Samvaad: A Conversation
Speak Your Voice! We'd love to hear your thoughts. Click on the "Comments" link at the end of each posting to make your voice heard!
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
An Opportunity for Change - Prime Minister Singh in Washington
On the economic front much has been said of the growing partnership between the two nations. This partnership must indeed grow but not just for the industrialists on both sides but for the people at large as well. One way this can be achieved is by having both governments committing themselves to giving an equal amount of weight to develop small businesses. Instead of pitting one middle class against the other, the two leaders must find a way that enables small investors and businesses to cooperate with each other. This will provide greater opportunities for employment generation as well as forge a much closer relationship between the two peoples.
Additionally, collaboration in science and technology must not be held hostage to the defense sector alone. Some promising interaction has been initiated in the field of biotechnology, but for India its use will be validated only when these new technologies enable it to provide affordable health care to its most vulnerable. Increasingly rural indebtedness in India is associated with health care costs. Affordable technologies have made a great impact in tackling basic development issues. Cellular telephony has penetrated deep into India and other telecommunication advances have enhanced rural India‚Äôs access to information and resources. These technologies have also greatly improved governance. The Prime Minster should urge the Administration and the American business community to invest in assisting India to become a better decentralized democracy. Space collaboration should continue to grow in order to inspire the next generation of explorers in both countries. Overall the scientific collaboration should be such that gives children in both countries the motivation and opportunity to pursue careers in science. Both nations have produced some of the greatest scientific minds and thus the onus to promote a culture of scientific inquiry is their joint obligation.
Differences persist on the issue of terrorism - not in recognizing its threat but in response to its threat. There is no question that external terrorist threats are real and must be the top priority of the security apparatus. However, diplomatic efforts, if pursued in unison, can greatly diminish the effects of ideological rhetoric. Such efforts can only succeed if those who need this help the most take the lead in reforming their own societies - there can be no imposition of democracy. India must not abandon its positions to appease any foreign government, but it must possess the vision to engage with sincere peacemakers. Geopolitics is inescapable but holding the relationship between two of the most prominent democracies captive to conventional strategic interests is a great disservice to the rare opportunity that has befallen the two nations to forge a new bond.
Only history will tell us how these meetings affect the course of Indo-US relations but it must not be lost on any one of us how important this coming together is. We hope the two leaders can see through the ceremonial aspects and get down to addressing the issues that are front and center of their people as they leave home every morning in pursuit of a better life.
April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 March 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 January 2006 March 2006 April 2006 June 2006 September 2006 January 2007 March 2007 May 2007 August 2007 October 2007 November 2008 December 2008