India and Bush and the future

Friday, March 10, 2006
Is India's time to take its place in international power politics here?

via Powerline a quote from Indian columnist Swapan Dasguptah:

Even after he fell from grace and spent his last years in disgrace, there was one country where Richard Nixon was always welcome. For all its other angularities, China never forgot its indebtedness to the man who in 1971 began the process of extricating the Middle Kingdom from its post-communist isolation.

It is still too early to say whether or not President George W. Bush will enjoy such a lofty status in India during his retirement years. Yet, when future historians chart the course of Indian foreign policy in this century, they will have to acknowledge Bush’s unique contribution to overturning the entrenched assumptions of the Cold War. It is not merely that the controversial president of the United States of America made a special effort to reach out to India. He was the first world leader of consequence who understood the enormous importance of democratic India in the 21st century world order.

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Whenever an economically liberated India has confronted the world, it has always succeeded in turning the balance of power in its own favour. There was not a hint of condescension in Bush’s offer of friendship and neither did he undertake the finger-wagging drill of a big brother — unlike in Pakistan. He wasn’t showering India with aid and freebies. He was imploring India to assume its rightful role in global capitalism and enrich itself. His offer lay in facilitating the removal of irritants created by an earlier generation. Never mind all the lofty talk of democracy — which, like the Americans, Indians take for granted — Bush was speaking the language of a Texan out to cut a mutually beneficial deal.

I think Bush spends more time and energy thiking about the future than he does the here and now. That can be damaging in the polls, but it is what makes legacy.

Hollywood look out, here comes Bollywood.

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