Monday, November 30, 2009

India’s Foreign Policy: Need for a Proactive Approach to Sustain Security, Economic Growth and Development Objectives

India is the largest country in South Asia with a stable government, booming economy and a strong military. The current global financial crisis has severely dented many western powers; however, India has weathered the storm and its economy continues to grow at around 7% a year. The guiding principles of India's Foreign Policy have been founded on peaceful coexistence, pragmatism and pursuit of national interest. India is one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned movement taking a neutral stand in the Cold War era and still continues along this path. Traditionally Indian politics has always focused internally, characterized by flexibility and ambivalence. Domestic politics has been the main driving force behind the non aligned view India adopts. Several political parties are against the idea of aligning with a global power, especially the US. Today the Indian people have greater ambitions and feel India has arrived on the world stage. This new vigor along with being in a volatile neighborhood that is spiraling into a security morass and the increasing interference and influence of China in India’s geopolitical sphere of influence is forcing the government to rethink its foreign policy. In the current environment the old views and policies make India weak and indecisive, preventing sustainable development and security for its citizens. A proactive Indian foreign policy can only bode well for her as well as her South Asian neighbors.
An example of India’s lack of decisiveness and nimbleness can be seen in the way the government reacted after the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008. India’s relationship with Pakistan is primarily based on the Kashmir dispute. India continues to voice strong opinion against Pakistan’s persistence with cross border terrorism. Lack of decisiveness and soft handling of Pakistan’s strategies define Indian foreign policy towards Pakistan. Following the May 2008 elections, the new Indian government had a large mandate and international support. They could have pursued an aggressive policy, not necessarily a military one, against Pakistan and pushed forward their agenda. The mood of the nation and markets supported such an initiative. It is also widely believed that current GDP growth rate would have been close to 9% if national security was not an issue. However, ambivalence on the government’s part to not risk further damaging the economy and a lack of clear vision and leadership let slip the opportunity to define security in the region. Such an attitude could embolden other South Asian nations to adopt similar approaches to India, damaging any hopes of gaining strategic superiority over the region. In addition India’s approach to building stronger relations with nations like Nepal after its transition to democracy and Sri Lanka after the end of its 25 year war with the LTTE leaves a lot to be desired.
Compared with China’s foreign policy, whether it’s building up the economies or militaries of these nations, India falls far behind in terms of concerted effort. The newly opened deepwater port at Gwadar, Pakistan, represents China’s first strategic foothold in the Arabian Sea. Along with Beijing’s onshore and offshore strategic assets in Myanmar, Gwadar signifies an enlarging Chinese footprint on either side of India. Add to the scene China’s agreement to build a port at Hambantota in Sri Lanka, its aid to the Bangladeshi port of Chittagong and its interest in a strategic anchor in the Maldives. Beijing has also been developing a strategic corridor from western China to Gwadar, at the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 per cent of the world’s oil passes; and the Irrawaddy Corridor from Yunnan to the Bay of Bengal involving road, river and rail links through Myanmar. It has also developed rail and road networks on its side of the disputed border with the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, all that lies on the Indian side is a dirt track. What this underscores is an emerging Chinese challenge to India’s traditional dominance in the Indian Ocean region.
In order to counter this threat from the Chinese ‘pearl necklace’ strategy of encircling its territory, India needs to radically alter its foreign policy outlook and settle on a more proactive, almost mercantilist view. Initiatives have been made to increase bilateral trade with certain African nations and with other Asian countries. Indian banks have extended Lines of Credit to several banks in Africa covering trade in petroleum products, machinery, textiles etc. Indian expertise in medicine and education is also being transferred to Africa further strengthening ties. India's strategy and strengths in Africa are quite different from China's. China concentrates on resource-based investment, while India has focused on capacity-building. India is hoping to capitalize on people power and on the goodwill it shares with Africa dating back to several centuries. China’s involvement in Africa towers over India’s with investments of more than $50 billion (2007) in infrastructure, energy and military sectors. India became a regional member of the African Development Bank in 1982 - two years before China. But China holds more shares in the bank and has greater voting power. India helped several African countries establish their military academies but China wields more military influence on the continent. China's economic and energetic diplomacy in Africa stands in sharp contrast to India's. China has more diplomatic missions in Africa than even the United States, while the trips by an Indian Prime Minister to Africa are few and far between. Much of this can be attributed to the power of the single party regime in China and to the internal bickering of the numerous political parties in India leading to compromises on foreign policy issues.
Sustaining impressive economic growth and competing with China to be the next global power requires strengthening external and internal security, securing energy resources and significantly speeding up social development. Talks with oil rich African nations and recent agreements with the US on nuclear energy are positive moves made by the government. Foreign policy cannot be delinked with internal policies. Poverty and social development issues in India occupy significant space on the desks of Indian leaders and foreign policy needs to be seen as a tool that hastens social development. India also needs to take advantage of its democratic history and diversity of its people while reaching out to its neighbors. Significant investments in their economies creating an India friendly nation would not only feed the Indian economy with resources but would also enable the neighboring country to benefit from India’s growth, similar to the positive role played by the US in the Americas region. India also needs to proactively utilize regional organizations such as SAARC to push forward its ideas and gain greater influence over the region. At the WTO, India successfully lobbied for farmers from developing nations, raising its profile among the other developing nations. Presence in the G20 and at the World Economic Forum has provided higher platforms for India’s business and political leaders to push its case forward.
The Indian leadership and its foreign policy need to be more proactive. India needs to stop sitting on the fence and start engaging in concerted efforts to achieve its goals of being a global power in the coming years, especially since the shadow of the Red Dragon looms large over India’s aspirations.

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Brahma Chellaney. “China Covets A Pearl Necklace: Dragon’s Foothold in Gwadar”, Asian Age, April 7, 2007,
Broadman, Harry G. “China and India Go to Africa”, Foreign Affairs, Council on Foreign Relations, March/Apr, 2008, <>
Chenoy Kamal Mitra, Chenoy Anuradha M. “India’s Foreign Policy: Shifts and the Calculus of Power”, Alternatives International, Sept 17, 2007,
Dormandy, Xenia. “India’s Key Foreign Policy Issues”, Project on India and the Subcontinent, Robert and RenĂ©e Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL, Sept 4, 2008,
Finfacts Team. “China's growing ties with emerging markets: What it means for geopolitics”, News : International, Oct 27, 2009,
Kapila, Dr. Subhash. “India’s Foreign Policy options on Pakistan 2007”, South Asia Analysis Group, Dec 6, 2006,
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Ramachandran, Sudha. “India pushes people power in Africa”, Asian Times online, July 13, 2007, <>
“India - Boosting Trade with Africa”, Business Guide Internet Edition, Africa Business Pages, Nov 23, 2009,

Friday, February 08, 2008

Us..the insignificant!

Last week, I happened to step out onto the terrace of my house. I was out there for no particular reason, just mulling over the happenings of the last few months. These issues or circumstances I placed myself in, were beginning to overwhelm me. I was getting to be cranky, irritable and a pain in the wrong places. Well, I was blaming myself, the world, the whole works. Downright depressed! On the terrace, moping around, I glanced up and saw that humbling sight. The darkness, the emptiness of deep space, the enormity of the skies. Thats when it hit me..BANG! woah, my self inflicted worries just disappeared. In the vastness of the universe, my worries were worth absolutely nothing. None of this matters. I don't matter, you don't matter, what I do doesn't matter. Our petty lives, our daily businesses, the wars we wage, it all seems so insignificant in the greater scheme of things. In the cosmic sense we could be an anomaly! A blip, heck not even a blip on the universal radar! Carl Sagan puts everything in perspective when he says "Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people". By all means we should be doing all those brilliant things us humans have done for thousands of years. However, its ridiculous that we say we are the greatest, most intellectual beings around. We have not even crossed the boundaries of our solar system let alone traverse the universe. You see, the universe has need not be in accordance with human ambition. We have proclaimed ourselves as the highest limit of evolution, yet with all our supposed brilliance we cannot save a dying planet. In fact we are pushing it further towards the brink, fully knowing this is the only, ONLY, home we have! Yes, arent we all smart and superior! Ego's running riot. One look at our true position in the cosmic world would set us straight. Peering into the night sky that evening among the overwhelming sense of insignificance, I felt, strangely, reassured. My worries didnt matter at all. Who cares!!.. the universe would still be the universe. Staring back at me, putting me in my place, empty but full, silent but screaming. I was refreshed!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Psychedelic sounds...

This weeks fixation..ahhh..after a long time..I get back to Floyd's Echoes..I've been flitting in and out of depression, mostly self conceived and imposed. Monday was about realizing that another week had crept past, Tuesday brought in naive optimism and grandiose plans, Wednesday began by rubbishing the plans, Thursday was all about the test match, Friday ****** emptiness***** common thread..the song and the depression..I've been spending several hours staring at the clock, watching in a hypnotic gaze, emptying the mind, but, for what. That remains a thought..Sat is here..still with echoes..i guess the smooth psychedelic flow and the absurd sounds in between explain my thought process..calm n composed a minute now torn asunder by extremely negative vibes..parity being restored sooner or later...what am i blabbering? I dunno..just don't it a phase?..don't care bout that no thoughts running through my head..its actually long as its just this week that i feel like this..irreverent and spaced out..ahh..echoes..!

In search of the perfect cover drive!

Few would disagree that the cover drive is one of cricket’s trademark, most elegant strokes. The joy in watching a perfectly executed cover drive is unmatchable. Having played professional cricket for a while, I place immense pride in trying to play the cover drive to perfection. The minimum effort required by the ‘greats’ to execute this stroke lends the classical look to the cover drive.

Yet, essentially what is a cover drive? Typically it is driving an over pitched ball anywhere between the arc between the cover and point region. Foot to the pitch of the ball, head over the ball, elbow straight and a flourish of a follow through, picture perfect! The skill required to play this stroke on the up is notched up, especially when the ball is just short off a good length but slightly wider of the off stump and swing away. Probably an even better version of the cover drive, if one can say such a thing, is the back foot cover drive. Rocking on to the back foot, head aligned with the line of the ball, bat coming down from fine leg area and meeting the ball in front of the eyes, sending the ball crashing through to the boundary. Sinful pleasure?

In my opinion, the search for the perfect cover drive begins and ends with that god among god in the pantheon of Indian Cricket; Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. The little master’s magic wand of a bat, evoke emotions that galvanize one billion people. Among his vast array of strokes essayed with impetuous ease, it is the cover drive that oozes the maestro’s class. The exalting feeling when ‘Tendlya’ essays a sublime shot piercing the inner ring of fielders generates goose pimples on many an arm. There have been others and some better too! The Don of cricket, Sir Donald Bradman was had played cover drives right from the top draw. Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting have equally classy cover drives in their arsenal. Indian legends such as Gavaskar, Vengsarkar and come back kid Ganguly play this stroke with nonchalant ease. Rahul Dravid probably has the best looking cover drive of all times, straight out of the coaching manual.

But why Tendulkar? The difference between Tendulkar and other batsmen in my opinion, is beyond the realms of the cricket field. The emotion associated with a Tendulkar cover driver is something to be felt. For a nation starved of leaders and sporting icons, the little master stands head and shoulders above all. The wielder of the willow is constantly looked upon as the saviour of Bharath on the Kurukshetra that is the cricket field. His Brahmastra being the cover drive. No other player can stop an entire nation in its tracks. In this context, the pure joy associated with his cover drive literally brings tears to the eyes culminating in a collective sigh. Is this not the perfect cover drive? The demigod has the opportunity to script Indian cricket’s most glorious chapter when if he essays The Perfect Cover Drive in the quest for the World Cup . Now that would be Moksha, wouldn’t it!

random musings of a fractured psyche

Well!Here I am writing another spur of the moment,passion induced, late night blog. What is it that I have always dreamnt about?Sports ofcourse!The triumph of the human spirit against all odds,beating all expectations,proving your critics let your game do the talking!..I've had innumerable dreams,thoughts and day dreams about playing that perfect cover drive..that amazing backhand down the line..that incredible 400m finish!..the fuel for all these??..The hero's..I guess I spent more time watching ESPN and STAR SPORTS than HBO and STAR MOVIES. Who are these hero's and why them? Let me list them out in chronological order-
1.Andre Agassi-Pure style 'Rebel' image,hitting the ball on the rise etc etc
2.Pete Sampras A.K.A 'Pistol' Pete - for his no nonsense,tennis is all that matters attitude, best tennis player I have ever watched, incredible concentration and divine serve and volley game.That match against Jim Courier at the Aussie Open final(year??)brings tears to my eyes even as I write this, just sheer determination and pedigree
3.Michael Chang- Not the greatest tennis player that ever was but I learnt the Most valuable lesson-never ever give up,chase down everything,return every serve and drop volley,die on the court!
4.Sachin Tendulkar-I picked up a cricket bat after watching Tendlya stun the entire world during the 96 world up. For sheer perfection,years of hardwork,determination and loyalty to the game..make that any game..look no further than the man executing that most glorious of all front foot punched cover drive! Role Model for all generations..Live life along the lines of Sachin Tendulkar and you'r living it the right way..Humility,Honesty,Dedication,Perfection,Focus. Thats my hero for life!
5.Michael Jhonson -Talent,Speed,Talent,Speed! One of the greatest runners of all times.Another great lesson- when no one is chasing you doesnt mean the race is still gotta still gotta win in your head!
6.Roger Federer - Is he better than Sampras? I dont care! Sublime!Supreme!Divine!Pure Gold!..brings back the pedigree to the game!..The rebirth of my interest in the game after the exit of sampras was because of the FedEx..Class Class Class..All hail the new king..theres nothing you can learn from him!..Theres just no point as it cannot be emulated by us mere mortal..some of those the cross court top spin whip of a forehand on the run is almost unbelievable if it wasnt for slow motion videos!..You can only hope to have a fraction of his talent in your next birth! All hail the Emperor!
7.Andre Agassi-For a different reason now - The world has changed..You may have lost your hair..thats hardly a reason for you to stop believing in age 35 and being the oldest man on tour, Agassi hardly let his age determine his game!..Keep pushin on..keep overcoming thrice as hard when the going gets tough..and overcome it all!..The man who has evolved from being the 'image is everything' youth to the 'endurance,determination,dedication and focus is everything' man..An inspiration for the rest of my life..Here's to the best returner of serve!..

OK!..time to sleep now!..and dream about playing under lights agaisnt Australia chasing an improbable total at Sharjah..facinf shane warne and glenn mcgrath//hmmm or maybe i can dream of lifting my first wimbledon crown!...hmmm..anyways..happy dreaming to you!

!!The wrecking ball is in their court now!!

What do Hamas and Fatah want?? is very obvious palestinian interests are not on their agenda anymore. The whole palestinian state seems to be running around like a headless chicken.Their only reason for their medieval style hatred for everything non islamic was snatched away after Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip(very very smart tactical move). Even weirder is the fact that after Hamas was 'voted' to power they seem to have backtracked from their 'destroy israel' campaign.Atleast this is what is being seen on the exterior.Atleast this was a shock to me.I expected an increase in violence against Israel. Looking back i now realise this is a prudent move by Hamas's top leadership, considering the fact that the US,UN,European Union and Russia have categorically stated that they will suspend vital aid for the war torn territory unless the palestinian authority recogniose israel and comply with all previous agreements. Israel had earlier taken an even bigger step forward by collecting taxes from its citizens and giving it to the palestinians. Israel has suspended this for the last few months. So it is pretty clear that hamas has been forced into a corner hence deciding to recognise israel and comply to the past agreements in whatever way they feel is right. This move has enraged Fatah and hardliners in the Hamas camp including PM Mahmoud Zahar. The recent UN conclave was the centre stage where President Mahmoud Abbas stated the Palestinian authorities move to accept the conditions recieving support from the above said quartet. On the one hand they need aid..lots of it..theres almost no economy left in p[alestine..supporters of Hamas and fatah may feed on hatred towards israel and the us..but for how they have no reason to continue the hatred and violence agaisnt the jews..Palestinians are caught in an internal struggle for power and ideology between Hamas and Fatahwho will have the guts to finally bring closure to this long standing thorn in the middle east..suturing this wound would effectively solve 90% of the middle east crisis..civil war is imminent in Palestine while Israel watches on in glee.They have definitely flung the wrecking ball into palestines court!

Skewed foreign policy

I guess the theme for this year would be skewed foreign policy or rather screwed foreign poilcy. Well atleast thats true for the US. The Bush administeration in all its eagerness to wipe out terror didnt stop to think. Afghanistan,Iraq,Lebanon, now Iran and maybe South Korea. Afghanistan or rather the Taliban had it coming. The military action was justified and did seem like the right thing to do. Of late its is becoming increasingly evident that all the war on terror did to the Afghani's was to give them hope and nothing else. The US grossly underestimated the Taliban ressurgence. NATO was equally unprepared with less committed nations. All support for infrastructural development and for stabilising the fragile economy were ill planned. As of now even hope has withered away and the black veil of oppression is being draped across the faces..the only thing blooming in the harsh lands is poppy..plenty of poppy..The use in its Kabul centric view has done nothing to control this menace which is actively supported by the Taliban and corrupt warlords who are now part of the govt. President Hamid Kharzai no longer seems like the man with the vision.He is more accomodating than ever allowing rampant corruption to take root and flourish. Massive military and economic operations need to be launched in the south of the country.It is very evident that the Taliban sympathisers in pakistan sheltered and supported the group. Take care of this reagion and half the battle is won.
The less said about Iraq the better..its all there in print..hundreds dead everyday..CIVIL WAR..theres nothing the US can do now.But if they pull out it would be a huge morale boosting victory for the 'ENEMY' so basically they cant swallow their any case this wasnt a war worth fighting..saddam hussein even with all his barbaric acts bottled up the grotesque sectarian violence which is spilling onto the streets as we see everyday. Mr.Bush just uncorked this bottle. A war without reason..if that makes sense..then Iraq is just that..
Hezbollah got what they deserved.Not the civilians though.Atleast not most of them. Israel has every right to fles its muscle and they did just that. This war opened the eyes of the world to a new scenario. A chilling fact that Hezbollah isnt just your run of the mill terrorist organisation. They are a proffessional fighting force and the humanitarian arm..ironical but true..seemed much more capable and willing to help restore the shattered lives of the lebanese foreign aid agency has been able to match their effort or intent. Nevertheless Hezbollah is not a legit fighting force nor is it an elected representative of the people. Sadly the Lebanese government exists but has little or no power to control the militia and many in the parliament openly support and are part of the political unit of the force. Hassan Nasrallah is smart,deadly smart.But did he under estimate Israel? The military action was ruthless and probably destroyed most of Hezbollah's infrastructre..Nasrallah may not have anticipated such a strong response..Nevertheless,Israel did not achieve its objectives, instead the Arab world silently hailed it as a victory for hezbollah against the goliath,Israel. Ofcourse its is very evident Hezbollah could not have done it without the two master minds,Syria and Iran. They armed and supported the fighting force on several levels with experts imparting training to the group. What could the US have done in such a situation? Their ploy of letting the Israeli's have a free run at Lebanon didnt quite work and was not well recieved across the world. It was shockingly evident from the delayed response of Sec.State Condoleeza Rice, reaching Beirut almost after 2 weeks of bombing and not coming out with a concrete plan to end the devastation. The European Union didnt do much. Agreed Israel did have every right to do what it did.But it didnt work.Thats the gamble.And yet again US seems to have egg on their face even though they want to make a perfect omlette.Sigh..the problems of being a super power... thats different..stable economy..technologically advanced..educated men and women..nuclear power...radical thats a killer..add in 1/3rds of the oil flow through their hands and you have an issue..a serious issue. The US cannot barge in there without Tel Aviv taking a hit.Sanctions? for what??..developing nuclear power?..not convincing enough a reason..radical islam?..these guys are less likely to have al-qaeda prowling their streets..bottomline..its insecurity..the US is higly insecure..agreed 9/11 is a good enough reason..but is this the way to do it..skewed foreign policy..thats what it is..

Pakistan...why in gods name are the americans still persisting with double talkin musharaf??..taliban now calls it their recruits from the madrasas hatred for the us exists..daily protests against the zionists and americans...and still F-16's make there way to Pak...

China..invisible manipulators..the darfur crisis should be evident enough of the power of the next superpower to be..when theres and immediate need for an international peace keeping force to be present in sudan china threatens to veto it and supports the african corps who are woefully short of manpower ,arms and funds...why??..coz china has economic ties with the sudanese govt and do not want to harm this equation..across africa,chinese goods flood markets..their policy unlike the west is one of economic support..or so they claim..we will do business with you without intruding in your affairs..that seems to be their message...but is it really that simple? china interested in lending a helping hand to the poorest of the poor?..silence from beijing...

In this polarised situation with half the world agaisnt the USA where does India stand? NAM a viable option??..we have suffered equally as Israel yet we go on daily as if nothing happened..we get feeble support..and our government.. no matter who is in power.. is spineless..agreed an 8% growth rate is very important..and a strong economy will solve a lot of problems..but will it prevent another malegaon or mumbai??..some say involvement will fuel the fire..i say non involvement is worse..we are sitting ducks and we dont scream...let me rephrase that as selective involvement...if we are to be a superpower(i wonder if its worth it !!) we need a proactive foreign policy, similar to china's but more vocal..sort important national matters like the naxalite movement out as soon as possible..matters like kashmir have to be dealt with a stong hand..we need to find the courage to say NO MORE and mean it!!..thats when we'll be a superpower..garner more more skewed foreign policy..the buck stops here..

Bottom Feeders Rule

Bottom feeders rule!!
**Disclaimer-this is a highly passionate and biased blog reflecting my state of mind,you are entitled to an opinion,but dont bother telling me :-) !**
Yes i'm writing this because i am one, if it hasn't struck u yet!Companies and organizations survive because of bottom feeders..those guys who have just joined with no experience only a graduate degree or with no prior work experience.All the dirty work gets done by us. So how is it that the guys with so much work and responsibility get so little respect? The bosses and managers sit comfy in their plush offices designating work, jet setting across the world attending cocktail parties and conferences, but how much 'work' or 'thinking' do they do?? I agree managing people is tough but really, is it tougher than solving partial differential equations? I wont go to the extent of saying its all hot air, but I think its time for organizations to change their settings, rewire corporate structure. The latest buzz word in top level management is to grow horizontally which is good! So go read the disclaimer..biased blog! i propose a bottom up organization. Think about it, more power to the bottom feeders, respect us for our number crunching skills.Sounds like communist jingoism?? Well it is to an extent but I will counter that by saying corporates must reduce the over emphasis on top management. So u have a Harvard degree,big deal. Leave your 20th floor penthouse office and come down to the 1st floor office where blood sweat and coffee is spilt on the 'real' tangible work.So there!I've cocked a snook at my bosses and most probably i will lose my job next Monday.I shall find solace in Dilbert!

bada bing!

sasquatch! aaaaaaaaargh!..
i dunno..but i feel like acting really dramatic once in a while! it childish enthusiasm or just plain immaturity, it releases a lot of creative tension.Creative in a wacky,quirky sort of way. Its when you talk about a lot of unrelated things and then come up with a really ingenious link between them. To the 'normal' person it would seem like utter gibberish,but it is not. It is a unique and brilliant way of looking at things, a new angle. Observation skills at another level.It could be the workings of a fragmented mind. Enough work,i guess has been done studying the workings of an average person, but i'm not sure about studies on a fragmented mind. Its not so much an abnormality(even though many people believe so..i have been the victim of this thought many times!!:)).Its more like a gift (no not like leprosy)a gift us people have to live say..batman..or spiddy.."with great power comes great responsibility"..its just like that..we see things that others dont or choose not to..that is the essence of this gift.How did we get this gift??..some of us are born with it..others acquire it through hours of watching cartoon network and playing CS or warcraft for days at end..the latter option is a tricky one..too many hrs of playing and you would end up morose,suicidal and a would be serial killer..just like my pal code named shadow..sigh..he's gone off to study in pennsylvania..may the lord have mercy on his soul..anyways..back on track..such fragmented minds need to identified and understood by the next time you hear one of 'us' say something like.."When in Rome...make sure you'r not on Roaming"..dont give us that exasperated look..see beyond the joke..appreciate the genius..applaud our mental us on a pedestal and honour us..most likely you will never reach our state of weed no booze no pills will lead u to where we are..on a high everyday day after day..tataaa!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Straddling the fence

Lack of commitment oozes out of Indian politics.Non commital politicians and babu's are the bane of this country.No body wants to take the plunge.Let the other guy test the water for crocs.This extends to our foreign policy as well.We have but a feeble voice in international affairs.NAM is where the heart is. Just needs a little more 'alignement' and focussed towards this new emerging concept of pre-emptism which currently is the main reason for much of the unstability seen in the world.Take an active stand( At the recent XIV NAM summit at Havana, the PM emitted all the right sound bytes except take a strong stance against the above said trend.I guess he took the tru meaning of NAM to heart.Straddling the fence is what India seems adept at.On several issues India has tried to raise a voice but it has not been strong enough and has not been backed with a tough action.We let issues slide and then they get worse and we look towards the heavens. A Proactive India is a super India..end of story..