Thursday, March 02, 2006

Do Indians Also Hate President Bush?

© Khalil Bendib 2006. You can see more of Khalil Bendib's cartoons at www.bendib.com or order his book, It Became Necessary to Destroy the Planet in Order to Save It, from Plan Nine Publishing at www.plan9.org.

President Bush's current visit to India made headlines in the news circles not for the fact that its his first visit to the country or due to its strategic importance, but due to the protests carried out by thousands of people all across India. Protests are one common thing that always greet President Bush on every trip without exception. Be it Europe, Latin America or neighboring Canada or Mexico, protests and protests are all that welcome the leader of the 'free world' on his travels across the globe. Some protestors who travel from country to country in order to participate in every protests have starting boosting their accomplishments by 'Frequent Protester Miles' as oppose to Frequent Flyer Miles.

The strength of protest in India, around half a million people seemed to compete with the upcoming protests in Pakistan as President Bush heads towards Pakistan on Friday. Pakistani protestors have been pushed into hot waters with the huge numbers that Indian protestors pulled before and during President Bush's visit. To some it seems, India has already defeated Pakistan in this avenue as well, much like the ODI series earlier this year. Others say, that protests should be judged in per capita terms. India with a population of 1 billion could only produce half a million protestors, and Pakistani protestors claim that their strength in per capita terms would be higher with the smaller population size of Pakistan. Influence of a Prime Minister with a Finance background already seems to be rubbing off on to some common folks.

Why the protests in India? Americans, as confused as ever, are forced to wonder why would Indians protest. Don't they love us? It makes sense when Arab countries carry out radical protests, but why India? Is this not the country which is getting all the 'American' jobs and loves to imitate American accents and copy American names while innocent average Joes call them for lost baggage and technical support? In a true simplistic manner it would be understandable that the protests are being carried out by the Indian Muslims, as India is home to the second biggest Muslim population in the country. However, the protests are also being led by India's Dalit, Maoist and Communist leaders who see President Bush as the capitalist world's leader and a danger to their Indian identity and socialist system.

So why are they protesting with the Muslims? What happened to the India's communal riots where Muslims and Hindus were killing each other? Well, it seems that Hindus and Muslims might have some internal issues, however, they are very united against external forces that are bent on changing the things that they treasure most. As their love for Shahrukh Khan is universal all across India, so is their sentiments for President Bush. Some political pundits claim that the anti-globalization and communists groups in India are fueling these protests in the name of protecting Indian culture and identity. These groups are using the protests to highlight their concerns about the ill effects of outsourcing on the Indian culture, quite similar to the Right-Wing groups concerns with the jobs that are being exported out of America. However, others say that these groups only represent farmers and peasants and have nothing to do with urban centers, where the majority of Indian working population lives. Hence there are no double standards in India, where people would be protesting while sporting Calvin Klien and GAP T-shirts and hurling Nikes and Addidas at President Bush's effigies. A familiar picture from the protests in Middle East which loudly speaks about the double-standards that are at the very core of the problems being faced by the Muslim world.

In more interesting news, which may give few more Indians ample reason to protest President Bush's visits, it has been learnt that India's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, was briefly frisked by American security staff before he could greet President Bush. The media was kept out of sight and hence could not see the incident, but BJP Vice President, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, later told the media that it was an insult and humiliation for the nation to allow foreigners to check the Indian prime minister in his own land. BJP has vowed to bring this incident into the full attention of the public.

Similarly, one of New Delhi's most exclusive 5-star hotel, Le Meridien Hotel, had its own reason to protest President Bush's visit. The US Embassy, reportedly, booked 70 rooms in the hotel, with regards to President Bush's visit and the heavy entourage of security personnel. However, the hotel management was surprised to find that the rooms had been reserved for security dogs. US security personnel accompanying the sniffer dogs were offended when the management told them that dogs were not allowed on the hotel premises. The External Affairs Ministry was forced to intervene into the matter and assured the visiting American security staff that their security dogs will receive the same princely treatment that hotel bestows upon its other more "human" guests.

And then some people in American wonder, why everyone hates them?


Cross-posted at: Desicritics.org
Tagged : , , ,

4 Comments:

At 3/05/2006 4:11 AM,

Brilliant cartoonist!

I'd be surprised if Americans even realize  that others hate em'.  

Posted by sdit

 

At 3/05/2006 11:47 AM,

I am an American - a first generation American. I believe in God, but I don't believe in organized religion. In my view, all of the world religions are tainted with evil.

I am acutely aware of the type of leader our president is. That said, I am representative of the vast majority of Americans who no one learns about in the media. I am of the opinion that people who twist the faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the source of all conflict in the world. Today, it's the followers of Osama Bin Laden and George W. Bush who are fueling the fires of hate. I think rational people of all faiths should realize that we are living just a tiny part of a long history of conflict. Future historians will summarize our lives in a short paragraph.

Just think of the historical timeline of the state of the world: 1000 BC, Jerusalem becomes the capital of Judaism... 535 BC, King Cyrus of Persia sends the Jews back to Israel to rebuild the Temple.. Christ is born..... 70 AD the Romans conquer the Jews in Jerusalem.....fast forward... 570 Mohammed is born..... fast forward to 633 AD when Islam is introduced into the Holy Land and Jerusalem is now controlled by Muslims...690 AD Dome of the Rock is built...700 AD, Christianity ends in North Africa (Algiers) and Islam rules....1099 AD, Christians retake Jerusalem from the Muslims during the first Crusade....1187 Saladin retakes Jerusalem and it becomes Muslim again........ fast forward through more of this over, and over...(after 7 Christian Crusades)...Ottoman Turks conquer Arab territories....the rise and fall of kingdoms in the name of Christ or Mohammed.... Persia becomes an Islamic country.... etc.etc.....1948 Israel becomes a Jewish state....1967, 1973 more Arab-Israeli conflict ensues over the control of Jerusalem....1991 Iraq invades Kuwait, George H.W. Bush invades Iraq..... 2001 Islamist terrorists, mostly from Saudi Arabia, but also from the UAE, Lebanon, and Egypt attack the U.S., targeting civilians in the name of Allah. Bush attacks the Taliban in Afghanistan (but doesn’t invoke the name of Christ, but is backed by evangelical Christians), Bush then decides to go after Saddam Hussein, even though Saddam is not known to be connected in any way to the 9/11 attacks (revenge?).

Today... March 5, 2006 Americans are outraged that Bush tries to sell American port operations to the UAE government.

Why should things be different? Thousands of years of documented intolerance and hate continues.

Stating that someone hates all Americans is ignorant in my view. Just as ignorant as saying someone hates all Muslims because of Osama Bin Laden or all of the people of Afghanistan because of the Taliban.

Too bad so many, ‘faithful’ Christians, Muslims, and Jews are so hateful and intolerant that they can rationalize killing each other!

Such a shame that history continues on the same bloody path. 

Posted by Ashley

 

At 3/10/2006 1:34 AM,

WOW, at the end I am proud to be an athiest. I dont involve in any political discussion. Politics is a dirty word. More dirty than Porn. 

Posted by Kumar

 

At 7/04/2008 10:18 PM,

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