Aiyar dismisses hype over Obama saying India has `emerged`

Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar today dismissed the `hype` surrounding US President Barack Obama`s assertion that India has "emerged", saying a "poor country like ours" can never aspire to become a superpower.

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar
today dismissed the `hype` surrounding US President Barack
Obama`s assertion that India has "emerged", saying a "poor
country like ours" can never aspire to become a superpower.

"Why is this illusion that we are an emerging power,
that`s because we want someone to hold the mirror and say we
are the fairest of them all. That`s why Mr Obama obliges and
tells us that we have emerged," he said at a function here.

"I don`t think we can ever become a global economic power
and global military power. And I am delighted we won`t because
global economic powers and global military powers have been
responsible for most of the bloodshed."

He said India stands way below in the human development
index, noting that 77 per cent of the people live on less than
Rs 20 a day, 47 per cent of the children upto five suffer from
moderate or severe malnutrition and the infant mortality rate
is very high.

He dismissed suggestions that India and USA had any
shared values between them saying had it been the case India
could have been among the best of friends of the US as the
largest democracy since 1947.

"I don`t think we have any shared values. What we have
is the shared new defence relationship. If shared values would
have determined our relationship, we should have been the best
of friends in 1947 when we became a full-fledged democracy,"
he said.

Aiyar said the only "genuinely" historic element at the
joint communique issued at the end of the Obama visit lies
"tucked" away in the middle where Obama went further than any
of his predecessors in accepting joint responsibility with
India to lead global efforts for non-proliferation and
universal and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament in
the 21st century.

"With this, in exchange for us not stressing our
objections to the fundamentally unequal and asymmetric
provisions of the NPT, Obama accepted several of the crucial
concepts underlying the 1988 Rajiv Gandhi action plan for a
nuclear weapon-free and non-violent world order," he said.

-PTI

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