ASHWINI A. writes: Strange is Dr Mohammed Haneef‘s demand for honorary Australian Citizenship, but stranger still is the statement of his publicity-savvy lawyer Peter Russo about Indians in general.
Just 10 days in India and Peter Russo seems to have gained expertise on the attitudes of Indians.
An Indian Express story quotes the know-all Russo as saying, “You’ve got to understand the Indians’ mentality—the mentality is to sue,” Russo said on ABC radio. “I didn’t realise that until I got over there and started talking to some of the relatives. But he specifically hasn’t asked me to sue,” he said.
If anything suing is hardly never an option for Indians simply because our laws in this regard suck. Suing is more the profession of western lawyers and we have heard stories of people in West—especially in US—making a living of it. Given this, Peter Russo’s statement is strange and it very insulting. He is perhaps talking about Dr Haneef’s attitude and not necessarily Indians.
The Australian Prime Minister John Howard‘s reaction to this rather bizzare demand is apt: “I won’t be doing that. There is no case for that to occur… but he wouldn’t be the sort of person you’d make an honorary Australian.”