I read two news reports last night that left me feeling very bad. Both have to do with politicians in India, so if you are going to read ahead, you’ve been warned.
The first story was the CWG in Delhi. For an event that I don’t agree with at all, it still pains me how badly we suck at organizing a two week ten day event. With all the money that’s been put into CWG 2010, and all the people that have been discomfited, and all sorts of liberties taken with the poor of Delhi, you’d expect some level of competence at preparations for the event. You’d be dead-in-the-shark-infested-water wrong. The CEO of the games has said on record that the games village is filthy. The main stadium for the games, the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, still isn’t ready. There are stray dogs in every part of the games village. And this:
A foot-bridge linking some parking lot to the main stadium has collapsed, injuring workers, some seriously. And apparently, the engineer in charge of the project worth 10.5 crore rupees (can you guess what the bridge should actually cost? Experiential estimates should tell you there should be a factor of about 10 involved) thinks there’s still enough time to build the thing before October 3.
With all this, perhaps the only silver lining to the commonwealth games cloud is that India will never again be asked to host anything. Ever. The poor in India’s cities can perhaps think of breathing easy. The other news report that I found unsettling has no such silver lining, however.
The Union minister of State for Defence has said the army in Kashmir is being made a scapegoat, and that the army needs the AFSP Act to protect the human rights of the soldiers. That sentence has to be read twice to be believed.
In what has to be the stupidest thing anybody’s ever said in justification of the AFSPA, the minister betrays a remarkable lack of understanding of what the situation in Kashmir is. The army is being made a scapegoat? What that should mean, unless words have been redefined since I last took note, is that somebody wants to throw stones in Kashmir, and that they would’ve thrown these stones regardless of the presence of the army; and that they’re just saying that the stone-throwing is to protest the army as an excuse. If I tried saying that to you, would you be able to keep a straight face? And the fellow spouting this nonsense is in charge of the defence of this country. Goddamn.
Says the moron of a minister:
The will to create trouble and foment trouble is still there and that is why the infiltration is still continuing and till that happens I think the security blanket (is needed) […] it is an essential instrument for forces in strife-torn areas and gives them a security blanket. You don’t want somebody thrusting human rights violations on our soldiers. So you have to give some amount of security blanket to these guys who are doing a hard job and you really don’t know in conflict places where the threat is coming from and how the terror element is going to strike.
The people who need a ‘security blanket’ aren’t the army. The people who need a security blanket are the people who get shot at by the army, people who have to fight bullets with stones. The way to not get our soldiers killed is not to give them carte blanche in Kashmir; it is to not send them to Kashmir in the first place. Oh, and that will to create and foment trouble the minister seems so set against? Its called the desire for freedom and self-determination. We used to respect and value it, once upon a time.