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Relations Between India And America Should Be Based Upon Equality And Mutual Respect

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to America is very important not only for relations between India and the U.S., but it is also very important for the peace and security of Asia and the rest of the world. However, India should be very cautious and realistic about US global policies as well its designs about India. Euphoria and unrealistic expectations can be dangerous and counterproductive.

America is the leading and most powerful country in the world. However, it is a country on the decline. This decline is not transitory and is not the result of any one President or any one leader or group of leaders. Actually, it is based upon factors on which America has very little control. Rise of the East and decline of the West are historically inevitable. If we take into consideration thousands of years of history, then one fact becomes obvious. Barring the last two centuries (nineteenth and twentieth centuries), the East has always led the world. Western domination and hegemony of the last two centuries were primarily a result of the industrial revolution. It may not be an exaggeration to say that the general trend of history has been the leading role of the East; the last two centuries can be called an aberration to the general rule.

With China becoming the industrial center and manufacturing hub of the world, the very basis of western domination and hegemony has changed. Therefore, western domination and hegemony cannot last very long.

India being a very important country of the East, has to be a part of the rising East. America should understand that while it is a part of the declining West, India is a part of the rising East. Therefore, regardless of the present big gap between the countries, in reality, both are equal. Relations between the countries should reflect this and be based upon equality and mutual respect. America should stop looking at India as a Junior and less significant partner of the relationship. India should also change its attitude of looking at America as an all-powerful master of the world and should understand America’s weakness and vulnerability. To make the relation equal, America should give up its arrogance and India should give up its inferiority complex.

America has to change its previous policies of Balkanizing the Indian subcontinent, using India to contain China, and trying to push the Third World War from Europe to South Asia. All of these wrong policies have neither worked nor helped America. China has very good and close relations with Russia. While those two countries are together, neither of the two countries can be contained. Similarly, if India revives its traditional friendship with Russia, then it is extremely difficult if not impossible to disintegrate India. India should recognize and appreciate the value of its time-tested friendship with Russia.

India should also realize that in spite of the differences with China, India has more things in common with it. Both countries are not receiving their proper status in the present world order. Therefore, they have to work together to change the present unipolar world order into a multipolar world order. India has to emphasize this fact to the US that the present unipolar world order, which is based upon inequality and injustice, is not acceptable to India and it has to be changed to a multipolar world order. It is in the interests of America and the other western countries to accept the inevitable and work for a peaceful transition from the present unipolar world to a multipolar world.

India should also make it clear to the US that it is absolutely opposed to the efforts of pushing the possibility of a Third World War from Europe to Asia. In case of a Third World War, India will be unable to join the side which is against its time-tested friend Russia. At present, it is clear that Russia is on the side of China. Therefore, India will be unable to join a war against China. The West should understand that without India providing manpower, the West cannot start a war against China. It means that the West should accept the reality of a multipolar world and should understand that its only option is the peaceful transition. Unlike the last two World Wars, a Third World War is unwinnable for the West.

If the relations between the two countries are based upon equality and mutual respect, then they can better understand and appreciate each other’s viewpoint. They can work together to maintain peace and harmony in the region and in the world. India joining an anti-China alliance is neither in the interest of India nor in the interest of America. Unlike the 1962 War, America has a lot more to lose than just its prestige. In the 1962 India-China war, not only did India lose the war, American prestige also took a bruise because it appeared that India was fighting an American proxy war. This time, if a war starts between India and China, it will no longer be confined to the region. Russia can quickly take it to Europe and it can then become a Third World War. Europe’s worst fears of having another World War may become true. America and the West should not work toward realizing their worst nightmare. All countries should work to avoid a Third World War and for maintaining peace and harmony in the world.

Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at sawrajsingh@hotmail.com.

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