The tongue twister
What does paranoia over weapons of mass destruction lead up to? First, to war.india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 02:43 IST
What does paranoia over weapons of mass destruction lead up to? First, to war. When that turns public opinion against your hegemonistic attitude, the next step is to tell the world that you’re really not all that bad, that you do care — and say so in their own language. US President George W. Bush has his latest national security strategy all spelt out — in Hindi, Chinese, Russian, Arabic as well as Farsi. These are his new languages of diplomacy, designed to change the bully boy image of America — and he’s encouraging the entire star-spangled country to speak them, at a cost of $ 114 million.
There is a big question mark over whether Mr Bush’s wordy ‘Save America’ campaign will sway the likes of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda associates. Which camp can claim not to have understood the hostile signals they’ve regularly sent out, despite the language barrier that has existed till now. But whatever the case, this is one pre-emptive strategy that, if taken seriously by the Americans, will certainly shock and awe the world beyond their shores.
But while America is picking up salaam, namaste, shouldn’t we, in India, too, show them how much we care? What better way than to translate some of the accidental wit and wisdom of the president, the so-called Bushisms into Hindi?