Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani: America Does Not Respect India

One hard truth that Indians have to contend with is that America has also had difficulty treating India with respect", writes former Singaporean diplomat Kishore Mahbubani in his latest book "Has China Won?". "If America wants to develop a close long-term relationship with India over the long run, it needs to confront the deep roots of its relative lack of respect for India", adds Ambassador Mahbubani. It's not just Mahbubani who suspects the United States leadership does not respect India. Others, including former President Bill Clinton, current US President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CNN GPS host Fareed Zakaria have expressed similar sentiments. 

Kishore Mahbubani

Kishore Mahbubani:
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". 
Trump and Clinton:
There is some evidence to support Ambassador Mahbubani's assertion about America's lack of respect for India. For example,  ex US President Bill Clinton said in 1990s that India has a Rodney Dangerfield problem: It can’t get no respect, according to his deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott. In a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks in 2010, Hillary Clinton referred to India as "a self-appointed frontrunner for a permanent UN security council seat."
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.
Western Media:
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. 
New York Times Cartoon

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".
Fareed Zakaria: 
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.
Summary: 

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"; width="560"></iframe>" height="315" src="https://img1.blogblog.com/img/video_object.png" width="560" style="background-color: #b2b2b2;" />


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Views: 72

Comment by Akhtar Hussain on September 22, 2020 at 1:59am

Excellent compilation of various extremely important issues and world opinions about them. I am amazed that you are able to decipher perceived reality; in other words dispel fake news and present facts that people can verify.  I hope you have plans to grow Pakalumni and make it a channel for reputable Pakistani journalists to learn from and dispel damaging and negative propaganda spread against Pakistan by India.  I am active on Facebook and you will not believe have much negativity there is against Pakistanis and poor Afghans believe it.  This is what needs to be addressed I believe.  There is another site; Quora that is awash with misguided and misleading propaganda against Pakistan. 

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 22, 2020 at 7:06am

Thank you Akhtar sahib. 

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 25, 2020 at 1:50pm

Kishore Mahbubani on China; Tillerson (via Bob Woodward) on Russia

Tillerson added, “Putin feels like we treat Russia like a banana republic.” The year before, Tillerson said he had been tooling around the Black Sea on Putin’s yacht. “And he said to me, ‘You need to remember we’re a nuclear power. As powerful as you. You Americans think you won the Cold War. You did not win the Cold War. We never fought that war. We could have, but we didn’t.’ And that put chills up my spine.” There is a significant opportunity here, Tillerson said. “When Putin said the breakup of the Soviet Union was the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century, it wasn’t because he loved communism. It was because Russia’s stature had been destroyed. “Anybody who tries to think about Russia in terms of the Soviet era doesn’t know a thing about Russia. The seventy years of Soviet rule was a speed bump in Russian history and it had no lasting effect. “If you want to understand Russia, they haven’t changed much culturally in 1,000 years. They are the most fatalistic people on the face of the earth, which is why they’re willing to live under lousy leaders. If you ask them about it, they’d say they don’t like it, but they’d say ‘Das Russia’—‘That’s Russia.’ They’d shrug their shoulders. I would talk to my Russian employees about it. Only one time did Russians rise up in revolution. And that didn’t turn out so well. So they look back on that and they say, Don’t do that again.”


Woodward, Bob. Rage (pp. 9-10). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

For over two hundred years, Western civilization vastly outperformed the rest of the world, allowing it to overturn the historical precedent; from the year 1 to 1820, China and India were always the largest civilizations in terms of economic strength. The past two hundred years have therefore been an aberration. One reason the West can no longer dominate the world is that the rest have learned so much from the West. They have imbibed many Western best practices in economics, politics, science, and technology. As a result, while many parts of Western civilization (especially Europe) seem exhausted, lacking drive and energy, other civilizations are just getting revved up. In this respect, human civilizations are like other living organisms. They have life cycles. Chinese civilization has had many ups and downs. It should be no surprise that it is now returning in strength.

Having survived over two thousand years, China has developed strong civilizational sinews. Professor Wang Gungwu has observed that while the world has had many ancient civilizations, the only ancient civilization to fall down four times and rise again is China. As a civilization, China is remarkably resilient. The Chinese people are also remarkably talented. As the Chinese look back over two thousand years, they are acutely aware that the past thirty years under CCP rule have been the best thirty years that Chinese civilization has experienced since China was united by Qin Shi Huang in 221 BCE. For most of the past two thousand years, the large pool of brainpower available in the Chinese population was not developed under the imperial Chinese system. During the past thirty years, for the first time in Chinese history, it has been tapped on a massive scale. Cultural confidence, which the Chinese have had for centuries, combined with what China has learned from the West have given Chinese civilization a special vigor today. A Chinese American psychology researcher from Stanford University, Jean Fan, has observed after visiting China in 2019 that “China is changing in a deep and visceral way, and it is changing fast, in a way that is almost incomprehensible without seeing it in person. In contrast to America’s stagnation, China’s culture, self-concept, and morale are being transformed at a rapid pace—mostly for the better.”*

Mahbubani, Kishore. Has China Won? (pp. 11-12). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.

Comment by Riaz Haq on Tuesday

Is #Australia shooting itself in the foot by joining the #Quad military exercise at #Malabar, #India? Australia's dependence on China has never been so starkly illustrated. #China #Japan #US https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/australia-s-dependence-on-china-h...


The budget forecasts tell the tale. Eight of Australia’s top 10 trading partners are expected to see a contraction in economic growth in 2020. China and Taiwan are the only exceptions.

The global economic massacre is laid out line by line in budget paper number one. India and Europe down by 9 per cent, Japan almost 6 per cent, the US 5.5 per cent. The world down 4.5 per cent. China? Up by 1.75 per cent.

Australia's dependence on China for economic growth is well known, but never has it been so starkly illustrated. The country where the coronavirus was first detected is now the sole major economy showing genuine signs of recovery. For that it needs Australian iron ore to make steel and build infrastructure.

The budget assumes a price of $US55 a tonne. It's currently at $US120, driven by supply restrictions on Brazilian iron ore and rampaging demand from China. The difference between the two prices? $47 billion, or almost twice the cost of the government's full personal income tax cut package between 2020 and 2022.

It's not just mining. It's food and merchandise, students and tourists. On all counts, China is Australia's number one market. Australia has been very good at doing business with China and very bad at diversifying.

That leaves it exposed. For all the federal budget's domestic stimulus, it is notable how little it focuses on initiatives outside Australia's borders.

The third largest item in the Foreign Affairs expenditure is $25 million to make sure prospective arrangements between state and territory governments and foreign governments (read: China) are consistent with Australian foreign policy. That is a domestic initiative delivered through a globally focused department.

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