Home > 2021 > How to Silence Rihanna & Influence the World | Deputy Deshbhakt

Mainstream, VOL LIX No 9, New Delhi, February 13, 2021

How to Silence Rihanna & Influence the World | Deputy Deshbhakt

Friday 12 February 2021

by Deputy Deshbhakt

The protesting farmers can tackle barbed wire and steel spikes but cannot cope with 20 ex-IFS officers supporting the farm laws. Farmers cannot read the English statement by experts in drafting papers and non-papers. These farmers produced no IFS officer and thus cannot get help from their kith and kin.

What do the IFS officers have to do with farming? They know the fine distinction between German and Italian wines but cannot distinguish between wheat and rapeseed crops. They jumped into the fray because the current crisis is not about farming but about India’s image sullied by the farmers.

Farmers used to be hailed once as givers of daily bread but got deleted from the Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan slogan once they made India surplus in food grains. Had India been still living from ship-to-mouth, no government would have dared to ignore farmers. They used to burden only their families by committing suicide or occasionally the police and jail authorities. Now they have created a problem for diplomats. And that too in the wake of the Prime Minister’s triumphant tour of the US which demonstrated that as an emerging Super Power, India can meddle into America’s domestic politics.

So, at a time when film actors and cricketers have taken to twitter to salvage the situation, the 20 ex-IFS officers also heard Delhi’s call and joined the IAF (India Against Farmers) campaign. They demonstrated that an IFS officer never retires. He is ready to sacrifice his well-earned leisure and Black-Labelled-liquid-soaked evenings to serve as a Union Minister.

Some former officers had reservations about India’s somewhat ethical foreign policy that they considered to be a contradiction in terms. They understood diplomacy as a patriotic art of lying for one’s country and welcomed the New India a few years ago. Their colleagues in service meekly accepted the new dominant role of the TV anchors in making India’s foreign policy laced with hyper nationalism. These anchors emerged as interlocutors between the Prime Minister and the Ministry of External Affairs.

The IFS has been traditionally free of dissent. If foreign policy is distorted and deployed to serve domestic politics, no officer gets stricken by conscience and resigns. Quite unlike the American diplomat in Dhaka who quit the service because he disagreed with America’s pro-Pak policy during the Bangladesh conflict.

IFS is a disciplined service. It follows the golden rule of following the Prime Minister of the day. After all, foreign policy has always been the Prime Minister’s special domain. So when the new regime came, they started drafting a new kind of papers and delegated two of their clan to the Union Cabinet which could not depend entirely on the pracharaks-turned ministers.

Observing the wind’s new direction, they supported moves to intensify strategic partnership with the US, giving a burial to the Non-Aligned Movement. They know some ruling party leaders had wanted to send Indian troops to Iraq when the then US President asked India to join the coalition of the willing. However, the then BJP Prime Minister disagreed with his colleagues and did not let Indian blood be shed in a distant battlefield. That BJP Prime Minister is no more and some leaders will be glad to let India be America’s Subedar-Major since the US is letting two Indian multinationals prosper.
An internal study says if India joins the US camp, it can be run by an elected dictator. It lists the privileges that Pakistan enjoyed being a follower of the US. The ex-IFS officers perhaps blame their senior colleagues for ignoring the reality of the post-cold war world.

However, in drafting the statement in support of the farm laws, they show their upbringing in the Nehruvian ethos. So they do not hesitate from exposing the perfidy of the powerful West influencing India’s domestic economic policies by using the WTO to limit India’s sovereignty.

Some formulations from their old drafts against WTO have crept into the statement. They say, “the WTO agreement on agriculture was characterised by democratic deficit and based on commercial realpolitik”.

They make appropriate references to “developing countries” but go on to offer a carrot to the crafty developed nations by promising that “India will gradually and incrementally allow the market to decide prices of agricultural produce”. The US leaders love the word ‘market’. They have sent a reassuring signal to the monopolist corporations of America and India eying India’s agri-business for long. So, their statement is a mix of the old and new.

They say the developed countries “can’t have your cake and eat it too”. The insinuation is justified because this gang of developed countries is forcing India to “reform” agriculture and then when it undertakes reforms, it does not protect the Government of India from the angry activists.

The statement appears to blame leaders of the developed countries for their failure to discipline their media, pop singers and activists and to prevent them from poking their noses into India’s internal affairs.

The developed countries have to answer the questions implied in this statement. Why are they allowing their activists to ask the Government of India to talk to the farmers? Why are they letting their TV channels report that farmers are being denied water, electricity and internet facility? Why are they showing images of barbed-wire-steel-nail fencing confining the protesting farmers. The statement by implication highlights the hypocrisy of the developed countries.

These ex-IFS officers are perturbed seeing years of their public diplomacy effort wasted. They could not bear it anymore when Rihanna maligned India by tweeting “why are we not talking to the protesting farmers”. Some officers asked their sons and daughters who Rihanna was and were shocked when told that she is a pop singer with a record global following.

So, they ask the developed countries to restrain Rihanna if they want India to reform its agriculture as per their wish. The statement warns them “not to be on the wrong side of the history”. As if those who write history care to heed such warning.

India’s far-sighted Prime Minister fraternised with the heads of American social media corporations and yet they will not freeze Rihanna’s twitter account just to please some Indian leader. And Rihanna will not be told by her Government to keep quiet about India’s farmers.

Rihanna is unlike the Indian celebrities who tweet the dictated tweet in support of the Government. Some IFS officers posted in America must have watched Meryl Streep condemning the US President in from the prestigious platform of Golden Globes. She got a loud applause from that distinguished audience. Arundhati Roy was applauded when she assailed the US Administration at a meeting in New York. Let her do that to the Indian Government and see the results.

India is different. The concerned retired officers keep issuing statements that make no impact though a couple of newspapers publish these. In July last year, as many as 99 retired officers of three premier all-India services asked the Government not to assault civil liberties, freedom of speech and the right to dissent. What they did not want the Government to do, it started doing even more vigorously. St It became more dangerous to urge the Government to allow dissent.

However, protecting India’s image is a noble mission. Deputy Deshbhakt has a plan to use the services of the 20 ex-IFS officers for this mission. Under this plan, they are appointed as ambassadors-at-large and directed to visit every nation of the world to counter the propaganda by Rihanna and a Swedish girl.

They form a high-level committee that includes Bollywood stars and cricketers. The committee is headed by a woman ex-IFS officer having access to the Union Cabinet. It has a term of three years and can engage an American PR agency with experience of working for an election campaign in India.

The Sadanand Foundation is given a grant of Rs 30 crores to run under Public-Private Partnership this “Indians for India’s Image” project. These officers are made permanent fellows of the foundation so that a change of regime in 2024 does not affect their careers.

Before beginning their work abroad, the ex-officers are taken on a tour of the ancient centres of India’s civilisation so that they highlight the democratic principles enshrined in its sacred texts and the glory that was India!

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