Letter to the Editor:
I was rather amused to read R.S. Jolly’s piece on India’s bid for a Security Council seat. The author has, to say the least, missed the point completely. One must remember that as President Bush and his Administration do not constitute the entire United States of America where the saner, peace-loving rational majority has been protesting against the unjust war on Iraq, similarly Narendra Modi and his cronies are not India. India is a multicultural, pluralistic society where less than 40% of the population believe in practicing Hinduism, 2% of which may be fanatics (as there are fanatics in every society) and the remaining 60% consists of Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and others. India, after Indonesia, has the second largest Muslim population in the world. To date India has had two Muslims and one Sikh as our Heads of State and even now the BJP Central leadership (i.e. Narendra Modi’s party) has one Muslim leader as the spokesman and another important Muslim as the Minister in the Central cabinet. The Indian government, media and people have unequivocally condemned Narendra Modi’s actions. L.K. Advani, the then Minister of Home Affairs (and presently the Deputy Prime Minister) has condemned the actions of Narendra Modi before the world media.
This proves that a few shortsighted politicos cannot be equated with Indian psyche that is far more tolerant, secular and democratic. India’s record in working towards world peace for more than five decades is for all rational beings to see. If the USA, with its not-so-old record of Pearl Harbor, discrimination against blacks, war in Vietnam and the current Iraq war can talk of world peace as a permanent member of the Security Council, then India, being a major player in all regional and international fora can logically seek a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. India is one of the founders of the Non Aligned Movement that taught the developing world to live in dignity and self-respect.
Finally my humble suggestion to the author of the piece is not to be swayed by adhoc understanding of events of a nation’s history but to cultivate a perspective based on reason and value.
Vikas Johari, Freshman, Business