The sado-masochism of Lutyens Delhi

The sado-masochism of Lutyens Delhi

By M.D. Nalapat | 8 October, 2016
Lutyens Delhi is sadistic towards Indians, masochistic while bargaining with foes.

When the United Nations Organisation (UNO) was set up in 1945, much of the world was still in a state of formal servitude to European powers. Indeed, the 1939-45 war had come about after Adolf Hitler sought to do unto other Europeans what several within that continent had done to hundreds of millions in other continents: keep them in slavery. He has been celebrated as a tribune of freedom from oppression, but up to his final days in office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) and beyond, Winston Spencer Churchill was opposed to the grant of even a diluted list of freedoms to the people of India, regarding them as racial inferiors in even a worse way than Hitler and his followers in Germany considered the populations of Poland, France, Norway, although in Russia the German psychotic who sought to exterminate one of the globe’s most gifted communities behaved in much the same way as those from Europe who had earlier colonised the Americas. The Atlantic Declaration of Roosevelt and Churchill was made applicable only to Hitler’s victims in Europe and not to anybody else. Given such a context, it was no surprise that the UNO was conceived of as an organisation where genuine democracy was largely absent. The most representative body, the General Assembly (UNGA), was almost from the start reduced to the role of a talking shop, while actual authority got vested in the UN Security Council (UNSC), and within that, with the five Permanent Members (or P5). These would have been India, the US, the UK, Russia and France had Jawaharlal Nehru responded to suggestions from both Moscow and Washington that he concur in moves to replace the KMT-led Republic of China with the Republic of India. 

Strangely, the intensity of Nehru’s demand that the fifth permanent seat in the 15-member UNSC migrate from the KMT-led Republic of China to the Peoples Republic of China did not abate even after the 1962 border conflict with that country. This effort to displace the KMT in favour of the CCP came despite Generalissimo Chiang having fought openly for the independence of India during meetings with Churchill. 

Such generosity to outside powers at the expense of India was also visible in the hasty Indian ceasefire declared after 1947-48 attack on Kashmir by Pakistan. Indeed, when the then East Punjab shut off the Indus waters to Pakistan and practically brought that country to its knees, PM Nehru chastised the state and ordered the resumption of Indus waters to Pakistan despite the war that was being waged by that country on India. Later, he masterminded the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, which was not made more balanced even after the subsequent military operations launched against this country by its neighbour to the west in 1965, 1971 and 1999. This was a case of turning not only a cheek to the aggressor but the entire body, behaviour that Lutyens Delhi has converted into an art form, even while it ruthlessly restricts the rights and freedoms of the citizens of India. 

The Indus Waters Treaty is only part of a lengthy list of similar one-sided agreements, with some others being the 1972 Shimla Accord, the 1992 Rupee-Rouble pact and India’s shoddy WTO negotiations, each of which are textbook examples of how the interests of our country have been cast aside in favour of countries that have made a career out of seeking to do India harm. 

Lutyens Delhi is sadistic towards the people of India and masochistic while interacting with its enemies, who get rewarded in proportion to the degree to which pain gets inflicted by them on India. Hence the delirious (and subsequently hugely expensive) welcome to the very Bill Clinton, who as President harried India to surrender its small nuclear deterrent and hand Kashmir over to the Wahhabi army of Pakistan. Or the gift of a fee of millions of dollars to a Robert Blackwill, who (despite knowing that any prospect of nuclear war was nonsense and that all the A.B. Vajpayee government was doing in Operation Parakram was posturing in order to impress voters at home) sparked off a global panic about an “imminent” nuclear war between India and Pakistan. Blackwill ordered several tens of thousands of US citizens to flee this country immediately, damping for a decade at least any possibility of India attracting as much external investment as China. Or the welcome greeting Henry Kissinger on his visits to India, despite that gentleman being significantly responsible for his President Nixon having ordered the genocide of Bangladeshis, Cambodians, Vietnamese and Laotians, for which he was subsequently rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. And although the sums involved are not publicly known, given Kissinger’s affinity towards hard cash, it is certain that the man has made money out of India as well, although not to the Croesean scale of his operations in China. 

Given the sado-masochistic miasma of Lutyens Delhi, it is hardly surprising that it genuflects so obsequiously and so often before the UNSC, a body in which it is not a Permanent Member despite being the home of a sixth of the globe’s population. 

The UNSC has repeatedly short-changed India, which is why the Narendra Modi government should demand that the UN change its statutes such that a majority in the UNGA should ratify each UNSC decision for the latter to be made effective, while a two-thirds negative vote in the UNGA should suffice for overriding a P-5 veto. In an age when even television stations based out of that haven of liberty, Qatar, talk endlessly of democracy, it is time for the UN to show that it supports the concept not simply verbally, but in practice, by making the UNGA rather than the UNSC the final determinant of policy within the United Nations Organisation.

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