All entries for Friday 07 October 2005

October 07, 2005

Asia Times Letters

The position of leftist political parties in India over the country's recent vote at the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] to report Iran to the UN Security Council displays flagrant lack of credibility (Tehran builds bridges with India's left, Oct 6). For one, the cadres were silent in the early '90s when V P Singh's government went back on its word so blatantly and denied Iran the supply of a nuclear reactor. They were supporting the government even then – so why this sudden volte-face? Moreover, as Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran pointed out, it was India that pushed for a particular clause in the resolution that left open the path of further dialogues between the European-3 and Tehran. Therefore, India was instrumental in providing leeway to Iran – how could it go back on a resolution it had helped draft? Finally, the leftists forget that by its own independent analysis, Iran does need to do more to comply with the standards of the IAEA. So do the Marxists prefer nuclear proliferation to following a moribund foreign policy? Moreover, the Iran they support – just like their other favorite, China – is not exactly an exemplification of a free society where human rights are respected. Therefore, all that the cadres have based this on is anti-Americanism, pure and simple.

Also, Frank's preposterous statements [letter, Oct 6] know no bounds in his most recent – as with his earlier – letters. Who said India doesn't like Iranian oil? There is a strong consensus within the South Bloc to prefer renewable energy sources over perishable ones, but the fact remains that India still imports 70% of its oil needs. Moreover, the very fact that Indians are never happy with their leadership is the beauty of democracy – you don't see people under tyranny complain because they will vanish and/or they don't have a choice but to live with it. Indians can go out to the polling booth and do something about it. Finally – but by no means lastly – if Indians don't know how to speak English, why do all the BPO [business process outsourcing] firms prefer India vis-a-vis other countries? Even in the most remote village, you will probably be able to find an English speaker. Before he returns to the "slave mentality" again, note that (1) Indians generally speak three languages, local, Hindi and English; and (2) China itself is trying to catch up in English proficiency.

On an unrelated subject, look what Time brought out on its front page (courtesy- Rediff)-


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