Random Thoughts

Children of Lesser Gods

The desperate attempts by Kerry to hit all the trivial talk shows, to garner support from fringe and diverse groups for his flailing campaign, reveals his failure to energize the masses and convey a clear message. There is a parallel in Manmohan Singh's pitch to sundry American CEOs and his appearance at the floor of the NYSE. His appeal for foreign investment of 150 billion dollars over 10 years to develop India's infrastructure is equally pathetic. He has to chant the capitalist mantra to prove his bona-fides. This 'Matha Tekna' is unlikely to generate an enthusiastic response after the reversal of policy on privatization, the specter of reservations and quotas in the private sector and the recent ministerial interference in FDI by Suzuki Motors, which wanted to set up a separate subsidiary. Chinese Premiers don't need to visit the temples of capitalism. They attract FDI by providing a climate and policy conducive to foreign companies and persons. The leaders of Germany, France or Britain do not have to pay such homage. It is worth keeping in mind the scandals of the CEO of the NYSE and the shoddy trading practices of specialist and member firms of this less than transparent institution.

Much though one may deplore the totalitarian, corrupt, nepotistic and anti-labor practices of the crooked Chinese Communist leadership, one has to show appreciation for their pride, self-respect and hubris. They refuse to kowtow to the imperialists, while still trading with them to obtain capital and technology without sacrificing their self-respect. These qualities are sorely lacking in the Indian lackeys. This is further proved by the rescinding by the UPA of the BJP's refusal to accept foreign aid from some European countries. China has stood up against the might of America and suffered privations rather than go begging with hat in hand like India. The BJP was as corrupt as any other Indian governing party, but it did attempt to generate pride in our Indianness and declare itself an overt nuclear power. It tried to modify history, for which it was widely condemned. I am not making a case for abandoning veracity, but most people including the citizens of the developed countries like Japan, Germany, Britain, America and France routinely do this. They have consistently lied about their own history and glorified behavior that deserves the name of genocide and slavery, under the camouflage of flag and patriotism. Bad and wrong though these are, the deliberate whitewashing of the gross misdeeds of conquerors and colonizers and putting a nicer face on them, is far more shameful and foolish as the Indian leftists prove. They have not the pristine soul to cast stones at the Hindutva fanatics. The pseudo-secularists need to wake up from their utopian trance and see the evil intentions of some of our immediate neighbors.

The sorry plight of India reminds me of a paraphrase of a Pakistani Punjabi dialect 'sher'. ' Kuch duniya de log bhi zalim si, kuch sanu maran da shaukh bhi si'. Toynbee, the racist British historian is said to have remarked that there will always be Chinese and Indians due to their ability to proliferate and survive on unimaginably little. China has proved him wrong, while India's case is still in limbo. India needs to assert itself on occasions by setting its own 'Lakshmanrekha' and drawing some line in this world of sand. Otherwise it will be at the complete mercy of bigger powers and only capable of being buffeted and pushed around to make Brownian movements. My explanation of these character flaws of India is, that they stem from Hinduism and its emphasis on personal salvation. Rebellious Mahayana Buddhism lost out in the Islamic invasions. One must give credit to Islam for its emphasis on Ummah., Christianity was never practiced by the West in a fashion compatible with the ideas of its originator. Nevertheless the European countries had a cohesive sense of a nationhood based on language and culture. This is why Spain could not hold on to the distant Netherlands within its empire. The ever quarreling centrifugal Indian patchwork seems to be destined to go from a millennium of conquest and colonization through a short span of corrupt, nepotistic and inept pseudo-independence to a new neo-colonialism by the mirage of neo-liberal globalization. This unfortunately will happen despite its seminal contributions in the past in the fields of linguistics, grammar and mathematics and notwithstanding the phenomenal success of its talented citizens and expatriates. 


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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