The missing pride

A big Indian delegation is in the US. As usual, the event is not lacking in platitudes. Sample this from a news report in The Hindu

Mr. Obama quoted from an eminent Europe scholar who travelled to India more than a century ago, who said, “Whatever sphere of the human mind you may select for your special study, whether it be language or religion or mythology or philosophy, whether it be law or customs, primitive art, or science, you have to go to India, because,” he said, “some of the most valuable and instructive material of the history of man are treasured up in India, and India only.”

And Hillary Clinton too

“I came across a quote which I think summarises what we feel. Mark Twain once wrote, “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great-grandmother of tradition.

I am really struggling to feel any pride on hearing all this. Visit after visit – in India and in the US, most of what we have been hearing is this kind of rhetorical platitude, most of which amounts to nothing. Particularly when the US continues to ignore the rightful Indian demand to interrogate a terrorist who planned attacks on India on Indian soil. And the millionth time that someone in the US administration even indirectly hints that they will consider India’s bid for an UNSC seat (not that I in any way support India’s bid, which is a vain attempt at global leadership without sorting out its myriad internal problems).

A lot of the reporting is just a reflection of the standards of reporting in the Indian media, which revels in announcing that Obama wants an Obama platter at an Indian restaurant, to compete with the Hillary platter which that place already serves. This time, I still haven’t seen much about the usual hype about the meeting between the “two biggest democracies” etc…Of course, it probably is an indication of how important this occasional jamboree is to the American audience that the New York Times doesn’t even mention the ongoing bilateral talks (as of Friday, June 4, 2010 1:52 AM ET (05:52 GMT))


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