Obamania Enough Already

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Back in pre-liberalization days of import restrictions, when the word “phoren-maal” would make our hearts beat faster, the arrival of the NRI relative would be a cause for great excitement. Everyone would crowd around the newly-arrived from pardes, sticking around on some pretext till the returnee opened his suitcase. It was then that the rabbits would be brought out of the magic chest—-the lipsticks, the “Dukes of Hazard” T-shirt (what we did not know that the show had been off air for many years and the concerned merchandise were being sold at 90% off at Woolworth’s), the walkman, the Toblerone, the 555s. Eyes would light up. People would discuss loudly how much they miss the said uncle. Sometimes though one would fall silent. That is when the suitcase would be revealed to have only personal belongings in it. The hopeful would still mill around for some time hoping for a goodie to drop out from some fold in a shirt. Finally the wait would be terminated by the NRI putting some lozenges in your hand, the ones he grabbed off the Air India tray in one fell swoop.

Now of course things have changed. The touts no longer crowd around you at the airport with their “Sir dollar sir dollar”. You look at the cellphone of the taxi driver and realize that he is holding the phone Verizon is currently accepting pre-orders for back in the US. Your cousin runs in holding an iPad in her hand and asks you, with a detectable edge in his voice, if you have one, at which you mumble under your breath that you are waiting for the Slate PC. The mystique of being an NRI has gone. And we are so much the better for it.

But somehow, the moment we have an American President coming to visit us, the Pavlovian instincts take over and we are back into our rolling-on-the-ground mode. Coconuts are taken down so that one does not fall on the anointed one’s head. Special Indian massages are arranged for him and his wife. Platters are named in his honor. The high and mighty prostrate themselves in his path. Public money is spent like water and ordinary citizens  inconvenienced for HIS convenience.

And who is He?

No. Not the most powerful man in the world. That is Hu Jintao. He is not even the most powerful man in the US. Since the heady days of 2008, his influence has been vastly reduced and the aura around his head much diminished after a middling presidency. Hell he is not even the most powerful person in the Obama family—-the honor of that going to Michelle Obama, who has the angriest expression on a face I have seen since Mike Tyson and whose arms always remind me of Sunny Deol’s dhai kilo ka haath.

So why should we care about Obama’s visit considering that we as a country have little to gain from this man or his administration? Obama’s vision for the world is one where India is marginalized politically, kind of similar to that of Bill Clinton’s whose messenger Robin Raphel was as viscerally anti-India as one could be (She has now been appointed by Obama to handle the disbursement of non-military aid to Pakistan). Yet when Billu Badshah came at the fag end of his presidency, we as a country prostrated ourselves, showering him with “warmth”, bending backwards.  Just like we will do for Obama.

Of course, we will forget that Obama’s foreign policy consists of pandering to Pakistan, supplying them money for non-military aid intentionally without safeguards, fully cognizant that it will be used against India. And if that was not a gigantic FU to India, the great Peace Prize winner has now given another USD 2 billion for hard-core military aid.  We will forget that the cornerstone of Obama’s policy has been to pressurize India to compromise on its interests to placate Pakistan.He has also been consistently opposed to India being perceived as a nuclear power and has no sympathy for even a permanent membership at the UNSC for India. Even though that would be a largely symbolic gesture, he is reluctant to concede even that.

On the economic front, he has made outsourcing to India a cheap election target ratcheting up anti-India paranoia as a bugaboo to explain the decline of American industry. As he suffers further reverses because of his own misguided domestic policies, this false fear-mongering against India (they are coming to take away your jobs, they are not cooperating on global environmental regimes) will continue. Even as a person,there is little to respect in someone who declines to go to the Golden Temple because by covering up his head, he might be mistaken to be a Muslim. Why? Because it shows that even his so-called liberal stance is merely an artifact of political expediency and that for all the talk of “change” and a “new way of doing politics” he is not beyond pandering to the worst kind of American xenophobia and ignorance.

Perhaps it is because our saheb-submissive conditioning that we seem to believe that any American President by coming here is doing us a favor, that somehow the dust on his feet is a recognition of our position in the world. Let’s face it. Obama is coming here to promote America’s business interests particularly in the energy and educational sectors . There is nothing wrong in that, as the nation’s President that is one of his jobs. However if we do not greet the washing powder salesman by opening the door and doing a belly dance wearing thongs, why do we debase ourselves when it comes to the American President, and that too someone like Obama who has consistently displayed an unapologetic insensitivity towards Indian interests.

So what is the most India can expect from this trip, beyond the inking of some agreements of a marginal nature and some diplomatic hot air? Obama referring to India as an emerging superpower in the course of one of his many cliche-filled speeches. This  of course will make us go all weak-kneed as if Megan Fox has just parked her car in a shaded street and asked us to get in the back seat with her. Superpowers, even emerging ones, should not really care for anyone else’s ratification—-after all isnt that what being a superpower is all about? That we still depend on the US to tell us that we have potential to become a superpower just shows that we ourselves are not convinced. Here’s a quick test as to when we have arrived on the world stage—-when a widely read US website, say Huffington Post, before a state visit by the Indian PM to the US, does an article on how our Indian prime minister’s wife would look in different American get-ups—a cheerleader’s costume, a cowgirl’s etc—through photoshopping [like Rediff has done for Michelle Obama—how would she look in different Indian attire]. The day that happens  that’s when we are truly one of the big boys. Till then, we are nowhere close.

All that I am saying is that we should treat Obama’s visit as just another visit by a head of state and not take it as a certificate of how much the US respects India. Because it does not. Definitely not under Obama. Which is why we as a country should treat him in the same way we treat the uncle who opens his suitcase and says “Bete, I had brought all these nice Swiss chocolates for you but the customs official took all of them away”—with a polite namaste and a gentle smile before running away to play outside.

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133 thoughts on “Obamania Enough Already

  1. You said it..Indian media continues to play out its ‘Let’s see who can get dumber’ ritual again by pandering to the notions of what would catch more eyeballs..Obama is good at rhetoric and playing to the gallery..And that too is slowly getting rejected by Americans themselves..India should be cautious in its approach and the deals that get signed on his visit..

  2. Hi – spot on as usual. Just 1 correction Robin Raphael is a lady and the pic in the article is Holbrooke.
    cheers

  3. I agree………”the Pavlovian instincts take over and we are back into our rolling-on-the-ground mode”
    I don’t have much capacity to understand the entirety of US-India relations in toto..but with the little amount of effort to understand International relations as an unending necessity for my understanding of local politics…”very local”.. I agree with the related tags of pre-liberalization and metaphorical videshi sweets.
    “He is not even the most powerful man in the US”…while we look at keeping up with top-notch brands of world politics, I as one affected everyday by India’s nonchalant neighborly relations, is always apprehensive of the same Jintao land philosophy ” Sweep your own house, before casting a look at others”. I can’t propose solutions, but I do see strong reasons to say the pending internal crisis, majorly in the east is worth a majorshift. Everyday, new pressures are felt here…and I just hope, internal defense mechanism, along the borders( inclusive of ball-tampering, match fixing and borderLine-fixing nation )is given more importance than a mere visit, that needs not much to be discussed about considering India has nothing to lose whether the Namaste is relatively genuine or not.off-topic but in-topic when we discuss coconuts. I am merely stating a pent-up volcano, with lava flowing in from the tunneled borders. Thanks, a worthwhile read.

  4. Forget Indians, Obama has yet to do anything substantial for working middle class americans living in suburbia submerged in mortgage loans.
    But I would rather prefer Indians climbing coconut trees for Obama than Hu Jintao. I would rather prefer India suck up to US than China.
    It may sound emotionally and historically motivated over reason, but it always reminds me an answer to a proverb:
    “Paani me raheke Magarmacch se dushmani nahi kar sakte.”
    “Magarmacch se dosti karoge to bhi woh tumhe chabaa legaa.”

    So which eclair India should prefer to chew?
    yellow or black?

    The one that sometimes dangles his dingdong,
    but most of the time keeps his pants on.

    If you are getting visions of brown chocolate being chewed on,
    blame it on your vast and fertile imagination!

  5. Dhoni-and-missus-in-water or Obama-in-India – these are all major past-times to distract ourselves over chai. Cannot be anything else. (Or at least, better not be).

  6. Well Saig GB…Although I think Obama has no option but to consider India with a little less disdain now given the size of his delegation and the investments India is making in the US…..or maybe that is the pop culture affected bubble gum patriot in me talking…..

    What is even more depressing is the Lack of a credible opposition in India It is sad to see the BJP making an issue out of the statement Obama made at the Mumbai Taj….

    PS: On a completely different note….I hope you are loving the mini resurgence of the Pak cricket team…(with the two games they pulled off…both of which looked like lost causes)…with a Pakistan like that…I think 2011 WC could be fun!!!

  7. I am a newbie as far as US politics is concerned and started studying different parties and their agendas off late. While everyone seems to love Democrat Presidents in India (Bill Clinton and now Obama), India has never gained much during Democrat Presidents (Sanctions during Bill Clinton era and Obama antics as discussed in your post). In-fact most fruitful time from India’s point of view was the Bush Jr. Era which gave us Nuclear Deal, Fillip to Outsourcing etc. But still as a community, Indian-American population has always been supportive of Democrats rather than Republicans. Wonder whats the reason for this?

  8. couldn’t have agreed more with you on this..it is our same old “babu” mentality which really hasn’t gone away just hiding behind in the charade of modernism..

  9. @Kinshuk, the reason is simple, for an immigrant the liberal policies of Democrats are appealing and those of the conservative GOP Republicans are not. So as an Indian hate the democrats and as an Indian American prefer them

  10. “if we do not greet the washing powder salesman by opening the door and doing a belly dance wearing thongs, why do we debase ourselves when it comes to the American President”-aptly said,couldn’t have been put better

  11. Hi GB- I agree with your analysis of vision, action and execution of Obama so far however that’s reason why I feel this visit is supremely important. We need to get this visit right(pompous/hoopla/due importance). Yes it is symbolic but every visit of any head of state is symbolic.
    Clinton’s and Bush’s presidential terms very significantly pro-India after their visit.
    Let Obama hear our story, we have got this chance and we should make most of it. If American media perceives this visit as success for Obama’s popularity aboard this would give much needed fillip to Obama and would ultimately help India’s case.
    if Obama’s term so far is anti or indifferent to India, is this not fault of our government and their fatcat lobbyist. American-Indians have done commendable job in fostering US-India relation, perhaps they need to push themselves little more…

    So let us treat the metaphorical uncle right and hence when he goes back to will send a bag full of candies and remembers to bring swags on his next visit ….

    BTW Happy Diwali.

  12. I am not an expert on international geopolitics. But even as a layman with some common sense (just enough to survive in this world), I would say that the ending makes a lot of sense. Superb!

  13. The real reason for this visit is the QE2 stimulus ($600 bn + $2 trillion before) and the deep bitterness it has caused around the world, including in Europe. Already China, Japan and every Asian economy exporting to the USA are mulling a response. All this outsourcing, arms tamasha is worth $20 bn tops. Pak, Kashmir are non-issues for both India & USA right now.

    Also can someone explain how Obama is able to park 34 warships off the Mumbai coast during these “negotiations”? Seems like a breach of our sovereignty.

  14. hah u make me reminisce of the old days when even M&Ms and cashews from the US were gifted with such excitement. these will indeed be great stories to tell our younger generation, which our current generation would have the great privilege of telling.

  15. “…Michelle Obama, who has the angriest expression on a face I have seen since Mike Tyson and whose arms always remind me of Sunny Deol’s dhai kilo ka haath.”

    Making fun of a person’s physical appearance? That’s a pretty low blow. Also, you are comparing a cowgirl’s & a cheerleader’s costume to a salwaar kameez, lehenga, ghagra choli? (“does an article on how our Indian prime minister’s wife would look in different American get-ups”). That’s an odd choice of apples vs. apples…

  16. Arnab, great post!

    i think both the aspects touched by you are so true- one of Obama’s open partial behavior as also the NRI-gifts-phenomena and the change India has seen in the same 😛 .

    Again, cool post.

  17. Describing first lady’s physical appearance was a little lowbrow(Although not as much as rediff has stooped to).

    But that part of NRI gift from Dollar Tree makeup section, from Value City/Woolworh is pure GB. And Next time Bengali Association in your neighborhood arranges for another “I-have-car-from Benz-Jewellery-from-PC Chandra” Durgapuja in your New England area, I don’t expect to see you clapping when the mayor comes to wish a happy “Dass-hera” or “Dywali”.

  18. Excellent post as usual.

    Especially, “That we still depend on the US to tell us that we have potential to become a superpower just shows that we ourselves are not convinced”..

    SPOT ON!

  19. An excellent post that should be made mandatory reading for all Indian policy makers and government officials. Like some other readers above, I too wish you had not commented on Michelle Obama’s appearance. It only distracts attention from the soundness of the rest of your argument.

  20. Out of curiosity, Pankaj Roy and the others, GB talks about Anil Kapoor in the context of a werewolf all the time and Tapas Paul’s bulk and Rakhi Sawant’s manliness. Yet I never see one comment saying it’s not classy or lowbrow, not from you or not from Raj Jayram.

    Wonder why that is the case? The old boot-licking missa American genes again?

    BTW my opinion is GB’s remark is funny and accurate. If Michelle Obama is feted as having strong shoulders on American TV, one can turn it around and call them Sunny Deol shoulders. Duh ! Note GB never called her ugly or anything. Just that she has has a stern angry expression on her face and that she has Sunny Deol shoulders.

    The reason why I commented on this is precisely to show how our boot-licking genes manifest themselves often without us knowing.

  21. You raise valid points about India stooping too low to Obama and the USA. I wonder if this is ingrained in our culture. The whole ‘Atiti Devo Bhava’. This philosophy amplifies itself when the guest is perceived to be a ‘Bada Sahib’.
    Maybe that is the strength of India, to recognize the back stabber and yet smiling be servile to the very same knife bearer. The question is not about showing that we are a superpower and act indifferent to Obama, the question is can we benefit economically from this deal (knowing about the backstabbing). If yes, then the show and pretense might be well worth it after all.

  22. Arnab, your petulace sounds like that beta who just got the finger from his uncle. Act like a grownup! Mature nations work at maintaining consistent long term relationships based on shared interests. Changes in internal politics are generally not allowed to define changed interests unless in very compelling circumstances. The US has a certain way of dealing with Pakistan because it believes that that way serves its interests. And if that does not serve ours, tough luck. We try our best to change that, we lobby, we develop a media presence and do a 100 different things, like water wearing down a stone. What we don’t do is sulk and play spoilsport like you are doing now. Looks immature. Yes Obama is coming to sell his goods to India, did you forget he the US President? Every president would do that. Not at all surprising. India rolls out the red carpet for every dignitary even if it is a loathsome lizard like Hu Jintao (and since you would rather fall at Hu’s feet, maybe they should appoint you (since this is your blog I wouldn’t like to use coarse language) the chief protocol officer next time. Whether Obama is the most powerful person in the world or Hu is, I have no doubt, and neither does Hu – be very sure of that. For what it is worth, regardless of the situation back home in the US, Obama is still President. It is true Democrats aren’t as friedly to India as Republicans are, but what do we care? We will work with whoever they send us, we have our own interests to work with. And what makes you think that India is prostrating itself before the US – ridiculous. This is the hospitalty any foreign dignitary is offered, and of course the US being another personality oriented democracy like ours (more like ours than any other democracy) US state visits are also personality oriented. Pretty natural. I am shocked at your naivete.

  23. You wrote: “Looks immature. Yes Obama is coming to sell his goods to India, did you forget he the US President?”

    This is what I wrote: “Obama is coming here to promote America’s business interests particularly in the energy and educational sectors . There is nothing wrong in that, as the nation’s President that is one of his jobs.”

    One of the criteria of being mature is reading through a post before commenting. Just a thought.

    And oh coconuts being taken down—no I dont think that happens for every dignitary. You may want to do some fact-checking. Again a thought.

  24. @GreatBong

    As I am reading this Barack and Michelle Obama are dancing in a school and Doing “Koli” Dance.ROFL.
    Arnabda are you paying attention?:P

  25. It’s not about Obama, or even about the US. We’re excitable people. We may not treat many of our own citizens with dignity, but we like having people over and showing them a good time. Remember Musharraf’s visit? Here you are frothing at the mouth about welcoming a President providing military aid to Pakistan, but we threw an even bigger welcome to the chief perpetrator of the biggest organized military offensive against India in recent times. And we did this within less than 5 years of the backstabbing act!

    This is not self-flagellation, just an observation. I don’t think it’s an totally unwise strategy either. The pomp and show doesn’t hurt anybody, but maybe our leaders gotta do a better job of converting these visits into something substantial. It’s easy to make the entire exercise sound silly, and it even is in many ways. But nobody’s getting “debased” here Arnab, so chill. Maybe he’s only coming here to stave off domestic ghosts like unemployment and stagnant growth, but if we’re clever and enterprising enough, we can make him pay a huge price to give him what he wants. Surely thinking about that is better than acting pricey and giving him the cold shoulder.

    Honestly, you’d have been much better off writing an out ‘n’ out humorous post about the visit, maybe an imaginary interview with Obama or something like that. Nobody expects you to be able to understand what India stands to gain from this trip (to be honest, I don’t fully understand it either :)). But whether by intent or accident, America and India have been drawn closer in the recent past. Irritants like the outsourcing issue will continue for a while, but only until we look to America as a market for our services. A thriving domestic market is in the interest of both countries, but we still have a lot to learn from America’s culture of innovation in order to realize our plans and sustain the GDP growth that we brandish so proudly. You should know this more than most others, having spent so much time there. I’m sure your experience has been mixed, and there are several ways in which you’d prefer Kolkata to any city in the US. But the opportunities that the country has offered you can’t be denied, and the culture of education is certainly something worth emulating. To borrow a line from a recent article, for all it’s recent troubles, US is still “the place where the world’s greatest universities meet the world’s deepest pockets.” And for all its bluster and arrogance, China still remains mostly a copycat, although admittedly a very powerful one.

    So even though Obama may not be the most powerful person on the planet anymore, many more countries are willing to talk to him as compared to Hu Jintao. At least the US is somewhat transparent about the aid it gives to Pakistan, even though it has very little clue about where and how this aid ends up being used. China, on the other hand, is setting up nuclear reactors in the hotbed of nuclear smuggling and denying proper visas to our army chiefs. Surely that has more potential to “debase” us than a little song n dance, doesn’t it?

  26. @ Akhilesh Magal:

    Actually I was about to say the same thing, but you put it more succintly.
    Let me put it more bluntly..
    What is there to lose if we show “hyper” excitement to the Obamas? I think our Businessmen are also shrewd and sharp enough to understand real intentions of US and act accordingly…I think the best way is to praise the NRI uncle for being abroad, sympathise with him for the customs taking away the swiss chocolates before running away outside and plan how to rob most of his personal items without he himself knowing it and from where to get some dirty water and infect him with diarrhea..

  27. Over reaction, Over reaction, Over reaction….. by Indian Media as well as you my friend. Comparing Diplomacy with your Uncle’s sweets is a great start by a mature guy like you. We will all take you very seriously 🙂

  28. A small correction GB,

    “Your cousin runs in holding an iPad in her hand and asks you, with a detectable edge in his voice,…”

    “her” hand and “his” voice is a typo I guess ….

  29. On the Pakistan front, i feel that the problem lies in the fact that Pakistan is an old ally of the US, a part of the NATO-CENTO agreement from 1950’s. Infact US foreign policy has always been sympathetic towards Pakistan. While India never cared much about US ratification, now suddenly I dont understand why we need the US to denounce pakistan. We have to take a tough stand and stop acting like eunuchs. Thats the only way we can handle Pakistan. Not by expecting the world to belittle them and sanction them for our cause.

  30. Nobel Peace Prize winner financing the bullets and bombs of paki terrorists and no, not unintentionally, thats his foreign policy.

  31. You, sir, love the sound of your own voice, don’t you? Your writing style, cliched as it is, certainly reflects it. Although I do not find your remarks on Michelle disparaging, not any more so than what one glances at in a typical supermarket rag, I do find your bitterness towards Barack mildly annoying, like a tiny mosquito biting my arm – but a little flick of a finger and it’s gone.

    As for your minions, yea-sayers: Those that state that they want Bush back, have they actually lived in the US when Bush was in power? Not only that, have you lived in certain areas that were hotspots of some kind or another, that had been in the national spotlight and were connected to Bush somehow? Then you’ll know the true essence of George W. Bush.

    And for the rest of you that still aren’t convinced, you’ve won. Pack your bags and go to him, you deserve him and he deserves you. How many chances in life would you get to live with a former president? Be with your kind. Be happy but please don’t procreate.

  32. our Pavlovian reaction comes in 2 ways – either we bend backwards to please or we bend the issue backwards to criticize…this article does the latter ..The world is a political chessboard and like it or not the game has to be played deftly..every visting dignitary comes with defined protocol ..that in itself is not bending backwards. So far India & its media has handled and assessed his visit with maturity ..Obama was fumbling for speech when he was asked directly of his love and ambiguous stance towards Pakistan..and that too by students..am sure the PM & cabinet will have still difficult questions for him. India is handling the trouble that a country like US can create wisely – ignoring or not giving it due credit is not the way..logic, our own unchnaging and uncompromisisng stance on issues that are of national import to us is what we have demonstrated so far..maybe the reason why Obama needed to visit India….of course while he is here he will be treated with the same respect and love that we would give to even an “unwanted” guest as long as he does not overstay his welcome…India has always showcased its stance on issues not on people..we may not love Obama’s policies..that is not sufficient reason not to love/ respect the man himself..If each one of us could find the Gandhi by even a miniscule percentage within us Obama and the world will one day bow to this great Gandhian nation…for sure ..Jai Hind.

  33. “Even as a person,there is little to respect in someone who declines to go to the Golden Temple because by covering up his head, he might be mistaken to be a Muslim”. – Do you have a source to back this statement Dr.Arnab?

  34. Very well written. And I agree with points made by Akhilesh. I also believe that the problem lies more with the Indian politicians and our leaders who are easily deceived by any foreign tom-dick-or-harry president and in their complete impotency to protect Indian interests. That an American prez will try to protect American jobs is only natural – the question is what would the Indian PM do to get even? The answer unfortunately is, nothing!

    Let me tell you what will be the only outcome of this visit – the US prez will ‘somehow’ manage to protect American interests, sell reactors, planes, etc while completely disregarding Indian interests about selling billions of $$$ of arms and ammo to Pak or denying India a security council permanent membership – something Russia and France has already done.

    The only ‘good’ thing India will get, rather hear, out of this is big, long, cliche-filled statements by the US prez on how India is an emerging software-superpower (whatever that means), how resilient India is in the face of terrorism from Pak(which he already did) and that Islam is a religion of peace or how Pak is a victim of terror and so on … while the Indian PM and media-wallahs roll over in thanking the US Prez. In the end, both party will declare the visit as a major success while the gullible nation watches this gleefully on TV sets.

    The problem is not Obama – the problem is the complete lack of self-respect by the Indians, starting from the top to the bottom. Frankly, do we deserve any better?

  35. Greatbong, bravely tries to recover with a weak comeback,

    This is what I wrote: “Obama is coming here to promote America’s business interests particularly in the energy and educational sectors. There is nothing wrong in that, as the nation’s President that is one of his jobs.”
    One of the criteria of being mature is reading through a post before commenting. Just a thought.

    Maturity requires accepting reality not simply knowing it. You have a problem accepting reality, not the mark of a mature person. Nice try, Arnab, but you are’t there yet. That’s why it would be a better thing to stick to movie reviews, you aren’t mature enough to write about politics and project management.

  36. ArnobDa, this has been one of your best posts in the recent past, in terms of a political reality check of the India psyche!

    The reflex arc that pushes us to such base sycophancy in simply inexplicable. And thank god, this post of yours comes at a time when the entire nation gripped by this frantic happiness of being able to provide the US with 50K jobs!

  37. Those blasting GB – I think this is not against Obama or pro-anybody in particular.

    This has to do with the slave mentality many Indians still engage it. Of course, as head of state of the USA, Obama has some responsibilities to his people, and he has come to do that. Nothing wrong, even our leaders do that.

    But the way our media has gone overboard like, how Michelle would look different attires, how Obama danced, what he had for food etc. This after the US administration, in the name of security, has been rather disrespectful to senior Indian politicians.

    This mentality of our media is what I am against personally. Analyze the defense deals, analyze his speeches at war memorials, analyze what he has to offer to the Indian economy – but frankly, we are not interested in what Michelle Obama would look if she was dressed in a saree

  38. Here are some points, and I would appreciate responses from folks like Vishnugupt, Kushal Shah, and ssk – it’s to their mindless posts that I am responding.
    1. Why would a Head of State protect any country’s interest but his own? Would you like your PM protecting another country’s interest? Your basic argument makes no sense.
    2. Your opinions against all things US are really to do with your hatred towards Pakistan. Don’t disguise it and kid yourselves.
    3. It’s pretty evident that you are ashamed by this display of hospitality and consider it bowing down to someone you don’t particularly care for. This stems from your haughtiness combined with a very low self-esteem and a constant need to get rid of the “third world country” label that seems to have a very sticky backing that you can’t quite shake off, try as you may. Vishnugupt’s post says it all. Blame ourselves. Shame on you for thinking like that. We have been known for our hospitality and this is nothing new. But with more and more people like you these days, the culture of coldness and ambivalence is taking over the values we were taught – to welcome guests with open arms.
    4. Hypocrites you are, especially the people who sit in the US, earn their money here, or work for US MNCs in India. Even if you don’t, you are dependent on the US capitalist system in some way. That’s not to say that you’re not allowed to speak out against it…it’s a free country, more power to you. But the very same people that beat their chests against the US are the ones that constantly seek profits from her. Just saying.
    5. A Nobel Peace Prize does not make you a saint, ssk, especially one that isn’t really deserved. And the wars were inherited, and so were the weapons deals. The US foreign policy has always been terrible. It’s just a bit less terrible under some leaders than others.
    6. For those who think that Bush and the Republicans are better for you, I just laugh at your reasoning. So you’d rather be seen as 7-11 workers, H1-B candidates, FOBs, Dell support center staff, and people with really bad accents and annoying habits. Yeah, really smart there, because that’s the opinion my Republican friends have of you. That’s all you are to them, a marginalized lot with limited social skills and no idea of the world beyond the computer.
    7. A degree, a blog, correct grammar and the ability to infuse sarcasm into one’s writing does not an intellectual make. Enough said.

  39. A degree, a blog, correct grammar and the ability to infuse sarcasm into one’s writing does not an intellectual make. Enough said.

    Well at least GB has that. You only have a moniker called “policymaker” and really deep generalizations like your Point No 6. Enough said.

  40. I have degrees and a blog (which I don’t care to share, thanks) too. That’s not a generalization by me, buddy. I am just as Indian as you, and just as offended. I’m merely stating the general opinion of white Republican types that I have to deal with on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter how superior my education and my job post is to theirs, in the end, the color of my skin trumps anything else about me, especially so because I’m in a position of authority.

    And at least I have a moniker, Anonymous.

  41. @ Anon of Nov 7th 1.33am – “Out of curiosity, Pankaj Roy and the others, GB talks about Anil Kapoor in the context of a werewolf all the time and Tapas Paul’s bulk and Rakhi Sawant’s manliness. Yet I never see one comment saying it’s not classy or lowbrow, not from you or not from Raj Jayram. Wonder why that is the case? The old boot-licking missa American genes again?”

    Umm… I could say I wasn’t aware of those comments you are referring to, or that MO is fair game for unkind personal comments if she gets into showbiz, like Sarah Palin, but then you would accuse me of licking the boots of the anti-Indian movie industry lobby, or ascribe some other nonsensical motive. So instead I respectfully ask you to listen to this http://tinyurl.com/ydt4b7c

  42. WoW!!! Now there’s a serious competition here in the comment space between Arundhati Roy fanboys vs. BO fanboys. I wonder who would be greater or maybe both set overlap each other significantly.
    Great job again GB.
    Btw our own messiah Baba shared the same lead table with BO along with Mama and the chaprasi for the dinner.

  43. @policymaker:
    Clearly you did not understand what I was trying to say – I am absolutely not ashamed or sorry for good hospitality. It is always a good idea to give warm reception. All I’ve said is while we ‘give’ something (reactors, jobs, etc), there should be a ‘take’ on the tables – typically we don’t get to see the ‘take’ part of the talks, because its all hoopla.

    And I stand by my statement that Indian diplomats are poor negotiators, from Nehru (of Nehru-Liaquat in-fame) thru the Simla accord, which the Pak never respected to the Sharm-Al-Sheikh … invariably our politicians get arm-twisted, not just by big powers but also by apparently smaller fries like Musharraf.

    In the end, Pak or US gets what they came for while the Indian PM is found sucking his thumb. Whats worse, instead of admitting the diplomatic defeat the media throws up a smoke-screen of ‘successful’ summit. That’s the problem, policymaker, not our hospitality or any other showbiz – please read and try to understand the post before typing garbage.

  44. We were expecting a Wah!bama, but got an Oh!bummer. The guy can’t help it. It’s just his name.

    @policymaker (appropos point 7): I really like the way you put it. Btw, I would like to know more from your Intellectual Certification Academy the criteria for being an intellectual, which, to my feeble mind, did not appear as a stated goal of GB’s article.

    However, I must say that, even if you do not pretend to be an intellectual, you need an understanding of nuances in written text. There is a difference between being anti-US and pro-India, and I guess GB was trying the latter. Paraphrasing your immortal words, charging at windmills without proper consideration doesn’t an educated person make, regardless of degrees, blogs, and (OMG!) a moniker.

  45. Vishnugupt, your words: “The problem is not Obama – the problem is the complete lack of self-respect by the Indians, starting from the top to the bottom. Frankly, do we deserve any better?” Please read and try to understand your own garbage before denying it.

    Trinamool, unlike you, my dear boy, I don’t need stated goals, or dumb guesses about the author’s pro-India or anti-US stance. I’m capable of reading between the lines. And I’ve read between many lines, not just in this blog entry, but in several other ones from this author. And my Intellectual Certification Academy asks that you define “proper consideration” in your grand finale impact statement. It renders your Cervantean reference weak and softens the sting that you think your words provide. Let me assure you though, you don’t make the cut, try as you may to sound smart.

    And by the way, if all you ever get out of someone’s writing is the black and white of what they say, you’ve either missed the point of what they feel, or the author has doused their writing with such huge doses of BS and what passes as humor, that the point of what they’re trying to say is lost.

  46. QE2 happens, and the world allows Obama to get away with it! Thankfully, the Japs and the Chinese are not as ‘tolerant’. Hopefully, there will be some response pretty soon.

    “India is not a rising superpower but a world power”, says Obama. And much like the tone of the rest of the article above, the US is now a decaying superpower. If the realization has not sunk in yet, I don’t know when it will.

    The talks between Obama and Manmohan Singh are happening as we speak, and if we do not arm twist the US into getting more out of them than just the UNSC seat and commitment to curb direct funding of Pak sponsored terrorism, then we would have wasted a golden opportunity.

    Obama says he needs Pak as it’s ally in the fight against terror. More than that, what he needs is an ally to fight against the deflation which is going to raise it’s ugly head in the US once QE2 runs out! When China pulls the rug from under the US’s legs and the Gulf takes full advantage of a fallen US, who the he** does the US think is going to prop them up? Europe? Britain?

    I think the time has come to demand the NRI uncle to decide who is his favorite nephew!

  47. Policymaker seems to have a lot of time on his hands to try out his brand of “intellectualism” – trying hard to be funny / sarcastic towards everyone who responds to him. However, he sounds frustated and unfunny and sarcasm is anything but that.

    He reminds me of Darshan (all he did was intellectual “dharshan”), Mimi and Anonymous of Arundhati post.

    Policymaker, if you are pissed off at this personal attack (which I am sure you would be), no apologies – because you started it – directed towards GB (rather than the post), and others who responded.

    As far as republicans are concerned and their views towards India – all I can say is that I know democrats too who have similar views. In fact, most white Americans do.

    This is besides the fact that the statement “hatred towards US stems from hatred towards Pakistan” is very very lame, in fact, out of context. The center-right-wingers (barring the extreme right) in our country has majorly been pro-US and anti-Pak. And I see nothing wrong in marginalizing Pakistan for 26/11, unless you are Zakir Naik / Arundhati Roy / SAR Geelani.

    The other points are incoherent – stemming out of frustation against a class of Indians – the same incoherent rage seen in some people like Roy.

  48. good post GB…
    and as usual quite a few losers sniping around with their self perceived “intellect” and other assorted crap….
    They should set up their own blogs and stop writing BS here only intended to gain responses,get that oh-so-elusive ego trip and help them strut their well…”stuff” 🙂

  49. Oh come on, what’s wrong with debate? Are you not mature enough to withstand dissent and bold enough to answer to it, rather going the easy route and taking potshots? My original post was in response to the self-perceived and oh-so-elusive “Great” Bong, who didn’t respond to me. Instead, his cronies did, and I only posed additional questions to them in my second post. Every post since then has been some kind of a shot at me. Please go back and read my original post. Nowhere did I say that I am anywhere superior to you guys. I don’t need ego trips and I definitely don’t need to strut anything here. I don’t need validation from a bunch of anonymous people that I don’t know and that I’ve never interacted with ever before. I’m not out to gain responses. If I were, you’d certainly be incensed by now, trust me. I have a poisoned pen and I’m not afraid to use it; in fact, I do so often in the course of my career. I merely remarked that a sarcastic blog and half decent penmanship doesn’t make someone an intellect. That is my opinion, and I am allowed to express it. You want to call me a loser? Sure, do so, but just know that in doing so, you’ve proved that you have nothing else to say. And that you’ve been shut up by a woman. Ouch, that stings huh?

  50. ” I don’t need validation from a bunch of anonymous people that I don’t know and that I’ve never interacted with ever before.”

    Dont complain. Lets organize a meet up.

    And why would one feel stinged ..might get turned on by your intellect…LOL ?!

  51. Thanks, I’m not interested in the meet-up or the validation. As far as getting turned on by my intellect…if those words I wrote above are all it takes, I pity your wife/future wife/girlfriend/mistress/closeted gay lover/goat/other living being that is subject to your fetishes. What a boring and unsatisfactory life they must have ahead of them. LOL?!.

  52. I could not agree with the post and the comparisons with the foreign uncle. It is part of diplomacy to shower hospitality. That only lets the bridge built up, which brings rewards. It is immaterial to check what Obama did in the past. What is important is to get the maximum out of him now. That is only possible by a mutual parade of hospitality and tough sessions. The hospitality is what you saw – the tough sessions you ignored or did not see.

    As per as Indian media is concerned – better not to say anything.

    What is rather expected from a balanced writer like you is to summarize the things Obama did in the past and what we should ask of him. Do not overreact on the hospitality part. That is part of the game, I think.

  53. great post GB. couldn’t resist this one.
    ‘policymaker’ is making as much ‘intellectual’ noise as the other “famous” ms. roy. is that only me? or do others feel so too? 🙂

  54. Dear friends:
    The trip is over.
    Lots of water has flown on the Potomac and Ganga.

    Humayun rests smiling somewhere in Afghanistan as his fake tomb becomes the backdrop of India’s 21st century geopoltiical strategy of “soft power” aka “scavenger-gatherer”

    Some highlights-

    Obama didnt armtwist India on Kashmir, publicly.

    Obama has promised India support on the security council’s permanent membership.

    He ate dinner with Madam and her son, who thankfully did not open his mouth much.

    He had a good speechwriter who knew that Vivekananda went to Chicago a 100 years back and also reminded Indian’s that Hindus gave the decimal system, butof course, which Indian history books still call as “arabic numerals”.

    The trip despite its misgivings, will help both the countries’ interests strategically.

    This trip once again proved that India is willing to take the fight to the Jihadis, until the last surviving American soldier, and that US still has double standards in the way it treats “BFFs” from Europe and “BFFs” from the Southern hemisphere.

    In the end though, American teleprompter technology and India’s culture of servility carried the day for all.

  55. “…Hell he is not even the most powerful person in the Obama family—-the honor of that going to Michelle Obama, who has the angriest expression on a face I have seen since Mike Tyson and whose arms always remind me of Sunny Deol’s dhai kilo ka haath….”
    So Obama is not “even” the most powerful person in his own family (as he should rightly be, as an all powerful american alpha male breadwinner of course), because you feel that Michelle Obama scowls more than Mike Tyson (angry expression), and has large/beefy/muscled arms a la Sunny Deol?
    Thats real classy, GreatBong. Make your point with personal pejorative comments about a Politician’s wife and how your perceptions of her physical features goes against your expectation of the rightful status quo.
    The implication, of course, is that scowling face + beefy arms = most powerful person in the family.
    (Not just beefy, but folksy-reference-to-bollywood star-beefy.)
    Brilliant! Edgy humour meets classy, insightful social commentary.
    Each successive post from you makes me want to join the long legion of your fawning fans, delighting in your brilliant use of invective and edgy humour.

  56. No. Not the most powerful man in the world. That is Hu Jintao.

    This is the result of watching too many experts on popular TV debating economics and military issues. It would be good if you give some reasons for saying this.
    There is a reason QE2 has chinese a$$ on fire, US is on absolutely the right track to get the growth back into its economy. There is no reason to suggest Chinese Premier is anywhere close to an American president when you talk about power in economic/political and military situations around the world. If you were refering to Greco roman wrestling style, this honour belongs to Anil Kumar of India.

    India should respect the fact he has chosen to interact with India in the manner he is. Being cautious is important but there is no reason to feel bad about the hoopla this visit is generating, it deserves this.

    One thing that we can only hope is happening in the background is, Indian politicians and policymakers are working overtime to covert this sentiment into real win-win deals that improve the daily lives of indians including action against terrorism. Indian politicians who are masters of this art of “politics” on a national level with their clever and cunning masterstrokes, often fall totally flat on international level, even musharraf did better. Hope this has changed.
    Obama is the leader of most powerful country in the world, who seems to be willing to work with India retain that that status. Hope we respond accordingly and make it a true win-win.

  57. All this vitriolic bile against the US, and yet you sit there living the American dream? G**d hi maraana hain, tau kolkatta mein baith ke mara?

  58. You know, I’m really disappointed with this post GB. I’m a longstanding reader and I’ve mostly enjoyed (though not necessarily agreed with) your postings thus far. I even bought your book.

    However, this one just appears churlish and just outright mean-spirited. The references to Michelle Obama were honestly quite shocking. It’s the sort of loutish behaviour that I would never have expected from you.

    I hope that all this is a result of something else. Did you stub your toe against the table leg this morning? Did you see one too many ads on TV featuring SRK? Or did you just get up on the wrong side of bed?

    I know Obama isn’t perfect, and I know that the US relationship with Pakistan sometimes makes me go “WTF?”. I mean 2 billion dollars – no strings attached – is, from an Indian perspective, certainly deeply troubling.

    But whining about the coconut-security and doing “my-father-is-stronger-than-your-father” comparisons with Hu Jintao is frankly, as others have pointed out, immature. I’m not here to pick a fight with you – frankly I’m far too cowardly – but I hope your posts return to the level of freshness, insight and humour that I’ve come to know and love.

  59. Wonder if Obama ever admitted that terrorism in Kashmir and other incidents like in Mumbai are directly supported and funded by Pak.

  60. Dear GB, I have been a long time reader and I usually love your posts. But the Michelle Obama reference just made me cringe. With the amount of talent for writing that you have, you really should not have to stoop to taking such cheap shots at a politician’s family member for humour. It does nothing else but undermine your post.

  61. I can understand GB’s psychology..being a 1st generation Indian in the US is typically like that..we want to support India out of our patriotism or whatever else, but at the same time, have to depend on the US for $$$s/convenience/better life-style.
    This post, thus should be considered only a rant from that perspective of Indian-trapped-in-US, not a political dissection of India-US relationship.

  62. Kaushik, let me correct you – it’s “she”, not “he”, first and foremost. Secondly, the last I checked, when an author puts forth a piece of writing, he is essentially opening himself to review and criticism. If I made any comments against the author, I was justified in doing so, because I find his writing style, his blatant smugness, and his hypocrisy to be irritating. Just the fact that he calls himself a ‘Great’ anything says a lot about his ego. The other post was to question the mindset of some of his readers.
    By the way, you said ‘“hatred towards US stems from hatred towards Pakistan”’. Those are not my words. Don’t misquote me. I never said that, and you’re right, it’s taken out of context. What I said was that your opinions against all things US are really to do with your hatred against Pakistan. This, to me, makes perfect sense, because a recurring theme here is how the US, and specifically Obama-the-Nobel-Peace-Prize-winner, is funding Pakistan. Even the author said so. It’s blatant…read your own posts, for god’s sake. I think it makes sense, and if it doesn’t make sense to you, perhaps you’re one of the thousands that are in denial of just how far your anti-Pakistan mindset reaches. And no, don’t attack me on that, I have anti-Pakistan sentiments too, but mine don’t poison my reasoning.
    As far as everything else being a frustrated rant against a class of Indians, I didn’t say that’s what I feel. I’m Indian as well. That’s what I get from the people around me, the Republicans I work with, who work for me.
    And Kaushik, yes I have a lot of time on my hands. What do you say to that?

  63. Policymaker,

    In case you havent gone through the blog, GB’s “greatness” is a mock reference to the trait of Bongs to consider themselves great. Its a point he makes clear in his FAQ which I am sure a wise person like you would not bother to read. I would think it is a lot less smug and shows a lot less ego than calling yourself a “policy-maker”, unless of course you are referring to policies like when your husband has his breakfast or what school your kids go to or whether you will wear a dress with flowers or stripes.

    If you think you are justified in your ad hominems against the author, I also feel I am justified, by declaring it myself like you, to call you a third-grade wannabe-intellectual. By commenting here, you are also opening yourself to review and criticism. This is my criticism of YOU.

    Now take it like a man.

  64. I really don’t understand the You-beneficiary-of-the-US-don’t-criticise-it rant and the primitive logic from which it stems. This logic reeks of a feudal and colonial mindset and by this simple juvenile logic, any country, including that of my origin, makes itself immune to any criticism by me because it lets me live and work in it. The esteemed commentators who have commented so are unwittingly (or intentionally) oblivious of the fact that US or for that matter, any country does not do any favor to me to let them live and work in their country. All legal non-citizen-workers who live and work in an alien country like its citizens, reciprocate this service by paying the taxes of the land and in case of the US, they are not even entitled to any Social Security despite having to pay for it among other things. Which means thousands of much reviled H1/L1 workers in the US are contributing to the Social Security of American citizens, which many of them, will never enjoy themselves.
    Coming to the people who work for American MNCs in India … the US MNCs did not set shop in India out of benevolence or their love for the country or its people. They did so, so they can avail cheap quality labor and/or exploit its huge market. All the people who work for US MNCs in India, contribute to its revenues in a substantial manner. They work for the benefits that they get.
    Considering these facts, I fail to understand, criticism of the US by anybody falling in either of these categories makes the ungrateful scoundrals!

    @Policymaker:
    All your comments reek of a certain haughtiness and a Oh-I-am-so-intellectual-you-dumb-scumbag attitude. You have yourself resorted to shallow potshots, which you have accused others of. Wonder how that makes you any different from them.

  65. @uncle sam- All this vitriolic bile against the US, and yet you sit there living the American dream? G**d hi maraana hain, tau kolkatta mein baith ke mara?

    The american dream is a nice sales pitch, prepared for morons like you, who play video games on a couch and dream of winning the lottery someday.

    I am amazed at reading some of the comments here. But they are very insightful too. After all, one of the traits of a liberal is to worship power. The great Thomas Jefferson once said, “Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny”.

    It is hallmark of democracy, you morons, to question the government. But you guys have grown up reading Romila Thapar who has asked you feel compelled to feel reverence towards Mughal emperors. You are the ones who still respect the British queen. You sicks basically have mommy issues- need some father figures like king, queen, duke,dutchess etc above who you deem who cannot be questioned. In a way, you are just slightly more civilized versions of Islamic fundamentalists. You are the ones who out of reverence for the Gandhi family, want the next premier to be elected on lineage, not merit. Like the american dream sales pitch, you guys bought that “Yes we can” dope. At heart, he is a cold calculating Chicago south side politician, who once said that Blogo was the right man. Hah.

    So criticizing Obama is somehow retarded as the author is in the USA, right, morons? Well, if anything, it is the spirit of the USA. GB, in spirit, is close to Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine.You guys need to go and live in China , where there is more govt control, and can then shoot the next person who says something anti-govt and say, “wow you live in this country and still criticizing it, wah!”. So continue to buy sales pitches and lick and sniff the asses of your favorite political figures blindly.

    So uncle sam, twisting your words slightly, “After all this comments which are so un-american in spirit, tu US mein gan kiu mara raha hain, ja wapas aur apna ma ko *****”. :))

  66. @policymaker

    “It’s pretty evident that you are ashamed by this display of hospitality and consider it bowing down to someone you don’t particularly care for. This stems from your haughtiness combined with a very low self-esteem and a constant need to get rid of the “third world country” label that seems to have a very sticky backing that you can’t quite shake off, try as you may. ”

    Excellent observation. Cant put it more aptly.
    Go back and read the rant/review of Slumdog millionaire for a confirmation.
    Signs of one who is not at peace with oneself

  67. Hyderabadi – “I really don’t understand the You-beneficiary-of-the-US-don’t-criticise-it rant and the primitive logic from which it stems. This logic reeks of a feudal and colonial mindset and by this simple juvenile logic, any country, including that of my origin, makes itself immune to any criticism by me because it lets me live and work in it.”
    Yourfan2 – “It is hallmark of democracy, you morons, to question the government.”

    Just curious – doesn’t this fly in the face of the ‘How dare Arundhati Roy criticize India, she prospers only because India has freedom of speech, she would not dare make this kind of statements in Pakistan’ line of thinking that sometime comes up in any discussion about her in this blog? I am not taking a position here, lest you jump on me, just wondering if anyone else feels similarly, or not.

  68. Yourfan2, I am questioning the the government, and I always have. And I’m saying that Republican governments are not your friends. Is it not my democratic right to express what I feel? In fact, this blog is about as un-democratic as it gets.
    Anonymous, quoting you:
    “I would think it is a lot less smug and shows a lot less ego than calling yourself a “policy-maker”, unless of course you are referring to policies like when your husband has his breakfast or what school your kids go to or whether you will wear a dress with flowers or stripes.”
    I’m a lawyer. I draft bills for my state senate. Shut your trap and take your sexist crap elsewhere. Now you take that like a man.

    And for the last time, I don’t proclaim that I’m better than anyone else. Get over it.

  69. @ Pankaj Roy

    No it doesn’t, simply because of the reason, that what we are supporting here is criticism and the right to do it, which many agencies and individuals including the owner of this blog and commentators engage in. And most of the times against the central and state governments and their policies. Criticism is necessary for a democracy to evolve and the freedom of speech ensures that.
    However, taking advantage of the same freedom of speech to support secessionist forces to overthrow the state itself which provides it, as is the wont of Ms Roy, is something that I am against.

  70. And, Anonymous, so as I understand it, the Great One identifies with Bengalis that embellish stories and think too much of themselves. Hence his name. Or is it that the GO feels that he can use derisive epithets towards other Bengalis because he is one? Sort of like black people using the N word? Or I being called egotistical because I express certain opinions against fellow Indians?

    From FAQs:
    1. Greatbong. What’s that supposed to mean?

    I swear by placing my hand on Bill Clinton’s autobiography that “Greatbong” is not an expression of Bengali parochialism. The “Bong” has two meanings.Of course the “Bong” as in Bengali (a denizen of the Indian state of West Bengal) and the second one is “Bong” as in a instrument for smoking cannabis. Not that I endorse drugs or have ever tried it myself, but because “cannabis” is related to “ganja” which in Bengali also means an embellished story. In other words, a teller of tall tales.That takes care of the Bong part. What about the Great ? Well the name “Greatbong” was a derisive epithet given by a (non-Bengali) friend of mine to refer to all Bengalis who thought too much of themselves..and so when I was looking for a moniker, I could think of nothing better than Greatbong.

  71. Policymaker, take it easy. This is a blog that is primarily meant for humor, something sadly missing from the lives of likes of you. That’s why the moniker is satirical. There is nothing wrong at laughing at oneself, at least, someone’s laughing instead of cribbing.

    “Is it not my democratic right to express what I feel? In fact, this blog is about as un-democratic as it gets.” – you know, we all know one sad bitch (yes, I will go on with the “sexist” crap – it is my democratic right to say what I feel, isn’t it?) who does that day-in and day-out. And you are doing it for the same reason that she does it for – some cheap publicity, some attention which is so missing from your life. Basically, make some contrarian statements, pick and fight and get some attention.

    Just as it is your right to criticize anyone (GB, Republicans), it is my right to hate a terrorist state. And I do not want to hear one more crap from you regarding this. Nobody can stop you from thinking you are an intelligent human being and others are lowly, hateful and dumb. And I feel really sorry for your husband/future husband/boyfriend/toy-boy/closeted lesbian lover/dog /other living being that is subject to your fetishes. What a boring and unsatisfactory life they must have ahead of them. LOL?!

  72. Publicity for what? I don’t have a book, or a website, or a hankering for being known by anyone as to who I really am. And yes, oh how I love to get attention by people like you, because I receive none in the real world. Get real. You don’t want to hear one more crap from me regarding this? Then don’t read my posts. What’s wrong? Can’t have a woman get the last word? I’ll bet you’ll post again.

    To [removed] a suggestion: It might be a good idea for you to step in and moderate or facilitate some of these debates, especially when things turn ugly. After all, you don’t know who’s reading. They might not just be a trivial reader.

  73. @Policymaker,

    Is the last line supposed to be a threat? Cause otherwise why should I care who is reading this blog—trivial or non-trivial unless of course it is “Influential people, when they get offended, can cause you grief”.

    There is of course one way I can moderate–I can take you off the debate. I am saying this because you are, as I see it, making threats against me. After all even if non-trivial readers (like you presumably) read what I write , I dont think there is anything in the post I wrote ugly enough to fall outside my purview of free speech. As well as for commenters, everyone makes it under their own responsibility—as long as there is no hate speech I let it stand.

    People can say what they want here and thats why I let things be unmoderated. Even criticism against me and others. However if you make implied threats (which you do by using my real name and not my moniker) then you make my job easy facilitating debates.

    Remember you have the right not to read what I write. People have the right not to read what you write. And I have the right, since this is my space, to remove your comments. I havent yet but if you continue making *what I feel* are threats (different from calling me the Great One and making ad hominems about me) I might have to do so because perhaps I am afraid what would happen if non-trivial readers became offended.

  74. Pankaj Roy,

    About Suzanna (A Roy), one thing I do support is her right to say whatever she says. Criticism based on refuting her assertions is IMO perfectly valid. That is what this blog has done while criticizing her- refuting her arguments with facts and logic and then criticizing her, not the other way round. I have nothing against Rush Limbaugh or Suzanna. They are just opposite sides or the same coin. They have a huge target audience and they know what kind of soundbytes to feed them.

  75. Pankaj Roy,

    Just to answer your questions. I have criticized specific aspects of US foreign policy and of course the current President. I have criticized all aspects of Indian policy. That’s quite different to what AR says—that India and US are evil imperialist powers and that violence against Indian law-enforcement authorities is just (she says that in different round-about ways) nor do I openly endorse and stand on the same platfrom with terrorists.As a matter of fact, I have nothing but admiration for many aspects of the US system and of the Indian system also and have expressed it many times on this blog.

    I am surprised you do not see the difference.

  76. Sigh, not a threat. For god’s sake. You publish a set of rules about no personal shots being taken at any reader by other readers for their opinions or their criticism of you, and yet, you let this go on and on. And to clarify, I didn’t make shallow comments about your readers first, I made a comment on your article.
    You self-promote your current book, and your future book. You are not anonymous. Your future publisher or employer might be reading this and forming an opinion of you. A disclaimer saying that you’re not responsible for anything that goes on here doesn’t make it ok for your yea-sayers to conduct themselves unbecomingly. And before you rant about threats and such, enforce your own rules and moderate those who use filthy language and sexist talk.
    A word about your lack of anonymity: Don’t claim that my use of your name is a threat, because you plaster yourself all over your page for the sake of self-promotion and immense ego, not to mention all over the web via interviews…google yourself. Your own followers call you by your name and not your moniker. If you were completely anonymous and I were to discover your identity and use it in a fashion that provokes a fearful response, that might be a more persuasive argument in your favor. I’m a lawyer. It might be fruitless to get into a battle of legal words with me. You get the award for the most juvenile post of the day. Congratulations. Now why don’t you go back to your unhappy-with-everything world of biting sarcasm and earning $$$, and I’ll go back to pretending I didn’t waste my time on your page full of hatred.

  77. In any debate, on TV or otherwise, on any issue under the sun, whenever the Congress spokesperson starts losing the plot he / she invariably brings up Narendra Modi and 2002 riots.

    A similar trend – when no concrete points to speak of – evoke man vs woman debate 🙂 LOL 🙂

  78. GB, I see the difference. My comment was about the commentators, not you.

    Hyderabadi, so its OK to have freedom of speech, but only up to some imaginary line? Has AR been prosecuted under Indian laws for her recent utterances on Kashmir or Maoists? Or is it just you are opposed to some freedoms of speech, but not others? If no laws are being broken, why begrudge a citizen’s right to speak out?

    Yourfan2, who’s Suzanna?

    Anyway, I don’t want to take the discussion away from Obama to Roy.

  79. I’ve been a long standing reader of the blog and even though a lot of times I don’t agree with what the author has to say – I generally appreciate the sarcasm and humor. But, I’m afraid, this post is a little below the belt.

  80. ok so it didn’t get published for its inappropriateness…
    let me try it in another manner…

    What I believe is that I just might have found out the root cause behind all the attention seeking non sensical political and personal bullshit one petite (assumption) policy maker might be dishing out here…and that my friends is her being in one of those 2 day phases which frequent the fairer sex in cycles every month.
    Rest assured she shall get over it and we shall get over her…
    Amen..
    RIP

    p.s: I was purposefully sexist for I love exercising my freedom of speech in ways that irritate the guts out of lowlives
    p.p.s: Still judging me??
    p.p.p.s: Do you see me caring??

    @gb: please dont remove this one…its oh-so-couth and my “bestest” try at suavely sentenced personal vendetta against certain individuals who think they are smarter than the rest and simultaneously though not so subtly radiating the holier-than-thou halo 😦

  81. Though what you have said sounds more probable, there might be an alternate explanation.

    If we ever meet over a glass of beer, we would discuss it

  82. Heh..yes yes…a budweiser for me please…
    I would love a third entity though to accompany us…someone who loves to formulate policies…yes that’d make my day 😛

  83. This is the best one liner…
    “Superpowers, even emerging ones, should not really care for anyone else’s ratification—-after all isnt that what being a superpower is all about.”

  84. SANKET – “Superpowers, even emerging ones, should not really care for anyone else’s ratification—-after all isnt that what being a superpower is all about.”

    True, but if you cannot ensure that the other players even acknowledge you as a power of any merit, then can you be sure that you are a superpower?

    Even an emerging one?

  85. “Your cousin runs in holding an iPad in her hand and asks you, with a detectable edge in his voice,… ”
    You implying at so-much-faster sex-change operations being conducted at the airports in India!?!

  86. GB, our legislators have always been jokers in chief and will continue to be. Since when did they represent anything worthwhile? So does it really matter what mananiya pradhan mantri and mananiyaa rashtrapati (or should it be rashtrapatni 🙂 ) say in an international forum? Everyone knows how talented they are including visiting diplomats.

  87. who should be a blogger
    – anybody who feels the need to express…

    Who should be a policymaker
    – some one who can stand above rest, some one who can drive the masses with right policies, some one impartial, some one who can keep the calm/ remain not irritated and express …..

    hmm… guess I have a wrong train of thought then!

  88. A very nicely writen article with all the metaphorical sentences and words it truly fits the description that Mr. President’s (i will not call him Obama because that will not truly reflect US’s intentions, after all he is visiting as the head of state of the most powerful nation militarily and strategically) visit has been all about..
    I followed Mr. Prez visit in India listening to his speeches and press conferences. On the first day of his visit he stressed in the press conference how important the first day has been, he reiterated that by saying he has created 50,000 jobs in US by cracking over a 40billion dollar worth in deals. That included removing the DRDOs and the other Indian govt. research centers from the black list. All this was motivated to send a strong message back in US that he is not a personal vocational visit but a highly purposeful strategic move.
    In his second day he says in the speech to St. Xaviers college of Mumbai, that globalization is not all about selling commodities to US but it is about mutual reciprocation where each country opens up and allows sell of goods in free trade. I was wondering what are the goods that are sold by India to US all raw materials, back end work? and the finished goods of US and other countries come to India. in other words he is always stressing the importance of India opening the market but where as Mr.Prez’s policies have been clearly against shifting jobs out to India and other countries. If Mr. Prez can take his own decisions in his own backyard without considering the effects on India, then it is very damn clear that India can also do the same and he has no reason to comment on India’s policies.
    The questions asked by St. Xaviers colelge students have been more without reason then of any purpose – not even one question asked on his economic policy? No comment on Pakistan sponsored terrorism till the last day of the visit. Are you kidding me ?? and all India is gaga on the last day comment made by Mr. Prez in the parliament – US will support India for permanent seat. You create the rules and we follow them and then for little appeasement we go all bonkers!
    Sad but true mr. Prez’s gestures at the Raj Ghat, visit to Mani Bhavan is more of a symbolic gesture to show Indians that he really cares about Gandhiji- the father of India. I do not care if Mr. Prez cares about Gandhiji, because his actions speak none of it. He could never bring up the issue of Headley’s extradition or the owner of the Bhopal Gas tragedy plant – Mr. Anderson.
    So let us wake up from the dream that US will do anything for India. If a nation cannot stand on its legs then it better not even dream of being a superpower. Superpowers are created by the strong will to lift the nation on its feet by its own people and not by doing these cheap political stunts which drives the common people away from their most important duty.

    So Mr. Prez, I do not adore you, you can be a nice person but that is not important here. The sweet talks and gestures do not entice me. Because after having read the Indian history twice I cannot forget what has happened to India in the past. Others can forget but I cannot.

    Thanks for bringing up this article/post. Atleast it makes me believe that not all Indians are sleeping some are awake and noticing the trends very carefully. For all those Mr. Prez Lovers in India take a life, this is not a dream and history does repeat itself unless we learn from our mistakes.

  89. “Who should be a policymaker
    – some one who can stand above rest, some one who can drive the masses with right policies, some one impartial, some one who can keep the calm/ remain not irritated and express …..

    hmm… guess I have a wrong train of thought then!”

    Lesser Mortal: Not only do you have the wrong train of thought, you are way out there, lost in the boonies. Is that why you elect people like Laloo and Rabri? How long did it take to remove them, a decade or two? Get real. If that’s your view of what policymakers, politicians and lawyers are, you have a serious delusion.

    daddy, might I suggest rehab?

  90. I think policymaker is GB’s alter ego, something he made up for fun. And, whoa, she is interesting! It’s like her entire life’s PMSs have happenned in the comments section of this one post, and that is effing unreal. I mean no disrespect to women, but this person is unreal with capital C. Intelligent, witty, articulate, but unreal. And what’s with this mortal fear of sitting quiet for a while? GB, if that is you, hats off! Superb character creation! Will you stay in character and post again with something like, “I’m smart, and I check this post every hour, so I’ll reply and take that biatch trinamool. Rehab, retard, my poison pen is…foaming at the mouth”?

    Eureka! I have discovered the 0th law of blogging: the most popular posts are those that make the commentators quarrel. If you don’t believe me, check the number of comments for this Dawn blog post. http://blog.dawn.com/2010/04/03/couldn%e2%80%99t-she-just-find-a-nice-indian-boy/

  91. Trinamool, I’ll take that as a compliment 🙂 No, I’m not GB’s alter ego (shudder!). Personally I think the guy’s writing is full of cliched sarcasm and bitterness, and he’s a hypocrite, a talker, not a doer. PMS driven you say? To that I say, heh, at least I have an excuse, what about the men here, severe midlife crisis? I don’t check this post every hour, I check it when I’ve got the time. And if my name pops up, heck, why wouldn’t I defend myself? I’m not one to back down and take it, I’ve always been the one that stood up to everything. You know, the girl that would beat up the bullies that beat up the nice kids.
    And, Trinamool, you made me smile. That sucks. I don’t want to like you guys but you’re growing on me in all your acerbic glory.

  92. Great article and comments.

    Nirlesh, I hear you my friend. Obama’s visit was a win-lose situation. He got EVERYTHING he wanted. As GreatBong said, he had the audacity to paint India in the worst possible light regarding the call-centre jobs, rabid talk show hosts started lamenting about American jobs being lost to Slumdogs!
    He gave Pakistan their terrorism money as usual.
    He made sure we did our part of the job in protecting US economy.
    He offered his usual lipservice about India’s UN seat.

    Our Apathy towards our own countrymen is second to none. My heart breaks whenever I read about how a mini-chernobyl type tragedy caused by a mighty US corporation got shoved under the rug because Mother Theresa asked us to forgive them. Mr. Gandhi must have smiled at us from heaven that day!

    When India has treated its staunch enemy with respect, we can only expect a bed of roses for the US president.

    Nice article though. I agree with your frustration.

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