CALM DOWN, EVERYONE
Everyone probably needs to calm down a bit. The US may feel it has justifiable reasons to complain about India’s equivocation on Ukraine, but it would be wiser not to do so by transparently cosying up to Pakistan. Every now and then someone in Washington thinks it is time to reset relations with Islamabad, and within a decade their successors discover it was a terrible idea.
Meanwhile, we in India should also consider more carefully whether alienating the US and the West is really worth it. It won’t hurt us immediately, sure. Right now, India’s economy looks stable enough for the government to feel certain that the West needs us more than we need them.
But, if the next decade is to transform our economy and young Indians’ futures, we will need Western investment, technology and markets. If we are to secure ourselves against Pakistan and China, we will need Western weaponry, at least in the short term.
Perhaps Washington really wasn’t reminding New Delhi last week that two can play the game of balancing interests. We in India should nevertheless remember why we have, for more than a decade now, stressed “shared values” with the West. It’s a way of papering over temporary disagreements – one that isn’t available in a cold, transactional, “interests”-based relationship.
Over the coming decades, we will need the West even as we disagree with it. Sticking to our values may just be India’s real national interest.