Letters to the editor

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Published: June 11, 2016 1:13:19 AM

India’s US overhang

India’s US overhang
Prime minister Narendra Modi’s rhetorically structured speech in US Congress may have made an impression on his supporters and given them a cause to eulogise him as a peerless statesman. Looked at objectively, Modi’s address was a polished performance, but it lacked soul and subtlety. His eagerness to please the US ran through the words delivered in slow, measured cadences and manifested in his airs and graces. By striking the right note, he got rounds of ovation. Evidently the prime minister spoke more out of compulsions to appear to be on the same wavelength as the US Congress than conviction. For instance, India’s defence exercises with the US were presented as if they were something to be proud of. It was difficult to understand the full import of his observation that India and the US have overcome the “hesitations of history” and put the “constraints of the past” behind them. Whatever it meant, India should be wary of forging a partnership with the US on its terms. It was clear that the US linked its support to India in its bid for NSG membership to its signing the Paris climate accord before the close of this year. If the vast gulf between the media in the US and India in covering the prime minister’s engagements in the host country is anything to go by, India is not as much in American mind-space as America is in Indian consciousness. If India puts all its (strategic, military, economic and trade) eggs in one basket, it is guaranteed to lose out and end up as a vassal sate. It is pertinent to ask what India’s ‘growing clout on the international stage’ holds out for a large portion of the population battling to survive under the poverty line. The sad truth is that most Indians are unable to relate to Brand India’s ‘soaring global stature’.
G David Milton
Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

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