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Re: IP-Indians-Manjunath Somayaji-10.28.98-1026



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Administrative Note:
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Week's Agenda: Political & administrative reforms
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Manjunath Somayaji wrote:
>How can a person who has sworn allegiance to another nation, someone
>who has given up allegiance to India, ask for protection of his rights
>from the Indian government? India has many flaws - some of them simply
>deplorable - but being an Indian is not one of them. IMO, If you are
>not an Indian citizen, you have no right to claim protection from the
>Indian government. You did not stand by India, why should India stand
>by you? It's like asking for continued relationship after you went
>ahead and got yourself a divorce.

I think that the matter is not that simple.

As an actual case we could use to explore this issue, consider Sri
Lanka:
Around 15 years ago, the government incited and sponsored a genocide and
persecution of  their tamil minority- these are people who have lived
there for
hundreds of years and are not particularly wealthy. The Indian
government
intervened diplomatically and later militarily.

By your argument this was entirely wrong- India should have stood by and
allowed
the slaughter to continue. I would argue that India intervened, at least
partly,
because of pressure from the Indian tamil community because they have
some
kinship with Lankan Tamils and thus is representing the interest of
Indian
tamils.

As for pledges of allegiance to a state, saluting the flag, and so on- I
see
these as Orwellian devices which substitute our thinking with rules or
slogans
that strengthen the power of those that would hold power over us in the
name of
some "state". I agree with Oscar Wilde when he said something like
"Faced with
the choice of betraying my friends or betraying my country, I hope I
have the
strength to stand by my friends".

Your analogy with divorce may be perceptive though I disagree with your
conclusions: If children are involved, the relationship does not
disappear.
Likewise when ther are common friends. Plug that into your analogy, and
it would
appear entirely appropriate for Indian foregn policy to at least be
cognizant of
the interests of non-citizens of Indian origin.

-Charu

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