At The High Table
In 2006, Bush promised India a place at ‘the high table’. A conference paper noted that “In India, the shift in diplomatic strategy necessitated by the opportunity to sit at the high table, because of the nuclear deal, and participate in nonproliferation, as well as become a member of the nonproliferation system, appears stalled owing to apparent timidity or the persistence of yesterday’s thinking”.
Fareed Zakaria writes about how some (!) countries want a place at the high table. Sitaram Yechury, CPIM, of course, thinks the deal will no such thing as enable India to sit on the high table. President Sarkozy and Tony Blair have been leading India by the nose, proclaiming that India should get a place at the high table. India’s quest for a seat at the high table in the global comity of nations, puts India in a position of being patronized. A senior American official condescendingly says that the US wants to be “helpful” to India as it “emerges as a world power”.
The Comity Of Nations
And Manmohan Singh keeps getting his kicks at the thought of sitting at “the global comity of nations“. His comment after winning the trust vote was, “India is prepared to take its rightful place in the comity of nations.” A year earlier, he wrote in a newspaper, how India has “earned … a special place in the comity of nations.” And in 2005, Manmohan Singh promised landless farmers, that India “in the next 10 years … earn its rightful place in the comity of nations”. But before that, in February 2005, he had informed at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi, how India must recover its “lost space in the global economy and our economic status in the comity of nations”. (ellipsis mine).
On July 29, 2005, after his US visit, it was reported that Manmohan Singh could not inform the Indian Parliament exactly how “tall in the comity of nations” India was standing. He decided that the focus in 2005 will be on making India “taking its rightful place in the comity of nations.” In 2006 again, he reminded all Indians “to claim our rightful place in the comity of nations”. But he started this story way back in 1995-96 budget when he announced that he planned to “raise India to her rightful place in the comity of nations”
Manmohan Kyon Darta Hai
Manmohan Singh was reportedly hesistant to travel for the G8 summit without a nuclear deal go ahead. With what face will India’s Prime Minister engage the G8 leaders, occupied the Government’s attention?
Manmohan’s fears were captured by Prem Shankar Jha, a journalist from New Delhi’s main newspaper, The Hindustan Times. “India‘s retreat from the agreement bordered on disaster. “It may not be the end of the world,” he wrote, “but it will be a very long time before we are invited to the High Table again.”
Sonia’s Sets The Precedent
This is much like Sonia Gandhi’s Belgian medal. Her reluctance to give up that tainted piece of metal was sad – as is Manmohan Singh’s hankering to “sit at the high table” and to join “the comity of nations”. This ‘comity of nations’ and ‘the high table’ are verbal markers for rich nations – especially the West.
Craven Desire For Approval
What about the West attracts you, Mr.Singh? What makes you so eager (if not desperate) to join them and sit with them? What is the legacy of the West? What about the West can we copy? This hankering for Western approval does not behove you, Shrimaan Singh! India will get its place in the sun – without these doomed slave societies.
Whose Agenda Is This
Who exactly, Mr.Singh gave you the idea that it was your job to make “place for India at the high table in the comity of nations?”
The Indian Voter didn’t.
The ‘aam aadmi’ didn’t. There was no mention of ‘India at the high table in the global comity of nations’ in the Congress manifesto – or in the Common Minimum Programme. In fact, when the BJP promised ‘India Shining’ to the Indian Voter, he clearly rejected them. Are you marching to the BJP’s tune? Or are you sneaking in your personal agenda to rub shoulders “at the high table in the comity of nations that is driving you.” Mr.Singh, do you realize that this is a fraud.
With Or Without The West
For 60 years, India has managed, in spite of the West. India‘s defense production, its nuclear program or its space program and its India‘s software success are homegrown. As are its successes in industry, stockmarkets, education, films and television programming, its democracy and the rise of its middle class. In the nuclear industry, India’s thorium approach to nuclear energy design will possibly open new realms in nuclear arena. At various times, when India has been stuck, it has been the West that has pushed India further into a corner. Even in matters of foodgrain, when India was a user of PL-480 grain. Or for instance, the Kaveri jet engine or the cryogenic engines.
Look Ma, Who Is Sitting At The Table
George Orwell’s Animal Farm describes another high table – when the Pigs sat down to eat with the human beings.
A week later, in the afternoon, a number of dogcarts drove up to the farm. A deputation of neighbouring farmers had been invited to make a tour of inspection. … What could be happening in there, now that for the first time animals and human beings were meeting on terms of equality? … There, round the long table, sat half a dozen farmers and half a dozen of the more eminent pigs … Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. (ellipsis mine).
Shrimaan Singhsaheb – Does India need a seat at this high table; a table where the other seats are taken by countries who have brought humanity “under the heel by means that will not bear scrutiny“. Do we need to sanctify the power gained by these slave masters? Does the wealth gained by loot and prosperity by labor seem equal to you? Does wealth gained by fraudulent practices ennoble the wealthy?
One week after this post, Arvind Panagariya, a professor from Columbia University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, wrote how “the emerging giant can accomplish something the diminishing giant couldn’t!.” Both, Manmohan Singh and Arvind Panagariya seem to be infected with this strain of imported virus. The main symptom of this infection is this overwhelming desire for Western approval. At least, the professor admits to the reality of the ‘diminishing giant’, though, he seems to equate a giant of brute force with a moral one.
Another well known corporate executive, R. Gopalkrishnan, is afflicted by this same ‘comity of nations’ infection. On 15th August, 2008, in an article in Economic Times, he paid obeisance, by quoting JRD Tata who once said, “I do not want India to be an economic super-power . I want India to be happy.” By the end of the article, he reverted back to his usual self. He intones, “Over the coming decades, India has the real chance of reclaiming its place at the top table in the League of Nations, a position she held for centuries but lost in the last few hundred years.”