Monday, September 21, 2020

Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani: America Does Not Respect India

"One hard truth that Indians have to contend with is that America has also had difficulty treating India with respect", writes former Singaporean diplomat Kishore Mahbubani in his latest book "Has China Won?". "If America wants to develop a close long-term relationship with India over the long run, it needs to confront the deep roots of its relative lack of respect for India", adds Ambassador Mahbubani. It's not just Mahbubani who suspects the United States leadership does not respect India. Others, including former President Bill Clinton, current US President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CNN GPS host Fareed Zakaria have expressed similar sentiments. 


Kishore Mahbubani



Kishore Mahbubani:

Kishore Mahbubani is a former top diplomat who served as the head of Singaporean mission at the United Nations. He was born in Singapore in 1948 to Hindu Sindhi parents who migrated from Pakistan to India in 1947, and then to Singapore in 1948. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore.  In 2019, Mahbubani was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a frequent guest on CNN Global Public Square hosted by Fareed Zakaria. Here's an excerpt from Mahbubani's "Has China Won?": 

 "One hard truth that Indians have to contend with is that America has also had difficulty treating India with respect.....Many Americans, like many of their fellow Westerners, have a higher degree of respect for Chinese civilization than they do of Indian civilization. Many Americans will deny it because it is an uncomfortable truth. They will proclaim loudly that they respect India as much as they respect China. But you cannot feign respect: it is best demonstrated not through words but in deeds. Every country in the world demonstrates its respect for another country by the amount of time and attention it gives to that country, and America has devoted far more time and attention to China than it has to India". 

Trump and Clinton:

There is some evidence to support Ambassador Mahbubani's assertion about America's lack of respect for India. For example,  ex US President Bill Clinton said in 1990s that India has a Rodney Dangerfield problem: It can’t get no respect, according to his deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott. In a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks in 2010, Hillary Clinton referred to India as "a self-appointed frontrunner for a permanent UN security council seat."

More recently, US President Donald Trump mocked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about Indian contribution to Afghanistan.  Trump said he got along very well with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the Indian leader was "constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan". "That's like five hours of what we spend... And we are supposed to say, 'oh, thank you for the library'. I don't know who is using it in Afghanistan," Trump said.

Western Media:

Indians were justifiably very proud of their great scientific achievement when the India Space Agency ISRO successfully launched the nation's Mars Mission back in 2013. The New York Times, America's leading newspaper, mocked India with a cartoon depicting the country as a dhoti-wearing farmer with his cow knocking on the door of the Elite Space Club. 

New York Times Cartoon


In an article titled "Paper Elephant", the Economist magazine talked about how India has ramped up its military spending and emerged as the world's largest arms importer. "Its military doctrine envisages fighting simultaneous land wars against Pakistan and China while retaining dominance in the Indian Ocean", the article said. It summed up the situation as follows: "India spends a fortune on defense and gets poor value for money".

After the India-Pakistan aerial combat over Kashmir, New York Times published a story from its South Asia correspondent headlined: "After India Loses Dogfight to Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its Military".  Here are some excerpts of the report:

"Its (India's) loss of a plane last week to a country (Pakistan) whose military is about half the size and receives a quarter (a sixth according to SIPRI) of the funding is telling. ...India’s armed forces are in alarming shape....It was an inauspicious moment for a military the United States is banking on to help keep an expanding China in check".

Fareed Zakaria: 

CNN GPS host Fareed Zakaria is known to be among the loudest cheerleaders for India and a sharp critic of Pakistan. While he still refuses to say anything that could even remotely be considered positive about Pakistan, it seems that he is souring on his native India.

Speaking with Indian journalist Shekhar Gupta on The Print YouTube channel, Fareed Zakaria called the Indian state an “inefficient state”.“Indian government functions very poorly, even in comparison to other developing countries. Coronavirus has highlighted that reality, " he added. He did not clearly speak about the lynchings of Indian Muslims by people affiliated with the ruling BJP and the brutality of Indian military against Kashmiri Muslims, but he did ask: “What I wonder about (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is, is he really bringing all of India along with him? He noted sadly:”India seems like roadkill for China".

Has New Delhi's abject failure in containing the coronavirus pandemic finally done what Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's extreme brutality and open hatred against Zakaria's fellow Indian Muslims could not do? Has he really had it with Hindu Nationalist government? While he has not used his perch on CNN to do it, it appears that he has started expressing his disapproval of the performance on other platforms.

 Here are a few of the key points Fareed Zakaria made while speaking with Shekhar Gupta:

1. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Indian government, and by that I mean the Delhi government, has handled this crisis (COVID19) very poorly.

2. Indian government functions very poorly, even in comparison to other developing countries. Coronavirus has highlighted that reality.

3. In a way, India seems like roadkill for China’s obsession with absolute control over their borders. I do think there is an opportunity here for diplomacy. I don’t think India needs to be confrontational about it (the LAC issue), but of course it should push back.

4. It is now a bipolar world. US and China are way ahead of the rest of the world. For the long term, India needs to decide it’s position with China.

4. Turkey under Erdogan has become more confident and independent. It is culturally proud. It is telling Americans to buzz off.

5. Popularity of political leaders around the  world is linked to their performance on the coronavirus pandemic. In India, however, the issues of religion and caste are still dominating.

6.  What I wonder about (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is, is he really bringing all of India along with him? How many Muslims in Indian government? Or South Indians in BJP? It is much less diverse than Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet.

7. I have been very sad to see how Indian democracy has developed over the last few years. It has become an illiberal democracy.

8. The India media is slavishly pro-government. Self-censorship is widespread in India.

9. The Indian courts fold in cases where government takes serious interest.

Summary: 

Singaporean diplomat, analyst and writer Kishore Mahbubani has argued in his latest book "Has China Won?" that America does not really respect India. Others, including ex US President Bill Clinton, current President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CNN GPS host Fareed Zakaria, have expressed similar sentiments. It has become increasingly clear that India's loudest cheerleaders like Fareed Zakaria are now starting to see the stark reality of Modi's India as a big failure on multiple fronts. Indian state has failed to contain the deadly COVID19 pandemic. India's economy is in serious trouble. The country's democracy is in decline. India seems like a roadkill for China. This turn of events has created serious problems for Pakistani "liberals" who have long seen and often cited India as a successful example of "secular democracy" at work in South Asia.

Here's a video clip from CNN GPS Show:

https://youtu.be/KpAMVLwBJkM





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Is India a Paper Elephant?

COVID19 in Pakistan: Test Positivity Rate and Deaths Declining

Fareed Zakaria Never Misses Any Opportunity to Bash Pakistan

Retired Justice Markanday Katju on Modi's India

Lynchistan: India is the Lynching Capital of the World

73 Year After Independence, Caste-Ridden India Dominated By Brahmins

Pakistan's Pharma Industry Among World's Fastest Growing

Is Pakistan's Response to COVID19 Flawed?

Pakistan's Computer Services Exports Jump 26% Amid COVID19 Lockdown

Coronavirus, Lives and Livelihoods in Pakistan

Vast Majority of Pakistanis Support Imran Khan's Handling of Covid19 Crisis

Pakistani-American Woman Featured in Netflix Documentary "Pandemic"

Coronavirus Antibodies Testing in Pakistan

Can Pakistan Effectively Respond to Coronavirus Outbreak? 

How Grim is Pakistan's Social Sector Progress?

Pakistan Fares Marginally Better Than India On Disease Burdens

Trump Picks Muslim-American to Lead Vaccine Effort

Democracy vs Dictatorship in Pakistan

Pakistan Child Health Indicators

Pakistan's Balance of Payments Crisis

Panama Leaks in Pakistan

Conspiracy Theories About Pakistan Elections"

PTI Triumphs Over Corrupt Dynastic Political Parties

Strikingly Similar Narratives of Donald Trump and Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif's Report Card

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

6 comments:

samir sardana said...

he Indian Paradox of Love ! A tale of unrequited and misunderstood love !

Act 1 Scene 1 - Requit my love,my dearest

The Indians have always been in love wih the white skin,golden hair and blue eyes.It is a deep set inferiority complex,when they ponder over their reflection,in a pond or a mirror.People quote the reign of the Mughals,Brits,Greeks.Huns .... etc., to judtify their thesis.Indian History is written by White men,whose word is gospel - and it may be,THE Gospel.dindooohindoo

But Y ? It is NOT the empirical record,of History ! It is in the DNA,imprinted,by Theological Prioris ! The Hindoo Gods,had white skin,golden hair and blue eyes.

The “Rig Veda” refers to its Dindoo Gods as “Golden haired,White skinned with blue eyes” !

1.1.7 Mantra 7 – Indra (Author: Madhucchandas Vaisvamitra)

 Indra hath ever close to him his two bay steeds and word-yoked car,Indra the golden, thunder-armed.

1.1.79 Mantra 79 – Agni (Author: Gotama Rahugana)

He in mid-air’s expanse hath golden tresses; a raging serpent, like the rushing tempest

A sample of their Complexed DNA,is that,Gokhale claimed that his ancestors were Nordics,and that,the North Pole was in Bihar.His soul is with Nordic Beauties ! Nordic Gods have strikingly similar,appearances and mythologies - as are seen,in the Rig Veda.

That is why Indians Instinctively accepted the Mughals,and Brits as their masters and Gods.The tales of heroism,valour and sexual libido and potency - attributed to the Hindoo Gods (in the Vedas),which was ABSENT in Hindoos - was found by the Hindoos,in the
Mughals and Pathans.Even Churchill,marvelled at the potency,of the Mughals,which is no mean compliment - considering the capabilities,of Churchill.The physical beauty of the Hindoo Gods (as stated in the Rig Veda),which was absent among Hindoos,was found by the Hindoo,in the White man - id.est., The Brits.

Fast Forward to the 21st Century.India STILL looks up to the White man,USA,EU,Russia,UK and there is love - but it is UNREQUITED,as the Indian Love,is NOT unconditional.There is nothing that India CAN OFFER,or LIKES TO OFFER in return,to their lovers.If USA wants to use Indian Airbases to bomb Taliban or Iran,or airbases in North East to Bomb PRC,or long term naval leases to dock US warships and subs,or stand against Russian Actions in Ukraine .......,The Indian Weasels,will wear the inscrutable face,of Monkey God Hanooman and Mutter their Moralistic nonsense.

The Indians cannot even open their markets,for the Americans.Therefore,that unconditional-beyond Platonic love - that exists between PRC and Pakistan - does NOT exist for India.

Mrs Clinton after spending decades of her life on Indians,had THIS TO SAY,about India and Indians

"a self-appointed frontrunner for a permanent UN security council seat."

If this woman had read Beruni - there would be many bells,ringing in her head and she MIGHT have been the US President !

The Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no kings like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs. They are haughty, foolishly vain, self-conceited, and stolid

Basically the Indian DNA expects USA to shed Aemrican blood and sacrifice US jobs to PRESERVE democracy in India (As a sheepish bulwark against PRC),but will NOT reciprocate,in any strategic and material way,to accomodate American economic,military and strategic interests,in India and the world.

That is Y,Indian History of the last 2000 years,shows that whosoever had allied with,or supported Indians - as a nation and a race,was completely destroyed.Only those who stamped their seal of dominance,on Hindoosthan - were immortalised in world History.That is also Y Russia is on a slow,but irreversible drift,away from India

The 1st Pre-requisite of A Strategic Alliance,is unconditional love - which is an attribute,alien to Indians.

samir sardana said...


The Indian Paradox of love - the misunderstood love

Act 1 Scene 2 - Miss-Understanding Indian Love.dindooohindoo

Let us take the case of the American hoi polloi.Americans are very expressive and emotive people,with spontaneous and instinctive emotions - who fall in love easily.So the edifice of their love,is predicated on flimsy reasons (in the Indian Context),like Tangri Kabab, Tandoori Chicken,Lassi and Paratha,Yoga,Sambhar,Indian Forts and Temples,Indian Festivals, Kumbh,Indian Godmen........... and the,so called "Indian Brain" - which is akin,to a drain.

In reality,it is just a Dialectical contrast,which attracts curious and gifted humans (like Americans) to an anti-thesis of thought and sentience,which is alien to the DNA of an American. So the Americans are attracted by curiosity,shock,bewilderment,revulsion etc.,and then begins the quest for the Hegelian Synthesis.That is Y the White race,after a certain age,come to India,and feel that they have found their SPIRITUAL salavtion in India.

So the American love for India is very shallow.Americans,in their thought process,have constructed tautologies and constraints,in their thought processes,which aturally make them gravitate towards,the asinine and shallow charms of India and Indians - as a logical derivative, of the constraints,in their thought process.Fortunately,many get over this misplaced infatuation,but over a long time,and at a significant cost - but that is the story of human evolution.

Even Selekus Nicator (the Greek of Alexander's fame) married an Indian,and also married his family members,into Indians- and ruined his race.

There are some White races,who feel they have a "COSMIC BOND",with India, as the Rig Vedic Golden Haired,Blue Eyed and White skinned Gods,of the Rig Veda,refer to them.These white races,actually believe it,and also believe,that they INTELLECTUALLY SPAWNED THE INDIAN RACE,AND THE INDIAN NATION.These races are the Germans,Nordics and Russians.It is like the French in Indo-China or the EU in Africa - they feel good,that they civilised the heathens and menials.

But the problem is with the Indians - MIS-UNDERSTANDING this love of the Americans,and the White Race.For the white man,it is just a passing evolutionary interest of a curious mind, for an antithetical culture,religion and thought process.At the sub-conscious level,it makes the white man feel good,about his race,and his birth,in White lands.

But the Indians ACTUALLY believe,that the WHITE MAN,RESPECTS AND LOVES INDIA and INDIANS. They actually believe that the white man has spotted their real and true worth and talents. And they actually believe,that the White race will sacrifice their lives and souls,and stake their jobs and trade security,to save India and Indians,from PRC and Islamists,as USA and India share a "Common Destiny",are bound by "Common Values",are "Secular Nations", Promote "Capitalism" and Free Trade,and, most importantly,are the "1st and 2nd largest Democracies",in the world.

And that is Y India was,and is, doomed

India,as a nation is NOT a pariah state,But it has NO FRIENDS,in the world.DPRK and Iran, are called Pariah States - but they have the PRC - as a Friend.

This wanton cavorting, on the spikes of enemies,oblivious of their isolation,in the world, is what has led to the doom of India and Indians.When Babar came to India - the Hindoos were praying,to the Idols in Temples (Rig Vedic White skinned Gods - with 1 exception).In 2020,the white God is USA !

Let us hope that USA will learn, from the history of the Hindoos !

Riaz Haq said...

Kishore Mahbubani on China; Tillerson (via Bob Woodward) on Russia

Tillerson added, “Putin feels like we treat Russia like a banana republic.” The year before, Tillerson said he had been tooling around the Black Sea on Putin’s yacht. “And he said to me, ‘You need to remember we’re a nuclear power. As powerful as you. You Americans think you won the Cold War. You did not win the Cold War. We never fought that war. We could have, but we didn’t.’ And that put chills up my spine.” There is a significant opportunity here, Tillerson said. “When Putin said the breakup of the Soviet Union was the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century, it wasn’t because he loved communism. It was because Russia’s stature had been destroyed. “Anybody who tries to think about Russia in terms of the Soviet era doesn’t know a thing about Russia. The seventy years of Soviet rule was a speed bump in Russian history and it had no lasting effect. “If you want to understand Russia, they haven’t changed much culturally in 1,000 years. They are the most fatalistic people on the face of the earth, which is why they’re willing to live under lousy leaders. If you ask them about it, they’d say they don’t like it, but they’d say ‘Das Russia’—‘That’s Russia.’ They’d shrug their shoulders. I would talk to my Russian employees about it. Only one time did Russians rise up in revolution. And that didn’t turn out so well. So they look back on that and they say, Don’t do that again.”


Woodward, Bob. Rage (pp. 9-10). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

For over two hundred years, Western civilization vastly outperformed the rest of the world, allowing it to overturn the historical precedent; from the year 1 to 1820, China and India were always the largest civilizations in terms of economic strength. The past two hundred years have therefore been an aberration. One reason the West can no longer dominate the world is that the rest have learned so much from the West. They have imbibed many Western best practices in economics, politics, science, and technology. As a result, while many parts of Western civilization (especially Europe) seem exhausted, lacking drive and energy, other civilizations are just getting revved up. In this respect, human civilizations are like other living organisms. They have life cycles. Chinese civilization has had many ups and downs. It should be no surprise that it is now returning in strength.

Having survived over two thousand years, China has developed strong civilizational sinews. Professor Wang Gungwu has observed that while the world has had many ancient civilizations, the only ancient civilization to fall down four times and rise again is China. As a civilization, China is remarkably resilient. The Chinese people are also remarkably talented. As the Chinese look back over two thousand years, they are acutely aware that the past thirty years under CCP rule have been the best thirty years that Chinese civilization has experienced since China was united by Qin Shi Huang in 221 BCE. For most of the past two thousand years, the large pool of brainpower available in the Chinese population was not developed under the imperial Chinese system. During the past thirty years, for the first time in Chinese history, it has been tapped on a massive scale. Cultural confidence, which the Chinese have had for centuries, combined with what China has learned from the West have given Chinese civilization a special vigor today. A Chinese American psychology researcher from Stanford University, Jean Fan, has observed after visiting China in 2019 that “China is changing in a deep and visceral way, and it is changing fast, in a way that is almost incomprehensible without seeing it in person. In contrast to America’s stagnation, China’s culture, self-concept, and morale are being transformed at a rapid pace—mostly for the better.”*

Mahbubani, Kishore. Has China Won? (pp. 11-12). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.

Anonymous said...

"India is the Rodney Dangerfield of international politics, always crying that it doesn't get any respect".
Bill Clinton.

Zamir

Riaz Haq said...

#IMF: #China is world's biggest #economy. IMF's "2020 World Outlook" shows that China’s #GDP($24.2 trillion) is one-sixth larger than #America’s($20.8 trillion). China has replaced #US as the largest trading partner of nearly every major nation. #COVID19 https://nationalinterest.org/feature/china-now-world%E2%80%99s-largest-economy-we-shouldn%E2%80%99t-be-shocked-170719

Explaining its decision to switch from MER to PPP in its annual assessment of national economies—which is available online in the CIA Factbook—the CIA noted that “GDP at the official exchange rate [MER GDP] substantially understates the actual level of China's output vis-a-vis the rest of the world.” Thus, in its view, PPP “provides the best available starting point for comparisons of economic strength and wellbeing between economies.” The IMF adds further that “market rates are more volatile and using them can produce quite large swings in aggregate measures of growth even when growth rates in individual countries are stable.”


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So what? If this were simply a contest for bragging rights, picking a measuring rod that allows Americans to feel better about ourselves has a certain logic. But in the real world, a nation’s GDP is the substructure of its global power. Over the past generation, as China has created the largest economy in the world, it has displaced the U.S. as the largest trading partner of nearly every major nation (just last year adding Germany to that list). It has become the manufacturing workshop of the world, including for face masks and other protective equipment as we are now seeing in the coronavirus crisis. Thanks to double-digit growth in its defense budget, its military forces have steadily shifted the seesaw of power in potential regional conflicts, in particular over Taiwan. And this year, China will surpass the U.S. in R&D spending, leading the U.S. to a “tipping point in R&D” and future competitiveness.

For the U.S. to meet the China challenge, Americans must wake up to the ugly fact: China has already passed us in the race to be the No. 1 economy in the world. Moreover, in 2020, China will be the only major economy that records positive growth: the only economy that will be bigger at the end of the year than it was when the year began. The consequences for American security are not difficult to predict. Diverging economic growth will embolden an ever more assertive geopolitical player on the world stage.

Graham T. Allison is the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is the former director of Harvard’s Belfer Center and the author of Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s

Riaz Haq said...

#India in denial. India is neither comparable to the traditional superpower, #US, nor to an emerging superpower, #China...not even equivalent to its immediate neighbors #Bangladesh, #Pakistan, #SriLanka, #Nepal in many development indicators. - Asia Times https://asiatimes.com/2020/10/india-is-nowhere-in-the-world-denial-wont-work/

The elite in New Delhi delude themselves by thinking the country can hold its own on the world stage
By BHIM BHURTEL
OCTOBER 20, 2020

Despite Indian strategists’ claim that India is an aspirant global power, it is at the bottom in South Asia except for war-torn Afghanistan in the GHI ranking.

The report suggests that India ranks 94th out of 104 countries listed. India shares the same rank as Sudan, in the red zone. That means India’s hunger situation is in the “alarming” category. India’s South Asian peers rank as follows: Sri Lanka 64, Nepal 73, Bangladesh 75, and Pakistan 88.


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The perceptions of Indian political leaders and top bureaucrats about their country’s position in the world appear far removed from reality.

These elites appear not to be mindful of the republic’s fundamental purposes envisaged in the constitution. And they seem lost to their duty and function to the people.

Yet they want to attempt a massive task that is beyond their economic, technological, political, military and strategic capacity.

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India is unable to feed its kids and yet dreams of being a global strategic player.

Second, I read a report by Andy Mukherjee in Bloomberg Business dated October 17. The headline is fascinating: “The next China? India must first beat Bangladesh.”

Mukherjee writes: “Ever since it began opening up the economy in the 1990s, India’s dream has been to emulate China’s rapid expansion. After three decades of persevering with that campaign, slipping behind Bangladesh hurts its global image. The West wants a meaningful counterweight to China, but that partnership will be predicated on India not getting stuck in a lower-middle-income trap.”

The third report I skimmed was published earlier but is still relevant. The Davos-based World Economic Forum (WEF) started to publish the World Inclusive Development Report (IDI) in 2017.

The WEF says IDI is designed as an alternative to GDP and reflects more closely the criteria by which people evaluate their countries’ economic progress. The IDI 2018 ranking suggested that India is again at the bottom. In the IDI ranking of 74 states in the Emerging Economies category, Nepal ranks No 22, Bangladesh 34, Sri Lanka 40, Pakistan 47, and India 62.

Besides, India, the world’s largest functional democracy, is not a role model for other countries in South Asia, even for its human-rights record. Amnesty International’s recent closure of its operations in India confirms this.

These reports show that India is neither comparable to the traditional superpower, the US, nor to an emerging superpower, China. It is also not equal to a middle-power country like Japan or Germany. It is not even equivalent to its immediate neighbors Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal in many development indicators.

India lags its South Asian peers. Therefore, India is not a role model in the South Asia region, either in economic performance or in socioeconomic development. Recently, South Asian countries have been looking to China with hope rather than India because of India’s poor image. A country with a lower socioeconomic development ranking cannot be a role model for higher-ranked countries.

Indian leaders’ and bureaucrats’ denials won’t work for India. The sooner India accepts that it lags far behind superpowers, middle-power countries and its immediate neighbors, the sooner it will start fixing its economy.

Hubris of being a global player may be useful for Indian leaders and officials but it won’t help the people.