Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kerry Annoys Indians; Hyphenates India and Pakistan

US Secretary of State John Kerry's current visit to India has aroused Indian media's anger with the Times of India  protesting that the secretary has "sought to draw parity between India and Pakistan".

In an article titled “Kerry’s soft line on Pakistan a sore subject,” Indian newspaper The Hindu complained: “Departing from his predecessor Hillary Clinton’s line of commiserating with the victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, he opted to sympathize with the victims of the Uttarakhand flash floods instead.”

Global Poverty Rates 


For the last several years, Indian elites have been quite obsessed about de-hyphenating their country from Pakistan and fusing it with China by inventing such words as "Chindia". However, it's also clear from the Indian media reactions to Kerry's words that India's rivalry with Pakistan inflames far more passion in India than does India's self-proclaimed competition with China.

Robert Kaplan of Stratfor questions the Indian policy elite's obsession with hyphenation with China in a recent piece as follows:

Indian elites can be obsessed with China, even as Chinese elites think much less about India. This is normal. In an unequal rivalry, it is the lesser power that always demonstrates the greater degree of obsession. For instance, Greeks have always been more worried about Turks than Turks have been about Greeks. China's inherent strength in relation to India is more than just a matter of its greater economic capacity, or its more efficient governmental authority.

Kaplan goes on to say the following about India-Pakistan hyphenation:

The best way to gauge the relatively restrained atmosphere of the India-China rivalry is to compare it to the rivalry between India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan abut one another. India's highly populated Ganges River Valley is within 480 kilometers (300 miles) of Pakistan's highly populated Indus River Valley. There is an intimacy to India-Pakistan tensions that simply does not apply to those between India and China. That intimacy is inflamed by a religious element: Pakistan is the modern incarnation of all of the Muslim invasions that have assaulted Hindu northern India throughout history. And then there is the tangled story of the partition of the Asian subcontinent itself to consider -- India and Pakistan were both born in blood together.


It's a rarely acknowledged  fact in India that most Indians are far more obsessed with Pakistan than any other country. But the ruling dynasty's Rahul Gandhi, the man widely expected to be India's future prime minister, did confirm it, according to a news report by America's NPR Radio. "I actually feel we give too much time in our minds to Pakistan," said Rahul Gandhi at a leadership meeting of  the Indian National Congress in 2009.

The rise of the new media and  the emergence of the "Internet Hindus", a term coined by Indian journalist Sagarika Ghose, has removed all doubts about many Indians' Pakistan obsession. She says the “Internet Hindus are like swarms of bees". "They come swarming after you"  pouncing on any mention of Pakistan or Muslims.

Here's a video demolishing the Chindia myth:


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India's Hostility Toward Pakistan

India-Pakistan Military Balance

BRIC, Chindia and the Indian "Miracle"

India's Twin Deficits and Soaring Imports From China

India Near Bottom on PISA and TIMSS Tests

Poverty Across India

4 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's annual GDP rose to $252 billion (184.35 million pop times $1368 per capita) in fiscal 2012-13, according to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2012-13 estimates based on 9 months data.

http://www.finance.gov.pk/survey/chapters_13/executive%20summary.pdf

By contrast, India's GDP for 2012-13 shrank in US $ terms to $1.84 trillion from $1.87 trillion a year earlier because the Indian rupee from 47.80 to 54. to a US dollar, according to Business Standard.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/rupee-fall-shrinks-fy13-gdp-size-in-terms-113060100014_1.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Hindu newspaper report on Indian corporate foreign debt:

July 8, 2013:
India’s international investment position (IIP) saw significant deterioration in the year-ended March 31, 2013. The country’s net liabilities to other countries rose by $57.8 billion to $307.8 billion over the course of the year. This caused the net IIP to worsen from a negative 14 per cent of GDP to a negative 16.7 per cent.

The International Investment Position compares what India owes to entities located overseas (liabilities) relative to what it is owed by foreign entities (assets). In recent years, India’s liabilities have been expanding while assets have stagnated.

FDI DOWN

Liabilities have soared on the back of exporters taking more short term credit, and loans and deposits flowing in from overseas. A break-up of the country’s international liabilities indicates that overseas trade credit, loans and deposits extended to India, grew by 13.8 per cent in 2012-13 from 2011-12 levels. This amounted to 18.4 per cent of GDP in March 2013, up from 16.8 per cent in 2012-13.

This was a weak year for inbound foreign direct investments, which grew only by 5.1 per cent. Portfolio investment expanded by 10.4 per cent during the year. This was mainly in the form of equity inflows.

In contrast, Indian companies remained rather cautious about investing across the border. International assets — which capture investments in foreign currency — stagnated at 24.3 per cent of GDP compared to 24.5 per cent a year ago. This was driven by the 0.8 per cent decline in the foreign exchange reserves.

Portfolio investments by Indian companies fell by 6.6 per cent, but direct investments overseas rose by 6.3 per cent. This depicts the value of the country’s direct investment abroad, portfolio investments, equity and debt security investments, trade credits, loans and reserve assets, among others, as a proportion of its cumulative economic output in a given year.

The ratio of net foreign liabilities to GDP is regarded as an indicator of default risk. This indicates that the country’s liabilities to external parties have been rising as a proportion of its economic output.


http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/india-owes-more-to-overseas-entities-now/article4895405.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Australian survey summary about what Indians see as key threats and issues:

KEY FINDINGS
74% of Indians are optimistic about the prospects for India's economy
80-85% of Indians see shortages of energy, food and water as big threats to their country's security, while 94% consider Pakistan a threat, and 83% consider China a threat
95% of Indians support the democratic rights of fair trial, free expression and the right to vote
96% of Indians think corruption is holding India back


http://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/india-poll-2013#pakistan

Riaz Haq said...

United States President Barack Obama telephoned Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday to inform him about his decision to visit India as chief guest of the Indian Republic Day.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had planned to visit Pakistan in September this year just before he had paid his maiden visit to India but had to cancel the trip at the eleventh hour because of volatile political situation in Pakistan.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had made India the destination of his first foreign visit in May 2013 but had proceeded straight to Pakistan after concluding his India visit.
Nawaz Sharif expectedly adopted the me-too approach and asked Obama to visit Pakistan also but Obama did not make any commitment. Sample the quote of the Pakistan Prime Minister's Office: "The President (Obama) also assured the Prime Minister (Sharif) that he would undertake a visit to Pakistan at an early date, as soon as the situation normalizes in the country."
And if Japan promised $35 billion investment in India for the next five years when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Japan in August-September, China too has committed to invest $45.6 billion for economic corridor in Pakistan over the next six years when Sharif recently visited China.
The political message emanating from this is clear: the world is still hyphenating India with Pakistan.
Pakistan may be going through the self-destruct mode with myriads of problems. Top foreign leaders may be avoiding visiting Pakistan for security reasons and political instability and top cricket playing countries may have refused to play cricket in Pakistan for the same reasons.
And yet the fact is that the world is still cajoling Pakistan. The world is careful not to annoy Pakistan while improving relations with India. Why? The world is not much interested in forging trade and economic ties with Pakistan, a $250 billion economy, but deeply conscious of Pakistan's highly strategic location and Pakistan's biggest USP of being the only Islamic nation armed with a nuclear bomb.
One must notice a subtle new trend with regard to Pakistan over the years. When it comes to important foreign officials visiting Pakistan the number of security and intelligence officials is far more than the number of presidents or prime ministers or ministers visiting Pakistan. The reason is obvious. Foreign officials visit Pakistan largely to discuss their own country's safety and security, at risk mainly because of Pakistan's numerous sins of omission and commission.
That's why one would hardly hear about Pakistan attending major world summits like G20, G8 Plus, ASEAN, EAS (East Asia Summit) or BIMSTEC etc simply because Pakistan is not a member. Leaders of Pakistan have been so uni-focal on needling India by raising and nurturing terror machines for decades that they did not realise how much the world has changed and progressed in the past two decades.
For decades, the Pakistani military has indoctrinated its politicians as well as the masses as to how India is the biggest threat to the survival of their nation. What has been happening in Pakistan for the last one decade is absolutely different. Terrorist and fundamentalist outfits, flourishing in Pakistan, have emerged as the biggest threat to Pakistan.
More people have been killed in Pakistan by home-grown terrorists than in all the India-Pakistan wars till date. This is a fact which is now being acknowledged even by the powerful Pakistan Army also.
Against this backdrop, it should be embarrassing for India to be bracketed with a country like Pakistan. But the diplomatic heft which Pakistan had till about 2001-02 is no longer there.
Therefore, Nawaz Sharif may have urged Obama to raise the Kashmir issue with India during his January visit but in the heart of his hearts Sharif would know full well that nothing much is going to happen on this front...

http://m.firstpost.com/world/jinping-obama-heres-world-still-hyphenates-india-pakistan-1817431.html