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Posts Tagged ‘Westernization’

Kashmir – How US Supported Pakistan Subversion

August 25, 2011 1 comment

Patrick French’s recent tweets are interesting footnotes to India’s tortured foreign policy, lurching between Nehru-Eisenhower friendship, to the US-Western support for Pakistan’s anti-India activities.

An Englishman named French

Patrick French has written two successful books on India – and is seen as another well-intentioned Indo-phile. His rather patronizing view of Indian leadership (refers to Indian MPs as HMPs – hereditary MPs) has become rather famous in Indian media. Unfortunately his view of Indian MPs as HMPs – hereditary MPs) displays a singular lack in understanding of Western demographics – and Indian society.

But then, he can be equally good, when he is mocking Michael Heseltine’s daughter, too!

Behind the bizarre policies of the Pakistani State are the dollars and mal-intentions of Pax Americana. (Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; on 15th April, 2011; source and courtesy - timesofindia.com). Click for source image.

Behind the bizarre policies of the Pakistani State are the dollars and mal-intentions of Pax Americana. (Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; on 15th April, 2011; source and courtesy - timesofindia.com). Click for source image.

Soldiers of fortune

Such as his ‘understanding’ is, he has been smart enough to hitch his career to Rising India than  Empty-Shell Britain, his native country.

Much like his other British colleague, William Dalrymple. Or British ‘traders’ who came to India to make a living – and later, looted, instead.

India’s new religion

The Dalrymples and the Frenchs receive a rather warm welcome in India due to their soft-push of liberal-progressive ideas. The same ideas that are behind India’s new religion – Westernization.

So enamored with the new religion of ‘Westernization’ are Indians, that no criticism is accepted or tolerated.

The ‘progressive liberal’ establishment of the West is viewed benignly in India – and seen as ‘well wishers’ of India. Many such ideas are welcomed in India without analysis, as the source of such initiatives is seen as well-intentioned. A ‘tolerant’ and ‘open’ society like India can be a complacent victim to Trojan horses.

After the dust settles

Much like how Marathas continued to ‘accept’ Mughal position of rulers of India, long after the claim had expired. Modern India too, accepts Western ‘achievements’. Compared to the ‘co-operation’ with the Islāmic plunderers our ‘collaboration’ with the West is in no way less damaging or in any way less culpable.

In this context, French’s report of this conversation is a rather interesting and independent confirmation of rather malignant (OK, unfriendly, if you will) Western intentions regarding India.


‘Opium financed British rule in India’

Elephants in the room. (from the Non Sequitur series of cartoons by Wiley Miller). Click for larger image.

Elephants in the room. (from the Non Sequitur series of cartoons by Wiley Miller). Click for larger image.

Under the British Raj, an enormous amount of opium was being exported out of India until the 1920s.

Before the British came, India was one of the world’s great economies. For 200 years India dwindled and dwindled into almost nothing.

Once I started researching into it, it was kind of inescapable – all the roads led back to opium.

I was looking into it as I began writing the book about five years ago. Like most Indians, I had very little idea about opium.

It is not a coincidence that 20 years after the opium trade stopped, the Raj more or less packed up its bags and left. India was not a paying proposition any longer. (via BBC NEWS | South Asia | ‘Opium financed British rule in India’).

Poor Indy Joe

Amitav Ghosh, a trained anthropologist and historian with a doctorate from Oxford University, did not know about the opium trade by the British Raj. The West has done a great job of hiding elephants in the room.

Does the average Indy Joe have a chance?

Birth of a new religion

But there is any layer to this problem. A new religion. It is called Westernization. ‘Modern’ Indians can be satisfied with perception and propaganda. Easier to digest, I presume.

At this rate, India will become another case of ‘forget-nothing-learn-nothing’. So enamored with the new religion of ‘Westernization’ are we, that no criticism will be accepted or tolerated.

Many ‘educated’ Indians have come to believe that the West is a friend of India – or has answers or solutions for India. Forget about India.

Does West have an answer to their own problems.

Old order changeth …

For the opportunity to make a mark is more at state level, where the administrative unit is small enough for a strong-willed and focused chief minister to be able to make a difference. No one took notice of Nitish Kumar when he was in New Delhi, but he has now made a reputation for himself as chief minister in Bihar, in just 41 months. The same goes for Naveen Patnaik (anyone remember the portfolio he held as a central minister?), who stands tall in Orissa. The examples of Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh and Digvijay Singh in Madhya Pradesh have been touted often enough, but there are more contemporary examples too, like Narendra Modi in Gujarat—who has outshone all the BJP leaders in New Delhi who saw themselves as the inheritors after the Vajpayee-Advani era. Vasundhara Raje Scindia had a similar opportunity in Rajasthan, but she muffed it. Now there is growing recognition of Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh in Chattisgarh. Even Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was beginning to acquire star value, till Nandigram and Singur happened. (via Business-Standard).

Smooth ride ...?

Smooth ride ...?

Midnight’s children

Interesting editorial.

It brings out one interesting development. LK Advani (?) and Manmohan Singh are possibly going to be the last colonial-era Prime Ministers of India. The next generation of political leaders will be Indians who have grown in the post colonial India.

Colonialism is hearsay, propaganda, exaggerations – a second hand experience, to most young post-colonial Indians. Brought up on a diet of nation building, socialism, (opportunistic) English education, limited exposure to the rest of the world, they have seen rapid change. From an India, which was a ship-to-mouth basket case, to an emerging power, seems to be have been a facile and an easy experience – with little credit being given to Indian political leadership for managing the post-colonial Indian system.

The One Solution to all problems

In the immediate post-colonial India, for every problem, there were two common remarks. One, “The Government should do something about this.” The second was, “It is not like this in foreign countries.” Whether it was overflowing drain or a pothole on the road. Looking back, things have changed.

Over the years, Indians use this phrase less and less. These phrases are now close to becoming either extinct or may even become a parody. It may make its way into Indian films as a joke.

Success … hubris …caution

On one side it makes them brash – but more dangerously, it makes them see the future simplistically, as a case of just adopting or modifying the Western model to suit Indian requirements. This is in itself may not objectionable, but for the fact, that most of the new leaders have been fed on a staple diet of Western propaganda – where the elephants in the Western rooms have become all but invisible. Don’t believe me – look at Chidambaram saying that he wants to end 5000 years of Indian poverty.

Recycling end-of-life Western models

Recycling end-of-life Western models

Elephants in the room

Western models, which have evolved through the prism of slavery, colonialism, genocide, concentration of power are an end-of-life model. To use end-of-life products may seem like a low cost solution in the short run. The bigger issue in most cases is the  lock-in effect that these legacy systems impose on the ‘buyers’ – e.g. Singapore.

This, then may become the biggest risk in the future – the mute and blind acceptance of ‘dominant’ Western models. Aiding this risk is the English language education, which is one such legacy system, which has locked India into a high cost spiral of adopting decrepit Western models with decreasing returns.

India’s successes have been built on Indian models – and Western models have been singularly unsuccessful.

How will India’s young leader’s face up to this challenge? Will they ‘fall into the trap’ of copying successful countries or take the easier path of renewing the Indic model, which may initially, seem difficult.

Casting the U.S. as Parent in a Teenage World – Thomas P. M. Barnett – NYTimes.com

February 16, 2009 Leave a comment

“It took us 89 years to free the slaves and 189 years to guarantee African-Americans the right to vote,” he writes. “Women waited 144 years before earning suffrage. If a mature, multiparty democracy was so darn easy, everybody would have one.” (via Review of Book – ‘Great Powers’ by Thomas P. M. Barnett – Casting the U.S. as Parent in a Teenage World – NYTimes.com).

Maybe, Mr.Barnett, before you build a case for more intervention by the ‘adult’ US in the lives of immature Rest, he should look at the American record again!

The writer forgets how the disenfranchisement laws still work in the US. The disenfranchisement laws came into effect by the 1890’s – that continue till today. This ensured that the disproportionate numbers of Blacks could not vote – and George Bush became the President of the USA for the 2nd time. After some 60,000 Black Voters were disenfranchised, George Bush technically, won by less than 1000 votes (most of the disenfranchised voters were expected to vote against George Bush).

Or that in the Police Republic of The US has the largest number of people in prisons – disproportionately African Americans. USA, with a population of 30 crores (300 million), has a criminal population of 70 lakhs (7 million) – behind bars, on probation or on parole. US Government estimates a figure of 20 lakhs (2 million) people serving prison sentences.

Though US women have the vote, they cannot elect their own. Where is the US woman as a President?

Freedom - US Style ...?

Though, maybe the reviewer may be right, when the reviewer claims in the closing line, “it is hard to disagree with his … observation that “the world desperately wants America back.”

Especially looking at the Middle East, that US propaganda may be working. Maybe, the Middle East does want its Unca Sam fix.

Or that Indians may want ‘freedom’ – US style.

Desperate Obama adulation in India

January 15, 2009 Leave a comment

YES, we can! India joined the now famous refrain when US voters rose in one voice as presidential candidate Barack Obama delivered his victory

Somewhere, though, there was a wistful tinge of, “Wish we had an Indian Obama!” And, even as the new US president gets set to take oath of office, Indians, fresh from 26/11, are still on the lookout for a leader who inspires.

India is crying out for a young, dynamic leader who stands by his words and people, someone who delivers.

Says Anu Aga, businessperson and listed amongst Forbes’ most powerful women, “It’s not impossible. Gandhi, the phenomenon, happened less than a century ago and is still part of living memory. Obama is a product of the times and has created hope and optimism all around. Now, we have to find our own Obama.” (via Desperately seeking… an Indian Obama!-Life-Sunday TOI-The Times of India).

What is it about Obama that inspires this lady?

Obama surrounded by Secret Service agents

Obama surrounded by Secret Service agents

Is it that after 250 years, a Black person has become a President of the USA – amidst growing fears that he will be assassinated? Is she fogretting how in “the spring of 1968 … Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated in a span of two months.”

That this may be a token much like Kennedy, – the first and the last Catholic President in the USA? Is it inspiring, that after 200 years of being a republic, the US still has not elected a woman as a President?

Coming to Obama, according to this writer, is someone who is “young, dynamic leader (and) stands by his words and people, someone who delivers” … On what basis is this statement made – because, Obama has furiously started back pedalling on his campaign promises, even before being sworn in. Pretty standard for the course, for politicians across the world.

Of course, the cynicism towards politicians amidst the Westernized Indian elite in India is not new or strange.

Why am I not surprised by this adulation of the West – from India’s oldest English newspaper!

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