Thursday, July 21, 2005

economist: it's good of indians to praise britain and pakistan

jul 21st

more of the atlanticist economist's venom against india.

why aren't the americans praising britain as a great colonial country?

why aren't the british praising pakistan as a great beacon of faith and freedom after the london blasts apparently have pakistani fingerprints all over it?

answer: because it would be idiotic. or maybe the americans aren't 'confident', and nor are the british.

but when indians do idiotic things, the economist is there to cheerlad. this is one of the more inane responses i have seen from them.

the likelihood that singh was simply flattered at oxford giving him a degree is quite high. (we note in passing that oxford -- or cambridge, doesn't matter -- gave a degree to romila thapar for converting indian history into myth).

India and Britain

The jewel and the crown
Jul 14th 2005 | DELHI
From The Economist print edition

India is now confident enough to praise both Pakistan and Britain

Get article background

IT IS risky for politicians to re-examine sensitive points in a country's history, as Lal Krishna Advani, leader of India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has found. Visiting Pakistan last month, he upset his party's Hindu nationalists by praising Pakistan's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who split the subcontinent in 1947. Mr Advani looked likely to lose his job as BJP president in the continuing row, until his colleagues decided this week to rally round him. Now Manmohan Singh, India's prime minister, has started another, potentially risky, debate by praising Britain, India's colonial ruler—even though, he pointed out, India's share of world income dropped from 22.6% in 1700, roughly when the British arrived, to 3.8% just after independence.

Speaking on July 8th after receiving an honorary degree at Oxford University, Mr Singh said that Britain's "beneficial consequences" included India's notions of the rule of law, a constitutional government, a free press, a professional civil service and the English language, which has been Indianised into the country's own language. These legacies of the Raj, Mr Singh noted, had "served the country well".

The timing of the two speeches is, of course, a coincidence—Mr Singh started his preparations six months ago when he accepted Oxford's invitation. But both reflect India's growing self-confidence, as well as a sense that it is time to move on. Mr Singh has been attacked from both political wings for belittling India's old freedom fighters and for ignoring, as a BJP spokesman put it, Britain's "atrocities and barbarism". But Delhi's Pioneer newspaper, usually a staunch BJP supporter, declared it as "an acknowledged fact of history" that the British were "the best colonial rulers in the world". The debate continues.


Anonymous said...

I am not vey sure what to make out of Manmohan Singh. Is he intelligent or is dumb or is it senility? Dr Manmohan Singh is a doctor in Economics. So I expected him to be knowledgeable in Economics atleast and would have read Bengal Famine under British rule. That alone would have made any human being from giving any credit to British for their 'good governance'. Even under worse rulers such as Aurangazeb people didn't die for food and that too when there were enough grains. Least anyone could have done in such occasion (being nice to the institution which is giving you another doctorate) would have been to keep quiet and let the dog sleep.

Coming to think of this, I think many aspects about contemporary Indians are much hype and without any substance. Particularly about celebrities. Media make a big deal about a person and
when the real test comes they turn out to be paper tiger. Recent examples are Manmohan Singh and Advani. I think they are just average joes made big by media. In case of Manmohan Singh media didn't project him to be a powerful man. However their projection of him as an intellect and economist doesn't measure up. I think whatever 'contributions' he did to the Indian economy during Narasimha Rao's time might not be even his. He might have been just a straw man for Narasimha Rao just as he is now for Sonia Gandhi. And he is very good at that. He should have been given doctorate for sychophancy.

Anonymous said...

I was pretty amazed too when i read about this in the economist. The best part was the "even though" preceding the casual mention of the fact that india's share of world income dropped from 22.6% to 3.8% .

The assumption that "Dr" Singh makes is that without Britain's "benevolent" intervention India would never have evolved into a modern nation and a democracy. What might India have been without 200 odd years of british colonial rule ? Better off, I think.

This speaks volumes NOT for the confidence of our countrymen, but for the woeful lack of it even in someone as accomplished as Mr Singh. We somehow cannot shake off the nagging suspicion that we are not good enough, that we would not have made it without the "civilizing" british rule. We lack confidence in ourselves and our nation. A doctoral degree from Oxford is all it takes for that vestige of servility to reappear. Mr Singh is not alone in this - there are several of us like that.

A few years back when I saw "Bhagat Singh" with a friend of mine, he was repulsed by the scene in the theatre when an indian was thrashed and thrown out by british fellows. "They are exaggerating, that did not happen" he said. What was amazing was that knowing no facts in the case, he was willing to believe the better of the British than his own countrymen.

doubtinggaurav said...

Suppose you have a particularly pugnacious neighbour.
Some day in drunkon stupor, he pays a visit to your abode, smashes all the glass panes,tear door froms hinges, break the commode, ransack the furniture, lights a fire, ruins sofa and drapes ... you get the idea.
Now, what will be your reaction.
if you are a intellectual slime, then following applies

1)Glass panes are unnessecary, without panes we have a better ventilation.

2) With the new arrangement, we have a better vasstu.

3)Fires are neccesary to kill all the vermins cockroaches etc.

4) Drapes are oppressive.

5) Sofa is regressive.

6) The neighbour is a victim of childhood trauma and unrequited love

7) You are bourgeoise and brahminnical tyrants, who was exploiting all the flowerpots

doubtinggaurav said...

.... and yes

8) Commodes are entirely unneccessary, shitting on ground helps in bowel movement

PS ..(What has India done to deserve these people)

Kalyani said...

Doubtinggaurav,excellent!Simply brilliant analogy! The truth of it fills me with such inexpressible rage!Our plight could not have been expressed better.God willing,should all our politicians(MPs,MLAs etc)get killed,know for sure,I am not going to feel sorry at all.