Thursday, June 13, 2024

How Indian Express has twisted Jaishankar’s meet-up with Lavrov

Indian Express has given a completely different spin to our foreign minister Dr S Jaishankar’s meet-up with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. 

“Global South in acute pain, return to table: Jaishankar to Russia” is its screaming lead headline in three decks on front page today. 

It’s a lie. 

And I take it up for it concerns you and me, indeed the well-being of our entire nation of 1.40 billion plus. 

You think I am reacting over the top? Well, let me present my position. 

  1. Russia has all along looked for a peaceful settlement. They sent the peace proposal to West much prior to it put its boots in Ukraine. Even in March, a few weeks into its Special Military Operation (SMO), its talks with Ukraine were closer to a settlement before Boris Johnson flew in to Kiev and scuttled the negotiations (Why, I would explain later).
  2. Indeed, Russia had persuaded the West, UN-mandated, to sign Minsk Agreements way back in 2015 against a hostile Kiev government which was wreaking havoc in Russian-dominated eastern part of Ukraine;
  3. Russia hoped against hope for seven long years but nothing changed on the ground, the eastern Donbass region continued to suffer shelling and murderous attack by Kiev which the UN itself has documented as 15,000 killed in this time span. 

These facts would let you know that Russia has sought a peaceful solution to the problem all along. 

It’s even now ready for talks but how little Ukraine is could be gauged by its leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy insistence it wouldn’t as long as Vladimir Putin is at helm in Moscow. 

So, Russia is all for peace. As for the newspaper’s insistence:” Jaishankar to Russia”, it’s a lie. Even the Indian Express copy doesn’t support its headline. 

India, like everyone else, knows it takes two to tango. And that’s why India has never supported any resolution on any global forum which holds Russia guilty all these months. It has resisted the incessant pressure from West to join it against Russia. 

Further, Russia allows Ukraine’s grains to leave the ports for supply to Global South. Does it show its concern or intent to inflict “acute pain” as the Indian Express has indulged in its forgery?

For if Russia is at fault in this existential crisis, most of the world would’ve joined US’ sanctions against Russia which they haven’t: None in Latin America or Africa; only three in Asia (Japan, South Korea and Singapore) etc. Just a handful of Western nations have banded together to destroy Russia forever, a mission they have been pursuing for centuries. 

For the uninitiated, I would briefly present the reasons why the US-led West want Russia to be extinct forever: 

  • Russians pursue Orthodox Church branch of Christianity, different from the Catholic/Protestant one: For a general idea, visualize Sunni vs Shia in the Muslim world; 
  • First the United Kingdom and now its foster child the United States have never wanted peace in Europe. A united Europe was once bad for an island power like the United Kingdom: The historians called it “Balance of Power.” Now its the US which has taken over the baton from the United Kingdom. It’s policy all along has been: “Keep US in; Germany down and Russia out” in Europe. Without Europe in its bag, US won’t be able to control Middle East and its oil; its influence in Eurasia would be over in a blink. Without Europe, US is only an island, 6,000 nautical miles away from the heart of the world. 
  • And then there is this resource-rich Russia which is in the eyes of the plunderers that West has all through been in its living history. You only know of Russia’s oil and gas and fertilizers etc; yet there is an unimaginable wealth in Arctic which Russia is beginning to get serious about. 
  • If this all is too complicated, look at the map. You would notice that the sea lanes of the world are dominated by Western powers while the inner land is led by Russia, China and India largely. If this landmass gets together, and breaks the stranglehold of sea powers circling it, the game would be over for the West. 

Ukraine is a bait which the US threw it at Russia and the latter had no option but to take it. 

Ukraine was being armed to the teeth; there are allegedly US biolabs its threats you would know after Covid pandemic; and NATO was offering its membership to Ukraine which meant a direct threat to Russia’s existence: A promise which the US had made to Russia after the USSR imploded and which it never kept by offering NATO-membership to all and sundry around Russia. 

And now we come to the India part and why it concerns a billion-plus Indian citizens. 

1-To begin with, there is this little matter of cooperation in military and trade in Russian energy. We all know that India’s military is heavily dependent on Russia which unlike US is not shy in providing its tech know-how: Remember BrahMos for instance. 

2- India is getting cheap energy from Russia which is vital for its growth. India is a low-income country. So any energy bought at exorbitant prices would mean further crushing debt on a nation which is world’s third biggest energy guzzler. So without Russian energy, The Modi government would pass on the shooting energy debt on its citizens who can’t afford it;

3-India desperately wants to break free of its geographical constraints. Pakistan and China hold it back on its West and East frontiers; in the North, Himalayas block the access to the world. Its best hope is in cooperation with Russia which has made INSTC (International North South Transport Corridor) and Chennai-Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor possible. Better accessibility would allow India to export more at a lesser transport cost and faster; it would also mean import at a vastly cheaper rate. 

So what do we make of Indian Express and media of its kind which lie on the subject?

  • One, it peddles lies so constantly it can’t be genuine mistakes;
  • The agenda of course is to keep India and Russia apart which is the naked goal of West as we know by now. Indian Express, by distorting truth, is showing itself to be a foot soldier in this mission;
  • Why it hurts a growing India, and its 1.40 billion citizens is that we have begun to realize the CAA protests, farmers’ protests and similar disruptions are funded by NGOs and “human rights” or “democracy” groups which operate out of foreign lands; 
  • That the United States is nobody’s friend and would hurt any nation which wants to be independent, as is the case with China, Russia and India. And which was the case with Iraq, Syria and Libya, Cuba etc;
  • That they fuel unrest and anarchy so that a free nation’s governing class submits to its demands. Financial control, through IMF and World Bank, leaves such nation’s powerless. In case you don’t know it, India’s debt is 84% to its GDP; a gnawing worry;
  • Yet India wants to be independent which displeases the West. It’s not happy that India is buying Russian energy and thus negating the effect of Sanctions; that India is “shaky” in Quad against China; that its dumping dollar in preference to trade in Rupee. 

(Indian Express in today’s edition itself sought an RTI — who does an RTI on such matters?— about India’s plans to trade with which nations in Rupee.)

Unfortunately, there are no concerted bids to counter such propaganda. 

Neither by the Modi government nor by the Russians and its officials in India. It allows agenda-driven media a free field to brainwash us on lies against our own government and a time-tested friend like Russia: Much to the detriment of the two nations’ future.

It’s imperative for the rest of the world to have alternative to Dollar in trade; and unbroken supply chains where every nation could pursue its interests. Under dollar, you are subjected to whims of the Hegemon and never free from the shackles. It could force a subservience through its military and financial might. 

India and Russia, to my mind, are two of the strongest forces capable of unshackling the world from this serfdom. 

They must build bridges not just for business and security interests but also at a people-to-people level where a growing understanding would grow the roots deeper and not just at the governmental level. 

It would mean not just promoting trade but also tourism and cultural awareness between India and Russia much of which is strikingly similar, such as reverence to nature and godliness. 

There is much to be done by both India and Russia. And there is much to be done to counter evil propaganda out to destroy the win-win deal for both countries. 

If you have read thus far, you only have helped me—and forces like me—to counter such narrative. May our tribe grow—for ours and humanity’s welfare. 

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