Saturday, May 22, 2010

Outcry... really?

Nice weather, some errands to run and more resulted in me deciding to make my weekend a long one and stayed at home on Friday. This gave me time to do things I used to do a lot earlier and never find time to do now, like seeing TV channels other than Sun Music! :-) I decided to take a round of the breaking channels. The same stories were breaking in different channels albeit each channel focusing on a different one at any point of viewing.

The first one was regarding a ex-BSF jawan who was shown the boot by Canadian Immigration officials. Each channel was showing Canada in the worst light possible. It was as if they had committed the greatest crime against India. An insult so unbearable that some politicians (trying to cash in of course) wanted us to send back the Canadian high commission diplomats to Canada. While it is true that the reasoning given by Canada to reject the ex-BSF jawans immigration application was not the best possible one and in ways insulting to the Indian armed forces, I think a different look is worthy, considering the usual "trial by media" mode in which India and its media works these days.

1. Canada houses a HUGE population of Sikhs many of whom are ex-khalistan fighters who are not known for their peaceful ways. Coincidentally, the ex-BSF jawan was a Sikh and assume for the sake of argument that this was the reason that the officials didn't want him in Canada. Not letting him into Canada was their prerogative and if they had openly told the above mentioned reason, it would have amounted to racism and somehow the Caucasians somehow get the worst of it. Indians are just as racist if not more than any other country, but we and rest of the racist hypocrites would pounce on Canada if it had given this as the reason for rejecting the ex-bsf jawans visa.

2. Canada as a country has the right to not allow anyone to come into its territory. Fault it for the reason it gave, but not to its right to choose its citizens/immigrants.

3. The ex-BSF jawan was going to leave India and be an immigrant. Not a very patriotic thing to do, but somehow the media wants to make us and apparently succeeds in making us patriotic for this!

4. Some indian techies can vouch for much worse treatment by the US consulate during the visa process or the US immigration authorities at the port of entry. The reasons for rejection can be far more frivolous and yet we all are OK with it. Some of the horror stories my colleagues have faced is better left untold.

5. Racial profiling is the name of the game in European and US airports. They would never agree or accept it, but from their point of view, they stand a better chance of catching a Faisal Shahzad by doing this rather than check the Caucasian race people for the sake of being politically correct! Again, a country protecting its interests, can't fault that!

To summarize, I agree that Canada could have been more judicious in its reason, but is this really such a big deal ? We settle for far worse on so many more serious fronts, but somehow chose this to be the battle that needs fighting ?