‘Rising India’ is doing some (heavy?) lifting only in Sri Lanka!
Posted on August 15th, 2013

Nimal Fernando

Some unpalatable truths about India’s real place in the world have been told in recent weeks by Indians of repute in the media.

 On July 30, Shastri Ramachandaran, an independent political and foreign affairs commentator, writing in IDN-InDepth News, which commands a global

influence on issues of human development and international affairs, wrote: “Official India does not call itself a ‘Superpower’. The preferred term is ‘Rising Power’.

However, Rising Power or ‘Rising India’ is no less of a misnomer as it is unsuited to India’s status and relevance in world affairs.”

 “There is not a single international event or development of consequence in recent times that saw India rising to the occasion. To the contrary, every major

development in the world proved to be a forceful reminder of the growing irrelevance of India in global affairs. Be it in Myanmar, Maldives, Pakistan and

Afghanistan, in West Asia, in the case of Julian Assange or the cause of Edward Snowden, India is a player of little or no consequence.

 “The violent churning in Egypt is one more reminder of India not rising to play a role it should, and could, have. India was neither seen nor heard during the Arab Spring.

Similarly, when the uprising in Egypt ousted a military-backed dictator, India was nowhere in the picture. Although India and Egypt have a long and chequered relationship

and the two, along with Yugoslavia, were the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement, New Delhi did not come out in support of the Egyptian people and their democratic rights

throughout the period of turmoil.”

 And among a clutch of other observations, Ramachandaran also says: “The world’s largest democracy is a seething cauldron of multiple and overlapping conflicts rooted in

caste, class, religious, linguistic, regional and ideological divergences.”

 Kuldip Nayar (quoted in a comment by Asada M Erpini in Lankaweb) states in an article in the Island of August 1: 65% of Indians are poor and 35% of them are destitute.

Add dimensions other than food, you end up comparing India with backward countries in Africa.”

 Asada M Erpini also referred to a report, dated March 15, 2012, that had been quoted by SCAD, a charity that is pleading for contributions, pointing out that nearly half the

population in Tamil Nadu does not have proper toilets and, according to India’s 2011 Census, “45% of the state’s population resorts to open defecation due to the

lack of sanitation facilities”.

 Given this ground situation, could it not be argued that India is showing so much concern for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority solely because, it is only here,

so close to home, that this wannabe ‘Rising Power’ can make a noise and be noticed? Truth be told, even as a regional power, India has to play

second-fiddle to China. And as for ‘Superpower’ hopes, that race is over, with China now sharing that exalted status with the United States.

 One can only imagine the mental agony all these wannabes — such as the most powerful voices at the centre, sundry chief ministers,

Foreign Office mandarins, among others — must feel when most nations in South Asia hardly give India the time of day …

 To be sure, the nation with the world’s second largest population boasts hundreds of thousands of erudite, pragmatic citizens who are calling

for solutions to a raft of daunting problems.

 Shouldn’t their elected leaders heed their call, instead of fishing in not-so-troubled waters across the Palk Strait?

4 Responses to “‘Rising India’ is doing some (heavy?) lifting only in Sri Lanka!”

  1. Sirih Says:

    May be indians does not understand the meaning of impotency …. Is it why they use a term like ‘Rising Power’ ?

  2. Christie Says:

    Forget India. Think of the Indian Empire that extends from Fiji to West Indies.

  3. Christie Says:

    When it comes to affairs of Sri Lanka ‘ India is a super power. Indians have brainwashed us to believe that we are also Indians and we worship them. We have given up most of our economy and culture to Indians and India. Our economy is run by Indians. These Indians fund our politicians and the politicians do what the Indians merchants ask them to do, This has been the case since 1951.

  4. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Not only is India a mediocre power India is the prime example of what not to do in order to achieve super power status. When the Mahatma led India to independence his successful Satyagraha (active non violence) failed to keep the receding British power from vivisecting India before giving her home rule.
    Any pragmatic leader would have handed the reigns of power to those who could have utilized India’s massive Sepoys most of which were Hindu or Sikh, to use violence if necessary or even a full scale war to crush the notion of a Muslim homeland which once created failed in its goal since more Muslims in the Subcontinent live outside of Pakistan.
    Then Tibet was annexed. Instead of taking this issue to the UN and doing everything in her power to keep Tibet out of China’s hands Prime Minister Nehru only gave shelter to the fleeing Dalai Lama and did not stand up to a China whose power at that time was hardly greater than India.
    Then while China was annexing Tibet, destroying her culture in the process and embarked on a failed policy by Mao which led to the “great leap forward” which destroyed millions of lives. India now the world’s largest Democracy failed to bring this issue to the UN and make it stick while China is rewarded with a seat in the Security Council.
    By now the non aligned movement was a fully developed path led by nations like India and yet India could not live up to its manifesto of non engagement and became the strongest ally of the Soviet Union and by that act started dismantling her reputation to the world. No nation seriously believed that New Delhi was “non aligned”
    But the worst blunder was when the Soviet Union collapsed and the central Asian Muslim nations that were part of the Soviet Union including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, naturally turned to India to form an alliance where India would lead. The reasoning behind this was due to India being the strongest ally of the former Soviet Union, India having a massive Muslim population and India claiming to be the world’s largest Democracy.
    Instead India turned to the US to form a strategic alliance while both Russia and China buried any differences between them and formed two formidable entities. the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) of Russia and the SCO (Shanghai Cooperative Organization) of China, together they created a power center that starts from the China sea to Eastern Europe. India was relegated to a “guest” standard of the SCO while the CSTO now has a combined air force from all its members and a rapid strike force similar to that of NATO.
    India did not stop there in her quest to out do her incompetence. Under Indira Gandhi India split Pakistan in half which on the surface dealt a heavy blow to Pakistan but it only radicalized that nation to the degree that Pakistan now has more nuclear weapons than India and was a greater success at allying herself with other regional powers that were India’s nemesis.
    In the final act of this fiasco India decided that the vivisection of Sri Lanka using the Tamil Tigers would be a shoo in and would give her an unfettered access to the Indian ocean while cutting Sri Lanka’s power by half, and again India failed.
    What has been commented only address her foreign policies and do not touch on her domestic policies such as the vibrant thriving caste system which by its nature negates India the term of being a Democracy, to her much reported level of corruption at all levels of her society which has decimated her environment, increased poverty to four hundred million who live on a dollar or less per day to a growing violent movement (The Maoists) to address these grievances.

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