Monday, April 15, 2024

Why Denis Alipov, the Russian amb, has us on our feet!

Denis Alipov, Russia's ambassador to India

It’s only hours since Denis Alipov, the Russian ambassador to India, called out “reputable Indian experts” dreaming of India-Russia rift in the wake of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow. 

The first name to come to my mind was Indian Express who between C Raja Mohan and Shubhajit Roy produce more lies than is good for anyone’s health. 

I once wrote on Ukraine Conflict that the Indian Express takes its readers to be dumb or idiot or both; how they twist Jaishankar-Lavrov meet up; why they want to force Modi’s hand on Russia; how they incite Indian citizens to rise against Modi’s stance on Ukraine; etc, etc. 

Then I gave up on them as hopeless. It’s not my job to be Russia’s spokesperson as perhaps it is for them to be of the United States. I would cite numerous instances later in this piece to convince you it’s not just they have a different point of view but rather it’s guided by a partisan agenda. 

Then my attention was drawn to a piece by Andrew Korybko where he has, point by point, taken apart an edit by Times of India which he has described as “malicious information” on Xi’s catch-up with Putin. I have no illusion about this newspaper either but in case you are still innocent on them, dive into Korybko’s article.

I am into this piece not for stating the obvious. The people in South Block know about Lutyens’ Media which the Russians know too; it’s only that Alipov has now decided to say enough is enough. 

A couple of things about Alipov’s tweet before I move on to the central theme of my piece. One, Alipov has sensed there is a traction to these propagandists agenda lately; and two, he has described India-Russia ties as “strategic alignment.”

The first opening for these hackers was the G20 finance and foreign ministers’ meetings in India where Ukraine Conflict was broached upon and the mainstream media reported that but for a recalcitrant Russia and China a joint communique was possible. India, as a host, could have done better than cut-and-paste the Ukraine passages from the Bali Declaration which one could explain but it’s not a place to do so. 

It ought to have upset our Russian guests and Sergey Lavrov was anything but diplomatic of what he thought of the organizers of the Raisina Dialogue, and the assembled audience, who didn’t take any note of his scathing assertion: Why bring up Ukraine in a G20 meeting which is primarily on economic matters? And if it indeed is a platform for such discussions, what did G20 do in all those years on Iran, Afghanistan or Syria

This G20 affair was early this month: Since then China has hogged the headlines with the breakthrough they managed between Saudi Arabia and Iran; and now this Xi’s visit to Moscow whose symbolism against the unipolar hegemony is still reverberating in Western capitals. 

That all this happened within three weeks was too good a moment for these propagandists to let go by. They were out in force, sensing an opening in causing discord between Russia and India. Denis Alipov is too seasoned a diplomat not to get the drift; he has not only stepped in but for good measure also described Russia-India ties as one of “strategic alignment.”

This “strategic alignment” is important to understand for those who are caught between the US-China binary. There are 191 other countries who matter more than you think they do. Africa, for one, appears a continent whose time has come. Resources were always there, now their economy is growing, as is the rebellion against West for it overbearing manners. (The Israelis had turned up in the summit of African Union last month and were escorted out for being uninvited. ) Central Asia is important beyond words for the integration of the Eurasian landmass being sought; Latin America is coming out of slumber; Mexico, cheek by jowl to the US, is calling out the latter as “liars.”

This is the world that is being shaped; a comity of nations who just don’t want to be caught in one camp or the other. They dream of a day where they could pursue their interests with pressure from none. Russia and India offer that “strategic alignment”; offering cooperation and no coercion. It’s a long road to “freedom” from the Anglo-Saxon yoke; and Russia and India in lockstep would only reassure the rest of humanity. 

And now on to the propaganda of our Indian media which you don’t spot. 

  1. Give it a thought: Those who talk about “press freedom”  how are they treating Julian Assange?  Have you read any piece on how the West has virtually murdered this shining light of journalism? 
  2. Those who tout for “freedom of press” why are they silent when you can’t access or in Western capitals such as London? 
  3. If West stands for “democracy”, how come they have at least 45 military bases in regimes—from Central America to Africa to Asia to Middle East—which are repressive and authoritarian?
  4. If the West is a guardian of “human rights” where is that to be seen in Abu Gharib where prisoners are rotting without trials? 
  5. The media which doesn’t get tired in mouthing Russia’s “unprovoked” aggression in Ukraine; why they don’t tell us if US wars in Iraq, Libya or Syria were indeed “provoked”? 
  6. If Russia has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty what about the United States which still has occupied a part of Syria with its troops?
  7. If Putin is a war criminal, why not Bush Jr or Tony Blair who drummed up fake WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) to invade Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and ruined millions of lives; destabilizing the world to our misery; 
  8. If the United States indeed is for peace, why reject the peace proposal offhand which Xi has flouted and Putin has sounded amenable to? 

Etc, etc. 

None of this of course is mentioned in our mainstream media. A media which neither means good for India nor Indians; nor for that matter Russia which is heroically standing alone against the might of West and NATO, against crushing sanctions and loss of lives of its manhood. 

This media is part of the “information warfare” that is beholden to the West. How I wish they are exposed and citizenry freed from their matrix. 

It ought to be endeavour of our governing classes: To go beyond the diplomatic cloak and provide light of truth to our citizenry.

It’s my conviction that howsoever good the Modi government has in mind for India; till it has an informed citizenry, it would find itself against the headwind. Remember what they did with “surgical strikes” and turned heroism of our soldiers into skullduggery. 

Denis Alipov, in this respect, has us on our feet! May we take a leaf out of his book. 

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