By Ali Hassnain

Gone are the days when US presidents cherished the opportunities to hold hands with Saudi rulers. However one saw what can be only described as a mockery of Saudi Government.

What a fall from the position they held in the nations of the world.

And I quote from Hindustan Times:

 “External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday she has directed the embassy in Riyadh to provide free ration to unemployed Indian workers who “are facing extreme hardship” in Saudi Arabia.

“Large numbers of Indians have lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The employers have not paid wages, closed down their factories,” Swaraj tweeted.

“My colleagues @Gen_VKSingh will go to Saudi Arabia to sort out these matters and @MJakbar will take up (the matter) with Kuwait and Saudi authorities (sic),” she added.

Swaraj’s response came after a tweet by a man who said around 800 Indian workers were starving for the last three days in Jeddah.”

Foreign minister of the poorest country of the world Sushma Swaraj said rations would be given to Indians in Saudi Arabia who have not been paid. Ration is a military term but during the colonial years it has made its way in Hindu and Urdu where it means food. Saudi Indian friendship was an unnatural tango, doomed at inception. However it reminds one of Faiz Ahmad Faiz:

Aur kia dekhnay ko baqi hey

 Aap say dill laga kar dekh lia

 I wonder how the proud Saudi “Royals” would react to it. Saudi Arabia and Iran have shook hands with India but many have suggested they count their fingers afterwards. This is news more than anything and my reaction to it is of ridicule and disgust.  Why has she not banned labor in Saudi Arabia or recalled them and given them free food in India?  Or, is she planning to offer free food to tens of millions of starving Indians. Or water for drought affected people who have recently only begin to recover?

Apparently she has already “taken up” the matter of ill-treatment of Indian workers with Saudi authorities and has not posted pictures of the Free Food being distributed. One can smell a rat from a mile. She is serving forces that are trying to destabilize Saudi Arabia. Why would she need to send food to KSA when tens of millions are starving in India? And it is to be seen how Saudis would look at this negative publicity. They are extremely sensitive about their image and this would not go unnoticed. If the unnatural friendship continues, one can only say.

Abhi to ibtaday e ishq hey rota hey kia

Aagay aagay dekhiye hota hey kia

My advice to Iran is: they should count their fingers too. Despite their opposite ideologies, Saudi Arabia and Iran are acting in an identical way when it comes to India.

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