Many have expressed opinions about the artistic and ethical merits (or otherwise) of the video India’s Daughter – a documentary on the victim of the December 2012 Delhi gangrape which included interviews with her rapists. These points are worth pondering. On the other hand, nobody has quite answered the question as to why this video was made, and why it was made into a cause celebre right now. I suggest that it is not about the victim nor about her rapist, or about women’s rights at all. It is about the discovery of a new Axis of Evil by America - and the Deep State that lies behind it.
America does not merely mean the US of A. It means both the main Anglo-Saxon protestant nations, the other being the United Kingdom. The two are a package for the simple reason that where America leads, the UK follows. Whether it is the fraudulent search for non-existent weapons of mass destruction, or the fight against real or imagined terror, or anything to do with any global issue, Britain is the lamb following the US (Bloody) Mary, right or wrong. The US Deep State includes Britain. The British tail wags frenetically on a mere wink-and-a-nod from Uncle Sam. So when the US defines its enemies or indicates the countries to be placed in the doghouse, Britain follows unquestioningly.
The old Axis of Evil was posited by former US President George W Bush in 2002. If you recall, he suggested that the axis of evil in the world was North Korea, Iran and Iraq. It was a bit of an exaggeration then too, of course: there were several American “allies” who belonged in that list too, such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and China.
They were an odd threesome. North Korea was a Chinese cat’s-paw (and still is). Iran and Iraq were bitter enemies and had fought a disastrous war with each other. Just about the only thing the three had in common with one another was that the US was upset with them - for various reasons: North Korea, becaus it threatened ally South Korea; Iran the 444-day hostage crisis that humiliated the US, and because Israel is paranoid about it; and Iraq because, well… the US had fallen out with President Saddam Hussein after befriending him earlier.
Fast forward to today, and you see the results. Iraq is destroyed, a western embargo killed 500,000 of its children, and it is now reeling under ISIS. Iran has endured a bitter decade of ostracism, negligible growth and some real hardship (although they are being rehabilitated now). North Korea continues to be, by all accounts, a miserable nation.
So what exactly is an “axis of evil”? It is simply a list of countries that the US is unhappy with at any moment, for some reason; and it may also have something to do with animosity towards a leader, as in the case of Presidents Ahmedinejad of Iran and Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and perhaps the rather difficult President Kim Jong-il of North Korea.
Is there a new “Axis of Evil” now? The evidence suggests that there is, and that it is Russia, Japan and (probably) India. The animosity is levelled at the leaders of the three countries, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. All three of them are seen as thwarting America’s plans to some degree, and therefore, ipso facto, they must be evil.
Putin is pursuing policies that benefit Russia. One of these is the equivalent of a Truman Doctrine in ex-Soviet states: that they may not stray too far from the fulsome embrace of Mother Russia. This may or may not be a fantasy about re-creating the old Soviet Union, though that would be beyond Russia’s straitened circumstances. However, it is clear that in the near-abroad, eg. Georgia and Ukraine, Russia will not cede ground. Thus the Ukraine war was brought about by the West which underestimated Russian resolve. They should have remembered Stalingrad.
In the case of both Japan and India, they have new-ish leaders who have quite clearly embraced nationalism and will be unwilling to quietly toe the American line. This is enough reason to want to create trouble for them, and if possible, emasculate and defang them. Abe’s efforts to repeal the pacifist Article 9 of his constitution, which was written by American occupiers, is unpopular with Americans, and they have criticised Abe loudly.
As far as India is concerned, Narendra Modi has endured a dozen years of harsh personal and political vilification, with the Indian English media a willing comprador for western efforts to tie him up in court and shame him. The withering criticism and persistent efforts to exclude Modi from office are dreamt up by clever strategic analysts in the West and executed by their loyal sepoys in India.
The tactic, then, has been to demonise all three and to create ‘facts’ on the ground that would lead them to feeling constrained by so-called ‘international public opinion’. The pages of The Economist magazine are a convenient proxy for Nato’s (and the US State Department’s and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s) views. And the evidence is telling: the magazine has consistently attacked Putin, blamed Abe for his entirely reasonable (in my humble opinion) visits to the Yasukuni shrine that honours his war dead, and endorsed not Modi but his enigmatic opponent, Rahul Gandhi.
I think there is enough out there to suggest that the West is out to get these three men, and their countries, who seem to be on the point of escaping from Western overlordship.
If so, why did this vile film by Leslie Udwin come out right now? I call it vile because of several reasons, apart from the Udwin’s own insufferable priggishness, which I attribute to her bearing the “White Woman’s Burden” (I wrote about this meme in my 1998 piece “Speaking of Women”).
First, it is a dishonest film, possibly made with malafide intent and ill-motivation, much like Deepa Mehta’s Fire some years ago, which was intended to malign Hindu men and suggest religious conversion as the answer for Hindu women: pretty much the same that India’s Daughter does too, subtly. Avanindra Pandey, the Delhi gangrape victim's friend and the only eye-witness to the savagery, has roundly condemned the film as ‘a fake film’.
Second, the agony of poor, dead Delhi gangrape victim and her family. There is something altogether monstrous in deceiving them; something ghoulish in generating profits from the dead. Can’t the Delhi gangrape victim escape exploitation even after she was so gruesomely disembowelled and murdered? Christopher Hitchens once accused Mother Teresa of being the ghoul of Kolkata, and again for the same reason: conversion and easy money.
Third, the tremendous amount of ill-will it has generated for India, once again reminiscent of M Teresa: she single-handedly created a billion dollars’ worth of bad publicity for India, and so has this Leslie Udwin. It should not surprise us that a professor named Annette Beck-Sickinger in Leipzig in former East Germany actually wrote to a male Indian applicant that she could not give him an internship because she was afraid he’d be a menace to the women in her department. (By the way, why is this obvious racist not being tarred, feathered, and drummed out of her university?) We should not be surprised, either, if some totally innocent Indian man is attacked by Western racists who call him a ‘rapist’. (Incidentally, the relative silence in India on the stabbing to death of Prabha Arun Kumar in a Sydney park is nothing short of shocking).
Fourth, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, a lawyer, pointed out in The Indian Express that Udwin broke the law, for example by violating the terms of her agreement to not show the film while the case was still under trial, lest it prejudice judges. If this film is the root cause of a mistrial - the rapists’ lawyers can argue that their clients could not expect a fair hearing - that would be a serious problem. Besides, the filmmakers ignored a direct request from the Indian government to cease and desist.
Fifth, the film, if shown widely, can trigger vigilante justice. In Christian-majority Nagaland, a 1,000-strong mob dragged an alleged Muslim rapist (who had allegedly raped a Christian girl) from a jail and beat him to death publicly (although there is some doubt about there being non-consensual sex). This may have nothing to do with India’s Daughter, but who can be sure the film will not trigger anger against alleged rapists if shown widely?
Sixth, the indirect connections to Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright - Clinton is sponsoring the showing of the film in New York - are big question marks (see the diagram from a tweet by @trackevangelism below). Plan International, Udwin’s quango, is sponsored by the US government. Coupled with the Devyani Khobragade incident (“Indians treat Christian maids as slave labour”), the denial of a visa to Modi, and the influence of what appears to be anti-India personnel on her staff suggest that a possible Clinton presidency would be extremely harmful for India, and we are getting a sneak preview of it.
There are indications that the Ford Foundation is involved in all this (although they have plausible deniability), and given long-standing Ford Foundation-CIA links, it takes on suspicious overtones. Regime change, anybody? Or “the forcible removal of Narendra Modi”, as Karan Thapar once blurted out? The ghosts of Mossadegh of Iran and Salvador Allende of Chile are reminders that people thwart the US at some personal peril. (See Kishen Kak’s piece at www.indiafacts.co.in here)
The only semi-reason for anybody to support the film - as several arch-bigots who pretend to be liberals have been shouting from the rooftops - is freedom of expression. But that is a contentious issue. As I said years ago in The Problem with ‘Fire’, there are no absolute freedoms. You have to be cognisant of the impact on others, that is, you will not cry ‘Fire’ in a crowded theatre (no pun intended) even though yes, you have the right to do so.
No, I believe the evidence is strong that it is not random, but part of a calculated assault on Narendra Modi’s administration. A roadmap was set out in The Economist of 14 February. “…Destabilisation is also being achieved in less military ways. Wielding power or gaining influence abroad—through anti-establishment political parties, disgruntled minority groups, media outlets, environmental activists, supporters in business, propagandist “think tanks”, and others—has become part of xxx’s hybrid-war strategy. This perversion of “soft power” is seen by xxx as a vital complement to military engagement…”.
A more lucid articulation of the West’s tactics against Russia, Japan and India (and particularly against Modi) would be hard to find: thank you, The Economist. But ironically, this was in a piece accusing Putin, titled “What Russia wants”. This is generally true: the West accuses others of doing what, in fact, it does itself.
Look at India: political parties (AAP), minority groups (churches, godmen), media outlets (the entire MSM), environmental activists (Kudankulam agitators), supporters in business (those funding chairs and classics at Harvard and Oxford), thinktanks (you name them). Yes, all the classical angles of subversion, just as The Economist suggests. A particularly interesting group is the “Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights” Project at UC, Berkeley: See my earlier article here on their dubious goals and see their website for the alarming list of working group members, including Chatterji, Setalvad, Mander - all known Modi-baiters.
Why, one might wonder, are these tactics not used against China, which is a bigger threat to the West? The simple answer is that the Chinese are jingoistic, racist and supremacist – they believe in “Chinese exceptionalism” – and they will not betray their country for 30 pieces of silver. Alas, Indians are none of the above, and will happily sell their nation down the river for a pittance.
Updated Date: Mar 14, 2015 11:01:38 IST