The ruckus over Tharoor’s “Interlocutor” remark has hit headlines again. The minister has irked and embarrassed his party with such relentless regularity that expecting him to remain politically correct is a fallacy. But interestingly all the controversy his statements have raked up is centered around usage of dialect and it has now reached a crescendo when he sought to point out the difference between “Mediator” and “Interlocutor” in his defense. Interpreting his sound bytes and twitter messages has gotten critics to dig deep into intricacies of English language and the media is feeling insulted at the hint that his language is not being understood. So, here’s a minister who seemingly reminds us of his sound literary grounding time and again, having authored several books. This is a contrast of sorts, since majority of Indian politicians are incoherent while articulating their views.
In all fairness, overturning the foreign policy decision, of having no third party intervention in addressing issues concerning Pakistan and dealing with them only in the bilateral realm, is a gross violation. India asking Saudi Arabia to exert their influence on Pakistan to stop cross border terrorism could be termed as going an extra mile in ironing out problems with its neighbour. On the other hand, the slightest overture of involving a third country to intervene and mediate even through inappropriate usage of spoken word can spell trouble. Ironically, foreign policy issues are being deciphered on the basis of semantics. Despite several slip ups and receiving flak from opposition for his comments, congress just decides to bury the hatchet by expressing displeasure over the matter. Isn’t it time to clip the wings of partymen who rake up a controversy at the drop of a hat and show them the door?
The party’s attitude of dragging its feet is just not restricted to Tharoor’s conduct but applies to matters as grave as terrorism emanating from across the border. A case in point would be the wavering stance adopted over JUD’s war cry against India. They decided to go ahead with foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan on the premise that some progress on terror has taken place and no engagement whatsoever would further hinder the peace agenda. When the bugle of jihad blew over the streets of Lahore in the form of a huge rally, the external affairs ministry chose to give it a deaf ear stating that rhetoric by likes of Hafiz Saeed should not be given much importance. But, why is India then insisting on his captivity and holds him as prime conspirator of 26/11 when his speeches are to be brushed aside. Then, leading up to the talks, Pune witnessed a terror strike which was being seen as preceded by specific warning by JUD’s top brass. Subsequent to the German bakery attack, there was again an echo that India should not fall prey to attempts by vested interests aimed at derailing the ensuing dialogue.
As expected, the talks were reduced to mere farce with Pakistani delegation making strong statements and referring to Indian dossiers as piece of literature rather than treating those as proof of their complicity. Both countries addressing press conferences separately resulted in contradictory details emerging with respect to primary focus of discussion. The neighbour claiming Kashmir was touched upon in great detail while the Indian contingent downplayed the same and stressed on having made demands for dismantling terror infrastructure and clamping down on overt acts of perpetrating violence. In the backdrop of events that played out in last year and a half, Congress must have realized the fact that dialogue and diplomacy with Pakistan would not budge them an inch. Yet, congress seems content in pursuing the same approach.
Will the menace of terrorism and troubled ties with Pakistan, ever be handled by congress regime in a manner that befits the neighbour’s shirking and obstinate ways. Perhaps, procrastination has become congress’ forte and recourse to tackling problems instead of being resolute in its stand.