November 10, 2010

168 Hours Bygone

Yes the title is inspired by Danny Boyle's 127 hours. It was an eventful week indeed with the second most powerful mans visit ( not 1st any more as its taken by Hu Jintao Chinese President ), spate of resignations, dismissals etc.

He came, He saw and HE definitely conquered the imagination of a nation for an entire week. The media did an exhaustive coverage beginning from the touch down to the movement he left Indian soil. It was followed with the usual bickering on Michelle's clothes, shopping basket, the food they ate, the comments they made and what not. Everybody got their share of the limelight from the school kids to the Bollywood, to the Indian Industry's Big wigs. Amir Khan was complimented on the roles he played, on how they danced to one of his popular tunes, the president was complimented on the equine beauties at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan.

The speech given at the Parliament was a master piece in itself, he made it a point to touch all our weaknesses, we wanted to be praised and he gave it in truck loads. Gandhi, Ambedkar, Tagore, Zero, Pakistan's animosity, Our aspirations for the UNSC seat, Our ambition as a global Power. It came with the usual attempts to speak Hindi, dollops of praises for our social welfare schemes, our democracy's vibrancy. It almost felt like we have emerged over night ( from emerging), like nothing is impossible for us as a nation.

Lets keep aside all the superficial multifaceted PR stunts. What are the larger implications for India ? For this we have to see Obama as a wounded Lion, loosing legitimacy at his home ground, feeling the heat of a resurgent Dragon at its door step, need for financial stimulus, his need for job generation in the domestic market and above all the need to resurrect the fading image of America as the legitimate super power. Obama is a smart politician and a smarter statesman. He has given us so many promises but nothing as a concrete contribution to the country. A promise on support to UNSC seat, which is useless with a unanimous support from the other big 4, condemning Pakistan is of no value unless they act on his words, and as he mentioned the role of an emerged power comes with more responsibility ( sounded so much like copied from spider man heheh ).

His suggestion that we have to condemn bankrupt military rules like the one in Myanmar is a double edged sword, we have cultivated Myanmar as an ally with lot of effort and investment and if we condemn them they will side with China increasing our trouble in the north east. This is when america is known for its backing to many infamous demagogic rulers like Saddam Hussain ( during his ethnic cleansing time). I do not support The junta in any way, but a more diplomatic intervention to restore democracy would be in the interest of India.

Let us not succumb to the hegemonic overtures of America and distance our geo politically strategic ally. We do need an American backing to stand up to the Dragon's might, we need them for more acceptability among our eastern peers. He came here for the money and he has got more than what he expected, billions of dollars of orders in military, aviation, power generation etc. We have got nothing but a sense of well being and bucket loads of compliments.


Post Script

UPA's initiative to sack Kalmadi and remove Ashok Chavan was a welcome effort but as the big fish Mr. A Raja ( who has apparently cost the exchequer 1.76 lakh crore !!! in lost revenue) who is equally condemned by the CAG, the supreme court and his colleagues is still in power. the action looks just like a eyewash to distract us from the reality.