Thursday, August 23, 2007

India to cut off nose

Ah the Indians. The range of emotions one feels when watching events unfold in the country range from great optimism and admiration to feelings of sadness at the staggering and entrenched poverty. But often what one feels is amazement at how the bitterness and suspicion, a legacy of India's colonial past, combines with a political realm overpopulated by neo-Fabian socialist-communist nutters with a nostalgic fetish for non-alignment. Pardon my bluntness (if any neo-Fabian non-alignment nutters happen to be regular readers) but the truth must be told. There is a tragically strong and predictable tendency by the Indian body politic to speak rubbish and shoot themselves in the foot. Witness the crumbling support for the US-India nuclear deal.

Headline from Hindustan Times:

Nuclear deal standoff

CPI(M) warns Govt of pulling back support

The Central Committee of CPI-M authorises Politburo to take an appropriate decision at an appropriate time.

Um, say there fellows... I have to ask... what planet are you on exactly? The Politburo? The following from NDTV is an accurate reflection of how those of us in the US see the Indian debate (btw, Ambassador Sen is the poor chap who quite accurately characterized the debate as one among headless chickens and of course the highly dignified BJP and Left Front roosters are calling for his head):

India's Ambassador to the US Ronen Sen is not the only casualty of the opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal in the Indian Parliament.

The ramifications of the political impasse in New Delhi are being felt amongst experts and think tanks in Washington DC too.

In fact, in the US, even those international relations experts who have been the most fervent proponents of the deal have had no option but to agree with Sen's remark that if the nuclear deal unravels because of opposition in New Delhi, India will have ''zero credibility.''

According to Teresita Schaffer, Director, South Asia Program, CSIS, ''The fact that there has been such controversy over it and that the government is even considering slowing things down inevitably leads people to wonder whether India is a country that cannot take yes for an answer.

Or, to put it more bluntly, who needs friends like these? If the Indian's generally agree with the view of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) - yes, not to be confused with the CPI (Lennon) or CPI (Stalin) - that any deal which includes cooperation with the US simply must be bad, I can only wish them well when dealing with those altruistic fair-dealing highly ethical partners, the Russians and the Chinese. And one other thing, a minor point really, but how are you fellows planning of keeping the lights on?

Rejection of the nuclear deal would of course be a disaster for financial markets and foreign capital inflows into India but we'll leave that for another time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since when have Indian communists and common sense gone together? Having secured a windfall in the last elections they are on track to whittle down their own influence next time around. Those with a conspiracy bent will wonder about the communists' opposition and the discomfort felt by China at the prospects of a Indo-US strategic relationship.

On a wider level, the Indian political class is populated by pygmies. The mainstream media is either incompetent or are themselves Fabian socialists or both. The electorate,at least the well-informed populace, are too cynical to take care. Ultimately, India is doomed to just 'muddle along the middle'(not my phrase) punctured by periodic bouts of euphoria about economic prospects like we are witnessing currently.