Ego trips

Now Uttar Pradesh has its own foreign policy. Mohammad Azam Khan has broken off the state's diplomatic relations with the US. No minister of the UP government, it appears, will ever again visit the US. He has asked all Indian Muslims living in the US to return to the fertile and prosperous lands of UP (in time for the general elections to vote for his Samajwadi Party) and quit that miserable country.

Azam Khan's anger arises from the fact that he was detained for 10 minutes at Logan airport when he went to Boston on UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's trip to Harvard to trumpet the way in which UP had managed the Kumbh Mela. The poor Harvard graduates will have to stay ignorant of that great achievement. After all, ministers in India are not used to going through security at airports or stopping at traffic lights or abiding by any law, civil or criminal.

By not extending such basic human rights to UP ministers on US soil, Obama has damaged his country's economic prospects. Deprived of visits by UP ministers, the US will plunge into another recession. Only when Obama comes in person to kowtow at the airport in Netaji Mulayam Singh Yadav's home town and is detained for 10 hours at least without airconditioning will the US begin to recompense for that act of lese majeste.

Azam Khan was lucky that he got a visa and was able to visit the US. Narendra Modi is still waiting for that. He would have been thrilled to change places with Azam Khan. About the only thing lacking in Modi's anointment as the BJP's chosen leader is a nod from the US that he is kosher. Now we hear that there are people in the US who insist that he be denied a visa. Maybe Gujarat should break off diplomatic relations with the US. Modi can then say that he does not want a visa from the US, in solidarity with Azam Khan. That will enhance the BJP's chances of winning the Muslim vote in UP.

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