Bummer in Biarritz — potentially

(Modi & Trump)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be headed this weekend for Biarritz, on the southwest coast of France, where the G-7 Summit is being held. The informal UN Security Council session on Kashmir a few days back has complicated things for Modi on several counts. Despite US’ formal stance supportive of the Indian position that revocation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution was an “internal matter”, President Donald Trump did not take no for an answer where mediation is concerned. Undeterred by the Indian government’s brush-off after such an offer was first made during the press conference he had in Pak PM Imran Khan’s company, Trump once again offered mediation on the Indo-Pak dispute yesterday and promised to raise the matter about his peace-making role with Modi when they meet in Biarritz.

Pakistan has, with some success, weaponized the human rights issue by lacing it with the imminence of a nuclear exchange. Imran has argued thus: the anger of Kashmiris owing to abrogation of Article 370 could result in a terrorist incident which Delhi will blame Islamabad for. It will launch a punitive strike, as happened post-Pulwama, to which the Pakistani military will reply, and this action-reaction sequence could result in conventional hostilities which, if they begin going against Pakistan, will lead to it ordering first use of N-weapons. By way of a historical metaphor, he said Pakistan would act like Tipu Sultan, not Bahadur Shah Zafar who abdicated his throne after the failed 1857 Mutiny, therefore, accepting before hand that, like Tipu, Pakistan would rather go down fighting — in nuclear terms, become extinct, than do nothing at all. (Refer youtube.com/watch?v=jMFIXhrdlebA .) If this is not a lot of hoo-ha I don’t know what is! This hot air got pumped when Indian media created a controversy out of nothing — Rajnath Singh’s fairly anodyne statement about Delhi in the future, depending on the circumstances, rethinking its no first use commitment.

But the mix of disputed territory, “occupation” forces, a restive native population, and nuclear weapons is a politically combustible story and Pakistan has made capital out of it. It is an endeavour China has helped overtly and UK covertly (as at the informal session of the UN Security Council and by permitting the violent demonstration outside the Indian High Commission in London). UK now has Trump’s “poodle”, Boris Johnson, in 10, Downing. Trump and Boris often talk to each other and given how impressionable the former is, there’s every chance of his being influenced by the latter’s Pak-leaning attitude. Who is to say this wasn’t manifested in the US President’s repeating his mediation offer to Modi in his telephone talk of Aug 22? Trump is motivated to act this way in the main because he does not want his special rep Zalmay Khalilzad’s “get the hell out of Afghanistan fast” plan by cutting a deal, any deal, with the Afghan Taliban to be imperilled by Pakistan potentially sabotaging it, which ISI can do. Washington apprehends it will do this if Islamabad perceives the US as standoffish on the 370-Kashmir issue. Which is to say that there’s lots there for Pakistan to work with to ensure the US stays entangled.

The problem for Modi is this: Trump can turn truculent and verbally vicious if he is frustrated on his initiatives by leaders of friendly states (to wit, Danish PM Mette Fredericksen, who having dismissed Trump’s offer “to buy Greenland” as “absurd” was called “nasty” by Trump, who then proceeded to cancel his planned state visit to Denmark!). Insulting statements by fellow strongmen, like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un, on the other hand fetches from the US President — who is growingly recognized as an unreliable, unpredictable, dilettante, the sort of fawning attention that would embarrass even the smarmiest spittle licker in Lutyen Delhi.

So, would Modi be better off showing a bit of spine when the two meet on the sidelines of G-7, and what exactly should the Indian PM do? He can be rude and flatly turn down Trump’s offer — which approach, no matter what the Indo-Pacific security stakes, will lead to a rupture in personal relations that Modi has invested too much in by way of hugs and embraces and, more seriously, by way of buying at great cost to the country antique combat aircraft (F-16) and guns (M-777 howitzers) and, when in need to pacify Washington, with the military-MOD’s procurement staple of recent years — C-17 and C-130s transporters, to easily discard. Modi also daily faces Trump’s threats to raise tariffs on all imports from India pursuant to his belief that India, like China, doesn’t anymore deserve the “developing country” tag and hence the preferential treatment under WTO rules. Moreover, Trump has trashed Modi’s repeated personal pleas and the Indian government’s more formal pleadings over the past two-odd years by shutting down the H1B visa route to legal immigrant status taken by Indian techies and professionals, as well as the provision to deny entry to family members of these immigrants. This is Modi’s less than esteemable record — a consequence of giving in routinely to Washington, which he takes to Biarritz.

What is Trump expected to do in this context other than see Modi as a chump who, in exchange for small gestures, such as a counter-hug, gives away the store without getting anything in return? It is a one-way deal of the kind preferred by the transaction-minded Trump who otherwise respects counterparts who have a clear view of national interest and won’t bend but will happily massage his brittle ego as a means of playing him — something Putin and Kim Jong-un effortlessly do. (Trump, for instance, went nearly girly on August 9 re: Kim’s “very beautiful letter” and sided with the North Korean dictator, excused his missile firings, and berated the US-South Korean joint wargames and military exercises as waste of US money! See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqdS5hIdp4Q .) But becoming another Kim is obviously beyond Modi and, in any case, such a conversion may be too late in the day to be credible.

The real trouble ahead for Modi lies less in Trump’s being mediator than in his using human rights excesses supposedly committed on the allegedly hapless Muslims of the Srinagar Valley, laced with fears of a “nuclear flashpoint” that Imran and the Pakistani strategic enclaves have propagated, as a battering ram. In fact, he has indicated publicly that he’d do just this. In the wake of Islamabad’s sounding the nuclear tocsin to keep Kashmir in the international limelight and, per chance, to persuade more and more countries to support its case for UN intervention, the possibility of Trump leading the charge is a disquieting prospect. Already, Western Press and media have gone to town on this theme of the Indian armed services oppressing Kashmiris. Yesterday’s announcement by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh of establishing a cell in MOD to look into human rights complaints is a move to preempt this issue from becoming a major diplomatic headache. Will this stanch the growing criticism? No.

But there’s a tack that Modi can take that will stop Trump cold and almost instantly terminate US’ moral grandstanding, and prevent America’s European lackeys from following suit. He can tell Trump in Biarritz, in the friendliest terms but without the equivocation that foreign minister S. Jaishankar would advise him, that the nuclear alarms are a whole load of nonsense and a ploy to gain global attention but the harm done by Washington’s raking up the human rights issue and by its petty economic-trade policies, would be real, compelling his government to reconsider India’s involvement in strategically partnering with the US in the Indo-Pacific. The PM can refer gently to the case-by-case constraints on the full realization of LEMOA and COMCASA, which has raised the Trump Administration’s hackles, but which he should be warned, would become much worse with this American policy generating genuine ire among the Indian people and ill will for America.

Such a clear cut Modi message along with, ideally, Rajnath Singh being dispatched expeditiously to Moscow, will drive home that point nicely. Will Modi do this to earn from Trump a modicum of respect for himself and for India? Nah!

——————-


(Modi & Macron near Arc de Triomphe)

With Modi once again in France, can an order for additional Rafale combat aircraft be far behind? As long ago predicted by this analyst, the initial order for 36 Rafale combat aircraft was merely the French foot in the door. With Paris preparing to hardsell a second tranche of 36 Rafales, the larger IAF-French plan of outfitting the full 125 aircraft requirement for “medium” combat aircraft is fully underway. The French President Emmanuel Macron will probably offer for like initial sum (for the first batch but inflation-indexed) — nearly 8 billion euros — 2 more squadrons worth of Rafale.

Why Modi would accept such an offer when HAL has made a competing offer to produce 4 squadrons of the “super Sukhoi” variant of the Su-30MKI, with HAL chairman R Madhavan, calling it the “fastest means of getting” the IAF up to 42 squadron strength, is unfathomable. Madhavanm, playing hard ball, told the press that HAL, Nasik, produces a dozen Su-30s a year and has outstanding order from IAF for only 8-10 of this aircraft and then just to replace the losses due to accidents, and unless the Company’s order book is enlarged by year end, the entire Su-30 assembly line will become defunct. (See https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/hal-pitches-for-4-more-squadrons-of-su-30mki/articleshow/70668419.cms ) Perhaps, Modi is convinced that Rafale is an all round better, more economical buy than the upgraded “super Sukhoi” Su-30? If so, then really??!!

Now the nationalist Shri Modiji can buy into the IAF’s case that HAL is the premier white elephant defense PSU (along with Mazgaon Dockyard Ltd), which despite its awful production record is sustained expensively at taxpayer’s expense and produces flawed aircraft, all of which is true. But the Prime Minister confronts a dilemma: If he cold shoulders HAL, and permits it to run down, he increases IAF’s dependence on imported aircraft and, more, ends up transferring tens of billions in Euros to make Dassault Avions — the maker of Rafale, the French aviation industry and France wealthier. Is he willing in this way to impoverish India, kick the infant aerospace Indian defence industry in the guts, and politically risk flaring the Rafale embers? The political opposition may be non-existent now but Rafale can live on as an election issue for decades.

There’s an an optimized choice among options which, again, he is loath to make. Namely, as I have advocated, getting the Indian private sector centrally involved in combat aircraft production, which will create millions of jobs — unemployment being the country’s chief worry. It will require putting together a national industrial consortium of reputed Indian corporations, including L&T, Tata, et al, who will be transferred LCA source codes and algorithms by DRDO, who will then embellish the designs of LCA variants, develop and manufacture Tejas-1A, Tejas-2 and, derived from these, the AMCA (advanced medium combat aircraft) for IAF’s use as bulk combat aircraft, with derated versions (of IA, 2) designated for export from get-go. It will incentivize the private sector to become aviation players of note and provide competition to HAL making the latter more efficient and effective, and able to amortize the government’s investment of hundreds of billions of dollars into it over the last seven decades rather than (as newspapers report) have its low productivity and unaccountable work force agitate against government measures to “corporatize” it, other DPSUs and Ordnance Board factories.

This option, if it is taken, will mean the Modi government, for the first time, doing something tangible and substantive to promote indigenous design and production of capital military equipment rather than merely yacking about it and repeating the hollow mantra of “Make in India” ad nauseam.

So, what are the chances of such innovative indigenization programmes getting implemented on a war footing? Zero!

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.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, arms exports, asia-Pacific/Indo-Pacific, Asian geopolitics, civil-military relations, corruption, Culture, Decision-making, Defence Industry, domestic politics, DRDO, Europe, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's China Policy, India's Pakistan Policy, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Indian democracy, Indian ecobomic situation, Indian Navy, Indian Ocean, Indian Politics, MEA/foreign policy, Military Acquisitions, Military/military advice, North Korea, Northeast Asia, NRIs, Nuclear Policy & Strategy, Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan, Pakistan military, Pakistan nuclear forces, Relations with Russia, Russia, SAARC, society, South Asia, Strategic Forces Command, Strategic Relations with the US & West, Terrorism, UN, United States, US., Weapons. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Bummer in Biarritz — potentially

  1. Rupam says:

    I would say give L&T who has the most experience and facilities to coordinate the development full production of the Tejas MK.2 and bring it to production level fast. Also give a standing order of production and maintenance to L&T for about 600-700 Mk. 2 Tejas and further derivatives for the IAF and also allow it to export derated version to other countries on condition of quality and quantity in stipulated time. Give production rights of all Mk. 1 models to Tata, Mahindra, Adanji et al to be produced as a bridge to Mk.2 and later derivatives. Also allow for export of Mk. 1 models at about 70%-80% derated quality to important players in order of importance starting with Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines etc.

    Given what I have read for on ausairpower.net about Australia’s requirements, I would say offer Tejas Mk.2 and derivatives fitted to their requirements as a air defence to replace their legacy aircrafts to Australia as well. Given we as well as they are averse to Chinese designs.

    Ditch the Dornier for now, grab the opportunity of the Shinmayva US-2 from Japan and help a entrepreneur set up a production line.

    Bharat Karnad ji heard recently from a defense analyst that Tejas was worse than his BMW and needed full redesign. Don’t know what that means given that Tejas had made more than 4000 hrs. of sorties without a single incident, which in itself is a achievement. Also heard that while Rafale is a 1st world country product our pilots are 3rd world country guys who would not be able to use its capabilities to the full extent. I wonder what these guys have against Tejas and the capabilities of their own countrymen in fields when they don’t really know much about that field itself.

  2. Rupam says:

    Given how important your analysis is regarding these issues. I would say you need to collaborate with some new portal that will regularly host you on Youtube and facebook, so that your analysis gets more limelight and more peaple understand this POV as well. I think your views need more coverage so that the general public reads and understands your analysis.

    Wonder why Republic TV that chest thumps on being Nationalistic does not invite you on debates and detailed discussion.

    • Curious, but what alternative portals do you have in mind?

      • Rupam says:

        I would say today the most effective way to spread your analysis would be the visual medium. In that case it will have to be Youtube.

        Either u can collaborate with a news portal that will host you, or you could go your own way, open a channel and just as u post here on your blog according to the news, you post 5-10 min short clips explaining it in a video. Off course over time the quality of those videos need to increase, such that you use graphics and such to show the different points u are making.

        Also you could invite other analysts to your channel or if someone is willing to host your on their channel for a debate or discussion on various incidents and news just like a podcast but with video.

        You could start a different series under the heading of wars and analysis to make the public understand how tactics and strategies come into play and how to use them for India’s National interests in the present day.

        There are many ideas you can come up with in the video medium

        Also you would have to up your game on Twitter and FB and be active so that u share your videos there and sort of engage in small talk so that the word of your video spreads.

        You could do this from your own account or get someone to maintain a public account of yours such that u are not bogged down by trolls.

        If you go the FB route, you could open a page or group where you will not make posts but also share your videos with a short note in the beginning.
        In this case make sure to set the settings of the page such that here also trolls do not hijack any conversation.

        Of course all of this is time intensive and you may or may not be able to give that much time owing to your work. Hence the suggestion that if someone is willing to host you regularly on their channel then that would be a good option.

        Your latest talk hosted by Srijan Foundation was good, but a series of those talks would be much better for your POV to spread as well. How as the response from the audience there?

        I am thinking of starting a channel just to host defense experts and analysts such as yourself and many more. If it comes into play will contact you.

      • Rupam@ — will await your channel. ‘Am 71, still have lots of work on my hands, and cannot, alas, spare the kind of time for the intensive communications activity you have outlined. May be my policy themes are slow therefore to be propagated but they get there, even if belatedly to do any good. Cela ve! So, yeah, get going on your channel!!

      • Un says:

        Also of utmost essence is how the independent think thanks like Center for Policy Research will help expand and support other such thinks – to prevent gullible bureaucrats in high positions of GOI into signing foreign deals that essentially traps or shortchanges the country strategically.

        Media and communication does take a central role from that point of view.

      • Unicorn says:

        Also of utmost essence is how the independent think thanks like Center for Policy Research will help expand and support other such thinks – to prevent gullible bureaucrats in high positions of GOI into signing foreign deals that essentially traps or shortchanges the country strategically.

        Media and communication does take a central role from that point of view.

  3. Unicorn says:

    1. It does seem this time around, it is Pakistan who is on the backfoot. Its normally India who is and always have been reactive. Happy to see some proactivity on part of GOI in terms of Article 370.

    2. Problem with Modi (and perhaps the larger India bureaucracy) is that they mistake any warmth and niceties shown casually by individual people in the west to be the same as approach taken by their bureaucracy and Government. Whereas in Indian case it is the opposite. Individuals are normally very hawkish, but organizationally, pretty weak.

    3. H1B has really not stopped as much as news media makes us believe. People still keep getting approvals and extensions. That the H1B is a long term entrapment of helpless Indian workers is another matter.

    4. Democracies wont and cannot work like dictatorships. In that sense id say comparison with Xi/Putin/Kim Jong Un is unfair.

    5. As far as LEMOA and Comcasa is concerned, they are the single biggest reason why I would not vote for Modi; but what better alternative do we have?

    6. As far as various combat aircrafts are concerned, I think it is bit of an over-expectation that India would produce all of them in sufficient quantity and quality, at least at this point in time. For one there is sure deficiency in metallurgical capabilities to produce high end turbo fan blades. Even Russians have not been able to match the quality of Rolls Royce or Pratt Whitney. Can we expect defunct Indian PSUs and DRDOs to catch up? At the same time just banning IAF from procuring foreign jets is too simplistic a solution to effect any organic fighter jet industry. Perhaps we should first start with machinery and supporting tech eco system for producing high grade metallurgical fabrications.

    7. At the end, as hard as it may sound, engineering quality is simply not there in Indian engineers for organic innovations. Strategic programs do work (Space and ICBMs) because they are do or die, and GOI. has historically managed to attract the best of best. But the same is not sustainable at a large scale necessary for spawning full spectrum of innovations necessary for Indian defence (Aircraft, Submarines, Radars, Air defence, Cyber Defence etc….)

    • It would be sustainable. as I have repeatedly argued over the years, if a strong leader like Modi simply removed arms imports from the military’s agenda. Strategic systems are “do or die” because imports are not possible. So if importing arms is done away with what’s left but doing it ourselves as regards designing, developing and manufacturing completely indigenous conventional weaponry.

      • Unicorn says:

        The first thing that is probably going to happen if GOI imposes blanket ban on imports is that likes of NAL, DRDO & HAL will be left with no competition. Being an unattractive government organizations that no one wants to work for, their talent will be unable to cope up with quality demands of defence forces and will start producing substandard military hardware. Even justifying it sometimes! Left with no choice the armed forces will induct these deficient hardware which will start posing real threat to national defences.

        Perhaps a more prudent approach will be to selectively induct indigenous hardware and continually contrast and compare it with the best standards of Russian and American hardware. After a proven competency is established, then perhaps GOI can move towards pinching off imports.

        Maybe GOI’s biggest baggage is unproductive PSUs like HAL. One approach that could potentially work is GOI owning only Research organizations like DRDO, NAL, ISRO etc… and selling off lousy PSUs like HAL. A modus operandi for technology transfer from these research orgs to private companies will then achieve both the required privatization and indigenization. This is akin to what ISRO is doing with regards to PSLV, a very noble initiative indeed!

        Finally I found DRDO’s mandate “too heavy”; They are tasked with doing just too many things from water purification systems to inertial navigation systems for Agni. Perhaps GOI could break it up and spin off ballistics, electronic systems, propulsions etc… into their own independent organizations reporting to GOI. This is perhaps simplistic but drives home the point. Each of these self managed organizations can partner with private within tech transfer framework dictated by GOI (or perhaps organizations themselves!)

      • As first step, as I have argued, GOI has to get the process started by having DRDO transfer Tejas source codes and algorithms to pvt sector Complexes/consortiums of the kind I have described to help them become competing centres of combat aircraft design and production, and prevent consolidation of the kind you fear once imports are banned.

      • As first step, as I have argued, GOI has to get the process started by having DRDO transfer Tejas source codes and algorithms to pvt sector Complexes/consortiums of the kind I have described to help them become competing centres of combat aircraft design and production, and prevent consolidation of the kind you fear once imports are banned.

      • Unicorn says:

        @Bharat Karnad: If not source codes or algorithmic models (negative aerodynamics, control feedback loops etc…) then at least manufacturing specifications and technologies (electronic systems, geometries of control surfaces etc…)

        Govt. Research organizations can still maintain labs and facilities for certifications like wind tunnels etc….

      • Of Course, DRDO labs should get paid royalties for their patents and proprietory knowledge and techniques by the pvt sector firms, which is what they should stick to doing. See the Indian defence industry model centered on competing pvt-public sector consortiums detailed in my 2015 book — Why India is Not a great Power (Yet)!

      • Unicorn says:

        @Bharat Karnad: If not source codes or algorithmic models (negative aerodynamics, control feedback loops etc…) then at least manufacturing specifications and technologies (electronic systems, geometries of control surfaces etc…)

        Govt. Research organizations can still maintain labs and facilities for certifications like wind tunnels etc….

  4. KungFu Panda says:

    Sir, I think your evaluation of Mr. Modi as this little poodle that can be handled as pleased and taken for a ride by world leaders is harsh. He would not have gotten where is today & who he is today, had that been the case. Most people, Modi’s fiercest opponents included would attribute far greater political acumen and ‘cunning’ to him than you do.

    1)I have read about the assessment of LCA Tejas by a number of experts and most of them feel it’s at best a mediocre platform. That would not have been much of a problem if HAL was not criminally inept and incorrigible and could quickly develop/ test/ produce mark 1A.
    MARK 2 & AMCA look like a pipe dream given HAL historic performance. They are not even able to keep up with their up-gradation of existing platforms like Mirage 2000 & Jaguar. Kudos to COAS BS Dhanoa who thought it prudent to publicly name and shame the organization.

    2)In light of this, HAL’s ‘promise’ of delivering 4 squadrons of super Sukhoi cannot be taken at face value. I also came across one notable expert, who claims the IAF’s actual motivation behind MMRCA was that they weren’t happy with the Su-30 MKI and wanted to avoid the embarrassment for seeking a fighter in its class(heavy), hence sought medium category instead of the initial light category. The claim was apparently the Su-30 doesn’t perform as per it’s stated specifications for Indian conditions. Would like to hear your views on that.

    3)You asserted buying more Rafales, would be politically dangerous for Modi for decades to come.
    On the other hand, you advocate setting up parallel production lines by private players, who would be transferred complete technology by HAL. I completely second you on this, but do you not realize this too would be vociferously made into a central political issue by congress party & the opposition. All they have to do is say, Modi, took jobs and money away from lakhs of hardworking poor workers of HAL.

    4) You are absolutely right about the importance of the need to develop indigenous design-develop produce-service capability. Who would not want that? But at a time when our squadron numbers are dangerously low and getting rapidly lower each passing year, we have to adopt a mixed policy that might seem to be potpourri.
    We can’t simply make up the numbers by fielding squadrons of inferior aircraft for the heck of it.
    Rafale is expensive, but it brings bang for the buck. It’s superior to anything Pakistan and China have in their inventory and could have in their inventory for the foreseeable future. For every Rafale in air, the adversary would have to field 2 or more fighters.

    PS Question:
    Would the IAF be interested in buying a squadron/half a squadron of strategic bombers like the Tu-160 from the Russians? Would the Russians be interested in selling it to us?

    • Please read the post again. I referred to British PM Boris Johnson, NOT Modi, as Trump’s poodle.

    • Unicorn says:

      Totally agree with every other point you have made!

      However as far as Modi, he is a killer domestic politician, no doubt! But strategically, he has bent India too much to fit into Washington’s stratagem. LEMOA and COMCASA were just plain wrong!

      No need at all for LEMOA. Just provide logistic support on case by case basis. Why enter into a binding agreement?

      COMCASA is really a shame. With big billion dollar internet industry and space assets, you really cannot develop military grade communication platforms?

      It is not very hard to see the country [India] benefitting the most by doing transactional dealings with other countries (USA, Russia, China….), while strictly protecting internal strategic programs.

      Big bear hugs are really unnecessary. Just shake hands, do business deals, exchange cards and go back home!

  5. Rupam says:

    Bharat Karnad ji also heard the analyst say that our Sukhois are so bad that are avionics and sensors from Israel and France are not properly working with the Russian ones. I mean is this really true? Like if our frontline fighter is riddled with such problems why would IAF go for the Super Sukhois and why would it buy so many of it in the first place. Would be great if u could shed some light on this.

    • Integration of a weapons platform with ancillary and support sub-systems and systems is never seamless and always far from perfect. But that’s the suboptimal choices this country is forced to make in the absence of a comprehensive in-country armaments-making capacity that no Indian govt to date has been willing to commit to, come what may.

  6. vivek says:

    and do you belive Modi ministry , who didnt said a word regarding HongKong against China, will speak strongly in front of US?

    • a lot of nonsense going on in some these comments… that image of bush senior and his cohorts has also been used with a caption about the trickle down theory of economics….
      “we told them the wealth would trickle down!”…
      Tejas is a great achievement… sure India establishment needs to get “harder” and Mr Karnad is always down on Modi… but as I have said here before, he is a product of the system and is doing ok considering that said system is awful………..
      further if one considers the brutality suffered by India and Hindus the last 1300 years plus and the vile nature of the scamgress dispensation… India is still standing and doing ok…
      The biggest obstacle to Indian progress is a general sense of self-loathing and a lack of confidence……….. All results of the brutal history India had to deal with

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