By D.K. Sharma
NEW DELHI: Former Indian prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral once called Britain “a third-rate power nursing illusions of grandeur of its colonial past.’’
Gujral was spot-on, and his outbursts was triggered by the then British ministers’ offer of mediation on Kashmir.
Somewhere in their swollen heads, the descendants of British imperialists think they are still a global empire and that the world should pay them heed. They cannot digest the fact that countries they looted for centuries are now getting ahead of them in various fields.
Look at their reaction to India’s mission to Mars.
The Times of London has come out with a nasty editorial, castigating India for launching its space mission to Mars when “a third of the population has no private lavatory.’’
And the Financial Times has called the mission “India’s delusional quest for super power status.’’
Nobody can deny when the Times says that “corrupt government and poor services mean that in a country that is home to 55 billionaires, almost four in ten of the adult population cannot read’’ and that one in three of the world’s malnourished children is Indian.
But these descendants of the imperialists who plundered India and took away everything valuable, including the Kohinoor, must know the immensity of India’s problems. It will take a lot of time to solve them. London’s Thames used to be a big stinking sewer, people used to live in crowded houses and their capital used to be dark under smoke-filled skies in the 19th centuries.
If India is to pay heed to this criticism, it means bright Indian scientists must stop exercising their brains simply because there is so much poverty and it should be eradicated before any creative thinking is allowed! Do these jokers know that India’s space missions cost a fraction of western missions and that India has benefited immensely? The recent cyclone that hit India last month is an example. While western forecasts warned India of unprecedented destruction, Indian meteorologists were spot on with their forecasts. These space missions are no ego trips.
It is only a matter of time that India gets ahead of former colonial powers. All it needs are dedicated leaders, not the crooks who have let Indians down and exposed us to global ridicule.
(D.K. Sharma is based in New Delhi)