Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi cites Nehru citing Kalhana's Rajatarangini where "dharma" and "abhaya" was seen as the basis of government and Nehru thought that was what law and order was about and Suu Kyi too believed it

The 33rd Jawaharlal Nehru lecture that Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at Vigyan Bhavan on Wednesday evening was a literal tour de force.A recipient of the Jawaharlal Nerhu award for international understanding for 1995, Suu Kyi was quite balanced in her understanding of Nehru's writings and personality. She recalled how Nehru walked up and down the platform at the New Delhi railway station awaiting the arrival of prime minister U Nu from Calcutta, ignoring the crowds cheering him. She wondered about the aristocratic disdain which Nehru displayed or whether the people and the leader need not acknowledge each other because of a deep bond. She said that her father Aun San showed the same indifference. She was also scrupulous enough to state that the freedom movements of India and Burma went different ways when Aung San went to Japan to fight the British. She recalled Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army and the visit of Bose's brother Sarat Bose to Rangoon to defend the INA soldiers facing trial, and how Aung San described Sarat as the great brother of a great Indian. Then she narrated the two-hour meeting that Aung San had with Nehru at Rangoon when Nehru was on his way back to India from Malaysia. After that Aung San stopped over at New Delhi on his way to London for talks on Burmese independence,and how Nehru got him fitted with proper woollen uniform. But beyond this family bond, Aun San Suu Kyi made a significant reference to Nehru's Discovery of India where he observed that a great achievement of British rule in India was "law and order" and wondered whether the law and order imposed by states and governments was good and referred to Kalhana's Rajatarangini, where Kalhana points to good rule as that base on "dharma" and "abhaya", which is what Nehru saw as law and order. Suu Kyi said that she adopted the same view and flaunted it by copying down the passage and pasting it on her door where the security men of Burma's State Law and Order Council could see. And she wrote Nehru's name in red and in bold letters. And at the end of her the memorial lecture she said that she has ended the formal speech and wanted to answer something else. She said that one of the persistent questions that she was asked about was about "expectations" and "disappointments". She said that expectations were and indulgence and disappointments were an indulgence. But she said that she was saddened by the fact that India moved away from the people of Burma in their difficult moment. She said that the struggle for democracy in Burma is not over and it has reached a difficult, and she hoped the last, phase and hoped that India will be with the people of Burma.

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