Shivpal’s letter to Obama – lost in translation!



In somewhat a theatre of the absurd, the mercurial Mohd Azam Khan first fretted over his prolonged frisking at the Boston airport, then fumed at the External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid for manipulating his humiliation by the security officials at Logan airport and now his colleague and cabinet minister Shivpal Singh Yadav has dispatched a letter of sorts to the US President Obama to register the state government’s protest against the treatment meted out to Azam. Obama would certainly wonder who this Shivpal Yadav is till the time it is translated in English. The officiating chief minister (Shivpal) could not even wait for the return of his nephew Akhilesh.

In between the Chief Minister briefly made a star appearance promptly cancelling his address on the successful management of Kumbh at Harvard’s business school, puncturing the hype that he, the young leader, and his visit had created in the US. Chief Secretary, incidentally a Muslim, Javed Usmani instead delivered the address.

While Azam has left for South Africa to take part in a wedding reception, CM is returning home amidst raging debate over his decision to boycott Harvard address. The Muslim clerics have applauded the move as it suits their anti – US temperament. Many intellectuals and commoners, however, from the same community somehow don’t sound so enthused. They feel the young chief minister should have addressed the Harvard meet. May be Yadav could have cancelled his social engagements in the US to register his displeasure over Azam’s frisking. But knowing Azam and his theatrical acts, I wonder if Akhilesh took the decision to save the government’s image abroad or consolidate the Muslim vote bank back home.

Nonetheless it hasn’t painted a positive picture about UP and its leadership as frisking at airports is a routine, albeit for the common man. The VIP’s , which include ministers of all hue and shades across India, I don’t know why expect a ‘special treatment’ in the country as well as abroad. While they expect the common man to abide by the systems that have been put in place after reports of terror strikes, they themselves don’t want to follow the same. There may be so many unknown Pandey’s and Singh’s that went through the same frisking –Azam Ko Gussa Atta Hai, Kya Unko Nahin. The rule of the land can’t change with the name or the position. By communalising it , the party may get some more votes of the Muslims in the state, but it certainly doesn’t add to the stature of the chair Akhilesh holds.

And if the US is targeting only Muslims, it’s high time the Government of India took it up with the US government. Shivpal’s letter is not worth its salt.

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