Weekly Letter to the President
Copyright © 2017
ofthisandthat.org. All rights
INAUGURATION, January 20, 2009
Drunk in its stale air
For two hundred years.
Fettered in mind and body,
The soul, the safe escape
To let me breathe the cries
Of my heart singing
Tears of mel-an-choly.
The tears flow free today
Washing the stains of blood
And sweat in brotherhood.
Raise the curtain then an'
Let the world look in
On this promised land --
We breathe free today.... almost.
--- Arshad M. Khan
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
--- Native American proverb
June 22, 2018 (posted June 24, 2018)
Mr. President: There is something charming about a first lady making media
bloopers; however, one cannot say the same for those born very rich who are often
obtuse to the sufferings of others.
The news reaching a crescendo this week in the US has not been the World Cup --
relatively few understand the game here. No, it's been Donald Trump's cruel policy of
separating children from families caught trying to cross the Mexican border without
proper documentation. It was Trump's way of discouraging illegal immigration,
claiming the Democrats were preventing a bill that would stem the tide -- what bill
would, when most are not caught and they are crossing illegally anyway?
As repeated photos and videos of crying, traumatized children swayed the public,
Democrats started blasting Republicans for the inherent cruelty, and the latter now on
the wrong side of a losing issue before the November election began to distance
themselves from Trump; some more forcefully than others, for example Senator Ted
Cruz with presidential aspirations, who did a flip-flop saying he would introduce
emergency legislation to end it.
Trump promptly sent the first Lady to a camp where some of the children, now
numbering about 2300, were being held. She expressed support going through the
event in her own way. Then came the surprise: As she departed her top coat
revealed large letters, woven into the special designer coat, reading, "I really don't
care do u." Later it was revealed, the coat had been made to protest what Trump
calls 'fake news', namely, critical coverage of his policies.
Of course, woven inscriptions in clothing, bring to mind the narcissistic Narendra Modi
who wore a striped suit with his name woven into the stripes. At least he did until the
In Kashmir, Mr. Modi has ended the unholy PDP/BJP alliance opting for the iron hand
behind his BJP's velvet glove. The BJP refused to extend the Ramzan ceasefire and
the PDP walked away. The Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation
to the governor and the region will now come under direct rule of the Modi central
Only last week (June 14), Shujaat Bukhari, the prominent journalist and editor was
assassinated along with two bodyguards. Mr. Bukhari and the PDP were aligned in
their views on autonomy for Kashmir, a demand alien to Mr. Modi's BJP and his desire
to integrate the region into India. But an alliance of parties with distinct and different
views brought hopes for an eventual resolution as in South Africa and Northern
Ireland. Not any more.
If Modi has decided to fight what he calls "cross-border terrorism", it will lead only to
more bloodshed and failure as before. The huge demonstrations, the prior cruel
attempts to suppress them, and the continuing insurrection are clear evidence of a
populace sick of being denied rights for over seven decades.
To continue a failed policy makes little sense, unless it's with an eye to the 2019
election. Mr. Modi's BJP has not been averse to playing the sectarian card and
attempting to incite hatred in electoral contests ... walking over dead bodies to victory.