E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Come Deepavali, most youngsters wait for the usual goodies: a new set of clothes, a box full of pataakis, and sweets, not necessarily in that order. But the essence is the same; everybody eagerly waits for presents in some form or the other.
This is also true to some extent when you have a relative coming from some other town to stay with you. As the aunt unpacks her suitcase after a hot cup of coffee, eager and expectant eyes hover around each and every move of hers as to when she will take out a packet of Bombay halwa or Dharwad peda.
So is the case with countries too.
When you have a visitor, who is also the most powerful person in the world, coming to visit your place, naturally there is some expectation about what he is going to unpack after he lands. So, when Barack Obama slips into Punjabi kurta and Michelle tucks into a saree, let’s see what goodies will pop on his teleprompter.
WHAT INDIA EXPECTS FROM OBAMA
1. To stay clearly away from making any references to the ‘K’ word, not ‘Kama Sutra’ but Kashmir.
2. To make repeated references to terrorism, not in smooth general terms such as Al Qaeda etc, but in specific terms such as 26 /11, LeT , Jaish e Mohammed, etc, and handing over perpetrators of Mumbai massacre.
3. To get permanent membership to India on the United Nations security council.
4. Not to make it difficult to Indian companies to get visa for their employees.
5. To recognize and praise Rahul Gandhi as the future leader of India and not keep on praising Manmohan Singh as an extraordinary leader of our times.
6. To specifically reduce giving aid and arms to Pakistan which, all three contries know very well, will be used against India.
WHAT PAKISTAN EXPECTS FROM OBAMA
Although our honoured guest is not visiting Pakistan, as a rich guest he can still give gifts to our neighbour in so many ways and they both know that.
1. Raise Kashmir issue and nudge India to solve the same quickly. Or else the Af-Pak policy is doomed.
2. Quoting interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, they will want to be involved in dialogue with India.
3. Tell India to reduce their army presence in Kashmir valley and stop killing innocent civilians.
4. Tell India to solve the pending river water issues.
5. Tell India not to harass Pakistan cricketers implicated in match-fixing scandals through Sharad Pawar’s ICC.
6. Tell India and in particular home minister P. Chidambaram not to send so many dossiers every second day on 26 /11 as it has become difficult to find storage space for the same.
WHAT OBAMA WILL FINALLY DO
1. Praise India as one of the most important emerging nations in the world and since the time was not ‘ripe’ right now, he will ask India to continue its present great role and wait till time becomes ‘ripe’ .This is for India’s permanent seat o the UN security council.
2. Will make a hair-rising, goose pimple-generating speech in Parliament quoting Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln. The 500+ MPs and their aunts will shake his right arm for an hour and almost yank it off. Hairs that dramatically rose during his speech will come back to the original position after sometime.
3. Will ask India to take over the leadership of Asia along with China; will praise India’s role in fighting terrorism. Same evening, the State department will praise Pakistan as ‘its strongest ally’ in its fight against global terrorism and announce another $3 billion in aid to a “valued partner”.
4. Will dance with school children of Mehouli and urge children from Mehouli and Minnesota to carry the torch of freedom to all corners of globe. Yes, they can.
5. Will call upon Bangalore software companies to share their knowledge with their counterparts in US by keeping their staff in Bangalore itself and not send them to US.
6. Will sing songs with adivasis in Connaught circus who have been rounded up outside Delhi and invite them to Alabama, US.
7. Will invite Suresh Kalmadi and Ashok Chavan, the emerging stars of the ruling party, for a White House luncheon and share their experiences for which they achieved their greatness.
In his eagerness to please the host, horror of horrors, he will forget to praise the emerging future leader which will create some kind of ‘cold war’ climate with the hosts.
Having realized this, he will send a message to the young leader before touchdown at Jakarta airport asking him to visit US as his personal guest and share his experiences of traveling in unreserved trains in India with full security around him.
Cartoon: courtesy Baloo‘s cartoon blog