Regular readers of Gates of Vienna know me to be somewhat of an Indophile. Or should I be modern and multicultural, and say “Bharatophile”?
In any case, my heart was gladdened by the photos of President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh standing together at the press conference. And the deal they signed is not inconsequential – I’ll let rediff.com tell the story:
India Inc on Thursday welcomed US President George W Bush’s visit to this country, saying it will boost economic ties between the two giant democracies, and hailed the civilian nuclear deal for providing critical energy inputs to the Indian industry.
The energy-starved industry will get a booster as a consequence of the India-US nuclear deal thus reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and lowering the mounting oil import bill.
FICCI president Saroj Kumar Poddar described the agreement as a ‘watershed’ and ‘landmark’ deal and one which will serve the economic interest of the two giant nations.
Describing Prime Minister Singh and President Bush as statesmen and leaders of vision and foresight, Poddar said the agreement reflects the transformation and upgradation of the Indo-US business relation, the process of which started with the visit of the Indian prime minister to Washington in July 2005.
Being described as a “statesman and leader of vision” must make Mr. Bush reluctant to go home and resume the usual status of moron, fascist, and/or theocrat.
We may be facing a nasty and unpredictable conflagration in the not-so-distant future, what with Iran playing with nukes and President Musharraf trying to hang ten on a hot lava wave of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan. India is our natural ally on these and other fundamental issues; after all, their interest in them is even stronger than ours.
India is a thriving, dynamic, free-market, and democratic country with a large and well-educated English-speaking middle class. It is the driving engine of the South Asian economy, and well-positioned to be a counterweight to other regional powers whose interests do not coincide with ours.
In addition, it faces a version of the Great Islamic Jihad which is more vicious and widespread than anything outside of the Sunni Triangle. India is an outpost of civilization in a dangerous region, and deserves American support.
And, in case you need them, here are two more reasons to like today’s deal.
Number one, Reuters calls it “controversial”.
Number two, China doesn’t like it:
China has said nuclear co-operation between the United States and India must conform with the rules of the global non-proliferation regime.
‘Co-operation must conform with the requirements and provisions of the international non-proliferation regime and the obligations undertaken by all countries,’ foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told Agence France-Presse.
Suggested headine for the above story: Butter Fails to Melt in China’s Mouth.