Well - the leftist MPs , who constitute 60 out of 570 , intended to raise slogans against Bush if he addressed the Indian parliament. They would have been shouted down by the rest of the parliament members. But it was thought better to avoid making a scene and so Bush is not addressing the parliament. Rather he will be addressing the various business delegations in India , meeting the scientists regarding the nuclear treaty , diplomants etc. Later he will be visiting the hi-tech city of Hyderabad , also called Cyberabad.
With Arundhati Roy , a lot is about half truths.Take it with a pinch of salt.
Besides, there was no request from the American side for a joint-address at the Indian Parliament.
Reading the papers, it was often hard to tell when people were referring to Viagra (which was competing for second place on the front pages) and when they were talking about the bomb - "We have superior strength and potency." (This was our Minister for Defence after Pakistan completed its tests.) "These are not just nuclear tests, they are nationalism tests," we were repeatedly told.
This has been hammered home, over and over again. The bomb is India. India is the bomb. Not just India, Hindu India. Therefore, be warned, any criticism of it is not just ant-national but anti-Hindu. (Of course in Pakistan the bomb is Islamic. Other than that, politically, the same physics applies.) This is one of the unexpected perks of having a nuclear bomb. Not only can the government use it to threaten the Enemy, they can use it to declare war on their own people. Us.
When I told my friends that I was writing this piece, they cautioned me. "Go ahead," they said, "but first make sure you're not vulnerable. Make sure your papers are in order. Make sure your taxes are paid."
My papers are in order. My taxes are paid. But how can one not be vulnerable in a climate like this? Everyone is vulnerable. Accidents happen. There's safety only in acquiescence. As I write, I am filled with foreboding. In this country, I have truly known what it means for a writer to feel loved (and, to some degree, hated too). Last year I was one of the items being paraded in the media's end-of-the-year National Pride Parade. Among the others, much to my mortification, were a bomb-maker and an international beauty queen. Each time a beaming person stopped me on the street and said "You have made India proud" (referring to the prize I won, not the book I wrote), I felt a little uneasy. It frightened me then and it terrifies me now, because I know how easily that swell, that tide of emotion, can turn against me. Perhaps the time for that has come. I'm going to step out from under the fairy lights and say what's on my mind.
It's this: If protesting against having a nuclear bomb implanted in my brain is anti-Hindu and anti-national, then I secede. I hereby declare myself an independent, mobile republic. I am a citizen of the earth. I own no territory. I have no flag. I'm female, but have nothing against eunuchs. My policies are simple. I'm willing to sign any nuclear non-proliferation treaty or nuclear test ban treaty that's going. Immigrants are welcome. You can help me design our flag.
My world has died. And I write to mourn its passing. India's nuclear tests, the manner in which they were conducted, the euphoria with which they have been greeted (by us) is indefensible. To me, it signifies dreadful things. The end of imagination.
On the 15th of August last year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of India's independence. Next May we can mark our first anniversary in nuclear bondage.
Why did they do it? Political expediency is the obvious, cynical answer, except that it only raises another, more basic question: Why should it have been politically expedient? The three Official Reasons given are: China, Pakistan and Exposing Western Hypocrisy.
One of the biggest idiots India has ever produced.