Don’t let US decide what is right for us
Should India take lessons on democracy and foreign conduct from the United States of America That too when the US is displaying its spectacular intolerance towards all canons of decency under the leadership of Donald Trump who violates the canons of fair play and equal opportunity at the drop of a hat
Should India take lessons on democracy and foreign conduct from the United States of America? That too when the US is displaying its spectacular intolerance towards all canons of decency under the leadership of Donald Trump who violates the canons of fair play and equal opportunity at the drop of a hat?
The recent visit of Nikki Haley, America's India-origin permanent representative to the United Nations, only resulted in the expected snub for India. Despite the long rope given to the US over domestic and international matters of India and the tolerance of our rulers for the facetious attitude towards us, the US never learns how to make or keep friendships.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been ever tolerant of the flippant character of Trump and trying to maintain a balance in the country's foreign relations. His extensive tours overseas have certainly raised India's stature and have placed the country firmly on several high tables across the world. India is a country not to be taken lightly or ignored any longer. Even China is aware of it.
If the US thinks it could use India to sustain its businesses and interests in the region, then it should also know that even India has its compulsions vis-a-vis its neighbours, near or distant. India's trade may be small compared to the US, but its ties with other countries is purely its choice.
Here is where this half Indian, Nikki Haley, steps in and tells us about the importance of religious tolerance. We don’t require outsiders to tell us about religious tolerance in democracy. We have a far serious debate going on the same in the country. When the US tells us so, it sounds more like a Church telling us about it. Taking a high moral ground on such matters does not really embellish the American thought. It is not just the present rulers, but half the nation is supremacist in the US.
A country that stoops to ludicrous levels and treats every Muslim as a fundamentalist or terrorist and every non-white among its citizens as scums and builds walls across not only the borders but within and which segregates parents from children in the name of protecting national interests has no business to sermonize others.
Secondly, it wants India to vitiate its relations with Iran just because Trump does not like someone's face there and stop buying oil from them. Domestic discourse must at best be left to Indians who are strong enough to overcome certain fringe elements unlike in the US where the fringe seems to be the majority.
Even before its experiment with democracy, India had been tolerant and allowed all religions to make the country their home and flourish. But ties with Iran are a matter of strategic concern for India. New Delhi needs to inform Washington straight out that it cannot let its Tehran ties, or for that matter relations with any country, be dictated by Washington. It is essential India responds responsibly and strategically. Too many countries are watching us. Self-respect is not what India can surrender.