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Monday, January 22, 2007


NEW DELHI -- When former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos told me once that I should pay more attention to India as an emerging big player in Latin America, I thought he was kidding: There is hardly a country geographically farther away from Latin America than this one.
But after several days interviewing senior Indian officials, I realized that the former Chilean president was right. To find out why, read the full column here, and let me know what YOU think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

Thank you for bringing India to the attention of the Herald's large readership. I teach Indian art, literature, film, and culture here in the Miami area at U/Miami and FIU as part of their adult education programs. I also organize and lead yearly tours to India where I have been traveling at least once a year for the past 21 years.

The changes in India are enormous. You may think that the Delhi airport is shabby but the one in Mumbai is new and very efficient. There are new and improved airports throughout the country. I met a group of government officers who were visiting small cities in North India to inspect and recommend changes and renewal. There are several new hotels within the part years and more are planned. The reason for no high-rises in the central area is that it is considered a historic district because of the government buildings designed by Lutyens and Baker. The city is littered with the ruins of the past thousand years that are archaeological sites and are considered open space. I am sure you noticed the signs for keeping Delhi green.

The problem with the Congress Party is that they have been in power for most of the time since 1947 and have done little to raise India to the level of a first world country. They have fostered the 'permit raj' and still are resistant to change making it still extremely difficult for foreigners to do business there. They are xenophobic about outsiders controlling the wealth of the country. It is the more conservative BJP who want to expand India's international profile and bring in more external development. Almost all progress has come through the private sector. Government plans for road construction and irrigation to bring water from the east coast to the west are mired in disputes and will take years to accomplish.

Nehru is idolized an a godlike figure in India's freedom movement, but as Prime Minister, he was enamoured of Russian and Chinese socialism/communism and ignored China's threat to India leading to the 1961 was when China invaded Indian territory after it annexed Tibet. Nehru nevern said a word of repremand to that annexation, by the way.

I hope that you will write more in depth about the country whose people I love and admire and go beyond the cliches about dirt and poverty. India has much more to offer than that.


Mrs. Ruth Rosenwasser, Curatorial Consultant Indian Art, Lowe Art Museum
Lecturer, U/Miami, FIU, Key Biscayne Community Center
781 Crandon Blvd. #404
Key Biscayne, FL 33149

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from: Paul Thørsen

Abdul Nafei is 100% correct, the Spanish went to the New World to rape, steal and plunder. They didn't go to settle the land as the English did. I'm surprised he knew that.
Hey Ruth Rosenwasser, it is Mahatma Gandhi who is revered in India, not Nehru. Nehru was just the first prime minister of the country, while Mahatma Gandhi was the father of India.
That's why I refer to the people as "Mahatma Gandhi Indians" and not "Jawaharlal Nehru Indians", as a way of distinguishing them from "native American Indians".

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To imagine India's future role in Latin America it might be helpful also to look at Indian involvement in Africa.

As should be known to most there has been a huge Indian presence in East Africa since decades - even Gandhi for instance spent a long period of his life in Durban/South Africa.

The Indian involvement in East Africa has not always been very positive- Uganda for instance expelled most of its Indian population as all of Uganda's economy had ended up in the hands of the Indian community causing enormous resentment within the African Ugandan community.

Same goes for many of the other East African countries where the Indian community dominates local business- the Indians monopolize business in many of these countries and it is not clear if the indigenous African population benefit from this Indian domination of their business affairs.

If Indians become more involved in Latin America can we expect the same pattern as in Africa ?

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from: Paul Thørsen

Mahatma Gandhi Indians in Africa are a legacy of the GREAT British Empire. Idi Amin expelled them from Uganda.
I say good for them, they earned their positions. But they don't hold positions in government. You see them owning many small businesses, while the Africans are too lazy to open up their own shops. Indians have earned their place in Africa, they didn't sneak in there desperate to take part in the society created by native Africans, then force laws to be passed than mandate Indians be hired in top jobs, as Hispanicks do here in the USA.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hispanics, Thorsen, Hispanics! Not Hispanicks? Is your K coming from some sort of guttural original language like Naziism, or KKK?

2:10 PM  
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