Skip to comments.Post-tsunami India's image rises globally
Posted on 01/07/2005 4:55:45 AM PST by CarrotAndStick
WASHINGTON: India has displayed maturity in its management of the ravages caused by last week's tsunami - helping other countries in the region and in helping itself - leading to a changed perception of the country in the eyes of the international community.
"It's a new and confident India which also recognizes its responsibilities," asserted renowned economist Jagdish Bhagwati.
In an interview, Bhagwati says in helping other countries around the world in its own time of crisis, "It's not just international power play but rather a display of maturity. It's not with a sense of pride but rather as an obligation."
"There will be a changed perception of India following this disaster," says Anirban Basu, former director of the Towson University Regional Economic Studies Institute in greater Washington.
"India is not just a technical leader in South Asia and Southeast Asia, but a leader in taking up the tsunami warning system. I think people have looked at India till now not much more than a leader in South Asia," said Basu, CEO of Sage Policy Group, advisors to state, federal and private companies.
New Delhi promptly began helping Sri Lanka with ships and army personnel to reach difficult areas and deliver aid, even as it coped with its own death toll that touches 9,000 with thousands still unaccounted for.
"The fact that it is able to take care of itself also comes out in the Bush administration's response - and the work of the Indian government which has cemented the bond - President Bush clubbed India with Japan and Australia. So it has worked out very nicely for India's image even for altruistic purposes," Bhagwati emphasized.
"India also took matters in stride although it did not suffer as huge a loss as Sri Lanka or Indonesia," Bhagwati noted.
"It showed it doesn't really need these huge organisations like Oxfam etc, who want to get mileage out of this. Our own people have the commitment - big and small NGOs who don't need to get on CNN," he added.
"Ultimately, Indian ships are going out to help, just like the US - that shows its status."
Bhagwati indicated he was most impressed by the non-governmental organizations in India that have fuelled the "revolution of perceived possibilities and rising expectations".
India, he said, "is both a democracy and a major force", and NGOs had helped make the democracy more responsive to people. "These NGOs provide people with their sense of confidence, not necessarily the political parties."
According to Anirban Basu, India's aid effort in the region was "an amazing transformation" for a country that was an aid recipient at one time.
Though it still may get aid from organizations like the World Bank "India is a powerhouse in so many ways but also houses a very large community of poor, and there is no shame in that," Basu insisted.
"India will remain a study in contradictions - home to cutting edge technology and also to millions of poor, but a rising tide lifts all boats," he said metaphorically without intending a pun in the current disaster.
RATE THIS ARTICLE 12345
COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE
Indian Image Raising Globally - I am not sure on ...- emjmoska sure . Indian image will certainly rise . A count...- novemberain12 All these notions of India's strength is only wit...- samynarayana India is trying to create a global image of self ...- peter_fdl The indian government is trying to underplay the ...- red_desi
Read all comments
Fidayeen storm I-T office in Kashmir UPA plans a better Lok Pal Bill Unraveling the day India open to overseas aid: FM SC reserves order on Seer's bail Art of Living gives Rs 1.5 bn tsunami aid Two LeT ultras killed in Kashmir SC reserves order on Seer's bail plea Tsunami spawns disaster tourism Top Hizb commander arrested in J&K Tsunami: 'Disaster tourism' on the rise Tsunami more powerful than Hiroshima bomb Aid tardy, survivors feed on the forest WHO reviews SOS workbook Property worth Rs 5,300 cr lost Plane catches fire, scientists escape unhurt Armymen lead scared fishermen into the sea Orissa hopes to step in and make up for TN, AP Prosperous Nicobarese worst hit: Govt report Anti-Bush blogs blame it on US Tsunami and the battle of faith
What's so great about this is that India has had a horrendous image problem for decades of being one of the poorest countries on Earth. Now 50 years after Ghandi's assination and their freedom from colonial rule the world's largest democracy is making great strides to being not only self-sufficient but a respectable regional power.
I can't help but feel good that a billion people in a democracy and no tradition of self determination and free markets has made such giant strides in my lifetime. It's really great to see. I would say the same thing about China but you know, they have that nagging Communism problem.
Good job India, your success in the world is being noticed by people in the West.
What is more astounding about India is that last few years we have had a spate of crisis starting from Gujrat earthquake, droughts, floods, border tension, terrorist attacks and now this. And inspite of all this, every successive year the economy keeps booming unlike everbefore and is attracting more jobs and foreign investments. Now it seems there is no turning back.
Why has our relationship with India been . . . uhhh . . . testy in the past? I've never understood that. They're the world's largest Democracy, right? Or close if they're not. It would seem we would be made for each other.
I've heard the Cold War theory . . . that we needed an ally close to the Soviet Union and Pakistan was willing to fill the void. Because of their difficulties with each other . . . Pakistan and India . . . India then sort of had no choice but to drift more toward the Soviet Union than us. Then we virtually ignored them until they exploded the atomic bomb in the late 90's and Pee Wee Clinton had no choice but to take note of them.
The above is usually given as the answer.
In your opinion, is that why we've never been closer allies? I've always been looking for some social or cultural reasons that made sense for the differences.
There just has to be more to it than we picked Pakistan as an ally and India won't be our friends just because Pakistan and India don't play nice with each other.
Maybe that's all there is to it. Maybe when the Soviet Union collapsed India found itself left hanging alone in the breeze so they had no choice but to reach out to us . . . then Slick Willy got scared when they dropped the bomb so we finally took their out-stretched hand.
What's your opinion?
India has a long way to go before I'd ever want to be an ally with it. I like watching the Amazing Race when they go through India. 1) All women teams will lose, 2) All women will be groped and molested, 3) Someone will cry at how miserable life is in India.
Maybe I will try to answer that but i am not sure the answer will satisfy u but I do feel ur question is valid nevertheless. I am a relatively new FReeper here and an Indian. So I know a little more about India. Yes India is without doubt the largest democracy as of today unless China wants to suddenly be a democracy.
While I m not sure American reason for reaching out to India has only to do with the "bomb". I sure know that India didnt reach out to US because it was left hanging alone in the world. Logic dictates that a population of one billion making tremendous progress cannot be left hanging alone in the world. Sooner or later the world would take notice. And so America did. India and America have some common goals such as fighting terrorism and Chinese global aspirations.
As far as the "bomb" goes the world had shunned India after the tests. Whatever be the logic of the cold war the comming together of the two great democracies is the best bet for the future of the free civilised democracies of the world. And there is nothing wrong and no loss of pride in both America and India accepting each others out-stretched hand.
>India has a long way to go before I'd ever want to be an ally >with it. I like watching the Amazing Race when they go >through India. 1) All women teams will
There are certainly still problems to be overcome - greater exposure to foreigners and the international community will cure the problems you describe above.
That doesn't prevent us from taking a balanced view of the situation and looking at the positives India has to offer.
In any case, I'd be skeptical of basing your view of India on a TV show which gets viewers by deliberately showing the participants of the race having a miserable time.
Oh, and as for being allies with India: Yup, don't be allies with people who (gasp!) stare at foreigners. You can go back to being allies with dictators and genocidal maniacs.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.