Saturday, November 20, 2010

Obama and Brown: Speech that need to be studied

Many a times long hours of studies bore you so much that you start to loose the interest in almost anything. With a competitive exam over the head more and more time is being demanded by the ever exhausting studies and this is were I often end up being, i.e. my blog. It has been a practice for me for some time. Such activities that require a diversion from usual course of studies gain so much more importance at the time of examinations. It has always happened with me and with it also happened my doing extraordinarily well in those exams. Maybe, this is a good omen for me. Anyways.
Being bored with studies, recoursing to something that is not sports or facebook is quite unfamiliar for me. But, I think with the time a change has occured to me and now, neither sports nor facebook seem any important. At such a time, watching HT leadership summit on the web looked an interesting prospect and combined with the idea that studies can go simultaneously with it, I whole heartedly went for it. I didn't even look for the schedule and started watching the summit and found Ex-PM of the UK Gordon Brown starting his speech just in few minutes.
The starting part of the speech is what I actually want to write here about. It, in many ways, reminded me of Obama's speech at the central hall of the parliament just a few days back. Brown started off, very much like Obama, with the references to India's contribution to mathematics, its economic supremacy at a time when world was facing global recession and above all, Gandhi. Whenever it comes to Gandhi, there is too much to say for any political figure. And when it comes in Indian context then Gandhi gives a limitless opportunity to speak about.
Coming after George W. Bush, Barrack Obama's interpretation of Indianism, in his speech, was not only praiseworthy but also surprising. Where, allegedly, Bush didn't know what India actually is when he first entered the White House as US president, Obama had already done his homework on India very efficiently. The way he spoke about India and Indianism on that very evening, he managed to leave an impact over millions of Indians. What Gordon Brown's speech today did to me was to reduce dramatically that very impact that Obama had to me.
At a time, when India is really moving briskly as a power to reckon at the world stage, maybe, the western world is not finding it very easy to swallow. India's strength at a time of global recession has been beyond understandable limits and the western world just doesn't seem very comfortable with it. With China, already, so very well pushing the axis of world power away from the western world, the rising of India as a world power must give sleepless nights to the leaders of the present day world powers. For them the rising of these two asian giants is not only a rising but also a fear of their own downfall. World has surely seen such shift of powers in the modern history. The fall of USSR and rising of USA is a testimony of such a shift. The western world must be sensing a similar shift of powers and in the interim, is doing anything and everything to please these new powers.
Obama's recent visit to India was described as a token of the recognition that USA has for India. For me, after Brown's speech, it only seems to be a way to keep India pleased. References about India's historic greatness is what was common in both the speeches. Gandhi, from a 'nanga fakir' has become a tool to make India pleased, it seems. You iterate Gandhi, and we start applauding is what the two speeches has seen.         Maybe, what we are overlooking is something that the western world is cooking behind the curtains. Do we really need to be happy with such speeches and by the recognition that they extend in these speeches? I doubt!


nidhi said...

this doesn't seem very fishy to me..may be it's just that we indians have made 'gandhi ji' so very popular and our idol and the very basic of indian foundation ,that they would think it indispensible to talk about him..if our politicians speak of his 'non violence' path so much as if we had only him in our country...then outsiders would also give him undue maybe it's way too early for a thought like this..nyways..

Aashu said...

@nidhi: Totally agree to you in that it is too early for a thought like this but surely, you too can't deny a place for this thought. Maybe, yes, the frequency that we use Gandhi's name ourself is what is making the word indispensible for the world but then, we must object to it. Gandhi is not at all the real India. The world misunderstood India earlier as they called it a land of snake charmers, they are doing this again if they consider it a brain-child of the MAHATMA!!!
We surely need to tell them what real India is!

Abhay M. Diwaker said...

Due to some other preoccupations, I could not read, or listen anything about Obama's visit and Brown's day at the Leadership Summit. This post is a fresh air for me. A well written post with a point, not previously seen by any analysts, I think.

Nevertheless, interpreting the real motive of Obama on the basis of Brown's speech is misplaced, I feel.

Invoking Gandhi by Brown may be a sort of political banality, but not by Obama. Dr. King was very much inspired by Gandhi and led his Civil Rights movement on the philosophy of Gandhi. Like Gandhi, he too was shot dead. One can rightly doubt the ascendancy of Obama as the President of the USA without the struggle of Dr. King, and again, one can rightly doubt the success of Dr. King without him following Gandhian Philosophy. Currently, all well known figures in the world like Nelson Mandela, Aung Saan Suu Kyi, Desmond Tutu, Dalai Lama, and Lech Walgruha are avowed followers of Gandhi. So, I think, there is no problem in invoking Gandhi.

India’s strength at a time of global recession is beyond understandable limits – I don’t think so. To an extent Y V Reddy saved economy by not budging to any demand of monetary relaxation, but yet, we are still experiencing the effects of recession. Interest rates are up, inflationary pressure is not coming down, and employment growth is not even half the target of eleventh plan. These are in spite of the fact that the Government has offered two stimulus plans. Stimulus plans led to more public debt, the effect of which will be seen later. Currently, the Public debt-GDP ratio hovers around 80% which cannot be said to be healthy. Finance Commission asked Govt. to bring it down to 68%, but no one knows HOW. The effects on Software industry and Textile Industry were too much. Saying that we face recession boldly is an understatement. In fact, India needs too much support of the USA and other western countries. The FII, on the back of whom we are seeing a bullish sensex and nifty, are coming too much, but FDI is nowhere in sight. Without FDI, which are long term investment and don’t fly by night like FII, you cannot imagine the building of a strong economy when you don’t have money. There is huge scarcity of fund in infrastructure sector. In fact, $1 trillion is what has been planned till 12th plan. We simply don’t have this much money. We need the support of western countries.
As for China, I think, it would always be better for the USA to support India to contain China. The growth of China is unmatchable. And, an economically powerful India will always be better for the western world. Due to ideological differences, western countries will never like to see a superpower China. Both India and China understand this and even India is trying to get free lunches from western world on this point. In fact, it has already got like nuke deals. At this point of time, and as WikiLeaks Cables show, the western world is definitely not trying to please these two powers. In secure diplomatic exchanges, we don’t find anything which can stand affront to your viewpoint.

We definitely will be happy with such speeches. Brown’s speech doesn’t matter here since he is not occupying any constitutional post in the UK, but definitely Obama’s utterances matters.

@Nidhi: I have a recommendation for you. If you get time then read 'India After Gandhi' by Ramachandra Guha. Don't buy, I will gift you.

Abhay M. Diwaker said...
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Abhay M. Diwaker said...
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