 11:05 am  

      To Pankaj, Singaporean (ethnicity:Indian):

      No one seems to have discredited your ignorance, prejudice and personal bitterness better than yourself. In that regard, thanks for saving many people a lot of time in taking your foolish views apart.

    15. sahil — on 13th October, 2007 at 11:15 am  

      “the world’s fourth most important financial centre after New York, London and Tokyo?”

      False, deluded and arrogant as ever, Singapore is even less relevant than Shanghai let alone HongKong:

      http://www.economist.com/specialreports/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9753240

      “The same Singapore government that created the most efficient transhipment hub with the busiest port in the world?”

      Again false and deluded:

      http://www.4to40.com/QA/index.asp?id=931&category=science

      “The same Singapore government that created the world’s most remarkable transportation system”

      Surprise, wrong again:

      http://www.virgin-vacations.com/site_vv/11-top-underground-transit-systems-in-the-world.asp

      “most cutting-edge bio-medical and health care systems around?”

      Do I even need to say it you fool:

      http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_development/previous_issues/articles/1470/biotechnology_start_ups_in_singapore_inspiring_future_entrepreneurs/(parent)/158

      “The same Singapore government that created the world’s most important oil-refining centre”

      Heh:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_refineries

      “the same government that created the most important air-hub in Asia?”

      Not the busiest even in Asia, but I have to say I do think Changi is a beautiful airport:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_busiest_airports_by_traffic_movements

      You know the problem with singapore is arrogant idiots like you who just sit back on past achievements and now have fallen behind on the work laid down by the previous generations. Wake up and stop being so deluded.

    16. Jai — on 13th October, 2007 at 12:08 pm  

      Pankaj,

      Following on from Sid’s accurate remarks, you might have a more receptive audience here if you just discussed your experiences (and quoted any relevant facts) in a civilised manner, without resorting to condescension and ad hominem attacks against commenters you may disagree with. The majority of people who participate on PP are decent folk, and the individuals you have targetted on this thread for your insults certainly do not deserve such a derisive and dismissive attitude from you. Have some manners, especially if you are as educated and successful as you claim to be.

      You’re also making some erroneous assumptions about the background and financial potential of your audience, considering that (for example) a number of regular participants on PP are members of the investment banking sector, including several people on this thread.

    17. KSingh — on 13th October, 2007 at 2:13 pm  

      India has many human rights issues of its own , so you would not expect it to make a stand for other countries.

      Amnesty 2007 report on India

      http://thereport.amnesty.org/eng/Regions/Asia-Pacific/India

      A BBC report on how India gets help from Burma to combat its own separatist movementsand its commercial interests.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7013975.stm

    18. edsa — on 13th October, 2007 at 7:21 pm  

      I tend to agree with much of what Pankaj says and boy, he has a gift with words and can make mincemeat of his critics. Mind you, he would generate more goodwill if he were a bit more civil.

      On India’s stand on Burma, I agree with columnist PRAFUL BIDWAI (Frontline Oct 07) when he dismissed
      India’s foreign policy approach to Myanmar as a sham and abject failure.

      “New Delhi somersaulted over Nepal until it recognised the inevitability of the absolute monarchy’s end. there was the failure to anticipate or influence major developments in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and, more recently, to support the movement for full democratisation in Pakistan.

      “Just as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were extolling the virtues of Gandhian non-violence, the new Army Chief, Deepak Kapoor, said that the happenings are Myanmar’s “internal affair” but “we have good relations” with its government and “we should maintain these”. General Kapoor stressed that the support of the Myanmarse military is vital to the success of India’s counter-insurgency operations in the northeastern region.
      “Out go our “romantic” notions such as democracy, human rights, and peaceful resolution of disputes, from which other things follow… In realpolitik, everything is OK so long as it promotes “the national interest” (for example, counter-insurgency).

      “It is only in New York that External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee sensed the international mood on Myanmar and proposed an inquiry into the unconscionable use of force in Yangon and other cities…”

      The truth is India is a big zero in international diplomacy - tired ancient men like Manmohan Singh or Pranab Mukerjee simply don’t have the intellectual capacity, communication skills, the suavete, the subtlety to assess a tricky situation quickly and respond firmly.
      Why not ask the Chinese for some help?



    • Post a comment using the form below

    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2007. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.