India, the perennial bit player


Why am I not surprised that Indians decided not to send troops to Iraq? Actually the delay in taking the decision reinforced my long held view that as a nation, India is woefully out of touch with reality of the new global world order.

In this new scheme of things, there are two kinds of countries Ò those who form Ïjoint venturesÓ with United States, and others who are often butt of the jokes on late night television. US had requested India to send troops Ò about 17,000 to Iraq for peacekeeping purposes. Despite being courted by Americans for almost two months, Indians declined. And came up with some lame excuses.

While others might disagree, but I thought this was a chance for Indians to show the world that it was one of the JV nations. It was also a chance for India to cozy up with the Americans, a necessity which is only going to become urgency next year. What they politicians in India do not realize that while declining a request today may be good for short-term political gains, it puts IndiaÌs future at risk.

Next time China flexes its muscles, or Pakistan-based terrorist outfits stage an offensive, trust me there will be support in Washington DC. But more than it is a long term negative for the fledgling outsourcing business India is so painstakingly trying to build. In fact if it is not for outsourcing work from United States, Indian economy could lose some of its zip, and would fall back to the pre-1980s levels.

Next year, which happens to be the election year, there is going to be a lot of hue and cry about outsourcing of jobs to India. It is going to be a political hot button and politicians will jump all over it. A few friends in the white house would not have hurt the cause, but then the Indian politicians are a bunch of self-serving ignoramuses. There has not been a single new Indian politician who has impressed me, or has a plan for the country. Religious zealots, former commies, stupid socialists, an Italian housewife and failed world bankers decide the fate of a billion people.

I know two things about India, which are a universal truth Ò the countryÌs political system is dominated by remnants of cold war era, and the age old Indian problem: never know a good thing till you have blown the opportunity. Sadly enough, the people and all those young professionals with dollar dreams are going to pay the price.

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