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GUEST COMMENTARY: India Has Problems to Overcome – Including Terrorism – but Growth of Economy is Among Many Positive Elements

Posted by kinchendavid on July 20, 2006

 By  Tom Proebsting


Moberly, MO  — India has taken a back seat to the ongoing armed conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and between Israel and Hamas. However, on July 11, 2006,  trains were bombed in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) which is the economic hub for India. The attack happened during rush hour, killing 207 and wounding over 800. Blame has been put on Kashmir separatists who are supported by Pakistan Jihadists.


India has a lot of problems to overcome, but there are several positive developments for the nation. India boasts the world’s fourth largest economy, growing at 7.5 percent annually from 2002 to 2006. Its middle class has quadrupled as population growth has slowed. Income inequality in India is lower than that of the United States or Brazil. India has been undergoing a telecommunications revolution and has been building superhighways that connect several major cities. Its interest rates are down, capital is plentiful, and its ports have improved. India even announced plans to work with NASA on sending an unmanned craft to the moon.


Most developing nations, including the United States in its past, go through three major steps as they grow. First, an agricultural revolution; second, an industrial revolution, and third, a services revolution. India has the distinction of almost having eliminated step two, industry. It shot from agriculture to the services industry in short order. It has been called the ‘Back Offices’ of the world’s economy.


Since its early days, India has been almost paranoid about its territory. It will do almost anything to keep it. Since it underwent nuclearization, India may have more confidence now to secure its borders, grow economically, and lead the nations of the Indian Ocean region towards progress.


India’s relations with China have improved. The border they fought a war over in 1962 is peaceful today. Their bilateral trading is up to a whopping $20 billion now from $200 million of ten years ago.


Even though India is not a part of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the United States has agreed to behave as if they had signed on as a full member. Nuclear technology will be allowed and relations between the two nations are expected to expand politically and economically. India could very well prove a valuable ally to the US in the War on Terror.


In spite of the good news India has had, it still has its share of problems. Poor government and slipshod education are issues that must be dealt with internally. India has the resources and the temerity to deal with its internal problems.


Local dissent wracks India. The nation’s largest homegrown terrorist organization is the Naxalite movement, a group of 10,000 Maoist rebel fighters who have hundreds of thousands of sympathizers throughout India. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that India’s economic boom has bypassed its rural regions where 70% of its 1.1 billion people reside. A recent Maoist attack claimed 25 lives. Another attack resulted in the burning of an empty bus.


Terrorism from without is one of the biggest problems India faces. The recent train bombings in Mumbai come to mind. Traces of the explosive RDX were found by Indian authorities at the bombing sites recently. RDX is used by Islamic militants fighting in India’s part of Kashmir, a region that India has fought with Pakistan over since 1947. The militants are supported by Pakistan, so India has delayed the recent peace talks between the two nations.


Indian authorities have blamed Pakistani terrorists on the twin bomb blasts in the city of Vananasi last March in which 6 were killed and over 100 injured. The same group is responsible for last year’s bombing of the Indian Parliament in New Delhi. India must deal with its security issues, specifically its relations with Pakistan. The two nations have fought three wars over the Kashmir issue. What can be done?


First, the United States should quit supporting the authoritarian government of Pakistan. As long as it does, India and Pakistan will feud. If the US stands with India on the Kashmir issue, India is likely to form a better relationship with the US.


India has a better military than Pakistan, a superior economy, and a democratic government. Pakistan does not have the funds to finance a better military, its trade potential is not as promising as that of India’s, and Pakistan has been ruled by a despotic military government since the 1950’s. It’s time the US stood with India and not play both sides. Finally, even if India and Pakistan fought a limited war, it might wear Pakistan down to the point of giving in on the Kashmir region.


The time is coming when the size of India’s economy will exceed that of Japan’s. India sits in a strategically vital part of the world, neighboring China. It is in close proximity to Afghanistan, Iran, and the Southeast Asian nations. Its many ports on the Arabian Sea and the Sea of Bengal are promising for future trade or military purposes. India can become an important strategic ally in the War on Terror. The US must welcome India as a fellow nuclear nation and trading partner. We must do what we can to see India through its present crisis.


                       * * *

Tom Proebsting is a writer and blogger in Missouri. Tom Proebsting, 823 N. Ault St. Moberly, MO 65270

                     e-mail: truthprobe777@yahoo.com

Proebsting invites comments. Reply to: http://truthprobe.blogspot.com






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