Dear Peoples of the World,
As you all congregate in London – don’t cry for me here in India. Save your tears. Yes half of me is in darkness because of power failures. One in 12 people on the planet are left in darkness thanks to my power failure. I am embarrassed to ask for foreign investment when this happens, how will you trust me?
I am embarrassed that whilst people speak of China and India in the same sentence, of course what the Olympics and this power failure reveals is that in fact, India is closer to Pakistan than to China in so many ways.
I apologise for having raised your hopes throughout history. I gave you trigonometry and navigation and surgery and calculus and astronomy – you must have thought I was on quite a roll. I gave you a million men to fight in your Western wars – to save the world – and give you freedom and Independence from tyranny. I gave you a man who taught you all there was another way – Mahatma Gandhi – if only you would listen. Of course some of you like Mandela did listen. So you would be forgiven to think I would continue to keep giving.
Actually my people are not in darkness because of the power failure, but they’re in darkness because of the total failure of leadership. That darkness is leading their eyes to open and see the light. So worry not for me.
For years major global power companies have been urging me to open my markets, to allow them to supply, to grow infrastructure. They begged, they explained competition raises all, it leads to know-how coming to India. For years Captains of Indian Industry have visited Britain, coincidentally always around Wimbledon tennis time, and resisted calls for foreign competition entering India.
What did my people fear, that evil Western corporations would rape and pillage me? That small tiny Indian companies like Reliance will be gobbled up by foreigners? That a flood of money may equally quickly leave the country? That a flood of foreign money will lead to inflationary food prices? How’s that all working out for me – the Rupee is at a record low against the Dollar as floods of money still leaves India, and food prices sky rocket.
I used to blame the Mughals, then they left. I then blamed the British. Then they left. I am sure my leaders will not let me down as they leave for Switzerland.
Fools talk of China and India in the same sentence. Blind patriots will tell you, ‘never mind, India will do it all by itself; it is other’s fault, India will call on its vault of history.’
"The very essence of leadership is its purpose. And the purpose of leadership is to accomplish a task." Said a colonel. Time is running out for me. But fear not world. The world’s largest democracy will not see a revolution. Fortunately we are used to hardship. You in the West are more likely to have riots than we in India – with your soft-living. We’ve got used to poor living, so we’ll just work in the dark. So you see, it is a clever plan we had all along not to be too advanced, because then what when it all goes? Best placed are we for austerity, because we know nothing else.
I know, someone soon will point out, that at the end of the Second World War, a nuclear devastated Japan, became four decades later the world’s second largest economy – through a singular mission and pride. One day, something will happen to cause my people to have that singular mission and pride. Until then, don’t cry for me world.