Listen, My Children...

Every Little Helps

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Excellent News

I'm thrilled to hear that the NDA (the coalition led by Vajpayee's BJP) is unlikely to get enough votes to have a full victory. I should perhaps be more conflicted about this -- Vajpayee's probably better for foreign relations and so forth than Congress (Sonia) would be. Somewhat more supportive of US foreign policy as well. Problem is, I just can't help seeing him, his party, and those he stands by (Advani, Modi, etc.) as corrupt, religiously intolerant, racist, and generally despicable and frightening.

I often hear that any measures are justified by the ends. China's one-child abuses, Falun Gong suppression, human rights abuses? All fine, if they work to help the country as a whole. Indira Gandhi's forced-sterilization drives? Hey, overpopulation's a problem! (Nevermind that it worked much less than the laudable education-for-population-control in Kerala.) Stacking naked prisoners and sodomizing them with glowsticks? Hey, if it gets them to talk (and they deserved it anyway)! Doing all you can to stir up mob violence and religious intolerance (the kind that leads to lynchings, not the pansy American variety that consists of hinting the other religion might be wrong)? Well, if it keeps your party, with its good foreign and economic policy, in power!

I can't get myself to agree with that kind of reasoning, however. I'll take having Advani and the rest of the Sangh in jail, even if that means less-open trade agreements.

UPDATE: Incidentally, children, I like Mr. Singh quite well (thanks, OxBlog, for pointing him out). As far as I can tell, he'd probably keep India's economic policies moving in the right direction, too, addressing my concern above. (Don't suppose he'd get Amartya Sen back to help out?)


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