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Is India an ally of Sri Lanka?

| by Pearl Thevanayagam

(March 08, 2014, Bradford UK, Sri Lanka Guardian) As India, the world’s largest populous democracy went to polls and as electronic counting is in process, Sri Lanka should not be biting its nails and wondering who would be its next prime minister. Whichever party wins, Sri Lanka is furthest on its mind and its track record proves beyond reasonable doubt it could pinch the baby and rock the cradle since it has no genuine interest in Sri Lanka’s predicament at the UNHRC or the ramifications of the US led resolution.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa sent a congratulatory letter to PM Manmohan Singh but it is not ruled out that he could be despatching a threatening missive depending on how it will react in May. Neither Tamils nor the government should rest easy that India would support either at the UNHRC.

Look no further and shed no tears since India used its tactic of keeping Sri Lanka on edge and displaying its hawkish diplomacy during the whole of the last three years when UNHRC scrutiny gathered momentum while Sri Lanka prevaricated and presented a show of development to mask its failure in investigating war crimes during the final intensive offensive by its security forces in Wanni in late 2008 and early 2009. India’s participation in Sri Lankan affairs since independence has never been in the interests of Sri Lanka. It always sought its own welfare over and above those of the neighbours including Sri Lanka and its apparent show of concern towards the island is but a pretence citing its close geopolitical and geographical ties to show the world it empathises with the island.

It is not just its abstention from voting for the US led UNHRC resolution. History shows that it uses its neighbours as and when required to bolster its economy and stronghold in South Asia. Parripu drop and the subsequent invasion of the IPKF following the 1987 Indo-Lanka Peace Accord in their thousands to contain rising Tamil insurgency and later Sinhala youth uprising exposed India’s male fide political motives towards its tiny neighbour. Interfering under the mask of neighbourly bonhomie and assistance is India’s age old ruse which President Premadasa pre-empted in double-quick time and sent the marauding IPKF packing back to India.

That Ali Jinnah saw through India’s fork-tongued diplomacy who in his wisdom and intuition sought to carve out a part of India for Muslims in creating Pakistan and severing the links with India is a lesson Sri Lanka should remember. Pakistan with its global Islamic support and its own equal and rivalling accumulation of nuclear weapons is a major irritant and competition for India in South Asia bloc. Its insincerity reverberates in every utterance of its politicians be they Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Jayalalitha Jayaram or M. Karunanithy.

Britain’s hasty withdrawal and granting independence in the wake of Gandhi’s satyagraha and ahimsa policies which caused the loss of thousands of lives left behind a splintered nation filled with caste ridden consciousness, class divide and castigation of untouchables which makes it a pitiable state.

The Indian leopard is not changing its spots.

On the one hand it is aspiring to be the economic miracle of Asia and at the other end of the spectrum its greater population is mired in abject poverty. Prostitution, Aids, bribery and corruption are hallmarks of present day India. Its human rights record would make North Korea a virtual emblem of liberation and a pillar of democracy by comparison. Its treatment of women is unprecedented in that women despite holding positions of power are still slaves and subjugated and Indian culture dictates women are subservient. India may have the world’s greatest democracy but individual liberty in male dominant households is non-existent.

Tamil refugees who fled t o India are now living in appalling conditions in the slums of Tamil Nadu bereft of basic facilities. The photographs my former landlord who went to Tamilnadu brought of his siblings in shanties show stinking drainage and hovels hardly fit for even animals never mind human habitation. He went to Trichchi to attend the funeral of his nephew who was killed in a car accident. Although he lives in relative comfort in London, his father, brother and their extended family are living in slums with meagre provisions the Tamil Nadu Government metes out to Tamil refugees.

The number of rapes reported in the media is perhaps due to Indian males’ inadequacy in meeting the sexual needs in consenting relationship if one goes by a recent BBC report that India had to cancel an import of condoms due to them being too large to fit an average Indian male’s reproductive appendage. Bollywood being a make believe world tells you otherwise with women swooning over silver screen heroes who are tall, handsome and filled with bursting testosterone. This is the same myth attributed to Blacks that their appendages are humongous.

India post British rule is not what its then leaders envisaged. The opportunity freedom gave India is being squandered away through corrupt politics and its intolerance of its substantial Muslim and Sikh population, its enslavement of the untouchables and women; the evils of which would pull back India to its former self before independence.

(The writer has been a journalist for 25 years and worked in national newspapers as sub-editor, news reporter and news editor. She was Colombo Correspondent for Times of India and has contributed to Wall Street Journal where she was on work experience from The Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, California. Currently residing in UK she is also co-founder of EJN (Exiled Journalists Network) UK in 2005 the membership of which is 200 from 40 countries. She can be reached at pearltheva@hotmail.com)