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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Different Worlds Looking at Bharat, circa 1971

After reading the prologue, I skipped to the epilogue of Ramachandra Guha's India After Gandhi. The prologue was interesting because it shows that Bharat is a Black Swan - an idea that was developed by Nassim Taleb. A Black Swan, that rare event that changes the world, don't exists according to self proclaimed experts in universities - those PhD types - whom Nassim calls mediocres' living in Mediocristan (Nassim is from Lebanon living in US). Guha writes according to prominent social scientists standard wisdom (socio-economic models of mediocristan, that is) Bharat doesn't either. Both books, though unrelated, seem fascinating (how can a book that calls the bell curve is a great intellectual fraud be otherwise!)

Skipped forward, in the epilogue of India After Gandhi, Guha writes (and quotes a diplomat):

In 1971, at the time of the crisis over Bangladesh, when India found itself simultaneously at odds with communist China, Islamic Pakistan, and America, an Indian diplomat captured his country's uniqueness in this way:

India is regarded warily in the West because she is against the concept of Imperialism and because she "invented" the "Third World."

India is looked on with suspicion in the "Third World" because of her (subversive) sentiments of democracy, human rights, etc.; the Muslim world is wrathful because of our secularism.

The Communist countries regard India as insolent - and potentially dangerous - because we have rejected Communism as the prime condition for Progress.

We are, of course, on the side of God. But is God on our side? [D. N. Chatterjee to P. N. Haksar, 6 July 1971 - as quoted on page 758 of India After Gandhi]

The uniqueness still stands after 35 years. The western governments are barely warming up to the country, but now the global NGOs have taken on their sneering imperialist attitude, say with regards to global warming or public policy issues such as AIDS; although most of the third world have become democracies themselves now the left wing NGOs, both global and national, are wary about economic (subversive) development; the Muslim world hasn't changed one bit; the only communist country (that matters) China still regards India as insolent and dangerous to its hegemony in economic growth and Asia power play.

We are still on God's side. Is God on our side?

1 comments:

RS said...

Yes, I sincerely believe God is still on our side. We dont go around stamping our currency with "In God We Trust" and do the opposite.