Kishore Mahbubani is a former top diplomat who served as the head of Singaporean mission at the United Nations. He was born in Singapore in 1948 to Hindu Sindhi parents who migrated from Pakistan to India in 1947, and then to Singapore in 1948. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore. In 2019, Mahbubani was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a frequent guest on CNN Global Public Square
hosted by Fareed Zakaria. Here's an excerpt from Mahbubani's "Has China Won?":
"One hard truth that Indians have to contend with is that America has also had difficulty treating India with respect.....Many Americans, like many of their fellow Westerners, have a higher degree of respect for Chinese civilization than they do of Indian civilization. Many Americans will deny it because it is an uncomfortable truth. They will proclaim loudly that they respect India as much as they respect China. But you cannot feign respect: it is best demonstrated not through words but in deeds. Every country in the world demonstrates its respect for another country by the amount of time and attention it gives to that country, and America has devoted far more time and attention to China than it has to India".
More recently, US President Donald Trump mocked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
about Indian contribution to Afghanistan. Trump said he got along very well with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the Indian leader was "constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan". "That's like five hours of what we spend... And we are supposed to say, 'oh, thank you for the library'. I don't know who is using it in Afghanistan," Trump said.
Indians were justifiably very proud of their great scientific achievement when the India Space Agency ISRO successfully launched the nation's Mars Mission back in 2013. The New York Times, America's leading newspaper, mocked India with a cartoon depicting the country as a dhoti-wearing farmer with his cow knocking on the door of the Elite Space Club.
In an article titled "Paper Elephant
", the Economist magazine talked about how India has ramped up its military spending and emerged as the world's largest arms importer. "Its military doctrine envisages fighting simultaneous land wars against Pakistan and China while retaining dominance in the Indian Ocean", the article said. It summed up the situation as follows: "India spends a fortune on defense and gets poor value for money".
After the India-Pakistan aerial combat over Kashmir, New York Times
published a story from its South Asia correspondent headlined: "After India Loses Dogfight
to Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its Military". Here are some excerpts of the report:
"Its (India's) loss of a plane last week to a country (Pakistan) whose military is about half the size and receives a quarter (a sixth according to SIPRI) of the funding is telling. ...India’s armed forces are in alarming shape....It was an inauspicious moment for a military the United States is banking on to help keep an expanding China in check".
CNN GPS host Fareed Zakaria is known to be among the loudest cheerleaders for India and a sharp critic of Pakistan
. While he still refuses to say anything that could even remotely be considered positive about Pakistan, it seems that he is souring on his native India
Speaking with Indian journalist Shekhar Gupta on The Print YouTube
channel, Fareed Zakaria called the Indian state an “inefficient state”.“Indian government functions very poorly, even in comparison to other developing countries. Coronavirus has highlighted that reality, " he added. He did not clearly speak about the lynchings of Indian Muslims
by people affiliated with the ruling BJP and the brutality of Indian military against Kashmiri Muslims
, but he did ask: “What I wonder about (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is, is he really bringing all of India along with him? He noted sadly:”India seems like roadkill for China".
Has New Delhi's abject failure in containing the coronavirus pandemic finally done what Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's extreme brutality and open hatred against Zakaria's fellow Indian Muslims could not do? Has he really had it with Hindu Nationalist government? While he has not used his perch on CNN to do it, it appears that he has started expressing his disapproval of the performance on other platforms.
Here are a few of the key points Fareed Zakaria made
while speaking with Shekhar Gupta:
1. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Indian government, and by that I mean the Delhi government, has handled this crisis (COVID19
) very poorly.
2. Indian government functions very poorly, even in comparison to other developing countries. Coronavirus has highlighted that reality.
3. In a way, India seems like roadkill for China’s obsession with absolute control over their borders. I do think there is an opportunity here for diplomacy. I don’t think India needs to be confrontational about it (the LAC issue), but of course it should push back.
4. It is now a bipolar world. US and China are way ahead of the rest of the world. For the long term, India needs to decide it’s position with China.
4. Turkey under Erdogan has become more confident and independent. It is culturally proud. It is telling Americans to buzz off.
5. Popularity of political leaders around the world is linked to their performance on the coronavirus pandemic. In India, however, the issues of religion and caste
are still dominating.
6. What I wonder about (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is, is he really bringing all of India along with him? How many Muslims in Indian government? Or South Indians in BJP? It is much less diverse than Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet.
7. I have been very sad to see how Indian democracy has developed over the last few years. It has become an illiberal democracy.
8. The India media is slavishly pro-government. Self-censorship is widespread in India.
9. The Indian courts fold in cases where government takes serious interest.
Singaporean diplomat, analyst and writer Kishore Mahbubani has argued in his latest book "Has China Won?" that America does not really respect India. Others, including ex US President Bill Clinton, current President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CNN GPS host Fareed Zakaria, have expressed similar sentiments. It has become increasingly clear that India's loudest cheerleaders like Fareed Zakaria
are now starting to see the stark reality of Modi's India
as a big failure on multiple fronts. Indian state has failed to contain the deadly COVID19 pandemic. India's economy is in serious trouble. The country's democracy is in decline. India seems like a roadkill for China. This turn of events has created serious problems for Pakistani "liberals" who have long seen and often cited India as a successful example
of "secular democracy" at work in South Asia.
Here's a video clip from CNN GPS Show: https://youtu.be/KpAMVLwBJkM http://www.youtube.com/embed/KpAMVLwBJkM
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