The brief era of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was noteworthy for the manner in which the 35th President of the United States asked of his countrypersons that they each work to ensure that the change they desired took place. After being hustled into accepting the plan of CIA Director Allen Dulles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, Kennedy became wary of such armchair warriors, and would never have accepted the Pentagon’s demand for massive injections of US forces into Vietnam. Unlike both Truman and Eisenhower, who could not see beyond Europe in the way they regarded the world, Kennedy was as cognizant of the reality of the future rise of Asia as his illustrious predecessor Franklin Delano Roosevelt was. Within the US, his brother Robert F. Kennedy (then Attorney General) sought to implement civil rights legislation that would have come into effect a century ago, had not President Lincoln been assassinated by a racial supremacist and the torch handed over to Vice-President Andrew Johnson, who was as racist as Lincoln’s killer, John Wilkes Booth, a failed thespian. After the passage of Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson opened the gates towards massive US military involvement in Vietnam, a policy continued by Richard Nixon and which led to the first military defeat in US history. Very soon, another defeat is on track to getting formalised courtesy GHQ Rawalpindi’s agent of influence, US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who acts as though he has as much contempt for the Afghanistan as he has respect for the Pakistan military. The agreement that Khalilzad has worked out with the Taliban is an Instrument of Surrender that will have devastating consequences, including for the US. Clinton’s backing for the Taliban led to 9/11 and Khalilzad’s surrender to that band of extremists will inevitably lead to more terrorist atrocities against the US. In this context, the Taliban’s verbal sallies against the Pakistan army are simply camouflage designed to cover up that militia’s subservience to the Pakistan army, something that Prime Minister Narendra Modi well knows
As Prime Minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi has exhorted the people of India to understand who they are and where they came from. He has reminded the 1.3 billion citizens of what in purchasing power parity terms is the world’s third biggest economy that theirs is a lineage second to no other civilisation on the planet. The Swachh Bharat scheme is Modi’s way of telling the people that they deserve better, and that each and every citizen has to contribute towards such an effort. Indeed, this was the message of Camelot, the court of President Kennedy, which has been compared in its brilliance to the court of King Arthur, the founder of the era of Britain’s greatness. Just as he has boldly done away with such anachronisms as Article 370 and medieval practices such as Triple Talaq, Prime Minister Modi has cast aside the suspicions of the military that became embedded in policy since the time of Jawaharlal Nehru. Although he swiftly commandeered the Military Commander-in-Chief’s residence in Delhi for himself, Nehru ceaselessly sought to reduce both the funds available to the armed forces as well as the influence of the courageous women and men in uniform who protect the territorial integrity of India at the risk of their lives. The creation of a Chief of Defence Staff will ensure that those who actually go to war will have a front row seat in policy relating to the services rather than remain on the sidelines while civil servants newly arrived from the Agriculture and Culture ministries take decisions that affect not just the safety of the country but the lives of its active defenders. Since the 1977 defeat of the Congress Party, politicians have been afraid to raise the issue of the frenetic rise in population in the poorest parts of India. Not so Prime Minister Modi, who has warned of the danger that population explosion causes. Modi 2.0 is witnessing a new era in which every citizen is made aware of her and his quality and ability to change India the way only the people and not simply the government can.