I agree with Barkha Dutt’s views in Haneef: India’s hypocrisy (July 21) that it is our attitude towards secularism that prevents us from seeing reality. We defend the indefensible, just to project ourselves as secularists. Our government’s reaction to the Haneef episode demonstrates its keenness to get political mileage from this unfortunate event. No help has been rendered either to Haneef or to the cause of truth. It is time we shed this hypocrisy.
Our heartful sympathies are with Haneef and his family, but we should not comment on the judicial system of other countries. I was in Australia recently and found the locals including the immigration officers, to be courteous and helpful. Like S.A.R. Geelani and Tariq Dar, Haneef will get justice. With terrorism so widespread, we should leave law and order in the hand of the local authorities.
I agree with the questions raised by Barkha Dutt. We call the Australians racist, but would we brand ourselves communal? Would we be so concerned about Haneef if he was caught in a similar case in Bangalore instead of Brisbane? The article exposes India’s so-called emotional attachment to its citizens caught in a foreign land.
Barkha Dutt is right in calling Indians hypocrites. But those who cry for Mohammed Haneef’s release and ask the
government to intervene are also justified. The government should encourage a fair hearing.
It is true that police needs to be more humane, but what Barkha Dutt writes is not the whole truth. Whenever an Indian abroad is involved, our international image is at stake too. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rightly lost his sleep over the treatment meted out to Haneef. But we are yet to honour our citizens as Israel, which waged a war in Lebanon did when its citizens were abducted.