Posted In: Economy War and Peace South Asia Representative Democracy armaments sale rule of law ghadar of 1857 war against terror Doha Round
The British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit is not a joyful event for the Indian people. In fact we have to look at it warily for several reasons. He is accompanied by the biggest visiting delegation ever that a British Prime Minister has brought with him. And the reasons are obvious. Britain is looking east at India’s huge domestic market for its armaments, her cheap labour power and her strategic position in Asia. As Cameron himself admits, he wants India to open up her economy further and work out a deal to get things moving on the Doha Round of WTO so that “when the pie gets bigger, we'll all get a greater share”, meaning that both British and Indian monopolies and big business houses can get a share of the $170 billion trade that the Doha Agreement is expected to create. The other big opportunity that Cameron sees is the increase in armaments trade. Britain is one of the leading arms exporters. India is the world’s biggest buyer of arms and all the military powers are looking at India as a cash cow for super profits through armament sales. Cameron wants “an even closer security relationship” meaning that Britain and India will collaborate even more closely in the “war against terrorism” in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The world is witness to the fact that “war against terror” has only led to more wars and aggression by imperialist powers. There is already a joint collaboration with Britain in the manufacture of Jaguar and Hawk aircrafts. The visiting delegation will be pushing for more such collaborations which will divert people’s money from providing essential services to unproductive military expenditures. What is really appalling is when Cameron appeals that the two countries should enter into military and security deals because they have a common system of a democracy that serves only the elite, “rule of law” that lets the guilty go unpunished and institutions of power which prevent the vast majority of people from playing a role in the day-to-day affairs of their respective countries. The British and Indian rulers are going ahead with trade and military pacts, nuclear co-operation deals and security agreements without even a pretence of consulting the people. It should not be forgotten that the present system of democracy practiced in India has its origins in the institutions of power that the British colonialists created after quelling the Ghadar of 1857. Cameron’s visit is not going to deliver any good for the Indian people. It will be only queering the pitch for peace in the region and the struggle for people’s empowerment.