February 08, 2005

War Fair

The Telegraph, 08.02.2005

How many people died in Iraq? At the most a few hundreds of thousands. And Vietnam? Again, the figure would not exceed half a million. But we are here speaking about 260 million Indians and “Rational behaviour” (Feb 4) shows that Ashok Mitra is completely insensitive to their lives. And all because the so-called Indian “support” for President George W. Bush violates some of the dubious paradigms set up by the frustrated left wing circles of the world, even at the expense of the interests of India.

All countries which initially opposed the war in Iraq, including France, Russia and Germany, are now falling over each other to grab contracts in Iraq’s reconstruction. Mitra is quick to see this fact and criticize it. However, what he fails to see is that it is purely self-interest that drives global politics today. And so it should in the case of a relatively poor country like India. If we can get some of our people employed in the companies supplying Iraq’s economy, then why not? At least it will help some Indians lead a better life.

Mitra also fails to see the benefits India can reap from the continuing war on terror. If America continues to push for regime change in various countries all over the world, it would naturally make it the US a prime target for terrorism. This would give Indians a respite from the menace. As Indians, we should look out for ways to preserve the lives of other fellow Indians. Why shouldn’t we then support the US drive against terror?

Mitra’s rant against outsourcing has become repetitive, but that doesn’t alter the fallacy of his statements. Remember, India’s IT dream began with outsourcing, and although Indian companies are venturing into software development, outsourcing still employs tens of thousands of people in India. Why should they be thrown into poverty and misery because some of us hold a grouse against the West, particularly the US?

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