In India, we have this ridiculous tendency to paint most international news stories with a desi brush. From NASA space missions to Egyptian protests to insider trading cases; it’s horrendous to read stories that begin with the headline “NRI man,” “Indian-origin woman.” That’s a spin that doesn’t need highlighting the way it is.

Without going into the merits or demerits of Gandhi’s statement, what is clear is that such an assertion before a foreign envoy – while keeping in mind that India at that time, and still continues to, was seeking American influence over Pakistan to clamp down on extremists groups targeting India – was not merely distasteful but smacked of naivety.

While the American president declared that India was no longer emerging, rather it had emerged, Cameron asserted that there wasn’t an issue in the world that didn’t beg China’s opinion and participation.

The two men also called for both the Asian giants to play a more constructive role in the development and growth of Africa. “It’s a huge market too; come now, let us not compete. Rather, we should explore it together,” they pleaded. Alright, they didn’t say that exactly. But it did sound more or less like that.

Yes it’s a trade; it’s always been one. All it has done is metamorphosed from the practice of a skill to the far more realistic you-scratch-my-back-and-I-scratch-yours stage.

Nah, that’s a dirty phrase. It just trivializes the effort that goes into sustaining the mystic of morality while manufacturing opinion.

Several American Presidents ranging from George Washington to Franklin Roosevelt have known to be members of the fraternity. Researchers argue that while the membership of a number of former presidents is known, even the more recent ones, including Barack Obama, belong to the fraternity, while Bill Clinton (though not a freemason) used to be a member of the Youth Order of DeMolay – a Masonic sponsored youth group.

In the Indian context too, several key members of the political, bureaucratic and judicial community along with former Maharajas have been freemasons. The list goes from Motilal Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Swami Vivekananda to even Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and JRD Tata.

Watch the interesting story of Manoj Kewalramani, who left a cushy job of a senior news producer with an English news channel, to travel the length and breadth of India and talk to the STARS of Loksabha Polls 2009 – “The Indian Electorate”.

Over the past two months, none of us has remained insulated from the public discourse that has ranged from faint-hearted defeatism accepting a rotting order to boisterous and repetitive calls seeking “action” and “change.”

These words, however, are deceptive devices; they invoke the images of a euphoric, bright destiny but fail to vanquish the darkness along the road that has to be endured.