Shame : India The Only Country To Defend US Spying!

Thanks to Manmohan Singh and his Government, India has achieved the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world servile enough to leap to the defence of the US’ spying – even though India itself is reportedly the fifth most watched country by US spies.

India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed said a curt No to Snowden’s appeal for asylum, declaring that “India is not an open house for asylum seekers.” India denied Julian Assange asylum as well. But in that case, at least, India had the excuse that Wikileaks had leaked embarrassing material about India. Snowden has in fact revealed to us that the US is spying on us! Why should such a whistleblower not be welcomed with open arms?

Most countries of the world, including European ones, reacted with strong words to the revelations of US spying, though they lacked the spine and conscience to give Snowden asylum. It is the Latin American countries that showed the most admirable courage and principles. Bolivia offered Snowden asylum. When Bolivian President Evo Morales was flying back from Moscow (where Snowden was then rumoured to be), his jet had to be rerouted to Vienna when France, Spain, Portugal and Italy blocked access to their airspace! At Vienna, in an unprecedented act of arrogant high-handedness towards a head of state, President Morales’ plane was searched, and allowed to take off only when it was clear that Snowden was not stowed on board! This act of treating a President of a state like a common criminal underlines that imperialist balance of power in the world – where certain countries, and their anti-imperialist leaders from indigenous backgrounds, are simply not treated as deserving of as much respect as those of the ‘First World’ countries!

Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, said of Snowden, “What has this young man done? He divulged documents that the United States spies on the entire world; they listen to anyone’s telephone, they oversee the Internet around the globe, and they monitor all electronic mail ...” The United States “violates international laws of self-determination and sovereignty… (while Snowden) hasn’t planted any bombs, hasn’t assassinated anyone, hasn’t robbed anyone, he simply one day looked in the mirror and said: ‘What am I doing to the world, this should not be’ … He is part of the rebellion of North American youth that is moving forward in a rebellion of consciousness, of ethics.”

In contrast to the bold and principled positions taken by Maduro and Morales, Manmohan’s Government brought shame to India. Salman Khursheed actually behaved more loyal to the US than Americans themselves, explaining that the US was “not actually snooping”! He also claimed that “Some of the information they (the US) got out of their scrutiny, they were able to use it to prevent serious terrorist attacks in several countries.” This, when US double agent David Headley was able to mastermind the terrorist attack in Mumbai without the US bothering to let us know that a spy of theirs was repeatedly entering our country! US spying endangered India and exposed it to the biggest terrorist attack till date: yet the Indian Government makes excuses for the US!

India’s main opposition party, the BJP, and its current top leader Narendra Modi, are very busy trying to persuade the US to issue Modi a visa (which they will interpret as a US blessing for what they hope is the ‘PM in waiting’). Neither Modi nor other BJP leaders – ever willing to take pot shots at Pakistan or China - have shown any inclination to criticize US’ brazen violation of our sovereignty!

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