The developments of our rapidly changing world today remind many of the prophecies of Howard Zinn, who once wished for something like ‘Imperialists Anonymous’, in line with ‘Alocoholics Anonymous’.

‘Don’t people join Alcoholics Anonymous so that they can stand up and be honest about themselves? Maybe we ought to have an organization called Imperialists Anonymous, you know, and have the leaders of the country get up there on national television and say, “Well, it’s time, you know—time to tell the truth.” It would be—I don’t expect it to happen, but it would be refreshing.’ 

We may never have an ‘Imperialists Anonymous’ as Prof. Zinn desired, due to the nuances of Governments that Prof. Zinn himself understood best. However, due to the ‘phenomenon  of the online, empowered citizen’, of which WikiLeaks is just a small part, we have been getting the closest equivalent to that (and Radia-leaks in purely Indian context, although for the time now, it has stopped leaking as matter is under jurisdiction).

Back in December 2010, Indian noisy media following its noisy democracy, had shouted at the top of their voices about India’s disappointments over the outcomes from the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, even before he left India. It indeed highlighted poor images of the rich centuries-old Indian culture and heritage, which advocate treating any guest as God.

China bashing in Indian media, during  Premier Wen’s visit, was taken to be the finishing line of a test in proving Indian media’s aggressive nationalism for India; and most Indian media entities didn’t want to come second in that mad race.

Important point is to understand that visit of Wen happened after Obama’s visit to India in November 2010. As per Indian media and policy-makers, President Obama met India’s aspirations beyond India’s expectations.

In India, one often wonders whether Indians should be proud of the quality of the democracy that India has, and whether she should also feel proud of the quality of its free media. Both actually go hand in hand, however Indian media would have problem in accepting that hard truth.

And here lies the similarities of these two biggest democracies – people of both nations feel broadly same, although their governments think differently from those broader interests of the people. Media in the US have started questioning both government and lately, the Wall Street, on justified grounds, for their actions, moral ethics and sense of priorities.

In this context, it is critical to understand and compare the character of Indian media, and its reaction to Wen’s visit with that of Obama’s visit, for the fulfillment of  the key legitimate ‘aspirations of India’. This alone can throw some meaningful light in understanding the validity of India’s aspirations, as perceived through the very own construct of it, in Indian media and policy-platforms.

It also helps one understand the relevance and the perspective of the Imperialist influence of “The India Cables” based on the US diplomatic cables accessed, and being published now by The Hindu newspaper in India, via Wikileaks.

These two words – ‘India’s aspirations’ – need some clarity and legitimacy. Careful distinction must be made here to note that one school of thought on India’s aspirations should not be viewed as an agenda (or even propaganda), mutually exclusive from another different opinion on the same topic. These aspirations should be seen as per the order of priority for a nation, considering the priorities of the vast 1.2 billion Indians, around 18% of global population.

On India’s aspirations, as perceived by a section of Indians, this is what President Obama said on the economic growth achieved in India that had successfully created a ‘GDP-cult’ amongst Indian policy-makers, amongst her elites and thereby in the mainstream Indian media as well:‘

For in Asia and around the world, India is not simply emerging; India has emerged.  (Applause.)…’ The sound of this applause from the Joint Session of Indian Parliament carried over with multiplier effect, and echoed from Indian media too.

Many Indians had definitely loved to hear it, including Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman of India’s biggest business empire, as he used this very quote, in contrast of ‘The Banana Republic’ India, that suddenly fell for the Niira Radia tapes, that too within days of Obama’s above speech.

Apparently Premier Wen Jiabao didn’t mention any such ‘Indian-ego-boosting’ statements, in line with these Indian aspirations, while in India; so there’s been a disappointment in policy-forums. And Indian media too, got more badly disappointed, reflecting its consensus with policy-makers, albeit for a change this time because it comprised foreign policies of India.

Isn’t it a bit surprising or coincidental  that this same Indian media, which never loses any opportunity to bash Government of India on any domestic issues, never finds any fault, whatsoever, with India’s foreign policies? Going by the size of India (as per different measures), India’s influence in world affairs speaks about the merits of the foreign policies of India.  And Indian media never finds anything wrong in those foreign policies of India.

This act of agreement itself speaks enough on merits of both (Indian foreign policies and quality of its media in interpreting those foreign policies to meet aspirations of India) in understanding geopolitics of present time, keeping in mind again those same aspirations of 1.2 billions of Indians.

The elite Indian also aspires for India to be one of the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, with the veto-power. President Obama didn’t disappoint Indians here either:

‘That is why I can say today, in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed United Nations Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.  (Applause.).’

And after Obama came the ‘emperor without the cloth’ to visit India, and supported this Indian aspiration unequivocally, and probably without as significant motives of imperialism as the US had.

One more Indian aspirations, as per this same section of Indian society, from any of the visiting leaders of any of the leading nations is that they must bash Pakistan for Pakistan’s active support of terrorism against India, while in India.

Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron – none of them disappointed India on this front either, whereas Uncle Wen went ahead to visit Pakistan directly from India, and announced lot many projects in Pakistan that may truly reflect aspirations of both China and Pakistan. In the eyes of few Indians, it further acted as firm evidence on how Premier Wen didn’t care much for the concerns of the 1.2 billion Indians while trying to meet aspirations of Chinese and Pakistani people.

These three aspirations, as projected day-in-and-day-out in the clueless Indian policy-making in Government, to their reflections in noisy Indian media, naturally builds a concern in the minds of Indians who have access to various forms of news media (and its noisy interpretations).

Amidst all these noises, a rare few wonder, legitimately, on how and when India’s aspirations, as presented above so far, got hijacked. And if it indeed got hijacked, it further calls for a thorough understanding of the hysteria and fear in India that has been driving these so-called Indian aspirations, and how genuine these aspirations indeed are for the vast majority of the 1.2 billions Indians.

This series of articles, conceptualized back in December 2010,  further tries and answers the questions raised here in its Part II on fears and hysterias in select pockets of Indian society . Part III of the article puts Indian media on trial.

I invite you to visit my blog, Wondering Man (or take a look at my book, Wondering Man, Money & Go(l)d that rightly predicted many of the economic and geopolitical crises, to the gold prices and the currency disputes). You are also invited to join me on twitter

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