India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
darshan
BRFite
Posts: 579
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby darshan » 02 Jun 2019 04:24

Suraj wrote:I don’t see it as a case of India necessarily losing workers . Trade has three major axes - goods , capital and labour . All three can be moved around . Various countries are surplus or deficit in any of these three.

Very well explained. I was trying to explain the same. I refer to it as loss due to routes taken to go to many such countries. GoI can figure out formal agreements with various countries and provide proper support network to prevent exploitation and slavery. Thus turn loss into real export and remittance. There have been many stories on Indian farmers selling everything to go to various countries and get stuck.

GoI also needs to increase awareness on these exploitation traps. For example, on the US southern borders, I see far too many “asylum seekers” who walk right into traps set up by EJ networks. Going rate of seeking asylum is around $100k. I bet that lot of it used by EJ networks inside India and lot of it outside as money. Not to mention them turning into human rights statistics against India and down the road turning into brown EJs.

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11321
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby UlanBatori » 02 Jun 2019 07:32

Subramaniam Swamy explains the US-India exchange nicely. He points out that interest rates in India are high: a business faces taking loans at say 8 percent. In comparison, a US business gets a loan at, say, 4%. No way for Indian business to compete in Indian marketplace if US companies are allowed free run.
OTOH, wages in India are low compared to US, and India has plenty of workforce. So if Indian companies are allowed to bid on US infrastructure project, for instance, they can do then with imported labor paid at Indian rates - plus a handsome bonus.
So he says, if US wants US companies to have free access to Indian markets with cheap American capital, then Indian companies should have access to US markets with cheap Indian labor rates.
Of course this assumes that Indian workforce trained on US machines and US construction standards, will continue to be cheaper than US workers. But in many ways, what we see played out is the above exchange, in the software field. I don't have any brilliant ideas how to do this better or resolve the differences.

Prithwiraj
BRFite
Posts: 155
Joined: 21 Dec 2016 18:48

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Prithwiraj » 02 Jun 2019 07:43

UlanBatori wrote:Subramaniam Swamy explains the US-India exchange nicely. He points out that interest rates in India are high: a business faces taking loans at say 8 percent. In comparison, a US business gets a loan at, say, 4%. No way for Indian business to compete in Indian marketplace if US companies are allowed free run.
OTOH, wages in India are low compared to US, and India has plenty of workforce. So if Indian companies are allowed to bid on US infrastructure project, for instance, they can do then with imported labor paid at Indian rates - plus a handsome bonus.
So he says, if US wants US companies to have free access to Indian markets with cheap American capital, then Indian companies should have access to US markets with cheap Indian labor rates.
Of course this assumes that Indian workforce trained on US machines and US construction standards, will continue to be cheaper than US workers. But in many ways, what we see played out is the above exchange, in the software field. I don't have any brilliant ideas how to do this better or resolve the differences.


Sorry but a lot of insurance related regulations and work-codes are involved. It is too complicated due to work-place safety standards. This is not middle east we are talking about. You can't cramp 20 people in one room in US. Plus getting the Visa and back-ground check itself is not worth the effort - Trumps base is blue-color workers (Construction Crew). This will be suicidal for his second term ambitions

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11321
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby UlanBatori » 02 Jun 2019 08:25

I am just saying what SuSwmy lays out as the negotiating positions: All the things you point out are "Obstacles to Free Trade" as seen from desh side, just as US sees Indian regulations as "Obstacles to Free Trade". One cannot just diss one side's perceptions of Obstacles while viewing the other side as "Real". About "safety regulations", India can say that wearing cow-leather boots is haraam. And no workers heavier than 90kg or taller than 185cm can be allowed on worksites due to danger of hitting their heads on Indian doorways.
Also, due to "Sustainable Development Goals" in India, no fewer than 4 workers can be put in any hotel room (otherwise Carbon Footprint is too high). No eating beef. No alchohol, period.
Insurance companies can be subjected to a massive amount of regulations to protect the Indian public.
Executives of US companies coming into India should be properly checked for their activities: Do they attend Churches run by Evangelist organizations? then they are presumed to be on illegal EJ missions.
Did they ever visit Pakistan?
Does the US company have Pakistani workers? Then sorry onlee, cannot issue visa to Execs.
PLUS, every executive planning to stay in India more than 30 days MUST pass the 3-Language Formula Competency Test, plus an Indian History Test. And be able to sin the words of Vande Mataram and Jana Gana Mana, not to mention Mere Sapnon ki Rani.

darshan
BRFite
Posts: 579
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby darshan » 02 Jun 2019 10:00

Need to start it up against Amazon, Netflix, google, fb, Twitter, etc. Damn still no Hindu calendar. There’s christian, jewish, islamic, etc. but no Hindu one. How many Hindus work for these corporations?

uskumar
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 84
Joined: 24 Aug 2009 23:41

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby uskumar » 02 Jun 2019 10:04

Suraj wrote:I don’t see it as a case of India necessarily losing workers . Trade has three major axes - goods , capital and labour . All three can be moved around .

Sir, I think with Advent of ml and ad based economy, I think data is also becoming a major axes

Y. Kanan
BRFite
Posts: 726
Joined: 27 Mar 2003 12:31
Location: USA

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Y. Kanan » 02 Jun 2019 10:55

Trump Declares Trade War On India, Imposes New Tariffs
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06- ... ew-tariffs

I know this is "old" news on this thread, and is already being discussed, but I just have to say, after years of watching in frustration as our govt disappoints allies, buys overpriced military gear it could have gotten from Russia or France, and harms its own strategic interests in a vain attempt to curry favor with successive US administrations... well after watching this grand litany of ass-kissing over many years, I hope now the delusions of our political class can be finally put to rest. The Americans can never be trusted, they're never going to be our partners, and they're never going to help us in our neighborhood, not with Afghanistan, Pakistan or even China. The Americans are not our friends and never will be.

chola
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3528
Joined: 16 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby chola » 02 Jun 2019 10:56

UlanBatori wrote:Good summary by cholaji, though I do not agree with the tit-for-tat bijnej. More sophisticated tactics needed. I question why India should depend on "developing nation" exemptions to sell products. Yes, it is convenient but IMO it keeps quality and R&D down while competing purely on price. Yes, lots of people would jump at a "mynawritee" designation for their bijnej/proposal/beti-beta's college admission, but ultimately these things are unhealthy: the price is paid by the best people in India.


Thank you, Mongolian. But I am against tit-for-tat. Especially on something like the GSP that was freebie to begin with.

Right now, there are supply chains up for grab. The last thing you want to do to hit out at US companies looking for a new place to put them.

BTW, I really enjoy your posts when you writing without the "accents" which made them intelligible at times. lol

chola
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3528
Joined: 16 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: USA

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby chola » 02 Jun 2019 11:00

Suraj wrote:rgosain: I’m afraid you’ve misinterpreted my post . I did not argue that we don’t have to retaliate to every US action . I always advocate immediate retaliation in trade wars to maintain or enhance balance of power .

What I tried to say in the post is that the impact of GSP on India in 2019 is rather low, and that it is simply one of Trump’s standard playbook actions where ‘others’ are painted as unfair to the ‘magnanimous US’ and thus they ‘take back’ the benefit .



Suraj ji, you have explained my position better than I. The GSP is not something that a growing power like ours should depend on. We do not need it and retaliating on it at this point in time with the supply chains up for grab is a detrimental move.

UlanBatori
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11321
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby UlanBatori » 02 Jun 2019 16:59

To add to Prithviraj's point: SuSwamy's main weapon is that the craziness of the US work visa is a major, major and deliberate obstacle to trade. Let's not dilute that by saying: What 2 do? It is like that onlee!" The US can very well decide on an honest, non-schizophrenic policy that respects excellence and creates at least a level playing field for skilled workers etc. After all, the US let in the top of the German and Soviet intellectual/ skills establishments post-war and that has not hurt US economic or military competitiveness.

OTOH, IMO it means that India should invest in DOMESTIC capabilities, (see 3D hologram Virtual Presence conferencing on BRF meet IITM thread)to do an end-run around this. If the same service and products can be delivered anywhere in the world with better quality, while cutting 90% of the time and resources wasted on visa, travel, hotel stays, etc etc etc and the family separation problems faced by India's best skilled workers today, the advantages can be really huge. So as chola says this is a time to use brains, not knee-jerk political reactions.

Rishi_Tri
BRFite
Posts: 320
Joined: 13 Feb 2017 14:49

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Rishi_Tri » 04 Jun 2019 07:22

This came up while searching for Nanda Devi..

https://rockandice.com/snowball/the-sec ... reloaded=1

"..Elite climbers were trained by the CIA and paid huge sums of money to carry an atomic-powered spy gadget to the top of an undisclosed peak.." Nanda Devi and subsequently lost!

Any substance in this?

Pratyush
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8055
Joined: 05 Mar 2010 15:13

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Pratyush » 04 Jun 2019 08:33

Rishi_Tri wrote:This came up while searching for Nanda Devi..

https://rockandice.com/snowball/the-sec ... reloaded=1

"..Elite climbers were trained by the CIA and paid huge sums of money to carry an atomic-powered spy gadget to the top of an undisclosed peak.." Nanda Devi and subsequently lost!

Any substance in this?


It was recovered during a joint operation in the 90s.

Amber G.
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6334
Joined: 17 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Amber G. » 04 Jun 2019 08:46

Rishi_Tri wrote:This came up while searching for Nanda Devi..

https://rockandice.com/snowball/the-sec ... reloaded=1

"..Elite climbers were trained by the CIA and paid huge sums of money to carry an atomic-powered spy gadget to the top of an undisclosed peak.." Nanda Devi and subsequently lost!

Any substance in this?

I think it is well known..After 1962 war with China - CIA + India's Intelligence, had monitoring device powered RTG... It became news (I remember it well) in around 1965 (or later) as one device gone missing or something like that. Check "Guru Rinpoche" (name of that device).
Basically the device was to monitor China's. The Plutonium is not what one can use in a reactor (or bomb) but Pu238 which is routinely use to power the system. One of the Indian climber (Kohli ?) installed the device but next year when they went there to retrieve it was missing.

They did install some more devices later near by in later 60's.
Pu238 was routinely used for RTG then. It has half life of about 88 years.

g.sarkar
BRFite
Posts: 1734
Joined: 09 Jul 2005 12:22
Location: MERCED, California

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby g.sarkar » 04 Jun 2019 09:57

Rishiji,
There is a book covering this in detail "Spies in the Himalayas: Secret Missions and Perilous Climbs", written by M.S. Kohli and Kenneth Conboy. I purchased it from Amazon years ago. It is still in print and available with Amazon, good luck.
Gautam

Amber G.
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6334
Joined: 17 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Amber G. » 04 Jun 2019 10:47

^^^ Slightly OT but Pu238 as power source ( long lasting) has been used for moon shots (like Apollo 11), and even in Pace-makers . (Big chunk of Pu238 gets rather hot due to radio-activity but since it is all alpha-rays - which can't penetrate skin - so relatively safe to handle/touch as long as you don't eat (or gets into your lungs etc)...:).... of course, anything radioactive or Pu really spooks people)

Rishi_Tri
BRFite
Posts: 320
Joined: 13 Feb 2017 14:49

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Rishi_Tri » 05 Jun 2019 00:22

thank you sirs. shall order the book.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66516
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Singha » 05 Jun 2019 16:02

the % of h1 approval has come down from 93 in 2017, to 85 in 2018 and 79 in first 5 months of 2019

the % of RFE has increased trumpianly

Gus
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8214
Joined: 07 May 2005 02:30

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Gus » 05 Jun 2019 16:45

Singha wrote:the % of h1 approval has come down from 93 in 2017, to 85 in 2018 and 79 in first 5 months of 2019

the % of RFE has increased trumpianly


What's the breakup, considering the masters quota applicants? Did they flip how they apply the lottery already?

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66516
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Singha » 05 Jun 2019 16:47

the above includes all types including those trying renewals.
came in TOI or google news today forgot which one.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66516
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Singha » 05 Jun 2019 16:50

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartande ... 4f798e797f

this is for initial h1b petitions...and the picture is a lot tougher

Denial rates for H-1B petitions have increased significantly, rising from 6% in FY 2015 to 32% in the first quarter of FY 2019 for new H-1B petitions for initial employment,” according to a National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) analysis of USCIS data in the H-1B Employer Data Hub. “Between FY 2015 and FY 2018 the denial rate for new H-1B petitions quadrupled from 6% to 24%. To put this in perspective, between FY 2010 and FY 2015, the denial rate for initial H-1B petitions never exceeded 8%, while today the rate is 3 or 4 times higher.”

Code: Select all

FISCAL YEAR   DENIAL RATE
FY 2019*   32%
FY 2018   24%
FY 2017   13%
FY 2016   10%
FY 2015   6%
FY 2014   8%
FY 2013   7%
FY 2012   5%
FY 2011   7%
FY 2010   8%
FY 2009   15%

Zynda
BRFite
Posts: 1643
Joined: 07 Jan 2006 00:37
Location: J4

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Zynda » 05 Jun 2019 17:16

But the above has had little effect on people likely avoiding to go to US. A lot of people are still eager to end up in the land of milk & honey with confidence that "things will work out"...

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66516
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Singha » 05 Jun 2019 18:18

Zynda wrote:But the above has had little effect on people likely avoiding to go to US. A lot of people are still eager to end up in the land of milk & honey with confidence that "things will work out"...


it takes time for rivers to change course.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/bus ... 419912.cms

Image

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66516
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Singha » 05 Jun 2019 18:18

given that aus and canada have much smaller number of univs, thats a massive flow going there.

Zynda
BRFite
Posts: 1643
Joined: 07 Jan 2006 00:37
Location: J4

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Zynda » 05 Jun 2019 18:26

And Germany for Mech/Aero students...

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66516
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Singha » 05 Jun 2019 21:44

Are so many people able to find work there after finishing studies?

nvishal
BRFite
Posts: 751
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 18:03

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby nvishal » 05 Jun 2019 21:46

The americans have come up with a wicked idea

The india vs pakistan balance is already in place(seeded in the 60s). They think they can cultivate a india vs china balance, in parallel.

sanjaykumar
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3901
Joined: 16 Oct 2005 05:51

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby sanjaykumar » 05 Jun 2019 22:02

There is an India Pakistan balance? There was a India Pakistan/USA balance. Pakistan’s only hope is that the US launches another third world war where it can offer to sacrifice dirt poor afghans to jihad or something equally clever.

nvishal
BRFite
Posts: 751
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 18:03

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby nvishal » 08 Jun 2019 19:27

US may offer F-35 fighter if India scraps S-400 deal
Manu pubby claims that the US will offer sale of f-35 to india if it gives up s400 from india.

My guess is that this Pubby character swings to the west, likely an NRI. He lacks basic understanding for indias decision to acquire the s400.

Throughout the past, india has refused to punish pakistans misadventures solely due to the fear from the US. Back when congress was in power and preparing to punish pakistan, it was Pranab mukherjee who stood up and asked whether "everyone in the room had gone mad?". He said that any attack on Pakistan would force the US into kashmir and change it, or we might loose it completely.

The acquisition of S400 by india is directed towards the US and prevent it from interfering inside kashmir militarily. Make no mistake.

This pubby character has no idea what he is talking about when he says that india might pick the f-35 over s400. The americans are also aware that the S400 is aimed at them primarily and secondarily to china. Ignore the fool.

Meanwhile, the US had approved the sale of predator drones to india in february 2019. They've sent a reminder to india again that they are ready to sell it. India has not responded since february.

"We want India to have our best technology, and we want to see India improve its defence capabilities so that it can be a net provider of security in the broader Indo-Pacific region," the senior White House official told PTI.

They're essentially saying, "1) you need to stop buying russian weapons and buy american 2) you need to become our security guard/watchmen in the oceans against china because we are too scared to do it ourselves"

Rishi_Tri
BRFite
Posts: 320
Joined: 13 Feb 2017 14:49

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Rishi_Tri » 08 Jun 2019 20:12

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/wor ... 699113.cms

"The Pentagon went so far to ask 42 Turkish pilots - who have been training in Arizona and Florida for the past seven months preparing to receive the first of 100 F-35s Turkey has contracted to buy - to leave the United States by July 31".

What happens in Turkey may be template for Bharat. Of course Turkey case shall be determined by how Mr Rdogan responds.

Real action shall start as S400 delivery dates come near and 2020 is just 6 months away. Apache, Chinook, GE 414 may well become the collateral damage! The fact that An 32s, IL 76 are still flying should be some comfort.

Mr Jaishankar, Mr Singh have their hands full now!

nvishal
BRFite
Posts: 751
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 18:03

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby nvishal » 08 Jun 2019 20:19

Rishi_Tri wrote:What happens in Turkey may be template for Bharat

Politicians in new delhi are well aware(through historical experience) of the americans use of sanctions and embargo's as its primary foreign policy tool. The indian defence ministry has said that all possibilities arising out of the purchase of S400 have been accounted for.

Rishi_Tri
BRFite
Posts: 320
Joined: 13 Feb 2017 14:49

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Rishi_Tri » 08 Jun 2019 20:51

nvishal wrote:
Rishi_Tri wrote:What happens in Turkey may be template for Bharat

Politicians in new delhi are well aware(through historical experience) of the americans use of sanctions and embargo's as its primary foreign policy tool. The indian defence ministry has said that all possibilities arising out of the purchase of S400 have been accounted for.


I am sure they have. Thinking aloud - if one really wants S400 deal to be off, the engines shall be the one target. Stop the engines and you set back an entire airforce by at least a decade. But then you also permanently damage everything that has been built and poof goes your counter china strategy.

But all the same, I never quite understood why GE was chosen as the engine supplier. Of course, one can bring into discussion dimensions, thrust and so on but still. Anyway, done and dusted. But the consequences may play out earlier than imagined.

Hopefully redesigned Kaveri with French core does become viable alternative sooner than later.

nvishal
BRFite
Posts: 751
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 18:03

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby nvishal » 08 Jun 2019 21:19

Rishi_Tri wrote: I never quite understood why GE was chosen as the engine supplier

ge404 is lighter and smaller and suitable for the smaller tejas
al31 would have been too big/heavy for tejas. They'll probably acquire al31 for the bigger amca

fanne
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2906
Joined: 11 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby fanne » 08 Jun 2019 22:25

Apache, Chinook, GE 414 - In this GE 414 is the only one where we do not have a possible answer except a L(m)CA on AL-31. If 2052 is embargoes, UTTAM it is.

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 19852
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Philip » 09 Jun 2019 21:51

Why I've for over a decade said that LCA prototypes should've been tested with an alternative engine, SNECMA or EJ.Kaveri failed to make the grade and waiting for it is like waiting for Godot. Putting all our engine options solely upon GE has been a huge mistake given the unpredictability of US foreign policy.We never learnt the lessons after P-2 when the LCA suffered due to US sanctions.History about to repeat itself?

darshan
BRFite
Posts: 579
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby darshan » 10 Jun 2019 19:33

US news portals and media platforms, that have ignored rapes and murders of Hindus including recent case of young girl, have gone in overdrive about recent verdict in kathua case. YouTube feeds are being tweaked similar to Baba Ram Rahim days.

nvishal
BRFite
Posts: 751
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 18:03

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby nvishal » 10 Jun 2019 21:19

^ Perspective can no longer be controlled. The rise of internet and alternative means of content distribution(social media, private groups etc) has eclipsed the future of organised news mediums. The leftists(worldwide) had spent the last 2 decades gaining influential foothold in these mediums but have been swept away by the internet in a sudden.

There was a time when christian based outlets(foreign) would carry negative reporting of India. The left has replaced them.

You need to understand that these networks do not have influence over large sections of the population anymore. This is why nationalists parties have been voted into power around so many countries. This is why modi came to power.

When the mass itself has ignored the contents from these networks, why do you bother? Don't play an aggregator for an outgoing medium.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66516
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Singha » 10 Jun 2019 22:00

the organized MSM is like symbianOS , at the dawn of ios and android. :mrgreen:

Rudradev
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3383
Joined: 06 Apr 2003 12:31

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby Rudradev » 11 Jun 2019 00:48

A warning from Rajeev Srinivasan in Swarajya.


Modi And The World: Here Be Dragons

- Jun 10, 2019, 11:18 am

https://swarajyamag.com/ideas/modi-and- ... be-dragons

...
But perhaps the most worrisome, and under-appreciated, threat comes from a framing and a narrative that have gained currency. It was manufactured in the Indian mainstream media, but its most avid consumers are the famous Western media brands, which appear to have a disproportionate influence on global opinion. This is not necessarily benign, and can have serious consequences.

There were times when people like Congress Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor cautioned us about how something in India would be projected in Western media. It appeared to be just a euphemism for “whatever will our white friends think when we meet over cocktails?” which could be safely ignored: a little embarrassment is not a big deal.

But this narrative has acquired much more dangerous overtones lately, and perhaps the new Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will work with the Information and Broadcasting Minister to ensure that a little heat is applied when the narrative about India goes haywire, as it did just before the election results.

The narrative has changed over time. Earlier, the image of India was of a benighted place, with naked, dark people starving to death because of over-population. Kind Westerners donated food to stave off mass starvation. I remember meeting a kind old lady when I first arrived in the US. She asked me if I was happy I was in the US since I was getting three square meals a day. And this was said with no irony, no malice: she just thought we were all naked and starving.

Later, the narrative changed. It became what the US activist Rajiv Malhotra calls the ‘cows-caste-curry’ meme. India is full of sacred cows, Hindus invited all sorts of societal problems with the horrid caste system, and Indian food is something called ‘curry’. Then it changed slightly again. With the storied success of software engineers, and the visibility of doctors of Indian origin, the model-minority moniker was increasingly applied to Indians.

But now there’s something much more sinister about the narrative on Hindus and India. It is demonisation, blunt and ruthless. Vamsee Juluri and Ramesh Rao, both professors of media, have separately documented the viciousness, vindictiveness and sheer vitriol in the coverage of a) Modi, b) Hindus, c) the Indian electorate. The subliminal messaging: a) fascist monster, b) primitive barbarians, c) idiots seduced by Modi’s siren songs who don’t know what’s good for them.

Demonising the enemy is a standard practice dating back to hoary antiquity. It’s much easier to exterminate someone whom you have already declared to be inhuman, subhuman, monsters. For example, during the colonial invasions, Spaniards declared that Aztecs were cannibals; Aztecs returned the favour; but since Spaniards won, their version stuck.

During the Second World War, demonising the Japanese was a standard part of the playbook, and the entire ‘yellow peril’ meme took off. We know what that led to: the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not to mention the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps. Let us remember that German Americans were not so treated. It may safely be assumed that race matters.

Today, there is some demonisation of China, but it may not work for a couple of reasons. One is that, after years of deliberate infiltration into foreign media (a famous Indian newspaper is virtually a mouthpiece for Xinhua propaganda agency) and into foreign academia (consider the views of a professor at UC San Diego, formerly in the Barack Obama administration), it is hard to do much propaganda against China, although Donald Trump is trying. But it doesn’t work: even the Tiananmen anniversary was brushed off by them.

This is clearly not true of India, however. India can be shamed, and shamed continuously on all sorts of things: women’s rights, religious freedom, hygiene, antibiotic resistance. And Indians do care what the West thinks. Let us also remember Hillary Clinton, her close aide the Pakistani American Huma Abedin, and Pakistan-related adviser Robin Raphel and how they kept denying Narendra Modi a visa. They were distinctly Indophobic, and Robin Raphel, who was under federal investigation for allegedly spying for Pakistan, was rehabilitated in 2016 and was packing her bags to be chief Indian subcontinent aide until Hillary Clinton lost the election.

There was also Faigate, the alleged information warfare operation run by Gulam Ahmed Fai and caught by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “in a suspected influence-peddling scheme to funnel millions of dollars from the Pakistani government, including its military intelligence service, to US elected officials”, according to The Washington Times (19 July 2011).

So if anti-Asian racism is to be given free rein, it is best to do it against Indians and Hindus, because there will be no pushback. Westerners are aware that it is best not to say or do things against Muslims, because there will be consequences. The Charlie Hebdo incident made a big impression. But you can demonise Hindus all you want.

There is precedent for this sort of “manufacturing consent” as theorist Noam Chomsky called it. The US media keeps its populace in a state of ignorance about the rest of the world, with only “all the news fit to create an agenda” is pushed to them, to take a little liberty with The New York Times’ motto. The fact is that there appears to be a supra-national entity loosely referred to as the ‘deep state’ that controls the narrative that emanates from so-called global media: the NYT, the Washington Post, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Guardian and the BBC, for instance. It’s their agenda-driven ‘news’ and editorials that apparently constitute ‘international opinion’, which is consumed by Davos types and many senior political figures, so they have clout.

They do have an influence far greater than their dwindling circulations, because they collectively are considered the ‘newspaper of record’. They have been hurt by the success of social media, which exposes their biases and their exaggerations pitilessly. But India needs to take them seriously, for they are creating a framing that is highly harmful to the country’s image, and is far removed from reality.

There is precedent. I watched in astonishment as the pliant media in the US practically overnight turned opinion against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. He had been an American ally for long, especially during the Iran-Iraq war, but suddenly became the devil incarnate. And we know what happened to him thereafter. On a slightly smaller scale, the same was true of Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian dictator, who went from American ally to jailbird. There is but a small step from demonisation to invasion.

The same sort of thing must have happened earlier, when Chile’s Salvador Allende was overthrown and assassinated, by all indications with the active involvement of the CIA; and when Mossadegh was removed in Iran. In a small way, the dismissal by Jawaharlal Nehru of EMS Nambudiripad’s Communist government in Kerala in 1959 with the help of local compradors also had the hallmarks of a ‘deep state’ operation.

The ‘deep state’ is definitely against India, and has been so from the old CENTO days when India was seen as a hectoring Soviet ally. Paradoxically, despite his trade huffing and puffing, Donald Trump, as the deep state’s adversary, is in a way a friend of India, on the principle that the enemy’s enemy is a friend. The fact that The Wall Street Journal is just about the only US paper that wrote a balanced editorial about Modi’s victory is notable.

There are two ways to handle this rampant demonisation of India, Hindus and Modi/Bharatiya Janata Party. One way is to do nothing, and believe that India is “too big to fail”, as was said of major banks. India is indeed too large for an invasion as in the case of Panama or Iraq. And it is too important as a partner in the Quad to contain China for the US to really hurt relations with India. (However, recent trade friction over the cancellation of General System of Preferences benefits to India, the moratorium on Indian oil purchases from Iran and Venezuela, and bargaining over India’s proposed purchase of the S-400 anti-missile system from Russia are all signs of trouble).

On the other hand, benign neglect may be counter-productive. The rabidness and foaming-at-the-mouthness of the international media have increased apace. It is a vicious cycle: India’s mainstream ‘Lutyens’ media, increasingly excluded from access to power, and thus losing the ability to broker deals, is furious. It invents #fakenews painting a picture of doom and gloom (fascism and religious tyranny are favourite memes). It is convenient for lazy foreign correspondents to just mouth these fantasies in their papers. Lo and behold, it is then recycled by Lutyens as a ‘validation’ of stories they made up in the first place: truth by repeated assertion.

Such bad behaviour should be punished. Hard states like Singapore did not put up with nonsense: they sued for defamation and libel, declared people personae non grata and gave them 24 hours to clear out. This deterred mischief makers. And there should be both stick and carrot: the Indian reader will become an important target audience for English-language global media. For instance, the NYT offers a Rs 49 a month digital subscription. They may need India more than India needs them: India should exert buyer power, by threatening to keep them (and their IP addresses) out if they misbehave.

Today, it is not only the print and television media, but in particular social media that is exhibiting delinquent behaviour. For instance, Twitter, which is popular in India, has consistently shown intense bias against supporters of Prime Minister Modi, and turned a blind eye to malfeasance by his opponents. There is a drastic remedy: suspend Twitter’s licence, firewall out its IP addresses and shut down its office until allegations are fully investigated.

Doing this to Twitter would be quite the Sun Tzu tactic of ‘killing the chicken to scare the monkey’. Facebook, WhatsApp, Amazon, Google and YouTube would all get the message that India means business; so would the NYTs, FTs, Economists, etc. Robust behaviour by the Indian state will deter the usual suspects in India (almost the entire print and electronic media, and their web-based startups that have all been very anti-Modi and pro-Congress) as well.

Today India is on track to become the third largest economy in the world, and it needs to act accordingly. The meek do not inherit the earth (if that were the case, why would the world spend trillions on weapons?). Information warfare, along with space and cyber warfare, are the future, although armies and navies certainly do not lose their relevance. India has to avoid having a narrative imposed on itself. It has to take media management seriously and start setting up Kalidasa Institutes abroad. That’s a necessary part of building the Indic Grand Narrative.



dnivas
BRFite
Posts: 229
Joined: 05 Dec 2008 05:54

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby dnivas » 11 Jun 2019 01:42

Doing this to Twitter would be quite the Sun Tzu tactic of ‘killing the chicken to scare the monkey’. Facebook, WhatsApp, Amazon, Google and YouTube would all get the message that India means business; so would the NYTs, FTs, Economists, etc. Robust behaviour by the Indian state will deter the usual suspects in India (almost the entire print and electronic media, and their web-based startups that have all been very anti-Modi and pro-Congress) as well.


Wait for their stock to fall next earning and then block twitters IP.Double whammy and will be world news. a quick 10-15 % drop in stock market will teach these thevdiyas a lesson in respecting a benign nation. Everyone else will fall in line at least for a year or two after that.

Rinse and repeat.

tandav
BRFite
Posts: 357
Joined: 26 Aug 2016 08:24

Re: India-US relations: News and Discussions IV

Postby tandav » 11 Jun 2019 02:27

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/10/asia/india-jammu-rape-trial-verdict-intl-hnk/index.html
and as anticipated it begins by pointedly painting Hindus as rapists...

darshan wrote:US news portals and media platforms, that have ignored rapes and murders of Hindus including recent case of young girl, have gone in overdrive about recent verdict in kathua case. YouTube feeds are being tweaked similar to Baba Ram Rahim days.


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ravikr, sudhan and 24 guests