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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
Outlook.com

Thank God Columbus Lost His Way

Ours is a love-hate relationship with America: its democracy, culture, universities hold us in thrall; its bullying repels us

Thank God Columbus Lost His Way
Photographs: Narendra Bisht, Swapan Nayak, Sanjay Rawat, AP
Thank God Columbus Lost His Way
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Whenever an American president wings his way to India, we always seem to get entangled in a bewildering variety of contradictory, confusing emotions. There’s jubilation at the chance to host the most powerful man of the world, to show him the wonder that’s India. Every word of his is decoded, every movement dissected. Underlying this excitement, though, persist the fears we have harboured over decades. Can’t we fathom the surreptitious American agenda, some ask. No matter how liberal a president of the United States may be, his principal goal is to dominate the world, conquer markets, and enrich his own citizens, they claim. Such warnings emanate from, and stoke, a vague anxiety about the future.

This emotional confusion about America, though, has become less acute over the years, largely because of the psychotherapeutic impact of cataclysmic changes around the globe. For instance, the end of the cold war and the disintegration of the Soviet Union into fragments have treated our paranoid propensity to see the spectre of...

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