Historically, what America has said and what America has done world-wide are two different things (Thank God Columbus Lost his Way, Nov 15). For all the middle-class hype and hero worship of the US, we cannot ignore the fact that India is being courted and coerced at the same time. The question is, will India of the future be able to chart its course with an independent mind? Obama is erudite and charming, someone who is admired as an individual, but that doesn’t mean we lose sight of everything else.
India never figured in the to-do list of powerful foreign dignitaries till a few years ago. So it’s only natural that we Indians are still a bit awed and curious about the contents of Uncle Sam’s goodies/takeaway bag.
Jayanthy Subramaniam, Mumbai
For a change, our PM could have put his hand on Obama’s shoulder rather than the photo-op of the US president holding our PM in an ‘arm lock’.
Madhu R.D. Singh, Ambala
We are fascinated with America because it has got all that we yearn to see in India—discipline, national pride, systems, cleanliness, order, respect for merit and so many other values that create a civilised society. Thanks to our politicians, we still remain in that ‘chalega’ cesspool after 60 years of self-rule! I am eagerly looking forward to that one great leader who has the guts to tell us, ‘Folks, we have screwed up’!
Dr B. Sudhakar, Changanasserry, Kerala
We Indians are citizens of the world today because of American inventions and innovations. It is to their credit that they have shared their knowledge with the world. Has any other country done that kind of service to humanity?
S. Gopal Valluri, Bangalore
Obama’s only interest was pushing American kirana shops (with fancy names) and diluting the recently passed nuclear liability bill so that US mncs can have a free run like Union Carbide. I hope the upa will not fall into the trap.
N. Ramamurthy, Chennai
When Bill Gates visited India and threw cash everywhere, people thought he was donating so much to Indians. Later, the government, which had earlier issued a circular to all offices to have free software Linux installed in PCs, revised it and issued a circular for installing MS Office. The cost of MS Office software was about Rs 10,000 and more for every system. So how much did Gates spend and how much did he earn in India? What Obama is offering is also peanuts. Indians are going to be looted, and our rulers are going to aid him in that loot.
S. Gandhi, Chennai
Your last line, “a world bully tying up with a regional bully...” doesn’t stand up to facts on the ground. Has India bullied Bhutan, Nepal (despite its perception), Bangladesh, Myanmar? Paranoid Pakistan is another matter, its army and the isi cannot survive without these misconceptions.
Ravinder Sethi, Dallas
You can’t deny that Obama connected with India’s Gen-next extremely well. Our leadership can take a few lessons here, for Obama gave them a gameplan for the next 20 years.
George Olivera, Mysore
William Bissell of Fab India is happy about this marriage where the US would be the pitcher and India the catcher, similar to what US relations are with the rest of the world except for Israel where it is happy to be the catcher.
Kishore Dasmunshi, Calcutta
The US has a long history of exploiting countries to its advantage. We should remember that in US the S is in capitals and in ‘Us’ the ‘s’ is in lower case. The US will always thinks of itself first, then about ‘Us’.
Rajat Mehta, Chandigarh
Your piece will only lead to more misconceptions. Leaders are not always loved, and they do not care for what everyone thinks of them. They go and do what is right—this is true of America. Even Gandhi was hated and that is why someone shot him.
R. Srinivasan, Los Altos, US
We should have forced America to extradite Warren Anderson before signing any deals. That would have showed those brash US corporates that they can’t cross the law in India.
Padmabushan R., Hyderabad
I fail to understand your fixation with Arundhati Roy. Even on the Obama visit, you have to take her comment. How is she an expert, is she a social scientist, an authority on international relations, an economist? Give us a break.
Debjit, on e-mail
We are all Americans now.
Dinesh Kumar, Chandigarh
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