ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Kissing the Foreign Hand

Kissing the 'Foreign Hand' GPD COME to think of it, only Nepal and Bhutan in our area have escaped political assassinations. Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and now India have seen political assassinations or murders. Bandaranaike, Liaqat Ali Khan, Mujib-ur-Rehman, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Suhrawardy and now Indira Gandhi, a formidable list indeed. It should have been easy to see who would find these leaderships not pliant enough and therefore would have wished to see them liquidated. There was a good enough reason why Bandaranaike suffered the fate he did. Why Bhutto had to be hanged was also not altogether obscure either. The reasons why Indira Gandhi fell to assassins' bullets can also be very intelligible. It is a part of a South Asian pattern. Tariq Ali. not entirely incorrectly, described these leaders as 'populists', a point well worth making inasmuch as it would help seeing the distinction between Indira Gandhi and Allende or Maurice Bishop. But the distinction, relevant as it is, does not alter the fact that it is easy to see who wanted changes in South Asia and of what nature. From Bandaranaike to Jayawardene it is quite a long story. Of course, Bandaranaike was no Marxist, as Allende and Bishop were. But those who deal in coups, counter-coups and assassinations are not necessarily against a leader only because he is a Marxist. In the case of Chile and Grenada that was the obvious reason. Why they should be against Bandaranaike, Bhutto or Indira Gandhi is a shade more complicated. An article in a Delhi daily did go to the extent of suggesting that Indira Gandhi and Allende could be put in the same bracket. In the current adolatary phase in the capital it was an understandable overstatement. One nearly expects that.

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