How India Fools Itself
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 24 Mar , 2015

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and the Chief Guest US President, Mr. Barack Obama witnessing the 66th Republic Day Parade 2015

It was amazing how much President Obama figured in the headlines of daily newspapers in India for virtually 2-3 days. India was over the top because Obama was watching India’s most beloved Republic Day Parade; Michelle Obama’s dress was designed by an Indian fashion designer; and so we felt we had the first couple cornered. It felt like a great achievement for India, having hooked the world’s biggest and most coveted fish from out of international diplomacy. It was the icing on the cake to Modi’s tour of the USA, where he impressed everyone by going through a grueling meeting schedule while fasting. After so many world leaders have been chief guest at the Republic Day Parade – of Japan, Russia, Britain – even Pakistan and China – that having USA was the pinnacle of achievement.

ABC, CBS, NBC didn’t even show a clip of Obama at the parade on their evening news, let alone show India’s parade of armor. India was clapping as if with one hand only.

Obama’s visit sought to put China in its place; show Russia that we could buy arms from elsewhere after their overcharging the Vikramaditya and delivery delays in just about everything else; confirm to the European Union that we were really friends with the West so as to earn trade concessions from them; warn Pakistan and put it on notice; affirm to Japan we were friends with those who protect its sovereignty and integrity so that the Japanese would invest more in India; and show to Australia that we were in the right camp so that we could get all the minerals we need without which we would be dead in the water.

To give credit where it belongs, all that was successful, though for how long others will remember it is still to be seen. But, it was watered down by the fact that in the USA, where Obama is trying hard not to look like a lame duck, newspapers in cities other than New York and other main cities hardly carried the news of Obama’s visit with much importance. In Honolulu, the headquarters of the world’s largest military command, Modi’s visit was relegated to a small article in the international section. Even Michelle Obama’s visit to tiny Cambodia in March drew a larger article than any for India during Obama’s visit. Though Obama preponed his talk to Congress so he could attend the cast-in-stone date of January 26, which was a forceful statement, the news media barely carried much more than a quick mention of Obama’s visit to India. ABC, CBS, NBC didn’t even show a clip of Obama at the parade on their evening news, let alone show India’s parade of armor. India was clapping as if with one hand only. There were no cheers for Obama in USA for visiting India. While India cares so much for USA, the Americans don’t give equal importance to India by a long shot. And that’s totally understandable, for the USA has many big things to worry about, but India wishes to demand US attention like a small child its parents.

Yet, India fails to realize that India’s standing on the world stage is so insignificant that after one year into his Presidency, President Bill Clinton termed India as “the most unimportant nation in the whole world.” Indians fail to realize this train of thought, and wonder what they have done to earn USA’s neglect when they pine for the US so much. They wonder why the USA would not be friends with the great Indian civilization that gave the world so much, including the much-loved Kamasutra. And, inspite of this statement of Bill Clinton, they welcomed Clinton in India like he was India’s best friend. And though, in the year 2000, George Bush stated on his campaign trail that he saw “India as a strategic partner, and China as a strategic competitor” in contrast to Al Gore who saw China as an ally, and India as a detractor, Indians still wanted Al Gore to be elected. It’s amazing how India fools itself so much, but India has done more than just this to fool itself.

…countless Indians consider the USA the real enemy or cancer in the world, ahead even of China. And so, the USA sees through, while India fools itself into thinking that it has won over the USA.

India Thinks Negatively

Starting with the infamous rant by Chacha Nehru that he didn’t need an army, India has been fooling itself ever since, refusing to face reality, and refusing to play ball in a world that demands cooperation to advance. Nehru’s role in the Korean War, where he acted like a self-appointed arbiter of right and wrong irked the US. But, Chacha probably thought that if he could kick the British out of India, the previously most powerful nation in the world, he could dictate to the world on morality and justice. Not so. After Chacha moved close to the Chinese communist camp, opposed to Chiang Kai Shek who the US supported, the US became more suspicious of India. The final straw for the USA was when India’s ambassador Panikkar delivered China’s message in 1953 to the USA not to advance beyond the 38th parallel[1]. Suddenly, India was perceived as a newborn, wannabe nation that was trying to punch above its weight. This firmly convinced the USA that India was not a country they could rely on or do business with.

Everything else after that took India away from the United States: India became a leader of the non-aligned movement that sought to shock the white man’s sway that had colonized the world. After India adopted the Russian system of central planning, USA was more aghast, and clumped India with the commies. At this point, India was still fighting the anti-colonialization battle on behalf of all colonized countries. This was probably all that India’s government knew to do, having little idea of technology and development, but having great pride in themselves. That said, it was, no doubt, a noble fight, but which, in retrospect, denied India pride of place by denying it the technology that was necessary to have pride of place. Only the strong have pride of place in the world club of power, while the weak are not allowed entry there.

The taste of India having till recently been in the Russian orbit hasn’t quite gone away in the American mind. Just like a whole generation of India has grown up with animosity to the USA, so has a whole generation in USA. The spouse of a former American military commander told me that after China, India was next on the countries the US had to bring down owing to its anti-USA stance. And this type of thinking in the American mind has been very slow to go away, but not without reason, because countless Indians consider the USA the real enemy or cancer in the world, ahead even of China. And so, the USA sees through, while India fools itself into thinking that it has won over the USA.

With lackluster growth and high unemployment, India saw the rise of unionism, where strikes and protests were quite an everyday affair…

India Spurns Technology

The subject of adopting modern technology was particularly hanging in the balance when Nehru rejected the atoms for peace initiative of President Eisenhower. Yet, India chose the path of pride with no substance, rather than choose the path a meek person would rightfully choose. Everything that India did after that appeared to be opposed to the US, even though India was shooting itself in the foot. On the one hand, it appeared to India it could go it alone in technology because an IMF report of 1948-49 judged India to be the most industrialized in Asia out of the fully sovereign countries (Japan was a conquered nation).But, that was fooling itself. The West had recourse to important warfare and production technologies that India had no knowledge of. This dampened Indian engineering output, which came back to haunt India. Two generations of engineers grew up in the shadows of the real technology.

With lackluster growth and high unemployment, India saw the rise of unionism, where strikes and protests were quite an everyday affair in the 1960s. Rejecting modern engineering technology put India back by 50 years, which is why its defense production system is having such a tough time now. Time after time, India fooled itself on the realities of the world, and the US was happy to let India slide because India was no friend of the USA.

India Back Stabs USA

Today, things are still not back to normal. While overtly India wants deep strategic friendship with the US, and their modern armaments, and well-to-do Indian families do everything to send their children to the US, these same Indians talk negatively and angrily of the USA. In private chat rooms and drawing room conversations, the jealousy and hate exhibited by Indians against the US is all too evident. The Americans observe and realize this, hatha yoga and Vedic philosophy notwithstanding. India votes against USA for climate change, steals intellectual copyright from USA, exports adulterated medicines to USA, supports Arabia when USA supports Israel … and so on.

So, why should the US pander to India when India carries only one vote in the United Nations? The same kind of vote that Saudi Arabia carries, but which gives returns to the US.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Dr Amarjit Singh

is an independent security analyst.

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14 thoughts on “How India Fools Itself

  1. This article is the biggest joke ever written or very pessimistic one
    1)Indians may have love for Russia but its not like Indians hate Usa according to pew research Indians have most favorable view towards usa
    2)The Usa is keen to always to take india as a partner they asked us to join cold war but we did not join although a very good decession
    3)We may have problems in transforming the country because it has been only 30 yrs since economic liberalization it takes another 60 yrs for us to grow into a big important country that can make rules,yes to certain extent we are irrelevant but after 30 yrs we will become too big to ignore
    4)Usa has only one ally in Asia it is india they cant rely on russia,china,Pakistan so its naturally us big enough to counter china and we control Indian ocean which is very important part after pacific
    5)It is a good thing no one is talking about us remember chinas way- bide your time and hide your strength and dont mae too big noises
    6)I would take this article as cautionary article too pessimistic for india to improve our country

  2. ‘It is only when the minorities in a nation feel accepted that a nation can call itself great.’

    Really? China is the greatest nation on the planet – yet its minorities are treated far more ruthlessly than India’s, (one of the many lessons New Delhi needs to learn from Beijing) . Japan and Israel – to mention two other great nations, are not renowned for pandering to minorities either.

    The strength of a country depends not on its minorities – who are precisely that – minor. The strength of a country depends on the unity and solidarity of its majority community. This was sacrificed by the Congress and its adherents in favour of appeasing minorities – and Bharat paid the price.

    Now, finally, that’s beginning to change.

  3. US actively supported Pakistan to become a nuclear power. They will never sell top of the range military equipment. Prudence demands we source our equipment from France as good as the Americans without any strings attached.

  4. Dr Amarjit Singh speaks from the point of view of a foreign observer !

    The problems facing the Govt of India are gigantic compared to America’s level of difficulties. 400 years of impoverishment and lack of human development comparable to other developed nations cannot be erased in a democratic setup in 60 years. However momentum is building up. Much will change in the next ten years. There is no escape from the dictates of efficiency which better management and following the rules of economics can alone provide.

    There is more religious freedom in India than in any other heterogeneous nation in the world. We are striving to make this even better, as the years roll by. We are learning the hard lesson that we can depend only on ourselves, and not on foreign partners for our development and self improvement. Come on and let us all play this game hard in our generation. Skill sets will further improve in the next generation. We have to keep interacting with leaders of foreign countries and sometimes hear words unpalatable to us, but meant for their domestic audiences.

    I commend Dr Amarjit for giving out several positive suggestions.

  5. India had all its share of its bad luck to be ruled by men of straw who had silly hearts. Just dreaming bog does not fulfill the ambitions, you ought to have an attitude to achieve them. The vehicle chosen by Nehru was marred by three flaws:
    Hidden selfish Objectives
    Vociferous rants of self glorification
    Dream to be the first Prime Minister of a country that had been drained of all its resources

  6. Since 1947 India’s ruling scum have gone for the low hanging fruit to create a neo aristocracy. In 1949 inequality under law and exceptions to the rule of law were enshrined in the Constitution to further the ends of plunder. The reservations-extortion (aka corruption) Raj dedicated itself with single minded fervour to stealing wealth, right to Hindu religious worship and temples, right to property, right to dignity and self respect, right education, right to employment and so on for the benefit of a some at the expense of others to maintain their grip on power through vote bank politics. Finding new and novel ways to steal and apply the resources of the Nation to the personal pelf, pleasure, pomp, perpetuation and perversion of the ruling scum became the primary pursuit. The masses were kept uneducated, starving and defecating in the open for more than seven decades so that the promise of paradise would continue to garner votes and make stealing easier. Helpless minorities with high standards of integrity, morality and competence were persecuted while majoritarian vote banks became minorities of convenience for votes. What was a great powr that swaggered into Korea to enforce the truce in 1957 between China and the US is now below Sub Saharan Africa in the Human Development Index. The Light Combat Aircraft has been under development since 1963 (HF-24). Cricketers, Actors and Criminals are the highly decorated and respected law maker of the land. For escape from reality and fooling oneself is the most valuable concomitant of living in the reservations and corruption cesspool called India. India’s solutions are always India’s problems as they are directed at changing thaumaturged “legal’ boundaries retrospectively, prospectively or selectively to alter which “class” of persons may benefit while, inter-alia creating further “classes” of persons, primarily with an eye on the vote banks and the money flowing into the kitty of the various Pillars of Indian tyranny.

  7. The communist ideology was the guide for Jawaharlal Nehru, who was described by Sardar Patel as the only “Nationalist Muslim” left in India after 1947. Communists believed in the aristocracy of leadership and ensured the poverty for the masses, who should be only worried for their daily bread and butter, and never to think about the fraud of the rulers. Encouragement to glorifying poverty through Mahboob Productions’ “Mother India”, “Do Bigha Zameen” had the effect of killing individual initiative and encouraging the dependence on the rulers for tiny doles. The result was that the rulers ensured for themselves that the poeple would never question them and meekly vote for them. For this purpose the Muslim vote banks were created by continuing Shariat Act of 1937, not implementing common civil code mandated by Article 44 of the Constitution. In addition, the demand for common civil code and deletion of Article 370 was painted continuously as communal so as to show case the Muslim majority province for perpetually getting Muslim votes. With this backdrop of mindset, the military gains of 1965 and 1971 were deliberately squandered, and simultaneously it was ensured through Krishna Menon and PN Thapar that India remained weaker against China and dependent on Communist Russia for economic and military needs. As these events went on for over sixty six years, hence India was reduced to one vote country in UNO. If Russia had not supported India with its veto in 1971, we would have been reduced to fragmented polity, but the credit does not go the foreign policy but to the relevance of Indian Communists to support the Congress Prime Minister for ensuring Russian interests. It is worth remembering that in return for communists support to VV Giri for President in 1969, the COI exported railway wagons to Russia for Rs. 1500/- each payable in Indian currency only. For the Congress and Communists, Muslim League and AIMIM are “secular” parties.

  8. Dear Sir,
    In the changing global economical, strategiical situations it is reconsider all relevant aspects which are in National and secondly global interests. Anyone would prefer to have close relations with neighbor rather than with a distant country; that’s what Nehru did.Nowwe need to think and ac t.different. ICBMs have made things different so goes with economy. US economy has been.under threat since Germans had challanged to buy all US GOLD RESERVES AT FORT KNOX. We need US they need us too. In Diplomacy..enemy and.friends are simple words with different meanings. We are not going wrong but we.need to be watchful and careful in maintaining. Relations with Neighbors.

  9. With due respects to the author, while the effort is appreciable, yet I have divergent views / feedback :-

    1. It must be appreciated that India is one of the most important, largest and democratic economic markets in the world. All the global powers (G -5) are desperate to have a share of pie of the lucrative Indian market.
    2. Handling a democratic country of 1.25 billion people with highly diverse cultures, social, economic strata etc. is not an easy task for any leadership
    3. India has one the best human resources in the world, with good population profile.
    4. Decline in quality of people has a lot to do at our end as citizens
    5. President Obama’s decision to accept invitation as our Republic Day Guest carries a lot of meaning for commoners as also the experts within and outside the country
    6. Swift and sharper foreign policy moves have impacted the powerhouses, including China, worldwide

    Terming India as one of the ‘most unimportant country’ and comparisons with Saudi Arabia are not at all appropriate. Further, author has failed to note that India is opening up to deeper relations with Israel in a major way. Author is apparently pessimistic in overall content… Media coverage of Indian PM’s visit to US and Australia was certainly upto desired standards. There is optimism in the environment now. Let us give the new Government at least 3 good years to perform and then make some assessments… as citizens we should also improve our conduct and support the good initiatives of the Government.

    Best wishes and regards,

    Rajkaran Singh Bhatti

  10. Maj. Som Nath Sharma, Hav. Abdul Hamid, Fg officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon and all those who are not named here never gave a second thought before sacrificing their lives for nation then why India is dividing itself into this vast gap of division. The diversity of any nation is its strength which India must understand before every religion, race or clan claims its part of nation and make a separate state or nation.

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