I’d gone through an exhausting tiring day and returned home all too fatigued and forlorn. To try distracting myself, I switched on the television and the images on the small screen made me not just smile but smile in that ongoing way! Yes, it was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife and children who stood out in each one of those shots. After years I saw a happy, content, intact family!
Emotions came to the fore and I blessed that happy family and marvelled the way Justin Trudeau has been conducting himself on this India trip — happy to be in the company of his wife and children. All looking relaxed, without those security phobias lurking around!
Needless for me to add that a man who can take care of his wife and children is sure to take care of his nation and its people. If one were to read Justin Trudeau’s memoir Common Ground – Political Life, his stark views, view-points and experiences leave an impact. There is an intense honesty to his writings which almost immediately connects him to the reader. No, he doesn’t just dwell on the political but also on the personal — writing about his childhood, the influence of his father, Pierre (Canada’s prime minister before him) and the untimely death of his brother Michel. And, of course, he has written about his wife and their three children and home. All written so very beautifully, effortlessly…
Look at the way he’s touched our hearts. Thank you, Justine Trudeau for making my day.
We Indians are deprived of seeing our political rulers with their families. To be nearer precision with happy, relaxed-looking intact families. To make matters worse, they move around in big-bodied cars fitted with horns that screech like wild cats on the prowl. Not to overlook the scary security bandobast to protect their fragile limbs! Even the speeches India’s political rulers unleash on the hapless masses are filled with hollow promises, if not of State killings! Yes, today the State is killing not just love and romance but also forms and psyches. Encounter killings are back in fashion in some states of this country! Heartless rulers attired in long flowing robes of the varying shades, busy giving killing orders, as though it doesn’t really matter how many innocents get targeted each single day by brute State force.
These rulers are not equipped with wives and children so what would they know of human emotions! …I’m of the firm opinion that a man who cannot look after his wife and children cannot look after the State. Look around. Have you come across any of the political rulers of the day moving around happily and effortlessly, along with their spouses and children in public domain? I haven’t.
And to all that criticism heaped on Justin Trudeau that he and his government are soft on the vocal Sikh groups, the so-called ‘pro-Khalistan voices’ in Canada; well, there’s that one aspect which is something exceptionally vital in a democracy and that’s free speech together with thoughts that should be allowed to go about wondering and wandering! In fact, Canada is flourishing because of its diversity. Not just mentioned in long and short political speeches but actually and truly practised in everyday life …benefits of diversity reaching out to each one of its citizens. And when, soon after becoming prime minister, Trudeau told his people, “I will be the prime minister of all Canadians” he actually meant what he said. After all, he has more than often stated, “Finding strength in diversity is a core Canadian belief …Canadians know that we are stronger culturally, politically, and economically because of our diversity, and that we must turn away from fear and suspicion to ensure that it continues to be true.” Above all, his guiding line to his people: “We beat fear with hope. We beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together.”
Whilst on leaders hopping from here to there, on their missions, I have just got to comment on India’s balancing acts in West Asia.
On one hand the Modi sarkar is blatantly close to the Israeli government yet trying to befriend Palestinians! Nah, not by focusing on the atrocities unleashed by the Israeli government on the besieged Palestinians but by announcing opening of training centres, techno parks… These half-hearted measures won’t do, will fall flat when hundreds and thousands of Palestinians are reduced to a nothingness of sorts by the policies of the occupying Israeli government.
I don’t understand what’s been going on since last summer – when Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, had come calling in the midst of May heat. Why he had skipped visiting India just two months back (that is, in February 2017) when he had visited Pakistan and Bangladesh? Also, in July 2017, Modi government’s tilt towards Israel was more than obvious when, though he was in Israel but had decided not travel next door, to Palestine. A break from the past when Indian leaders visited only Palestine or both — Israel and Palestine. In fact, that was the first time that an Indian Prime Minister was visiting only Israel, bypassing Palestine.
Balancing tactics, which like all balancing acts, have the tendency of standing exposed. During this very recent visit of Prime Minister Modi to Palestine missing was the spirit, the bonding between the people of the two countries. Even if few projects were signed between India and Palestine, that meant little as the people-to-people connect seems dented by political moves.
I do recall the Press Conferences of fiery Palestinian envoys to India and the emotions they’d generated. There had come up Palestinian support forums and student groups in several of our cities and towns and they were addressed by Palestinian leaders and academics.And I do recall that warm hug that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat gave Indira Gandhi when she had hosted an elaborate reception for him at a frilly five-star hotel here, in New Delhi. Besides the who’s who on the political and administrative and diplomatic circuit, Indira Gandhi’s office had sent invites to middle-rung Muslim families and also to student leaders. Of course, those were the days when there were no security phobias. No hyped statements. No fear of the ‘other.’ That was the phase of Government of India’s close, genuine and loyal bonding with Palestine, with the Palestinians.
Those were happier days for each one of us!