More than any other country, it is India that should have voluntarily offered asylum to Mr. Snowden. We faced the wrath of China for offering asylum to the Dalai Lama. But we proclaimed our moral courage and commitment to the world. By refusing Mr. Snowden’s request, we have demonstrated our submission to the U.S.
It is an irony that when well-intentioned people want to help those in trouble, the result is disastrous. The victim crawls back to the oppressor rather than seek the hand of redemption. India’s response to Mr. Snowden’s request borders on this phenomenon. It is a reflection on the diabolical organisation of our world that a man who sought to jeopardise his life for upholding human rights finds himself homeless and friendless.
By saying ‘no’ to Mr. Snowden, India has reinforced its celebrated hypocrisy. It seems to have forgotten that it fought against a one-time mighty power without surrendering its integrity and solidarity.
There are many who argue that Mr. Snowden was not loyal to his country. But he was loyal to humanity. He knew he would be hunted down by his country for blowing the lid off the spying programme that invaded other countries in the name of defence and security. Yet he did it. Why? Because he felt he had to do it, as the freedom of millions was at stake and the world deserved a better ambience. He thought the world would save him. How wrong he was!
Whistleblowers all over the world have been hounded and vanquished. Truth is bitter and its victory, a myth. Mr. Snowden risked his life in a world that has double standards and is double-tongued. He should have learnt the truth at least from Julain Assange’s experience.
The U.S. has never tried to give an impression that it is not backing Pakistan; it has always tried to arm-twist India on the economic front; it has never considered our plea for a permanent seat at the U.N.; and David Headley, who should have been facing trial in India, continues to remain in the U.S. Except for praising our culture, Mahatma Gandhi, the Taj Mahal and our IITs, the U.S. has done nothing much for us.
I am not saying India should end its relations with the U.S. over the matter but it could have sent a strong message that ‘we,’ as a sovereign nation, respect our privacy.
Syed Wasbir Subhani,
One should not expect anything better from a government which responded to the shocking news of spying in the most callous and shoddy manner — that it was not actually snooping. The pro-America decision in the Snowden matter will portray a poor image of India and its ethos.
The Snowden controversy has exposed the nefarious espionage tactics employed by the U.S. worldwide. While in Ghana, I heard from a former Indian diplomat that he did feel the U.S. authorities gave “a degree of approval” to those who designed ELINT (electronic intelligence) gadgets targeted at other embassies. Given such an environment, the courage displayed by Mr. Snowden is admirable.
K.K. Vishal Kumar,