Chennai: Besides being venal and monumentally corrupt, the Manmohan Singh government has proved untrustworthy of handling national-security matters. The Chinese intrusion in Eastern Ladakh has been brought to an end with Indian concessions, whose specifics are a closely guarded secret in the diplomatic and military establishments. Press reports do not give the whole story and we must await high-minded whistle-blowing to get the full picture. But it is clear that Manmohan Singh is unfit to be prime minister and his cabinet would gladly sacrifice Indian interests to win make-believe peace, embattled as they are on the domestic political front. With full responsibility, this writer is forced to declare this government anti-national.

So obsessed is Manmohan Singh with being prime minister that he will protect his position domestically with a fearsomeness and cunning that beguiles his humble appearance. It is clear that he put up Ashwani Kumar to vet the Central Bureau of Investigation’s report on the 2G scam investigations to the Supreme Court. No amount of Congress obfuscation will alter that reality. Manmohan Singh is guiltier than his Chandigarh sidekick and the entire world knows it. But saving his skin domestically is only half his daily routine. The other half is devoted to cultivating the image of a statesman abroad, a wise, all-knowing economist and visionary, and since India has lost its equity under him, making concessions to win friends has become a desperate act. Manmohan Singh is one of the most self-centred prime ministers India has seen.

On one of his earliest official pilgrimages to the United States, he had a huge desire to shake the hands of top American CEOs. He wondered if that were possible. He was told by derisive protocol officials that the Americans would happily oblige. A lifetime of taking orders had destroyed any strains of leadership and self-respect he possessed. America, to his eyes, of course, could do no wrong. It was El Dorado. If he wasn’t to be prime minister, he would be content to be a professor in a small town of America, bowing to the American flag morning and evening. A refugee from Pakistan, he has taken on the nouveau identity of an unreconstructed American immigrant, swearing by dollars and stocking up on ketchup and the oregano sachets from the highway food courts.

Manmohan Singh’s other love has been his country of birth, which is Pakistan. He has that sort of unrequited passion for the village or town of his birth that can make passable cinema and literature but looks downright appalling in a politician who is also the head of the government. His concession to Pakistan on Baluchistan was shocking, the outcome of some bale-bale and bhangra by his Pakistani Punjabi counterpart, where the present national security adviser, Shiv Shankar Menon, a disgrace to his office, owned up to some drafting mistakes to limit the damage to his boss. This champion appeaser, Menon, held back Indian hard action against the Chinese in Ladakh, and the prime minister and his foreign minister, Salman Khursheed, who faces allegations of cheating the handicapped of his constituency, were only too willing and eager to acquiesce in the pusillanimity. The Chinese know the zero standing of Manmohan Singh and Khursheed in the country, and the country will soon behold the horror of the Chinese arm-twisting of the foreign minister during his 9-May Beijing visit, and it will be powerless to stop the betrayal, the same as with the loot of the nation. Who says a democracy cannot turn into a dictatorship?

China has tasted blood, and it will return for more. There is only one way to take on China, which is frontally, one-to-one, and the Vietnamese and the breakaway Taiwanese have learnt it the hard way. Ask the Taiwanese why the People’s Republic of China could not annex them since the parting of 1949, and they smile and say, cryptically, ‘Let them try.’ If the Chinese had been punished for the Ladakh intrusion, the border would have had relative peace and quiet for another ten years. Now you will see intrusions every six months on the vast Indo-Tibet frontier. So-called strategists speak of an alliance with Japan and the rest of East Asia to contain China. They live in a fool’s paradise. They know nothing of Chinese history. Not until the ghosts of 1962 have been decisively laid to rest will China let you live in peace. From this anti-national dispensation, however, all you will get is a sell-out.