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Clay Feet

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Perhaps Prime Minister Narendra Modi should offer to ‘mediate’ between President Trump and those who have been protesting in the streets of the US for nine straight days. It would be the appropriate response for the similar ‘well-meaning’ offers made to India by Trump. Also, maybe, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson could offer – in line with past tradition – to establish a ‘commission’ to look into race relations in the US, which could eventually suggest a ‘partition’ plan on creating a separate nation for ‘blacks’ – a Bantustan in North America. Bantustans did not work in South Africa and, unlike our own Pakistan, were considered the worst face of apartheid. (Although, the present Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, does behave most of the time as an Indian chief minister of the opposition with a grouse against the Union Government.)

Some scholars have demanded reparations from the US government of 13 trillion dollars for the years of slavery endured by the blacks. Very biblically, the sins of the fathers are visiting upon the sons. Perhaps, the costs of the looting and burning underway in the name of social justice can be offset against that amount.

For so long in India, the US has been the Mecca for the ‘good life’. Intellectuals have been wont to represent the US as the model for India to follow, telling leaders here how things are done ‘there’. Trump’s tenure has upset all that and so many now do not know whom to emulate or quote. The US, today, is a society deeply divided, which does not even trust its own long established institutions. What a contrast – when serious riots break out in India, everybody clamours for the speedy deployment of the Army – it is an institution trusted by everybody. In the US, the President’s threat to use the military has even the generals baulking. Wonder why? They do not seem to have any qualms about sending these forces to ‘democratise’ and ‘civilise’ other nations – from Vietnam to Iraq. Ironically, it is big villain Trump who is determined to call these forces back and disengage with the world.

Perhaps, the truth lies somewhere in the question asked by a US news anchor regarding the ongoing protests – What is the goal, now? What should be the outcome? The answer for all those who have climbed on to the bandwagon is blowin’ in the wind – ensure Trump’s defeat in the coming elections! Fixing race relations – there’s time for that – but this comes first!