March 21, 2005

Waiting for a line

Instant history applied to modern times, available for perusal here: A man from Gujarat was thrown out of a train in South Africa. Let us pledge to work for such a day when an American will have to stand in line for entry into Gujarat.

Hmm, let's see. To start with, what an interesting comparison! Throwing a man from a train, compared to denying a man a visa. Yes of course, pretty much identical situations there.

Understand, it was the visa-denied man who made the comparison. You think he did it because to this day, around the world, for better or worse, the train-ejected man is revered as "Mahatma"? Because to this day, around the world, for better or worse, he is perceived as having stood for principles such as courage and truth and justice?

Of course not! Who would be so cynical and manipulative?

Also, I have two niggling thoughts about this comparison.

One, when the train-ejected man was ... well, ejected, I don't remember him getting up, dusting off his clothes and announcing publicly: "Let us pledge to work for such a day when a South African will have to stand in line for entry into Gujarat." Do you? He didn't say that, because his idea of swabhimaan, of self-respect, was founded on more substantial things than the idea of making people stand in lines. That's one reason he remains revered.

Two, if some day such a line does come to be, it will be heavily populated by members of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, among others. I certainly hope those hotel owners enjoy standing in line.

10 comments:

wise donkey said...

the comparison is a pathetic joke, though not funny.

Jwaala said...

While the attempted comparison (implied or otherwise) is odious, to say the least, why are we acting surprised ?

I mean, these are our *politicians* ! This is no more surprising than sundry others claiming at election time to continue some famous name's legacy, when they come to power. Or, the pathetic attempts at poll-time to garner votes, by pandering to sentiments like nostalgia and patriotism (mostly misplaced).

Next time, just vote them out...

Buchu said...

hi dilip, i used ur book for my thesis because it was on the development induced displacement in india with a specific focus on the narmada project.

Anonymous said...

Dilip Dude, why you sound so perverse?

Niket said...

Perverse, I thought he was funny. Especially the last para:
"Two, if some day such a line does come to be, it will be heavily populated by members of the [AAHOA]."

Though D^3, wouldn't it be nice if our politicians were to actually work on the promise of seeing long queues outside Indian embassies.

Pallavi said...

I read your article on same topic on rediff. Well said Dilip. It is a joke all right. And if you are in a good mood, funny too.

jwaala, but they don't wote them out ...

Anonymous said...

What Dilip sahib can't tell is Gandhi's opinion on golbalization with foreigners flocking into India. Different times, different crimes?

Of course we know that Dilip would welcome with open arms any foreigner wishing to get rid of Indian Govt to instill law and order - ofcourse subject to the Govt being a led by a BJP party. I guess Dilip's a bit shy publicizing that article these days and one can guess why.

Dilip D'Souza said...

What Dilip sahib can't tell is Gandhi's opinion on golbalization with foreigners flocking into India.

What this means, though I'm positive it does mean something, escapes me.

I guess Dilip's a bit shy publicizing that article these days...

Which article? You mean this one?

Let me guess. You never did read it and you won't read it now, right? Because you'd rather just insinuate, right?

Also do tell me what this has to do with the post you have commented on. I can't see the connection, but I'm sure you can.

Anonymous said...

Rajiv Gandhi was also guilty of looking the other way during the sikh riots. But being india PM and posterboy the US granted him a visa without much fuss when he went to visit. As my friend says: "Its upto the host who he chooses to invite into his house." The issue is that the US will give a visa to whom it wants or needs, well they even gave a visa to the visiting Taliban foreign minister from Afghanistan. And Oh Mushu bahi can use Dubya hospitality any time he feels like, that he routinely tramples democracy and actively supports terrorism is of no real importance . Sure Modi is a criminal but lets not lose sight of politics at play here.

Venu Gopal Rao said...

Because you'd rather just insinuate, right?
Ooch...Dinesh.
So it does hurt when shoe's on other foot? Others too can read in between the lines. It's just like your insinuatons with Modi's comments on "such a day when an American will have to stand in line for entry into Gujarat"

Believe it or not Dinesh, more Americans are standing in line today to visit Bangalore than there were about say 10 years ago. Wonder if it would be so bad if Gujarat blossomed into another Bangalore in next couple years? Of course those with jaundiced views won't able to see past the Godhara+monster+Modi+Gujarat blinkers they decided to wear - well why not, it pays well to write about it, right?