India’s Foreign Policy: The Foreign Hand — Has India outsourced foreign policy to American think tanks?

The following is published as ‘Open Essay’ in ‘Open’ magazine, dated April 29, 2016 at http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/voices/indias-foreign-policy-the-foreign-hand#all
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IN 2013, Brookings Institution, a prestigious American think tank, opened its New Delhi chapter, promising to disseminate ‘recommendations for Indian policymakers’. Three years later, its Washington twin, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, set up shop in the country, hoping to develop ‘fresh policy ideas and direct[ly] [engage] and collaborat[e] with decision makers in [Indian] government, business, and civil society’. It is reasonable to surmise that the policy advice proffered by these two organisations will, at a minimum, be in tune with the US interests and geopolitics.

In fact, at an event on 6 April, Sunil Mittal, owner of Bharti Airtel, a big donor and chairman of the board of trustees of Carnegie India, removed any doubts on this score. “We have put out our flag here,” he declared, without a trace of irony in a speech that to some seemed studded with many other cringe-worthy gems, such as his plea to numerous Indian moneybags in the audience to show more “generosity in moving our agenda forward”—meaning, presumably, the Carnegie (cum-Brookings)-qua-US government policy agenda in this country.

Carnegie and Brookings have established a presence financed by Indians, to influence the Indian Government and engender domestic policies that resonate with the United States’ regional and international posture. It is a business model last implemented when the famed Jagat Seths of Murshidabad subsidised the East India Company’s operations.

It marks an astonishing turn in Indian foreign policy that until the last years of the 20th century had made good by leveraging the country’s autonomous heft and independent standing in the world—keeping all big powers at bay while getting close to this or that major country on a contingency basis to advance specific strategic interests from time to time, and by scrupulously preserving its broad policy latitude and freedom of action. But Shivshankar Menon, a star in the Brookings India firmament, during his time as India’s Foreign Secretary and National Security Adviser in the Manmohan Singh dispensation, scoffed at Indian policies to ‘balance’ regional and international power as “oh so 19th century” and now foresees no detrimental outcomes from buying into US security schemes. That such sentiments are mainstream today is attributable to the institutionalisation in the late 1990s of the collaborationist school of national security policy thinking propagated by the late K Subrahmanyam, the ‘go to’ strategist for the Indian Government.

In a nutshell, Subrahmanyam’s idea was that in a world dominated by the US, it made economic, technological and military sense to foster a strategic partnership with it to help propel the Indian economy forward and enable the country to technologically and militarily compete with China, and, by acting as a ‘responsible’ country with ‘reasonable’ policies, become a stakeholder in a system of durable peace in Asia overseen by Washington DC. The policies of AB Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh, and Narendra Modi have hewed to the Subrahmanyam script. They have made capital purchases ($10 billion worth of transport planes, for example, with $25 billion worth of nuclear reactors in the pipeline), courted US trade and investments, enhanced military cooperation, and even compromised India’s nuclear security (by acquiescing in a testing moratorium cemented by the Indo-US nuclear deal and restricting India to a small nuclear arsenal for ‘minimum deterrence’). It may be recalled that Subrahmanyam and his acolytes campaigned for India’s signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1995-96, which would have left India stranded short of even basic low-yield fission weapons.

Subrahmanyam’s prescriptions found eager takers because toadying up to the West is in India’s genes. The retention, post- 1947, of the colonial-era civil services, administrative structure and armed forces wedded to British norms and values has perpetuated policies in the Western mould, notwithstanding the ‘socialism’ professed by its rulers. Moreover, the English-medium education system has had its effect. This is another colonial legacy that today mass produces software specialists, engineers, doctors and financial managers itching to service the post- industrial economies of the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Indian policies to keep this ‘brain bank’ solvent have helped firm up domestic support for US-friendly policies among the middle-class and other aspiring sections of the Indian society, complete with an annual song-and-dance celebration of our ‘pravasis’ staged by the Ministry of External Affairs which loops back into jam-packed NRI receptions for Prime Minister Modi on his jaunts to Western cities.

The outsourcing of India’s foreign policy begs the question: Does the Indian Government have a sense of India? India, in the minds of the new lot of Indian rulers, is thus increasingly only a cultural expression, not a national territorial entity whose interests have to be vigorously protected, pursued and advanced by any and all means. In their reckoning, the nation and national interest are fungible concepts and the policies meant to serve them can be entirely elastic. So, C Raja Mohan, director of the local Carnegie unit, argues for India’s becoming a part of the ‘political West’ and for its joining China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, deeming these moves as “pragmatic economics and muscular geopolitics”. But cutting deals at every step reflects a susceptibility to pressure and an infirm will, compounding the confusion at the heart of Indian foreign and military policies. When aggregated, the effects of such moves can quickly hollow out the nation.

Central to giving legitimacy to the role of American think tanks in shaping Indian foreign policy is Ashley Tellis. As a senior Carnegie associate in Washington and heavyweight policy wonk, he finessed the Nuclear Deal with the US through Indian corridors. Tellis enjoys unprecedented access to the highest in the land, and rarely misses an opportunity to push US objectives in the guise of serving India’s interests. He, for instance, contends in a recent monograph that India’s best bet is to ally with the US and Japan because it will ‘never be capable of holding its own against… China or defining the international system to its advantage in the face of possible opposition’, and, that even Modi’s more modest goal of making India ‘a leading power’ will require it to lean on the US.

This is a self-serving thesis for the obvious reason that India has not discriminately built up its strategic capabilities or exercised its hard power options to make life difficult for China, nor reacted in kind to China’s elbows in the face. Beijing has had a free pass. Merely mentioning a transfer of nuclear missiles to Vietnam and the Philippines, or activation of the Tibet and Uyghur ‘cards’, is to hint at the sort of trouble India can create for China as payback for its nuclear missile arming of Pakistan and supporting insurgencies in the Indian northeast.

Consumed with pleasing Washington and fearful of displeasing Beijing, Indian governments—including Modi’s— have settled into a comfortable niche they have carved out of a small-minded, narrow-visioned Indian state that can be relied upon not to be disruptive, create trouble, or undermine regional and global orders that victimise it. Such weak-willed and weak-kneed regimes will, however, seek ‘narratives’ from Carnegie and Brookings that would justify their risk-averse, talk-much-do-little policies that hitch the country to the US bandwagon. This last, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said at the Carnegie do, constitutes “a contemporary agenda [that goes] beyond the debates of a less confident era”. India, he averred, must “leverage the dominant, collaborate with the convergent, and manage the competition”.

Subrahmanyam had observed that, “With the Americans, you purchase not just weapons but a security relationship… [We should] build it into [our] calculations.” Jaishankar didn’t explain how Modi’s forging a military alliance with the US by signing the ‘foundational agreements’ that Washington desires, such as the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement, and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement, which will tar India’s reputation in the Third World, limit India’s room for manoeuvre, alienate Moscow, hobble sensitive strategic projects involving Russian technical expertise, and comprehensively ground the country’s fighting capabilities featuring Russian hardware, even as America offers us armaments of 1970s vintage—F-16/F-18 combat aircraft, will ‘leverage the dominant’ and serve the national interest.

The LSA, for example, is unnecessary because it only formalises an existing arrangement whereby US ships and aircraft are refuelled and replenished on a barter basis to avoid negotiating the complex accounting systems in each other’s country and handling cash. The LSA will end up re-hyphenating India with Pakistan, as Islamabad is on the LSA grid and to get reimbursement for sustaining and servicing US troops in Afghanistan, has to jump through procedural hoops and face US Congressional scrutiny. Does Modi favour exposing the Indian military to this kind of public humiliation in another country? Apologists for the accords claim they will extend the operational reach of the Indian navy and air force. But why would New Delhi opt for such a short-term salve when the long term solution of developing distant bases (in the Agalégas in Mauritius, in northern Mozambique, Seychelles, et al) is available for the asking?

Modi’s approval of these agreements— to satisfy President Barack Obama, perhaps—may be traced to his palpable fascination with the US. He is planning his fourth visit to Washington soon. It is in keeping with the impetuous decisions he makes (such as committing the country to buy 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in Paris, initially disavowing India’s claim on the Kohinoor diamond, among others) as friendly gestures to his Western hosts.

Outsourcing of India’s foreign policy in small and big ways begs the larger question: Does the Indian Government have a sense of India, its role in the region and the world, of the nation’s inherent capacity to shape its own future, and to mobilise resources for it? The answer is iffy. Why else would one see India running in place for the last six decades and still expect it to get somewhere? When a country doesn’t know what it wants and how to get it, it will latch on to imported solutions. A facilitative factor is the Indian Government’s naiveté and gullibility when dealing with Western countries, resulting in its swallowing nonsensical promises such as Washington’s to help India become ‘a major power’. Related to it is the civilisational failing of mistaking tactics for strategy. It is the same old story all over again. Incapable of seeing beyond their immediate pecuniary profit, the Seths lent money to Robert Clive at Plassey, and, other repercussions apart, funded their own decline.

(Bharat Karnad is the author most recently of Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet). The author’s views do not reflect Open’s)

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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45 Responses to India’s Foreign Policy: The Foreign Hand — Has India outsourced foreign policy to American think tanks?

  1. &^%$#@! says:

    Superb article!

  2. &^%$#@! says:

    Those seeking reasons as to:
    (i.) how India came to be owned by the EIC,
    (ii.) why the shameful past could very well repeat,
    and/or
    (iii.) why the shameful past is currently in the process of repeating,
    need to look no further than this article.

  3. andy says:

    Why can’t there be an Indian think tank with Bharat Karnad at its helm?Need to work on this in order for India to remain autonomous & not get trapped in any other powers web.

    • &^%$#@! says:

      Credible organizations are built on sound principles, coherence of objective, consistency of action, and commitment. They are never built on promoting personalities.

      • andy says:

        Agreed, but if the leader is a man of sound principals, is coherent about the objectives of the organization, consistent in his actions & committed, then the probability of his vision & goals filtering down to the other cogs in the wheel are multifariously increased.One need not look any further than Bharatji to find such qualities & this is not about promoting personalitys, it’s only about getting a capable person to do a job with out being swayed by other considerations.Of course the concerned person has to be open to the idea in the first place.

    • Shaurya says:

      Bharat is already in the premier INDIAN think tank — CPR – led by a very able person. But even they receive funding from foreign sources — not out of choice but the Mittals of the world prefer funding the foreign think tanks instead of the Indian one’s.

      Offer your help to strengthen CPR.

  4. andy says:

    When we have such intellectuals why do we need imported solution providers, who have their own agenda to further?

    • Have said it half-jokingly on many occasions but whenever I hear the world “intellectual” my reaction is that of Benito Mussolini when he heard the word “culture”: “I reach for my pistol”! But seriously, there is no dearth of genuine nationalists, of right thinking people — many of them corresponding with each other and reaching the concerned public via this blog, who will not swerve, bend, be intimidated or get tempted, and have the historical sense of what it will take for India to become a great power.

      • &^%$#@! says:

        Amen!

      • MS says:

        In fact, the last column of Raja Mohan a few days ago was perhaps written under duress when he had no sustance than mere stating that US India should come together and perhaps alluding to the agreements. He had nothing incisive to say-how many times can one come up with something incisive anyway ?:-) I did not comment amidst the din on that page.

        Now the others leaders you mentioned- when so much time has passed after 1947 with no major progress, it requires a great energy, vision and ability to draw a blueprint for holistic success. Nehru could done it but we missed it big time.

        So the leaders you mentioned despair and cling to the glitzy tapestry of the west.

        Your column implies, rightly though, the need to make relations strong with the major powers but staying true to our interests and not making any compromises. India is not Russia and will never be-so, we can never become a great military power on our own and neither can we become a great country just on the basis of military.

        We need to create a conducive enviornment and support system for new industial action. When you export like China, you develop capabilities that could be applied in military sphere also.

        Just around the latest ISRO IRNSS news, I learnt that US has refused India manned spacecraft tech. If that is refused, are we not corrupt that we feign ignorance of the fact that US will not supply any worthwhile military tech. Become China, leverage market access for tech with private foriegn firms and do not ask the US govt for technology.

        Lastly, are we not lucky that China is our neighbour else we would have been complacent enough to die. And, this country has enough raw intellect to be put to good use.

      • &^%$#@! says:

        CRM never had anything of substance to say. Like his late mentor KS, he’s been an Uncle Tom (or better still, “House Nigga”) for quite awhile. His drivel can be safely ignored.

      • andy says:

        A couple of quotes on modesty…
        “Modesty is the lowest of virtues,and is a real confession of the deficiency it indicates.He who undervalues himself is justly undervalued by others”………………William Hazlitt 19th century British essayist.

        “We must watch over our modesty in the presence of those who do not understand it’s grounds”……………. Jean Rostant 19th century French philosopher.

    • andy says:

      Both quotes on modesty are for Bharat Karnad to ruminate over for his reply to being called an intellectual.lest someone else might feel otherwise & be unnecessarily agitated,without understanding the context.

      • MS says:

        I did like some early columns from Raja Mohan as the BJP came to centre. Like his idea of expanding and making a base near the horn of africa, and pursuing diplomacy actively in middle east, and some other ideas.

        Joining China in its one belt intiative may just push us out. We are not ready-look at the trade deficit with China, close to 50 Billion.

  5. andy says:

    Bharatji,aside from the monetary aspect what are the other problems that are a hindrance to the above reccomendations?

    • &^%$#@! says:

      Think………..

    • Andy@ — Setting up an independent, nationalist, hard-driving thinktank is what I contemplated in the early 1990s when I was a bit younger and more innocent. Met with two members heading the richest family, gave them a 10-12 page “feasibility report”, promised a first class foreign and military policy research centre, indicated the sort of monies needed — a pittance by their reckoning, and the sort of “hands off” attitude that would be appreciated. It got nowhere. But I learned some valuable lessons. So it isn’t false or any other kind of modesty that animates my thinking on the subject. Just the limitations of my approach in a milieu which, if not hostile, is indifferent to it.

      • andy says:

        It certainly was a sad day in the early 1990s when things came to such a pass,one can’t help wondering what might have been if the effort had fructified.But not to worry,you are providing sterling service to the nation, even if the milieu be hostile or indifferent. God bless & more strength to you sir.As M.K Gandhi said ” Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will”.

  6. Hubris can be the undoing of all men big or ‘small’. That Mr Mittal or any of our industrialists believe that they need a foreign controlled think tank to lobby in their own county shows the limits of their vision. The real genius is of these think tanks who are able to rope in the moneybags by way of offering little else but giving them an illusion of being at the high table.

    I appreciate these points brought out in this article:

    1) English educated Indians are deeply colonized. Bureaucracy is helm of such Indian minds.
    2) Culturally sensitive BJP government still appears insensitive to the long term benefit of strategic independence.
    3) If foreign controlled think tanks can influence government policy then government of India is compromising national interest.

    The way out of this would be to enact a law governing such activities by means of registration, foreign contribution regulation, disclosure and building a china wall between bureaucracy and such think tanks, closing the revolving door between bureaucracy and foreign think tanks is also required.

    Competition between such bodies and critical review of policy papers published by these bodies by local think tanks would help in mitigating some of the ill effects of hidden agenda pushing by these groups. At the same time this might even bring out creative solutions to some of our challenges.

    I understand that to produce a truly unique Indian response to India’s challenges we need to first rebuild our own knowledge systems. Only then will the real creativity come out in every field including geopolitics. The colonized Indian mind first needs to be freed, bureaucracy is a good place to start. Requiring Indian bureaucracy to understand the India it serves by means of learning the philosophies, logic, traditions of its past and present is a must to achieve that end.

    • &^%$#@! says:

      Enacting new laws to control foreign think tanks will not do. There are sufficient laws currently in place to keep them in check and on a very tight leash. The problem is that nobody has the will, foresight, or the gonads to do it.

    • Apna says:

      Is mittal a punjabi ?
      I have seen most of the people who have compromised induan security are punjabis like unelected mmsingh.
      I have been writing since 1990 that the situation is simikar to what obtained two hundred years ago.
      When Napoleon tge great was belting the english purates in europe that punjabi sikh ranjit singh was betraying india by making pact with britush.
      The year tipu sultan was betrayed that punjabi ranjit singh made pact with englush to be king of punjab.
      In 1801 napoleon forced britush to agree to leave all colonies then punjabus were hobnobbing with britush against marathas.
      The sane thing has hapoend since 1991 when unelctable anerican agent mmsingh was brouggt to indua to serve american agenda.

      • Apna says:

        Correction–

        Is mittal a punjabi ?
        I have seen most of the people who have compromised indian security are punjabis like unelected mmsingh.
        I have been writing since 1990 that the situation is simikar to what obtained two hundred years ago.
        When Napoleon the great was belting the english purates in europe that punjabi sikh ranjit singh was betraying india by making pact with britush.
        The year tipu sultan was betrayed that punjabi ranjit singh made pact with english to be king of punjab.
        In 1801 napoleon forced british to agree to leave all colonies then punjabis were hobnobbing with british against marathas.
        The same thing has happend since 1991 when unelctable anerican agent mmsingh was brougt from woŕld bank to india to serve american agenda.

  7. ~!@#$%^*()_+ says:

    These things have a way of reducing to the lowest common frustration hunting for the easiest common lynching. But yes seems like Modi govt. too has allowed itself to simply follow the in-camera consensus of an insular group. A group which never could think out of the camera because it never had the natural capacity.

    My criticism is not so much about the sell-out stance that the current establishment has struck, as much as it is about them deciding about the ‘limitations’ of the whole country based merely on their own limitations of understanding. Just that one of the most important learning that I have accumulated is that people of limitations will pull me down to their own level. Best to avoid them.

    Nehru ji was a sophisticated westerner stuck in an Indian body – a failing of character. The same character that failed him in appreciating his own reality ended up forcing him to over-correct to the other side of Left-philia. A similar failing is noticeable in nearly everybody who has been close to the structure designed to fit the vision of Nehru ji. KS used to be very cautious of the west, because of his personal worldview and experiences and later on moved completely into the other side. In his own understanding and of others who have been influenced by his thoughts, they are absolutely all convinced of the sacred nature of their wishes and analysis. Cannot begrudge them that. After all the gods in the heavens appointed them to the time and place for action and it is there right.

    But going by the same logic what right did these people have to undermine the rights of the later generations.

    When we should have moved from dependency on the Russians to an absolutely Indigenous capacity, we are being told to adjust our methods and lives for somebody who is not related to us in any manner. Hope they develop the good sense to desist from forcing the country from one dependency & into another. The first one may have been a force majeure but this another rotten one is absolutely not due to poverty of circumstances. Amb. Galbraith was working behind the scenes to overthrow Krishna Menon because Krishna Menon was hyper on Pakis and was part of the gang that got the, White Portugal’s rule expelled from Goa. Today we are celebrating a non-progress with Pakis at the behest of the same Americans and India is sucking upto the same White Europeans. This only goes to show how a country that has had multiple Presidents from its deep state has not forgotten its own history. OTOH from Indian POV it goes to show how our own people are guided merely by ‘feelings’ and ‘appreciation’. They never forgot their own interests while ours made a 180 degree turn. These goddamned protestants know very well how the seeds of discontent are sown and harvested.

    Anyhow, never helps much to meditate on failings of others.

    Now if some of us know what is wrong, what is it that we should about it. KS and his sons in the current establishment have a right but so do we. Their rights are born out of their duties that they discharged (say KS in defence ministry in 60s and Doval in intel in 80s and Modi in Gujarat in 2000s). They have earned it.

    But these people are either dead or will soon be. The work that needs to be done is a big one and everybody will be afforded a chance to have a swing. More important then criticizing is to ensure it that when our time comes we make it count. Let these people handle 2% of GDP and weapons imports and feel happy doing that. Let’s work on the 98% where they can be challenged and where they do not have any more rights than a panwadi and where the fate of the world is going to get decided. Having said that, if you are serious, then do not rely on them. Their personal failings could get even more dangerous for your existence then the western capacity for mischief.

    Less viciously speaking & on topic.
    1) Ashley Tellis used to show his workings for WGPU inventory presuming whatever operating conditions, to show how Indian arsenal can keep growing even without 123 agreement thus helping the conclusion that ‘benefits of 123 agreement’ cannot be ‘denied to India’. Nearly the same data with nearly the same conclusions, could be show, by some other people, to work well towards supporting the view that we did not need any more WGPU (favouring TN instead) & thus concluding that we did not need the 123 agreement which was only to show us down on TN option. While both these sides were slugging it out, 4 govts. came and went, from two diametrically opposing political forces and both ended up furthering the other government’s cause.

    2) Do you know some years back the bright idea that Mittal of Airtel gave for managing Indian financing. He thought Delhi Cantonment land (etc.) had good value to help manage GoI finances. So this should give you a clue as to the people who buy into these thinking and tanking business.

    3) The man who made a fortune running a body-shop, today feels that IT firms behave like immigration agents and today he is having the whole of the Indian culture re-interpreted for ‘our benefit’, for the N’th time counting, in the last few millennia.

    Do all three look unconnected? If they do, then life is easy. Treat the 3 instances as trivia – sorry to have wasted your time.

    If they don’t, then what do you want to do about it?

    Great write up BTW.

    • &^%$#@! says:

      WRT your statement ” OTOH from Indian POV it goes to show how our own people are guided merely by ‘feelings’ and ‘appreciation’…..” Indians want to be liked (and appreciated), rather than be respected (or even feared). I believe it comes from the herd animal tendency, which makes them/us feel afraid of standing alone.

    • &^%$#@! says:

      The actual figures for WGPU are often mixed with RGPU which isn’t optimal for a weapon. In fact, the loss of Cyrus and the continual and deliberate neglect in building another Dhruva-class reactor dedicated for WGPU production (which incidentally was budgeted for by the Narasimha Rao regime) has not made matters pleasant for India on this front. Then there is the WGPU that will be used up during the FBTR start-up phase.

      One may argue that if the existing INDU/CANDU reactors outside safeguards are run on low burn-up mode, this would more than sufficiently makeup for the numbers. This is of course something I would not venture to speculate on in-depth herein. This would require a considerable amount of natural uranium as compared to the usual mode (I believe it is around 190 tons vs. 30 tons annually for a 220 MW reactor). There are sufficient natural uranium reserves in India to run all the INDU/CANDU reactors outside safeguards in the low burn-up mode. Further, there are known/proven/recently discovered reserves that have not been utilized.

      Has anyone noticed that every time a uranium deposit is found, an evangelical movement crops up in the vicinity? In covertly/overtly supporting these activities or inhibiting a crackdown on them, these foreign think tanks would pose a very serious National risk. . Another area where they will in all probability pose a National risk is in fermenting “color revolutions” every time their pet agendas are not met such as rolling back the Indian missile program, pushing GM seeds thereby rapidly depleting the ground water level, etc….., The choice of catastrophes that one could draw up with what now appears to be the official State sponsorship and support of such outfits is indeed very large.

    • Mongrelji@– #2 Re: Mittal’s idea about monetizing cantonment land — actually the idea originally was that innovative money-maker politician Sharad Pawar’s. As defence minister he pushed it, targeting the commercially invaluable land in Colaba for starters. Defensive actions mainly by the army (and secondarily navy), owner(s) of this prime real estate, stalled that move.

  8. Edelbert Badwar says:

    If the present govt can close Greenpeace in India why are these foreign think tanks allowed to set up shop here.This blog itself is a think tank.we dont need American ones funded by Indian baniyas.

    • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

      A lot of our CEOs / CFOs (who should be knowing better) are just deal makers or coordinators and have no idea how the water is being heated, even while they and their companies are getting parboiled slowly.

      A lot of our business class is heavily dependent on foreign funding and that too in multiple ways. That is why they do not complain when IMF seeds are planted here and these IMF seeds go on to secure the business interests of foreigners at the expense of the locals (including that of these Jagat Seths). The stranglehold is near complete and you don’t even have to go/look outside India to understand that.

      That is why also I have asked BK to keep tabs on the political economy too. Something Saurav Jha is doing. In that respect people have to learn a thing or two from Baba Ramdev type of people who are trying to demonstrate how to do it all based on local capacity. But till the time these indigenous efforts can begin to bear fruits the current business class will have to be given some leeway.

      The challenge however is that if we do not take up this demonstration of pride in our produce, seriously then we surely will get dependent on foreign money and then the very idea of local/indigenous would get transformed to something completely undigestible for us. For gods sakes, the french pass off dead frogs, rancid infested paneer and emaciated waifs, as high cultural contributions worthy of monetary premiums. While our business managers can only harbour ambitions to western living standards for themselves.

  9. &^%$#@! says:

    This statement from:
    http://www.mea.gov.in/bilateral-documents.htm?dtl/26590/Indias+National+Progress+Report+Nuclear+Security+Summit+2016
    was recently brought to my attention. Specifically, “[i] ndia is strictly observing the principle of “reprocess to reuse” whereby reprocessing of the spent fuel and commissioning of fast reactors are being synchronized to preclude any build-up of a plutonium stockpile.”. Does this imply that India has for all practical purposes signed the FMCT?

  10. Siddappa says:

    Kudos for this write-up…. I only hope, Team-Modi keeps reading your blog posts…

    What is the mentality & thought-process for not engaging India based institutions?

    “.. business model last implemented when the famed Jagat Seths of Murshidabad subsidised the East India Company’s operations.”

    Jagath Seth was ensuring his monies were safe, against Siraj ud daulah’s arrogance…
    Mittal, NRN & all are spending good money to make an India, what they think is right.
    Mittal’s olympics preparation, NRN’s catamaran ventures, NRN Junior’s library is their interpretation of India.

    I beg to differ with Bharat here.
    Right from A for Anand Mahindra to Z for Zoya Hasan, each of our elite don’t find anything in India worthy of patronage. Is it their sense of “lack of quality” or “will come back to bite” or “stay away from mess”… What is the mentality & thought-process for not engaging India based institutions?
    Mahindra funds US universities, NRN Caltech, … Zoya Hasan,

    If we can crack that question, Might be something can be done……

    For a change, Kickstarter …. Say TheJaggi, Rajeev Srinivasan, Brahma Chellaney, Bharat Karnad, Ashok Malik, Rajesh Jain/Atanu Dey, Pranab Bardhan, …….. feels exciting….

  11. Van says:

    Dear Bharat Karnad,

    You always talk of India having the ability to threaten China by transferring nuclear missiles and other such strategic options to Vietnam, and/or Philippines etc, and even playing the “Tibet” card.

    You never talk of the possibility of transferring nuclear bombs to Taiwan. Why is that? Isn’t nuclearisation of Pakistan by China equivalent to nuclearisation of Taiwan by India? Sure, Vietnam is a great option, but a nuclear Taiwan will put an immediate full stop to the westward expansion of Chinese hegemony. Your thoughts on that?

  12. Pingback: Can India Balance Between China and America? - The National Interest Online - Adverther

  13. Apna says:

    I vividly remember one time when that mittal was telling on tv that he wants to have such agriculture priduced in India that a fresh vegetable plucked in the evening in India is placed pn an american table for tge breakfast tge next day !
    In otger eords that traitor was thinking of feeding the a.ericans with such a long logistics with all implication fir carbon usage and bad environmental impact .
    All talk of local fresh priduce _that mittal was talking of transnational shipment of vegetables !

  14. Apna says:

    janaury,2007

    Indian anglophile class -especially indian english language media -is a race of Coolies and traitors.
    the same class of indians who are doing propaganda agasinty china today are the same people who forced rajiv gandhi in 1987 to make friendship with china(and recognise tibet as part of china) why-? because the usa had ben friend with china since 1984 and wanted india tobe friend too as opposed to russia.-therefore the indian parasite class foll=made the Indian foreign policy viz china not to suit india but to suit american interests-it is doing the same but in revere direction this time because their anglo-american masters want them to do so.the same indian elite class (for example the president of ranbaxy one MR. Singh,, chairman of FICCi at the time in 80s was vehemently opposing any defence increase or of of buying of defence equioments while asking for freidnship with china as desired by usa ain 80s). the same FICCi is making propaganda agasint DRDo and(with 6% of defence budget) and indian scintisits saying it has not kept the develpopmnet of innovations and kept the 50 yurs old mig 21 not in shape!.) These same indian traitors want india to buy 40 yrs old arms (like junk f16 and f-18) from america knowing fully well that it comes with a heavy conditions unlike almost condition free and better arms(new mig-35) from russia.-but then thse elites are agents of angnlo american interests -so no surprise here-it is high time that thse elites are killed or kicked out of india-these are allwais(iraqi traitor) of india.� Russia is already supplying India with the Sukhoi-30MKI, an advanced “fourth generation” warplane that consistently defeats its Western counterparts, such as the frontline US fighters, the F-15C and F-16. Versions of the Su-30 are also being sold to China, Venezuela, and Malaysia.

  15. Apna says:

    1998 .

    Congratulations to pakistan also for having exploded atomic bomb like India rightly did!

    History is
    full of nations much poorer, improving themselves first by making themselves militarily victorious
    ,by fair or foul means,over much richer and superior civilizations. That is exactly how
    a race of pirate turned shopkeepers that is England and America made themselves rich.That is also why these pirate race of anglo-americans want to keep the ill gotten advantage by denying othersany means to get power or independence.That is the philosophy of nato.Who bothered about America before it stole Nuclear Technology from Germans? The other prominent makers of first atomic bomb were Italians and Hungarians,and thir country does not posses nuclear weaopn.From Americans who stole the technology did the british steal it.America also stole from the Germans Rocket and missiles technology.Now they want to make world astand still as it was in late ’91s through self drafted this pact and that pact.Now they want others not to have the same technology. In the same way the british stole Tea production technology , china making tech and what not from China.How much the british tea companies and british china making ones like royal daulton paying royalty to China?none!But they want others to pay for rubbish tech of ’60s retrospectivelly!! In fact even France is fed up with this cancerous anglo-american push to sell,indtead of much better Fernch food,rather rubbish tasteless food of anglo-saxons processed food industy which pushes for rotten and infected food like british beef. India should have sided with France and China to push for common interests.But India chose,under pressure from Anglophile english paper reading minority,to succumb to Low quality rubbish anglo-american products. And Pakistan
    understands this duplicity and is not afraid to disturb that cosy arrangement of these anglo-american shopkeepers.
    As for Bhutto saying that they will rather eat grass than not have bomb,
    they have full filled that ambition when their prime minister asked pakistanis to
    be prepared to even save in eating.Contrast that with response of Indian english knowing
    class and their agents as represented by Indian english papers whose only worry
    was that so called liberalization does not get stuck off.In fact Indian
    atomic arsenal is necessary so that a country like america(whose infra-structure
    know how and technology is much inferior to that of Germany,France and Italy) does not force
    India(as it has been doing for some time) to accept third grade tech, and rubbish so called consumer goods .And here there are these english papers in India who were urging andia to give quick and special rebates
    to americans .Those very americans who have always and will always act against India
    and Indian interests.In fact America and britain(who really governs american foreing ,defence and economic policy)will always support pakisatan not be4cause they love pakis,on the contraire,but because for them pakisatan is an ideal means to poke and put a thorn on the body of India. These english papers and all cheap things that
    they represent talk of India doing all those things that is already known to be agenda of american and british for India.It is no surprise.
    The english media and so called westernized Indians are the voluntary (and sometimes paid) agents of foreign interests.They do not represent western interest either : they represent anglo-american interests which is an interest
    of exploitation and by the sopkeepers race(anglo-americans) with not a single
    drop of culture or taste. And one of these english papers was saying,when camparing India with pakistan than India has a large number of english speaking population(as if that was a positive thing even if it were true!) forgetting to add that
    despite that those countries who consider themselves english speaking(and they do not include in that anyone but their own shopkeepers race of anglo-saxons)never at anytime have given value to Indians while always giving all help to (less english speaking!) Pakistan. Only thing
    is India lose out on translators who would have been recruited from amonst Hindi speaking peoples!.(most of indians).
    In fact these english speaking countries consider these english speakingIndians as coolies-which in fact they are.And pakistanies have refused themselves to be relegated to the status of coolies.Because they have self respect which these english media peoples(in India) have not got.Ten years ago the president of Ficci,an industry organisation and darling of Indian english media had demanded of Govt. of Indiato reduce armed forces(at height of kashmir and Punjab insurrection) and give free reign to foreign firms.And that sort of demand became a reality when Manmohan singh became
    finance minister and narsingh Rao succemed to american pressure to not
    only not test atom bomb but also pack up Agni missiles programmes. All the things that a
    foreign enemy country would have demanded and america di demand. It is no surprise .Because
    Manmohan singh, narsingh rao and all english media (who supported that illegal minority govt.with out mandate to bring fundamental change in India’s self reliability)-asll these creaures were and will
    continue to be agents of foreign interests-paid or otherwise(resulting from their cooliness or in other words from their deep sense of inferiority complex).Thes creatures must be ferreted out from
    political,economic and social power that they have misappropiated.In fact it would be better if these creatures
    are sent to Pakistan who knows how to treat such sort of traitors. A govt. first duty is to protect her citizens from external and internal danger. These elites oppose that. At the same time naturally
    these parasitic elites also oppose the main obligation of a citizen to the govt.-that is to give taxes.In fact only by the right of taking taxes is the govt.recognignized.If India has 200 millions of middle class,as these english indian media always talk about,then where is the corresponding income tax revenue to the Govt. of India?But these english reading population is the biggest tax evader any where in the world.
    But What the Prime minister Mr. Bajpaye does? He ,in stead of attacking previous congress govt. and Janta Dal govt.(whose Gujral and Mulayam singh are disgrace to India having created nearly a revolt
    in Indian Army)-He becomes apologtic and agrees to put self memoratorium. Instead of testing much bigger Hydrogen momb of such magnitude that 2 or 3 of them would be sufficient to destroy whole of pakistan,He
    simply backs down on western pressure and pressure from western agents like english media in india and pressure from those peoples whose vote bank is peoples of dubious loyalty. Ofcourse that big hydrogen bomb would
    be neede ,noyt to be used but to provide deterrence_that is the purpose of atomic weopon.But this Prime minister is
    so much eager to please foriegn anglo-american countries(true enemiy of India) that he adrres Parliament not in his language but in english.That is why in recent rally of child labourers (children of 4 to 14 yers)-who could not even get primary education-
    was addressed by the leaders in India in english.That is how much India has become a nation
    of coolies and hangers on rather than develop any leader ship quality with confidence. And that is why george Fernances-not a friend of america-started making China a villain in the hope of appeasing America-number one enemy of India. Wht Gerge should have said,and what he has realized too late,
    is that if others can keep nuclear missiles then so can India.And matter ends there.BUt no. he had
    to appease real enemy of India-which are America and England-by annoying an asian super power.
    Now what is the solution after this mess up.? First India has to devewlop long range nuclear missiles
    and nuclear submarine ,able to attack America,so that India can deal with all sorts of challenge and not repeat
    blackmail of Irak by anglo-american counties. And it has to rely on Herself.Give less social or economic position
    to english lovers. Secondly India has to deveop bigger Hydrogen bomb-The previos test cdone in one go are not enough.Pakistan does not care about others’s opinion; India also needs confidence.
    Thirdly India should agree to hand over Kashmir(which is gone within 10 years anyway) with
    one provisio-full tranfer of muslim Population from India to kashmir and pakistan of those who are co-religionists of pakistan but living in India.(after all that is the whole rationale of pakistan and seperate kashmir from muslim point of view -is it not?)
    That will cut the bottom of so called secularists-who must also be sent forcibly to Pakistan and they willpreach secularism to pakistanies. As for the likes of Manmohan singh,Narsingha rao,Mulayamsingh yadavand their kinds-They must be beaten to death by a lynching mob so that in future nobody(and especialyy english lovers) will
    ever dare to do so much harm to India.

  16. Apna says:

    About spineless indian mentality

    21st may ,1998.

    Why so much apology
    Why so much apology and attempts toe be in good books of enemies by
    The Indian Prime Minister Mr. Vajpayee in his explanation in the Parliament?
    What he should have said,he said exactly opposite. It is a known fact-and
    escepeially known by utterances of opposition leaders and testaments of former
    President of India- that the opposition party(both congress and janta) had no guts to
    go ahead with the test and the time was running out because of increasing subjugation
    of India on econimic matters in the hands of foreign and often enemy hands.Insted
    This P.M. gives credit to those gutsless partyeven to Mulam singh Yadav during
    whose tenure the The Indian Army was at point of revolt.Instead of declaring
    these oppostion leaders as traitors and anti-nationals(which they are) this B.j.p.
    leader gives them credit for nuclear preparedness ,which is rubbish.
    And why give address in english? Most of Indians understand hindi movies?
    If some insist on being given translation then let us have Hindi translators.
    It will give more job to hindi knowing people. In fact this english press
    in India and english press abroad are our main enemies.

    Nuclear test was
    needed firstly because then there will never be another gulf-war like situation and even if comes
    the result will be very opposite of what happened in gulf war.Secondly also
    to give sense of pide and honour among thirld world and not only India.
    Remember that it is the same bastard b.b.c. and anglo-american media who
    led a propaganda for nuclear armament of britain and for american missiles in britain.The same british gave a overwhelming
    support to their p.m.when she said in ’82 that she will be ready to bomb soviet union.Forget
    the fact that britan was a mouse campared with soviet power.But that irrational utterance got
    her popularity soaring and media ensured that the small opposition was
    virtualyy eliminated.Not only micheal foot but also kinnock was made villain.this present british p.m. is
    more right wing than any right extemist party in India and he had to flex his musles(on back of americans) in gulf.If
    it is all right for a third rate country like britain to flex muslcle then why not for India? Do not
    underestimate duplicity of shopkeepers, race like english-with out history,class culture or taste.They
    through their british agents(and that includes all british and english language media )they make
    foreign and domestic and economic policy of america and through america of the world. They destroyed Russia
    with false promise of so called free market so that they can sell drugs(alcohol and cigattetes) to starving russians. Suddenly
    they feel campasion for the poor of india who might have had the money spent on nuclear bomb? When did they
    ever care about their own poors who have always been crimanalized . No this
    rubbish must be stopped.In argument of britain getting borrowed american nuclear bomb it
    was said by the same media the even the huge money spent is worh while because even 10 times more
    spending on conventional weapon is not equivalent to one nuclear bomb.
    The same is true of India. This must be understood clearly and said clearly-
    The biggest enemy of India(and for that matter of all non anglo-american race)is england and america.
    In fact India must make a military pact with China and try to get rid of anglo-american influence
    out of asia.For that it frst needs to get rid of anglo-american influence in India-typically shown by
    a parasite class reprented by english publications in India.These enlish papers in India represent a class cosiderde cooli or shudra by thir masres-anglo-americans. .Nuclear test was also necessary
    to make India aware of danger she has been put by succesive govt.s since ,91. in name of liberalition.
    If India had been that fully so called liberalized(in favour of british who even sell their viral infected meat in name of supporting british products)
    Then India today would have been much more demoralized and suppliant to ever dare pursue any independent policy let alone testing a nuclear bomb and
    making herself a nuclear power !

  17. Apna says:

    A great article sir, Bharat Karnard jee.
    Must be essential reading why india is going to be enslaved again at this rate.

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