It is distressing to learn that 64 MPs of a sovereign state have lowered their dignity and the dignity of their nation by “respectfully” making a plea to the President of the United States on issuing a travelling visa to a fellow Indian who is also a democratically elected leader of a State. One wonders why, when India has issued a passport to Narendra Modi, the MPs should request another nation not to issue visa to him. They could have passed a resolution in Parliament asking the U.S. and other organisations in the U.S. not to invite him. But they seem to have more faith in Barack Obama than in their own institutions.
Let us be happy that only 64 MPs signed the letter. That we have such immature parliamentarians ruling us is worrying. They have made India a laughing stock in the eyes of the world. What harm will befall India if Mr. Modi visits the U.S.?
The MPs in the eye of the storm are entitled to their opinion on Mr. Modi. But what I cannot understand is why they wrote to Mr. Obama requesting him not to reconsider the U.S.’ denial of visa to him as though getting a visa to the U.S. is a venerable virtue and its denial a befitting earthly punishment. More surprising is that they chose to write to the head of a state which has been accused of gross human rights violations, possesses a dubious history of discrimination for which it is being targeted continually, and has been exploiting vulnerable nations.
Although many MPs have denied signing the letter, the independent MP who took the initiative claims that the letter is authentic. It is only proper that the matter is probed.
An American visa is not a Nobel Prize. Neither Rajnath Singh’s statement that he would appeal for a U.S. visa for Mr. Modi nor the opposition to it has contributed to India’s respectability. The only silver lining is that the person at the centre of the controversy, Mr. Modi, has kept himself aloof.
The episode reveals the immaturity and ignorance of a few MPs of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. It is ridiculous to take an internal matter to the President of a foreign country.
Mr. Modi should thank the 64 MPs for the free publicity they have given him. As for Mr. Obama, I am sure he has better and more serious things to attend to rather than paying attention to a letter from a few Indian MPs.
The MPs perhaps wanted to be seen as champions of secularism. Their action is an insult to the people of Gujarat who have voted Mr. Modi to power. It is an insult to India that some politicians have sought a foreigner’s help in their political fight against an opponent. The honourable members should have known that the number of Muslims killed in sectarian violence in India is far less than those killed by the U.S. in Pakistan, Iraq or Libya.
N. Gopalan Kutty,