Tuesday, November 13, 2012

India’s media play fanfare for Suu Kyi

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 19:27 Mizzima News

Most of India’s media featured the visit of Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi prominently in their headlines on Tuesday, an indication of The Lady’s high profile in the subcontinent.

Rather than focus on Indo-Burmese relations, however, many dailies dwelt upon the supposed nostalgia that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was feeling for her former home, New Delhi, and her teenage alma mater, Lady Shri Ram College.

“Suu Kyi comes on Diwali to light up India” effused the headline on the DNA India website. And it is a mark of Suu Kyi’s universal popularity that she can make the front pages even when India’s most popular festival is getting started.

The Hindu ran an op-ed penned in advance by the Burmese pro-democracy icon herself that waxed lyrical about her teenage years at school in Delhi. “Treasured Connection” it was titled.

The Hindustan Times, similarly, referred to Suu Kyi’s visit as a “trip down memory lane” and trumpeted that the Burmese politician would experience “a dazzling display of nostalgia” on her visit to the country.

But between the lines lurked warnings that the “special relationship” still had a ways to go.

In an interview with The Hindu, Suu Kyi was asked that, as a woman who had often said that Gandhi and Nehru were her greatest inspirations after her father, was she “disappointed” that the country had moved away from her—a gentle reference to India’s decision to abandon Suu Kyi’s cause while she was under house arrest and instead reinvent a business relationship with Than Shwe’s military regime.

Suu Kyi admitted that yes, she did feel a sense of disappointment, and “was sad that it had to be like that.”

Suu Kyi strode on from that point in the interview to caution India about over-optimism, and warned India’s potential investors that “we are just at the beginning of the road to democracy, and as I keep saying, it’s a road we have to build for ourselves. It’s not there ready and waiting.”

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