Black and White Program

Voices from India

May 23rd, 2008 by Anita Choudhary

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In July of 2005, there was a highly successful summit meeting involving Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and United States President George W. Bush. According to Indian Embassy sources, it signaled a significant level of transformation in India-U.S. relations wherein the establishment of a global partnership was the focal point. Both Prime Minister Singh and President Bush were hopeful of a commitment to the values of freedom as well as the rule of law. Interestingly enough, within the next year, the average Indian citizen’s opinion of the United States had fallen significantly.

As per the opinion of our people, it is felt there are certain issues and sentiments, in which the United States is involved, where it needs to step back, while continuing to be a global leader in others.

India appreciates that the American government permits Indian personnel to work in the United States in all industries, government offices, and specially the cutting edge industries and technologies. This creates breakthroughs in number of areas benefiting the American economy as well as the American leadership in the world. The Intel team had two Indians working in the core team for the development of the Pentium range of processors and Indians on the team at NASA are a great example of its openness in appreciating the mental acumen of the Indians.

But at the same time, it is felt that the United States spends too much time, money and energy in trying to be the Godfather of the world– often found to be meddling in affairs they have no business in, either directly or indirectly. There is a great concern and perception over the fact that the United States plays a major role in sabotaging technological growth and self-sufficiency in developing nations, especially if they are defense related initiatives.

Another area to look at is U.S. consumption of natural resources; it has gotten out of control. Because of the ‘power’ that results from having big money, the United States feels that it can use, or abuse, this power to play the role of international monitor, and criticize nations who are dependent on these same energy sources.

Even from an environmental standpoint, The U.S. is the largest environmental polluter in the world and has high consumption levels of oil and power. People in India feel that very little is being done by the U.S. to reduce this rampant consumption and take better care of the global environment. Mostly it is busy shifting the blame for their own abuse of natural resources and polluting the environment, on to other countries.

If every country tried its level best to look for green fuels and reduce pollution, it would be beneficial to the whole world. India is addressing the issue of global warming by taking action to reduce pollution from emissions, and to promote systems that will ensure clean, pure air.

Our citizens deplore our meager energy sources. The fact that India has to spend precious resources on the manufacture of nuclear weapons because the United States has not been able to tame the nations in the neighborhood, who have or are developing them is equally as deplorable. Where world peace and safety are the issue, we are hopeful that the United States does not conduct a similar campaign in Iran as they did in Iraq. We are more worried about Pakistan than Iran, and we feel that the U.S. should realize that this is a bigger concern to our country. The issue is that our natural resources should be benefiting the public, e.g. by civilian use of nuclear energy– not nuclear weaponry.

Even projects like Dhabol power get sabotaged at the political level. U.S. company Enron took on the responsibility of constructing the largest thermal power Dhabol project but the company got dissolved due to illegal financial manipulations which backfired and India lost both financially and technologically. We feel it is not in the interest of U.S. to have India self sufficient in energy resources and so it is putting all those conditions for non-support of the Civilian nuclear projects.

One incident of terrorism in the U.S. will lead them to sanction billions of dollars to track the culprits, and in turn support a nation which causes daily acts of terrorism in neighboring nations.

Additionally, where attitudes and opinions of the United States are concerned, they need to truly focus on their own issues regarding human rights of United States citizens and their environment. We find irony in the fact that the United States continues to point fingers and maintains an “I do no wrong” attitude, when they are equally guilty about infringing upon the human rights of and in other nations. It is ironic that the United States would criticize the human rights issues of other nations when they have such a deplorable record of dealing with the people of Iraq and Vietnam.

In spite of its stand and role on the above, Indians do appreciate the warmth in nature of American individuals that they meet when they come here as tourists and on business. The interest that they have shown in Indian culture shows a humane side of the Americans. Indians feel that organizations like the U.S. National Geographic are a great contribution to the world, developing oneness of Earth.

But we do feel the United States truly can become a true global caretaker, if it could lead the way in the following areas:

• Promoting higher education among their own youth, which only could stem their own shortage of blue collar workers.
• Encouraging the people of the world to come together and strengthen global relationships.
• Reducing war effort and not being an aggressor with other people of the world.
• During times of crises such as natural disasters, food shortages/famine, medical needs, and earthquakes, the United States needs to think of the people and their tragic needs that result from these conditions, irrespective of their political opinion and relationship with that nation and its ideologies.

This is not to paint the United States in negative, but to make it see the heart in its place and function from it. Transforming its instincts and consciousness to spiritual instincts, which many of its people feel, when they come to India.

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