Wednesday, May 07, 2008

West and East

So now Bush wants us Indians to eat less. I am sure all of you heard/ read his remarks that the food prices are rising because of increasing demand for food from the growing middle class in India. He has conveniently ignored the fact that agri produce being used as bio-fuels and given as food to animals for producing meat in the developed countries.

I feel the West particularly United States is getting a little resentful and edgy of the development pace of India and China. They are nervous that they cannot keep pace with the rapid development happening in these countries.

Consider the following –

  • Condoleeza Rice remarked that the “improvement” in diets of people in China and India is one of the main causes for current global food crisis.
  • EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development Mariann Fischer Boel has also pointed out to the increasing demand for food from India and China for the food crisis.
  • Rising oil prices have also been attributed to increasing demand from India and China.
  • The Department of Health in Britian tried to introduce regulations to restrict non European Union doctors (a majority being Indians) from being employed in health services.
  • Orient-Express in a letter to the Tatas, said that its customers do not associate an Indian company with luxury. So, a full-fledged Tata takeover would cause Orient-Express to lose its deluxe edge. This is despite the fact that the Tatas are the largest shareholders in the company. They just cannot digest the fact that an Indian company can take over them.

The West has double standards. They believe that their success is good and our success is not good. Do they always want the developing countries to have the status ‘developing’? Do they always want us to be poor and have ‘begging bowls’ in our hands? Well considering the growth rate of the “developing” countries and the crises that the West is facing, it will be difficult for them to have the upper hand always.