Monday, February 05, 2007

National Shame or Call to Honor?

I arrived in Entebbe –Uganda from Khartoum via Nairobi. As my hotel minivan rolled out of Entebbe airport on way to Kampala, Uganda, images of Israel’s daring rescue operation of hijacked Air France plane on June 3rd 1976 flashed my mind. But soon, Kandahar incident of dec 24th 1999 stood like a blot against this courageous and brave commando operation.

Somehow most ‘singh’ that occupied India’s post independence ministerial posts have been great disappointments. Tradition continued with Charan Singh, Arjun Singh, V.P Singh and Jaswant Singh. All these Singhs came with great fanfare and showed lot of charisma and rekindled hope only to leave behind them traces divided society. But Jaswant Singh went further by demonstrating an act that perhaps has no parallel in public behavior. I don’t know much about Jaswant Singh but his appearance gives an impression of being aristocratic background. He does look physically fit with his erect stance and his straight pointed nose project his military disposition. This supposedly 'most courageous looking aristocratic man’ himself accompanied the three dreaded terrorists to Kandahar in a chartered aircraft in exchange for the hostage passengers of IC-814 and walked back as if he had done a great honor to his country. I am sure he must be the only Foreign Minister of any country who took a pride in making abject national surrender to terrorists in most shameful manner.

Perhaps, Jaswant Singh must not have been sure of his 'courageous act' would guarantee him a place in history books. As soon as his party was thrown out of power, he went on to write his memoir and named it as ‘Call to Honor’. But sensing his ‘calling’ may not evoke public response, he created a furor with a sensational claim that there was a US mole during Ex Prime Minister Mr. P.V.Narasimha Rao's office but when heat turned on him to substantiate his claims, he backed out. I would never even have rummaged through his ‘call to honor’ in book shop , leave alone buying this book. But when I read about Jaswant Singh’s claims of inviting External Affairs Ministry officials to have champagne at his home after his return from Kandahar, I was not just amused but disturbed. What must be the event for celebration? Was it shameful act of cowardice executed to the perfection by his National Govt? I am sure even today, Israel must still be lamenting the loss of their commando leader Colonel Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu, the only Israeli soldier to die their daring operation that saved every passenger on that fateful Air France flight from Athens to Paris.

One Entebbe Israeli operation was enough to be a strong deterrent for any international terrorist organization to make another attempt to abduct or hijack any Israeli person or plane. Over the years, Israel’s stand has become crystal clear – no ransom to any hijacker, no matter how powerful hijacked person is - and sure they enacted this into a state law. If India ever to attempt to table a similar law, I am sure it would have same fate as that of woman’s reservations bill. Till such time, we shall continue to have incidents of Rubaina kidnapping or IC 814 hijacking and public servants like Mufti Mohammad Sayd, V P Singh and Jaswant Singh shall use such events in opening gates of terrorist cells and make ‘call to honor’ for their courageous act.

Entebbe with sprawling tranquil Lake Victoria, lush green mountainous carpets on red soil with misty and cloudy equatorial weather may fill up lungs with fresh air for most tourists and make them elated. But for me, this place will always evoke the memories for Israel operation thunderbolt and sadly it would also bring fiasco of Kandahar.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Subbaraman Iyer said...

I agree with you that Jaswant Singh's handing over the terrorists is one of the most shameful acts that India committed during the post independence period. I still remember his grin at the Khandahar airport.

Never have I felt so morally outraged.

Speaking of other Singhs -- Zail Singh was a Sanjay Gandhi crony.

Surjit Singh (Barnala) was always Confused between Bhindranwala and what is right( I dont know whether becoming a professional governor has altered his confusion).

Dr. Manmohan Singh doesn't have the courage to even look at the CPM (Marxists) in their face and ask them to buzz off. The Marxists have been irritating him and blocking every move. More importantly, (and history will prove this), Dr. Singh identified himself very closely with the India-US nuclear agreement and my sense is that we have brow beaten to follow the US line. We sold out to the US interests.

More importantly he seems to be toeing Sonia's line, and the only saving grace is that he has turned into a Sonia sycophant.

12:34 PM  
Blogger careerstrategist said...

Amazing. This is truly incredible. I am in awe of your story, the world, the visions, reader...........gees. I feel so small. I want to hop into your world. And see it with you. You are an incredible writer. And inspiring. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

8:45 AM  

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