India: We Have Arrived

Indian online commentators agree: India has arrived as a superpower.

The signing of a civilian nuclear agreement with the United States has pushed the stock market and national self-esteem to new heights.

"For a country that was widely regarded as 20th century's great disappointment," says Gurchuran Das in The Times of India, "...the 21st has begun rather nicely."

"We now possess nuclear weapons, have a flourishing economy and possess a self-confident people who have beaten back every attempt -- some led by the US -- to contain us," says the Hindustan Times.

Fueling this confidence is the feeling that India's soft-power cultural strengths have gotten America's respect.

"What is it that drives India and the US closer?" asks the HT. "Perhaps democracy, although a deeper look would also reveal other answers: a shared ethos, an open society, an ability to assimilate diversity, and a keen understanding of what constitutes enlightened self-interest."

Of course, a common mastery of the ultimate in hard power -- nuclear weapons -- does not hurt. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the accord "offered the possibility of decades-old restrictions being set aside to create space for India's emergence as a full member of a new nuclear world order."

India was satisfied with the fine print of the pact, according to the Times of India.

"Reliable sources" told the establishment daily that "14 reactors would be put in the civilian category that would bring them under permanent safeguards while eight would remain in the military category" that will not be subject to inspections. On a key issue, the United States accepted India's refusal to open its fast  breeder reactor to international inspections.

Bush is appreciated in the Indian media as the most pro-Indian president ever. He was "accomodative on the the nuclear issue" says Inder Malhotra, a veteran journalist. But as street demonstrations and Bushism jokes suggest, the American president is not wowing the Indian political world in quite the same way that his predecessor did.

In 2000, Indian parliamentarians almost stampeded to shake Bill Clinton's hand after a speech. By contrast Bush's visit has stirred up a "hornet's nest" of verbal abuse in the Indian Senate. 

"Iraq has something to do with this," says Malhotra. "So have the threats to Iran. Much more damaging, however, have been TV images of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. "

As always, Indian commentators are wary about America's friendly relations with Pakistan, where Bush travels next. But flush with diplomatic success, the editors of the Hindustan Times prefer to dwell on the positive side of India's ties to the United States.

U.S. aid to India,they note, "left a legacy of the Green Revolution that helped us become self-sufficient in agriculture; American assistance helped fight hunger in the Fifties and Sixties, and its largesse transformed our engineering and management colleges."

Now in 2006, they add proudly, "the Americans want to boost their sagging influence in Asia by coming closer to us."

POSTSCRIPT: A Hindustan Times poll captures India's ambivalence about America: 54 percent of Indians called "close ties with the U.S. a must for India to become a great power" while 51 percent said no when asked if India could trust the U.S. in the long term.

By Jefferson Morley |  March 2, 2006; 9:50 AM ET  | Category:  Asia
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India's arrival on the world stage has been in the making for 50 years. Unlike other allies, the relationship between the U.S and India runs stronger than just through government officials. The indian-american community, cultural connections, and a tolerant attitude all have contributed to this relationship.

Posted by: James Bhindi | March 2, 2006 11:02 AM

I find this self-congratulatory euphoria tad premature. India has indeed made tremendous progress of late, but what remains to be done is Himalayan in magnitude. I fear that India might fall into the trap of smug satisfaction again. India has seen false dawns before.

India is headed in the right direction but in terms of catching upto developed western nations it is in the first mile of marathon. Its no time to look back and regale over that first mile. Focus should squarely be on the journey that lies ahead: privatisation, infrastructure development and lifting impoverished masses.

Just a caution that the phychology of 'having arrived' can be self-defeating. Not to put a Darwinian spin but as Andy Grove says 'only the paranoid survive'.

Posted by: John Musacha | March 2, 2006 11:21 AM

Its been in the making for the last 20 years, but todays geo-political realities have changed India's status quickly. India does have a long way to go in terms of human development and infrastructure but taking along a billion people in a noisy democracy is slow but sure going. I bet the Indians and for that matter other responsible states would not want to have it any other way.

The post colonial hang ups that the preceeding generation had has been replaced with selfconfidence and a maturity. Most Indians recognize that things have just started but with the right attitude and good governance India's standing in the comity of nations will only surge ahead. With a shared world view the United States and India can only make this world a better place.

Posted by: Menon | March 2, 2006 12:12 PM

It is still not clear and it may take some time for facts to come out but India has in all likelihood given away much more than meets the eye without even a guarantee that this deal will become reality.

Starting non-negotiable point for India should have been acceptance as 'a nuclear weapons state' unequivocally by US. India should have insisted that India must have same rights as all the other nuclear weapons states when it came to special protocol to be negotiated with IAEA. That is something that Manmohan Singh should have insisted on before agreeing to July, 2005 deal. India should have also insisted that India should be publicly separated from Pakistan and China in the sense that those countries are getting away with unlimited proliferation while still being equated with non-proliferating India.

As it is, US took upon itself to define what must India do before US will supply civilian nuclear reactors to India. And that forced India to compromise on ability to move nuclear facilities from civilian to military category that other five are permitted to do.

Posted by: suresh sheth | March 2, 2006 12:19 PM

All this week Charlie Rose has been interviewing prominent Indians and the message which comes across is that India cannot afford to be complacent.

Also, the concept of "having arrived" is more like we have been invited to enter an exclusive marathon race. Now, comes the hard part...

Posted by: vivek | March 2, 2006 12:38 PM

I believe the self confidence among the young generations has grown and it is only going to be better. Hence the country is definitely in a path to success. But it depends how the leaders take it forward and fight terrorism as well that comes across the border.

Posted by: Hemant | March 2, 2006 12:54 PM

This in itself is not enough. India needs to be accorded the Same rights and privileges of the Other 5 Nuclear Weapon States as per the Non Proliferation Treaty. Just the fact that India's First Nuclear Test was 5 years after The NPT was initiated should not prevent the largest Democracy in the world be treated differently. This historic injustice will eventually need to be corrected. The sooner this is done the better for everyone concerned. After that everybody needs to disarm like Indians have said all along.

Posted by: Sudhir | March 2, 2006 01:12 PM

Economists beleive that it takes approx 20 years for a nation to reap first fruits of liberalisation of economy.

India opened up its economy in 1991. Yes India has definitely arrived on the world stage, but this is just the starting point.

It will take another decade of strong economic growth to propel India in the big league.

Posted by: Vinayak S Anawalikar | March 2, 2006 01:13 PM

I agree - we tend to proclaim victory even before we have started the race. I remember Yashwant Sinha using every public opp to say '21st century is the cent of Asia', and there are others who repeat 'India will be a superpower soon'. I think we should focus on becoming a world leader, partner with key countries like US et etc and success will naturally come. Running after a nebulous concept called 'superpower' betrays a childish mindset.

That was my 2 cents. Now back to reading 'Emergence of a superpower'

Posted by: nuke_in_a_bottle | March 2, 2006 01:26 PM

First thing is that india has not arrived ...but it is arriving. We have very less share in world export, we have poor infrastructure and very less India has not arrived.
But believe in me my friends... India ie We will surely dominate next century. We will arrive with bang.. Whether US help us or not in becoming world power we will become world power one day. In fact We are already becoming world power so america is helping us to become one.
From the posts everybody may have noticed that most of indians dont agree with arival of india but nearly all agree that we are on path to it.
So as a representative of youth in India, take my word..we are coming.

Posted by: subhash | March 2, 2006 01:26 PM

suresh: "India should have also insisted that India should be publicly separated from Pakistan and China in the sense that those countries are getting away with unlimited proliferation while still being equated with non-proliferating India."

The Chinese are UNSC permanent members. And they have been very active in non-proliferation lately and are also playing an international role in controlling North Korea. India is not at all viewed on the same level as the Chinese in terms of being a nuclear power. India's proximity to the Middle East makes India's situation potentially very dangerous for the region, it incites countries like Iran to speed up their development.

Also, India's paranoia of China is unnecessary, the Chinese have not threatened India since 1962. And that was a completely different era from today. Americans have better relationship with Pakistan than the Chinese. Weapons used by the Pakistanis during wars against India are American-made.

Posted by: popeye | March 2, 2006 01:43 PM

Interesting article by Fareed Zakaria on his website ( - titled "India Rising"...

Posted by: vivek | March 2, 2006 01:49 PM

subhash: "But believe in me my friends... India ie We will surely dominate next century."

Is "next century" 2100? No one can predict that far. If you are refering to this century, then you couldn't be more wrong.

People in China don't even believe the Chinese have arrived as a superpower (they predict at least 2050), yet the Indians seem very boastful already.

Hype about China is mostly generated by Westerners; whereas hype over India is mostly generated by Indians themselves.

Posted by: popeye | March 2, 2006 01:53 PM

"While the progress made in India is laudable, for a huge fraction of the population, the glass must be viewed as "half-empty." The benefits of SITS sector in India have been constrained to educated elite and to urban areas. On the contrary, with its focus on manufacturing, China has achieved a growth pattern that is more robust and balanced than that of India, and has created employment opportunities to absorb large agricultural workforce in industrial sector.

Unless the Central and State governments in India vigorously work to improve the basic infrastructure related to power, water, communication, and transportation, the manufacturing sector will not grow at a rapid clip. Yet, as China's experience suggests, for a relatively poor nation with a burgeoning population, rapid growth in manufacturing is the stairway out of the basement of poverty. India's development policies do not determinedly point in this direction at the moment.

It is important, however, to recognise that India's choice of placing political freedom ahead of economic liberalisation puts a cap on the pace of development. Democracy, poverty, and large agriculture-based voter base have caused Indian governments to massively subsidise agricultural sectors at the expense of industrialisation. Indian policy-makers have to balance between long-term growth needs and short-term social benefits - China is less constrained in this regard. China's emphasis on economic freedom before political freedom has served it well in some areas, especially in the context of delivering sustained and methodical growth. Is such a trade-off between political freedom and economic development worthwhile for developing countries? This is a question with no easy answer.

Without a well-articulated strategy for balanced economic development, India is destined to fall farther behind China even as it celebrates its shining success in the SITS sector. India's growth has been sporadic and opportunistic, with no strong central guiding policy. Indian leaders need the vision for an economic agenda that recognises democracy, sustainability, and widespread socio-economic development. There is something useful to be learned by other developing nations from the experiences of China and India."

Volume 22 - Issue 06, Mar. 12 - 25, 200

Posted by: popeye | March 2, 2006 02:09 PM

India has achieved wonders against all odds and has the capacity to do more and better. But the largest stumbling block is the development of a strong infrastructure and banishing poverty. Only then will India have truly have arrived!

Posted by: Myna | March 2, 2006 02:28 PM

I used to work in a company, where the company grew every month. Not very fast, but atleast slowly. It had around 10 sales people and never did all of them perform well at the same time. Each person was lucky once in a year. So every month, on an average, there was a sales person who succeeded. The company did not mind having 9 loosers in a month. All they knew was that some one will succeed at some time in a year.

India is in such a position now. Previously we had hardly 4 companies with name recognition. So it was very easy for all 4 of them to fail. Also they were complacent. India was like that. We had 3 major movie heroes, one female play back singer, one language, 2 movie channels etc. People were there fore complacent.

Now India does not need external competition to do better. There is so much competition inside that they are always trying to do better. It like Driving a car, it is so difficult to do it in India. Any one who comes out of India will find Driving so easy. Same is the case of education, marketing, bureaucracy etc. It is so tough, because of competition.

But this toughness is what makes people prepared for the external world. Ofcourse, we have to be more Polished and Pseudo to match the world society, but that cannot happen. People in India, Pakistan and those areas are very emotional. They will easily forget and forgive.

The point I am trying to make is that, it is not necessary for India to go the route China has gone, or which any other country has gone. It is better to go its own route, but making sure that its population is enlightened and provide them with basic opportunities like Education, Health and Infrastructure.

Rest they will do, one person at a time. It is all a numbers game. The more the people, the more the fun.

Posted by: Srikanth Nandyala | March 2, 2006 02:59 PM

Anyone who has been to China and India knows that there is more internal competition in China than India.

Posted by: popeye | March 2, 2006 03:04 PM

We Indians are notorious for our low say/do ratios!

Posted by: Gaurav | March 2, 2006 03:13 PM

The West has always been fascinated by by the idea of the riches of the Orient, and the "opportunities" its vast population provided as a market. The problem with that idea is that this vast population didn't have the money to buy Western or Eastern products. For India, China, or any country, the problem is internal development. The test for full development has nothing to do with being a "World Power". The test for development is a high standard of living, health care, jobs, and the prospect that people can raise their familes in peace and safety. When you have reached those goals, you are developed.
How do you get there? Well, I can only speak about the American experience. Our first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton advocated high tariffs against "developed" states so that local industries could compete and not be swamped by their goods. It worked! These "American" multinational corporations swarming into you countries gained their strength behind trade barriers. Now, they, along with other "developed" countries, advocating "free trade", are use your cheap labor to increase their profits. If your labor is cheap and poor, you are not developed.
I would recommend throwing all the foreign companies, East or West out, and take charge of your own development. True independence comes from economic independence.

Posted by: P. J. Casey | March 2, 2006 03:38 PM

It can be a never ending discussion about "Having arrived" vs "Arriving" vs "Are we there yet". The very fact that such a discussion is taking place in Indias context is commendable.

Keeping Indias track record in mind over the last 60 years there is no reason to believe that India would all of a sudden falter.

Nations develop and become powerful if they focus on stable governance, good infrastructure, education , healthcare and strong military force. Fortunately for India it's leaders over the last six decades have been doing that, slow maybe but the seeds have been sown.

Posted by: RK | March 2, 2006 03:47 PM

I think PJ Casey is making things too complicated, Asia doesn't necessarily need isolationism. I believe true independence comes from educating your people. China is doing well on this front, education system in China has been vastly improved. For example, in Shanghai (a city of 15 million), 50% of high school students attend college. While the number in other parts of China is much much lower, secondary education has reached nearly 90%. Literacy rate for Chinese men is well past 90%, and female literacy is rapidly catching up. This is a language that is notoriously hard to read and write in (Chinese hieroglyphic characters).

I am not familiar with India's approach on public education, could someone enlighten me?

Posted by: MichaelL | March 2, 2006 03:50 PM


India has pretty good basic eduction system. The primary schools are both public and private. The private schools are populor. India's institutions of higher eduction are world class. One state Keral even boasts of 99% literacy. These are but stats..

The real education is not just people being able to read/write, but to be aware of their rights. To know the protections offered by the constitution. To be aware of the democratic process. This takes years to be inculcated in to the minds of the people. There are democratic institutions at the atomic level called the Panchyats which help in fuctioning of every village. indians get to participate in this at a very early and thus get introduced to democtaic process at an early age. Considering this, India is far ahead of China in terms of REAL education.

Posted by: PV Rao | March 2, 2006 04:03 PM

Yes. We need to calm down guys and develop a healthy paranoia and place more emphasis on walking the talk. Despite being the second largest economy in the world a Japanese I met told me 'it's a poor country, not like US'. I think the cultural diff is clearly evident there.

What is the morale of the story?- Instead of climbing on a roof top and proclaiming our arrival or imminent arival or possible arrival we should learn to focus and preserve the energy. Remember, this is a marathon.

I recommend the place/text/date of the first public display of our arrival as follows.
Venue - Red Fort
Date - Jan 26, 2099
Address by the President - "Dear countrymen, deshvasiyon, deshdrohiyon, friends, men, woman and the rest. I am pleased to announce that we have clocked a growth rate of 9.5% per annum over the last century thereby making us the largest economy. Thank you for all your hardwork. The law of numbers have started to come into effect, but the projected growth rate for the next century is 5.5%. Now haul your ass back to work"

Posted by: twisted_mutation | March 2, 2006 04:25 PM

This hypocrisy about the NPT must stop now. Its unimaginable that only 5 countries (countries responsible for a tremendoes amount of carnage in the last century and this) are somehow the moral custodians of nuclear power. This is laughable and the our sycophantic media accepts it as an unquestionable premise and regurgitates the same nonsense over and over again !
If nuclear power was really the answer to all our energy problems, how come the United States hasnt wholeheartedly accepted it ? Does Chernobyl and Three Mile Island ringa bell ??

Posted by: S Reddy | March 2, 2006 05:50 PM

MichaelL: I suppose you're some kind of Chinese diaspora nationalist. That's great that you're so willing to share your concerns about the Indian economy and its society.

But if I were you I'd be spending a lot more time worrying about Chinese non-performing loans than are above 100% of GDP, the growing rich-poor coastal-interior divide, its brutal human rights record in Tibet/Xinxiang, the corruption of the Communist Party, the the low productivity of Chinese capital relative to India and all the damn diseases the Chinese keep spreading around the world because they eat the most random stuff.

There - that's enough for you to go back home, chow on some fried dog tongue, wash it down with some cockroach juice and think for a bit.

Posted by: Chicago | March 2, 2006 06:14 PM

The nuclear agreement betweeen US-India is far bigger than the nuclear aspects. It is a whole new paradigm for the 21st Centuary. It is a complete break out from the cold-war mindset when US and India mistrusted each other. Both have gone through a radical change in their respective foreign policies. What is surprising is that it comes from this President and on the other side from the old Indian congress party - very unlikey bed fellows! The most pro-India Presidents Carter and Clinton could not get the US State Dept. budged from the old mindset. But Bush and Rice have completely overhauled the State Dept. Look what Rice just did - reduce diplomatic force in Europe and increase it in India and China.
So this far bigger than the nuclear agreement!

Posted by: Jaque | March 2, 2006 06:15 PM

I think India's social problems could hinder its future growth. The rate at which the Muslim population is growing will make it a majority in another 50 years. What will happen to India next??? Sharia Law, persecution of women, terrorim, civil war etc. etc.????

Posted by: Shawn | March 2, 2006 06:19 PM

Do you all of you people honestly think that Islamic Pakistan (where majority of the Paki armed forces have already been Talibanized and 70% support Osama Bin Laden) will utilized its nuclear weapons to teach Infidel India a lesson. Once the nukes start dropping, I think the investors will run. Islamic Law states that it is every Muslim's duty to re-conquer territories that were at one time under Islam. Once Muslims gain majority, then the Hindus be doing marathons naked in the streets of Delhi.

Posted by: Shawn | March 2, 2006 06:29 PM

popeye, India already uses each dollar of foreign investment more than twice as efficiently as China does. Sure, China has 6 times India's foreign direct investment in nominal terms, but it's being injected from a much narrower pool of investors. India's systems are far more transparent than China's are, and are thus gaining on China at a faster rate. Now that the dual-use tech transfer barriers are down, India will rapidly accelerate in catching up with China.

Posted by: sanman | March 2, 2006 08:05 PM

8% growth, 10% growth is good, but India will be developed only when each citizen regardless of religion , gender or any other qualification is happy. The Happiness Index to me is the true measure of a society's development. Economic necessities such as drinking water, electricity, a good home, a decent standard of living help, but ultimately, human beings find happiness when they feel good about themselves, their place in society, and their country's place in the world. India is on the right track on the economic aspect although we have miles and miles to go. I hope we also keep in mind the social development aspect. America is a very rich society, but I'm not sure it's a society with too many truly happy people.

China has followed its own model suitable to its society which values stability over freedom. As long as their citizens are happy with the direction their country is going in, that's all that really matters.

Let's not compare two countries to put down one or the other. What matters ultimately is for the human race to be happy. That's the goal of human civilization.

Posted by: | March 2, 2006 08:39 PM

Chicago wrote: "But if I were you I'd be spending a lot more time worrying about Chinese non-performing loans than are above 100% of GDP, the growing rich-poor coastal-interior divide. There - that's enough for you to go back home, chow on some fried dog tongue, wash it down with some cockroach juice and think for a bit."

Chicago, bitter?

Rich-poor divide in China is not because the poor are getting poorer, but because the rich with their greater human capital are becoming richer (through better education and skills etc). It is an issue that affects all developing societies. The good thing is that the rich-poor divide in China is rapidly moving west. Now, how is the rich-poor divide in India doing? What do you have to say to India's 45% female illiteracy rate? and the 46% under-5 children malnutrition rate (nearly 4 times higher than China's malnutrition rate)?

Since you want to play ugly, let's both STFU, wait 20 more years, and then judge who is more successful.

Posted by: MichaelL | March 2, 2006 09:13 PM

India will have "arrived" when it stops being a scab economy on the US, one that drains jobs and resources from the US based on currency valuations and internal poverty.

US polices, such as the H1/L1 program, and the forign investment tax breaks that are hostile to American workers should end immidiately if India has "arrived".

The fact is nuclear weapons are a huge pissing waste of money and resources, and are nothing to be envied, and only fools think otherwise. That's a lesson that the other nuclear powers learned during the cold war, and it would demonstrate wisdom for India to sign the associated treaties, and curtail development of thse horrific weapons.

Culturaly, the main thing that has arrived is the vast and unstoppable hubris of Indian nationalist egos, which seem to have more to do with denigrating everyone else, but especially US citizens.

When trade between the US and India reaches some sort of parity, instead of being a national embaressment for both countries, perhaps then India can say it's "arrived". Till then it'd be much more realistic to just say that perhaps the train station is in sight on the horizon.

Posted by: Gentry | March 2, 2006 09:20 PM

Check this website out!
By far the best coverage of the President's visit i have seen in our media.

Posted by: Krishnakumar | March 2, 2006 10:08 PM

Whether India has arrived or will be arriving is a matter of perspective. In some cases India arrived a long time back and US recognized it(eg IT). In some it will take another 50 yrs before India can arrive (eg social disparities). What is significant at this point of time is the political nature of the agreement. What needs to be seen is what is the package that US offers Pakistan. US has had a pro-Pak approach to the subcontinent while at the same time declaring China as the most favoured nation. Sanctions after the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan were imposed at the same time while they were removed earlier from Pakistan, following which a fleet of F-16 was delivered to Pak in the following months. I would hold my opinion on the whole issue till another month.

As for the use of nuclear arms by any nation in the world is matter of last resort in any confrontation. Fire only gives rise to fire. All the nations are aware of this. No wonder there were no nucs used after the II World War till date. Piling them up or showing nuclear strength is now only a strategy of political importance.

Posted by: Shvetank | March 2, 2006 10:56 PM


I understand your concerns about jobs being exported to India. I totally understand it. But one thing I have noticed is that while people like you whine, moan and complain about the jobs going to India and Indians draining your economy, never once have I heard you guys appreciating the fact that a tremendous number of companies in SV are started by Indians. That is a point that you guys conveniently sweep under the carpet. Again this is not a discussion thread related to outsourcing, so I don't want to dwell on that here.

The truth however is that things are going to be remain the way it is (i.e the way you dislike). There is nothing you or me can do about it.

PS - just to bring to your attention - before the Britts colonized India it contributed a whopping 23% of worlds GDP. So doing well as a society is not new for us, though it had been a while.

Posted by: fools_paradise | March 3, 2006 12:30 AM

whoever said happiness index, is the most important thing is a moron> Nigerians are the happiest people in the world and their nation is a starving filthy basket case. Yes Indians can become the number one nation. Only if they have a positivie attitude, self-confidence and work their skinny brown asses off, So c'mon my Indian brothers let us do, this is our century!!

Posted by: adnan | March 3, 2006 10:55 AM

Yeah, the happiness index that so many Indians talk about is moronic.

No East Asian peoples believe in the happiness index, and that is why they are all surpassing India.

Posted by: toshiro | March 3, 2006 11:00 AM

If you think things can't change, things won't change. We are beginning to see a reaction to "Free Trade" in America. Jobs and industries going overseas and the Middle Class life style Americans have enjoyed is threatened. The next American trend is likely to be bilateral trade, protectionism, and dumping the WTO. If it isn't the next American trend, you may see a different America.
America has always had a Middle Class. The American revolution was lead by the middle class. It was, in effect, a middle class revolution. Because Americans view themselves as middle class, even if they hold blue collar jobs, socialist type revolutions or Social Democratic political parties have had difficulty taking root here. However, if "Free Trade" makes the middle class into the lower class and they clearly understand they have been reduce to the lower class, You are going to see an explosion. The view from the bottom is not as good as the view from the Middle.
While it is a bit of an exaggeration, it has been said that Franklin Roosevelt saved Capitalism with a dash of Socialism. However, if capitalism wishes to survive in the U.S., it had better preserve the Middle Class.

Posted by: P. J. Casey | March 3, 2006 01:52 PM

Hey Toshiro:
Nobody wants you Japs in India. Japanese tried to pass thirdrated crap to Indians and got relegated to the bottom. The Koreans who did understand the market realized that Indians will only settle for the best and introduced their latest stuff in the Indian market.

Now the Koreans are the leaders in consumer electronics and white goods in India. No one in India wants over rated, over priced, end of life crappy Japanese product.

Posted by: Indian in Yankeeland | March 3, 2006 02:29 PM

Im an Indian Citizen who does not want India to be a "Superpower" or a "Dominant force" .Those are words associated with America and which has contributed to rampant anti-americanism..I simply want it to be a developed nation with a good quality of life for all Indian citizens.I welcome changing relations with United states.It is essential.India can, will and has been pursuing independent foreign policy.We are not like the Brits.India should stay out of world affairs and participate only when required and in itz interests.The focus should be internal on developing the infrastructure, strengthening the social fabric, better income distribution and so on.Im in favor of better relations with united states.But would like India to continue current relations with China,Russia and Arab nations and not become too dependent on America.

Posted by: SK | March 3, 2006 03:18 PM

India is being played in a great power game between the United States and China. The American political elite realises that the Twentieth Century is over and that their time in the sun as the worlds sole superpower is nearly over, Iraq & America's greater middle-east project are also related to this realisation. By building India's capability they are using it as a wedge to undercut China's ability to project power in the region, by doing this America prolongs it's life expectancy as a superpower for just a bit longer. Pakistan is the great loser in all this, as now India and India alone will have access to technology far in advance of anything Pakistan will conceivably have access to, this means that America has shown its hand by deliberately tipping the balance of power in India's favour. It proves as if prove were needed that Musharraf is a US ally by necessity rather than choice, and that the US doesn't expect Musharraf's power to last.
I would expect China to respond to this move by offering to deepen co-operation with Pakistan on it's conventional and nuclear military capabilities to mitigate any long term damage to it's influence in the region due to the US-India nuclear marriage. I doubt though that China's moves toward Pakistan will be as overt and widely publicised as the US-India fanfare of today.

Posted by: Joseph Kewfi | March 3, 2006 04:34 PM

Long live US-India relations.

Posted by: Anand | March 3, 2006 07:21 PM

The nuclear deal enables India to build power plants. It gives India a newer version of what it already has. So what is the big deal about this? How will a power plant help project power for India? I think this is all hype.

Posted by: Aamir Ali | March 3, 2006 08:37 PM

Hi all,

for shawn who wrote: "Islamic Law states that it is every Muslim's duty to re-conquer territories that were at one time under Islam."

although, i agree that communal injustices will be a problem for india in the future as resources will not be distributed equally, i think that you should refrain from commenting on what Islamic law does and does not say. opinions are fine, but this is not one, it is an errant attempt at fact. btw, this is not a part of Islamic Law and never has been.

I have two comments. the first is about this notion that India is a "non-proliferator" of weapons. certainly, they have been shown to not give nuclear information or material from other countries. but where did they get some of their information from? undoubtedly, they got it from somewhere else (especially the material received from canada in the 70's). so, they have received (purchased) sensitive nuclear information and material from others. as an analogy, tell me if a person who purchases drugs or counterfeit materials is punished? obviously, they are. they're not giving the material out, but they are purchasing it. india, israel and pakistan are all guilty of that as non-signatories to the NPT. the concomitant hypocrisy of india in voting against the IAEA is the same. the rise of india as a global power is indirectly proportional to its' fall as a moral power.

Posted by: reza | March 6, 2006 05:30 PM

Reza: I agree, what Islamic Law officialy states is outside of the scope of this discussion. However no one doubts for an iota of a second that fundamental Muslims are a violent bunch and follow the doctrine of spreading religion "by the sword."

The reason the US media picked up on India's "docile" Mulsims is because a few miles away in Pakistan, Afghanistan, & Iraq women, teenaged boys, and grown men are blowing each other up because they spell their names Shiite versus Sunni.

Places with significant Hindu influence (or for that matter any regions with a mix of religions) mixed with Muslim populations, such as India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia are relatively peaceful and prospering. It is only a matter of time until those populations embraces the real fountain of peace: diversity, plurality, and respect.

Posted by: pravasi | April 10, 2006 03:54 PM

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