On a business trip
Sheikh Anjum Husain
It was an open secret that Obama meant business and he undoubtedly hit the iron when it was hot. The politically correct Obama chose to touch down first off in India's financial capital Mumbai and right away struck the cord with the country business tycoons.
Thereby he made it clear that the primary objective of his visit is to wrap as many business tie-ups as possible. His party back home got drubbed in the recently concluded mid-term polls and he ascribed this dismal performance to the US economy saying, “The economy did us in." While addressing the Indian parliamentarians he draw huge applause from the political geeks who were seen elbowing each other for that 'ultimate' Obama touch that would possibly turn them into golden politicians and secure their political careers till infinity. They cheered him longest and the loudest when he uttered that he welcomes India's preparedness for a seat in the UN Security Council. How long would the 'preparation' take is a different matter altogether. The US earlier in the year had indicated that India must solve the vexed Kashmir issue and then only dream of a seat in the UNSC. In his speech in the parliament it was not a U-turn on US' stand on the issue but another way of saying the same thing. It would be interesting to see how long India ignores the K issue. Although PM Manmohan Singh did recently say that India was not afraid of the K word then what makes the largest democracy of the world keep mum on it time and again. India subjects talks on Kashmir to Pakistan eliminating terrorism from its territory but why hold Kashmir as a political shield. Over a hundred innocent deaths from June this year were not perhaps enough to move India into taking the issue up with all stakeholders. People are fed up with intermittent strike and curfew calls now and this is what India wanted. To see the uprising die its own death India chose to adopt silence and delay tactics. But the people of Kashmir are aware of their rights and won't take things lying down. Peace is to be brought by way of peace only and no economic package or change of political dispensation is ever going to make up for the same.
Sheikh Anjum Husain