KGB Agent That Fell In Love With India.

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by 171K, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. 171K

    171K Tihar Jail Banned

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    If you get bored of looking at the pic & speech of the first half, fast forward to 4:20 to watch a interview with a former KGB agent who fell in love with India. Azad Hind?

     
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  3. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    This should serve as a lesson in realpolitik.

    All those touting Soviet devotion to India ought to realize that there never was any devotion, never is any 'devotion' between two countries: it is simply a consideration of strategy and power, not ideals or principles. The bureaucracy has realized that, our bureaucracy, but unfortunately the politicians of the time never did. Nehru's ultra-utopian Fabian socialism comes to mind: with the exception of the one brilliant and notable recognition of the Sino-Soviet schism. And sometimes today, so don't we.

    The following should also serve as an interesting read:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article567444.ece
     
  4. samarsingh

    samarsingh Regular Member

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    Is the voice in the video that of Subramaniam Swamy, I do not trust that guy one bit. Secondly Mitrokhin defected to UK, so it is likely that he would day what the British want him to say. I am not denying that KGB did not have influence in India. I feel the influence was only to keep India from getting close to the west. Did Soviet companies take over our companies. Did they dictate our eonomic policies. However if you get too close to CIA/MI5 chances are they would dictate your foreign policy, economic policy etc. It is the latter we need to be more wary of IMO.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ^^Thats no seceret KGB was always active in india even after the signing of indo-ussr friendship treaty.That was consider as one of the biggest win of KGB over CIA in weaning india away from usa in those time.
     
  6. samarsingh

    samarsingh Regular Member

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    and that treaty came in handy during Liberation of Bangladesh
     
  7. Quickgun Murugan

    Quickgun Murugan Regular Member

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    so we got fu##ed by literally every intelligence agency on the face of planet earth and yet we survived :happy_2:
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Yes.There is always give and take in international relations.
     
  9. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    The other side of Soviet alliance of course was that Kremlin could swipe its Veto power on countless occasions after regional conflicts, deter America militarily, and limit American influence (translating into limiting the entry of American entrepreneurs) into a resource-rich India (until local entrepreneurship could stand on its own).

    One can whine endlessly about pre-reforms independent India. But it's because Indian leaders could keep the country in a placenta of regulations, making compromises, waging wars, that today we've become one of the most qualitatively and quantitatively competitive economies in the world.
     
  10. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Nice find.
    But there was a poor man's wisdom in it and i have no doubt that many Indian Policy makers were aware of it.

    A friendless India was happy to have Russia (more eager than us) as friend. I wont mind being extravasated by a toxic antigen for sake of long lasting Immunity against rest of the cocktail of enemies. I don't think by saying that Russia was not devotional to India will help our symbiosis to serve an Indian layman's concerns. However to see it from an outsider's point of view who might be envy of Russia winning India is well justifiable.

    Some times as (Tarun said) we have no other option but to compromise, but there is a technicality which i would like to discuss that every mission in foreign nations is well pampered by textbook espionage, I can not see that Russian crawling in India at that time were by any means deleterious for homeostasis of India.
     
  11. samarsingh

    samarsingh Regular Member

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    precisely. they were never a threat to the territorial integrity of India. I am afraid the same cannot be said of our new "friend"
     
  12. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    hit&run,

    If I can decipher the somatic emphasis in your post ,,,,,,,,,,,,, , I am given to understand the following:

    You believe that an isolated India, on the wrong side of the fence of the int'l comity of nations as it were, was more readily disposed to accepting Soviet penetration of its industry, diplomacy, finance, economics, politics and critical R&D as a means of 'securing' itself against Western infiltration of the same.

    That may be a very plausible argument. Infact, if the example of Iran serves, it may even be a meritorious one.


    But, let me make one clear distinction if I may: in the case of Iran, and the example of almost every single other country, where neo-colonialist fashions of western imperialism have taken place, they have been in the form of resource exploitation. In the case of India, there was no clear resource that could be exploited: with the one notable exception- manpower. Introduced as they were in the 1970's to cross-European competition, US firms would have moved to India in similar fashion as they had begun to first outsource to China when a beleaguered and socially malfeasant nation first began to open up its borders to foreign investment. Furthermore, that process would have been infinitely encouraged by the fact that India was not a communist country. The whole dynamics of international relations on the subcontinent might have changed if India were on the 'right side' of the fence. The fundamental political factors were purely in our favor: India a democracy, Pakistan a dictatorship. Adjacent to a China, which was an unwholesomely communist country and whose revisionist social policies and ideological divergence from the Soviet Union did not become apparent untill the late 1960's. India would have provided the perfect buffer state between a Pakistan, that would have fallen in the Soviet camp and a China still perceived as ideologically aligned with the Soviet Union, and would have gained from all the attendant economic benefits, aid, institutional mobility and political leverage that came out of being aligned with the world's richest and most capital nations. This, I believe, would have happened if we were not to have become a closed society. Constrained as were by Nehru's Fabian-socialism, we failed to seize the leverage and act upon our unique status as a democracy in what was then a 'mire' of communist countries.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  13. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Oh, but they did. They not just influenced particular companies, they influenced industry as a whole. Right from manufactories like heavy machinery, iron & steel, arms&ammunition, Soviet export and aid policies reproduced patterns of dependency on foreign powers. Because Russia was the sole economic power of the Soviet block, with the exception perhaps of the Ukraine until the late 70's, export potential was severely reduced. The Russians infact connived to keep low-quality Indian produce, as a means of reducing India's fiscal imbalance as a result of its huge Russian imports, never providing a fillip to local industry or encouraging innovation or competitiveness. In contrast, nations of the capitalist block witnessed exploding growth rates in the era of reconstruction, and were a prime market for all our commodities, which outsourcing from corporations in the West would have made more competitive in a regime of low labor-costs, in addition to exposing Indian markets to a wide variety of generally higher-quality goods.

    Economic relations between Moscow and New Delhi worsened drastically after the Soviet Union collapsed. Scales of commodity circulation, already less than par 'potential', decreased more than five times in the beginning of the nineties from their previous post-Treaty of Friendship & Cooperation figures. Bilateral annual trade, without taking into the account the military - technological sphere, was less than a billion dollars untill 1994. I hate to berate the point, but contracts, markets, labor and managerial skills, technical adaptation, supervision and the provision of "follow up" facilities all suffered because we pursued the wrong economic policies in the era of Soviet preponderance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  14. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    .....................................................................................................................................................................................................

    The over all perception of not only Nehru but whole India (just freed from imperialist mutants) was full of suspicion and scepticism about west. West was synonymous to 'GULAMI' and it took many years for Indians to come out from that Phobia. Furthermore the overall reputation of west and USA was as confronting nations whereas Nehru's non NAM was a well calculated move to keep India endured and preserved from such hyper active confrontations/nexuses. Nehru might have snubbed USSR if invasion of Afghanistan would have occurred in his life time.

    I may be wrong but i always weigh every Indian policy during Nehru's tenure as stained with Indian insecurities of pre Independence era which you are not taking care in your fantastical analysis.
    A very good example of Insecure Independent India was its forward policy (without military preparation) to explore its legitimate influence in Himalayas which China took as offencive. China was practical but offencive land snatcher and India was doing the same for an outsider, but the perception was different.

    To make my assertion about west more suggestive of why India sided with Russia half heartedly (completely during Indira's tenure due to China's nuclear factor) because Britain was donating Islands and middle east to USA. I wont mind giving the example of Vietnam here as well who took all hyper powers head on with the help of Russia. I don't think Indian gut was more brave then that of Vietnam at that time and Russia was seen as saviour of weak in India generally(My grandfather always praised Russia and Vietnam for fighting with USA. Please take this as ordinary Indian persecution of that time).

    I have observed in your post that you have mixed and squeezed historical Time lines to current date (when perceptions were different). 2010s USA was not Nehru's USA.
    It will give you a hard time to search and name a non european and non north American nation who benefited form USA as an Allie but not as a proxy. If you would like to give the example of China then i must tell you that it was USA who selected China due its sheer curiosity and to infiltrate a communist state. Unfortunately there was nothing like that in case of India, India was not a first choice of nation for USA, even Pakistan was left high and dry by this so called more prosperous USA and its sister concerns post Russian withdrawal from AF.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  15. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Only as a sidenote: in the 1st wave back then, they moved to Japan, then 2nd wave to other Asian states, especially notably '4 Asian Tigers' - S Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, way ahead of China's opening in 1979. Then shifting from those Asian states, to China (probably 3rd wave)

    I mean at that time there were many destinations with 'cheap labor' and 'democracy' (by the US standard), and 'other advantages'(e.g.g 'adjacent to China', in Asia).
     
  16. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    hit&run,

    The analysis may be 'fantastical' (sic). What I attempted to present was an alternative reality of what might have happened if India's foreign policy choices were in line with its long, or should I say longer, term national interest, particularly in respect of ideology and political economy.

    Ofcourse, decisions then were not influenced by the same levels of information and perspicacity we have today. But even in the 1970's, it was becoming apparent that the Soviet economic model was not sustainable, that a society closed to outsiders could not innovate, that standards of living between the West and the Communist bloc were so disparate as to arouse a great manner of concern and that Soviet market size was not conducive to long term growth. All this could have been ascertained with a good number of covert agents on the ground and in local defense industry, if economic analyses factored in different growth models in a comparative statics dimension rather than in a purely political economy one, and if foreign policy was aligned towards the internal strengthening of the nation rather than towards great power politics.

    Also, the argument that Soviet penetration was a necessary, if not crucial, factor in enabling Soviet assistance toward balancing Western powers is dissonant. Such decisions, I believe, are informed more by geopolitics rather than espial calculations.

    Surely, examples abound of nations that have aligned themselves to the U.S. and have benefited as an ally and not as a proxy: Japan, the Ukraine, the Phillipines, Bulgaria, Jordan, Thailand and Egypt come to mind.

    Ofcourse, the United States of the 1970's was not the same as the United States of 2000 and 2010. What I am arguing is for a more clearly-focused foreign policy, that was based on decisions of tangibles, economics, state and constitutional character, a more rigorous assessment of power informed by better intelligence and a long-term geopolitical and strategic interest rather than a rudimentary socialist ideology that was both utopian and unreal.

    I find it difficult to believe or fathom the argument that the United States began to outsource to China "due its sheer curiosity and to infiltrate a communist state". The very strategy dumbfounding notwithstanding, the United States was able to outsource to China because China opened up its borders after a visionary, Deng Xiaoping, took over from a zealot Mao and the Gang of Four and realized that the middle-path and pragmatic choices were far better than purely ideologically or quasi-ideologically informed ones.

    Pakistan, you must agree, is surely not the same case as India. Pakistan is a banana republic, always seen as a conduit between Central Asia and the Arabian sea and a client state for whoever can afford them. Were they not to have nuclear arms, they would not command the slightest of respect. They hold no long term strategic interest for the United States: incapable of serving as a counterweight to any rival or opposing power or of offering anything other than a viable transit point for goods to the war in Afghanistan.

    Russia was seen as a savior of 'weak' India, in the context of countervailing American foreign policy, just as the United States was seen as the savior of the Philippines. It would have been no different in terms of perception, other than the obvious role reversal, if the United States were to have been our patron in the 1970's. Russia came to our aid because it suited their geopolitical interests, not because we commanded any affectation from them.

    That geopolitical interest was not a function of, and never has been, related to our allowing penetration of all sectors of society to their espial zeal. Indeed, even then India's spy agencies were scrambling to evict Soviet espionage agents as the following reading will demonstrate:

    http://www.easternbookcorporation.com/moreinfo.php?txt_searchstring=14541
     
  17. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    ohimalaya,

    Valid point: I am keenly aware of the timeline and of the institutional nature of these polities prior to and during industrialization. But let me point out that at least three of these 5 countries: Japan, Korea and Hongkong were democracies prior to US-assisted and enabled industrialization. The other two could be explained in terms of their fitting US geopolitical interest: Taiwan with respect to China, in the same manner as India would have fit U.S. strategic regional ambitions with respect to China; and Singapore because of its importance as a 'strategic naval base that was deemed critical to British (and American interests) in Southeast Asia". In this vein, let me quote an extract from the following:

    '[T]he political future of Singapore, and its viability as a naval base, was of great concern to British policy-makers. In this regard, the politics that led to self government and then to political independence through merger with the Federation of Malaya was, to a large extent, influenced by the British Cold War calculations in Southeast Asia. As things turned out, the outcome of British maneuvers to prevent Singapore from being taken over by the communists were to fundamentally shape the political future of the island state."

    And recommend the following video for viewing: http://gomedia.nlb.gov.sg/Media.aspx?ID=95


    My goal in positing democracy in U.S.-Soviet dynamics and their espial and economic implications in a Cold War context is not to posit it as a necessary, or sufficient, condition, only as an enabling factor.

    In addition to 'cheap labor' and 'democracy', a fairly long term approach to economic outsourcing also requires large markets. All of which only India provided in the region at that time.
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    An interesting youtube show.

    Any piece of information that someone wants one to believe has to be plausible and handled evenly.

    One should not gush in admiration of the one to be admired or used to prove a point or criticise outrightly the one to be condemned. It indirectly indicates a partisan attitude and hence the value of the message gets diluted to the discerning viewer/listener.

    That is the first principle of propaganda/ disinformation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  19. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    As you have mentioned yourself but i would like to say it again that it’s easier to adjudge past and difficult to predict future. I wish you have some analysis about future too (I am fan of your). Nehru was not a future teller. Furthermore I can’t see any clinical reason why communist conspiracies were more harmful than conspiracies of west. I think we were immune to manipulative Russia but not against west who hated communist and disrespected socialist democracies throughout the history post World War II. I am sure you are preoccupied by the fact that India democracy would have acted like some magical leverage to have USA with our side. But the same USA guarded raping Pakistanis like a pimp at Bay of Bengal, the same torch bearer of democracy USA sided with numerous military dictators... the list is long (70-2000). Why on earth India at that time would have trusted USA for some advantageous economical stats? India would have acted only as a temporary proxy against China during 50-60s otherwise there was no such affinity in USA to side with a poor nation.
    Your analysis about USSR model of economy is exceptionally accurate like a person who knows his question many days before his exams. Who would have given prediction about fall of USSR when they were at par with USA at the start of cold war? Would you be able to suggest the same about today's USA who just escaped a collapse during GFC? You must give benefit of doubt to Indian gamble who Invested in Russia (due to successful Russian espionage?) and remained its ally (due to its previous investments [at least]) even after its fall. There is one economics wisdom in Punjabi '' Sara janda vekhiyea adda dayea vand'' if you foresee that you are losing everything donate half in charity. Fortunately Russia revived and our investments (military, nuclear, aerospace) are still productive.
    I agrees with you that there were indicators against Russian sustainability in 1970 but please tell me how much time it would have taken for India to switch partners from 1970 (extreme approach) or for a gradual tilt towards west/USA by respecting Russian sensitivities as well? Also your analysis is very well circulating in Indian think tank faculty, the only out of the box question is how fast? To me, where we are standing today after 40 years is well justifiable. I can go in detail about every decade post-independence, how Indian politics did mistakes but still survived well as compared to other nations without doing adventurous experiments. India took 40 years of time and still has decision making dilemmas; whom to side with.
    Russia was blessing in disguise. When India was to pledge resources to find a friend or an appropriate alley, Russia for its own reasons rushed towards us. I sincerely do respect your thoughts, they well-articulated for Information age India who can handle China as a trade partner; competitor and enemy (just an example) at the same time (so can others), but is too advanced and over pragmatic for post independent India.


    As i mentioned above USA hated commies and dis respected socialists. All of your mentioned nations were able to afford pure capitalism but cannot be pronounced as developed nation and at par with today's India who still thinks 10 times before joining hands with USA. Japan is an exception and their innovations were difficult to be ignored. Japan prevailed till 90s as a regional super power (economical) not because of America who nuked them not once but twice but because of their own efforts and with requisite USA generosities for affording military basses for them.
    India is a complex society and I think you are not aware of cons of capitalism in India who is struggling in 7 states because we are blindly enforcing the same when socialist reforms are only the salvation period. There is no balance in your assertion and is insensitive to the fact that India needs mix of both or either one of it per individual demographics.
    You got me on this, i could has restricted myself to make my assertion less reader digestive and have had trusted your memory that you know China opened its doors for USA. However what you would have offered to USA as at least China was able to offer more regulated labour (with steel ball chains at the ankle) promise when half of your population was still illiterate and skill less. Furthermore we were just bitten by China herself, helping liberation of Bangladesh and expecting war in December 1971.
    Sorry i cannot see our situation (generally) different from Pakistan since we are getting clutched by China, indulging into costly inevitable arms/nuclear race with China and siding with USA has become our unwilling necessity. This is what insecure Pakistan has been doing for its parity with us. May be there are some differences between us and Pakistan for nit-picking sake and on some tactical issues but world still regards us as a swing state of south East Asia.
    Why would you make hypothetical scenarios when the later was not feasible at all? Who approached whom first? Is a question of the day. India never trusted west and only Russia was the other choice left. Who else other that Russia would have given us nuclear teeth against china when west was hell bent to preach us that only P5 have ethereal right to have nuclear arms.
     
  20. samarsingh

    samarsingh Regular Member

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    here's what I posted in the India-China relations thread, seems appropriate here
    I wont go into China Bashing here. I am typing this from a laptop which says "made in China". IMO that's what is likely to gain in future as far as India- China relations are concerned:- trade.
    India and China also represent approx 40% of world population. there's so much we can do if we have some sort of informal, tacit alliance. I think there will be a lot of healthy competition and indeed cooperation between China and India. I rule out confrontation as of now because it will be detrimental to both India and China. Confrontation between us would suit USA and EU. India and China should be careful of this before any misadventure
    to take the discussion further in the context of this thread..India-China-Russia triple entente anyone purely for geopolitical reasons..
     
  21. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    hit&run, thank you, first of all, for taking the time to respond in detail to each point in the post. However, if I may take this opportunity to ask you not to separate my post into individual paras, to treat each as a part of the whole, rather than as several individual parts, and to respond to the whole in kind, for otherwise they get removed and devoid of context, and of meaning.

    I'll begin with saying: Your reasoning is befuddling. You don't believe economic advancement was a compelling reason for India to have chosen its sides carefully? What then was a compelling reason? What could the Soviet Union offer us that the United States could not? In your own words, "the same USA guarded raping Pakistanis like a pimp at the Bay of Bengal". You don't believe the USA would have preferred to buttress a "democracy" in the region, rather than "70-100 military dictators", particularly at a time of ideological quagmire? India would have served not only as a strategic foothold in the region, an important, because it was large, democracy in a region rapidly turning communist, a counterweight to a China that was always seen as a potential long-term threat, purely because of size, ideology and demographics, and a possible counterfoil to all Soviet plans in the region. You underestimate, severely, the infatuation with ideological preeminence during the Cold War. It was a war between ideologies, and therefore of spreading influence, political, geo-political, economic and military and the national power that came therewith. In the scheme of things, a communist country was least preferred, a dictatorship preferred to a comity, and a democracy preferred to a dictatorship. As such, India had the attendant features of being a democracy, which would have added to its lure as a country strategically situated, large, and demographically strong in the era of Soviet enterprise.

    You make one crucial fallacy: India was a 'socialist democracy' primarily due to the ideological politics of its paramount leader- Nehru, and not due to any ideological commitment of its party leaders. The very word 'socialist democracy', if you were to investigate it closely, has a plethora of meanings and is subject to much discourse. Canada is a 'socialist democracy', yet is capitalist to its true form. "Socialist democracy" or the Ideology therewith has never been a cause to constrain political choices, except when it has been the ideology of the paramount leader. Infact, many of the leftmost political figures during the National Freedom movement in the Indian National Congress organized themselves into a party called the Congress Socialist Party. Their politics, and those of the early and intermediate periods of JP Narayan's career, combined a commitment to the socialist transformation of society with a principled opposition to the one-party authoritarianism they perceived in the Stalinist revolutionary model. This political current continued in the Praja Socialist Party, the later Janata Party and the current Samajwadi Party.

    Furthermore, a logical fallacy arises when you compare U.S. "disrespect for social democracies" to its courting of 'dictatorships'. I'm not even sure that that 'disrespect' on a broad based, uniform level ever existed. I'd like to see some documents corroborating that. Surely, you realize that the courting of dictatorships was for want of choice, not as a result of purposive strategy. Confronting an environment in which a majority of nations are neither democratic nor capitalist has been a a central dilemma of contemporary American foreign policy for decades. One that principled US lawmakers have bemoaned, less principled have denied and the least have tried to shun under the carpet away from the prying eyes of media scrutiny.

    That third-world dictatorship entreating was not a comfortable choice is evident in the following extract from the Policy Analysis Journal of the CATO Institute, dated Aug. 15, 1985 for instance:

    "The current turmoil in Central America is illustrative of a larger problem. American officials assert that this vital region is under assault from doctrinaire communist revolutionaries trained, funded, and controlled by the Soviet Union. Danger to the well-being of the United States is immediate and serious, administration spokesmen argue, and it is imperative that the Marxist-Leninist tide be prevented from engulfing Central America. Accomplishing this objective requires a confrontational posture toward the communist beachhead (Nicaragua) combined with massive support for all "friendly" regimes, ranging from democratic Costa Rica to autocratic Guatemala. Washington's Central American policy displays in microcosm most of the faulty assumptions underlying America's approach to the entire Third World.

    The current strategy of the United States betrays a virtual siege mentality. It was not always thus. Throughout the nineteenth century U.S. policymakers exuded confidence that the rest of the world would emulate America's political and economic system, seeing the United States as a "beacon on the hill" guiding humanity to a better future.[1] As late as the 1940s, most Americans and their political representatives still believed that democracy would triumph as a universal system. The prospective breakup of the European colonial empires throughout Asia and Africa was generally viewed as an opportunity, not a calamity. Scores of new nations would emerge from that process, and Americans were confident that most would choose the path of democracy and free enterprise, thus isolating the Soviet Union and its coterie of Marxist-Leninist dictatorships in Eastern Europe.

    The actual results were acutely disappointing. No wave of new democracies occurred in this "Third World"; instead, decolonization produced a plethora of dictatorships, some of which appeared distressingly friendly to Moscow. This development was especially disturbing to Washington since it took place at a time when America's cold war confrontation with the USSR was at its most virulent. The nature and magnitude of that struggle caused American leaders to view the Third World primarily as another arena in the conflict. Consequently, the proliferation of left-wing revolutionary movements and governments seemed to undermine America's own security and well-being. "

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa058.html

    You have a secondary, and even more troubling, fallacy: you attribute to me the same kind of information that only policy makers, intelligence agencies, diplomats and the like are subject to. Indeed, it may appear that my analysis about "USSR model of economy is exceptionally accurate, like person who knows his question many days before his exams". But that analysis is based upon information that was released subsequent to the Soviet Union's disintegration. Surely, you do not expect true economic data, production figures and the like to have been public knowledge in the era of the Iron Curtain. However, that intelligence agencies and economic agents, particularly capable ones were privy to such knowledge is not a longshot. Granted, there is some inertia while making foreign policy decisions. What I am arguing for, is that that inertia, constrained by ideology, was far too great in the case of India. Even today, we have moved gradually towards the United States twenty years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Had we to have moved sooner, having realized that the closeted, unproductive and wasteful, model of state-centric economic development of the Soviet Union was unsustainable and having made that initial de facto choice to befriend the Communist bloc, despite having made a Non-Aligned decision, we might not have lost out on the benefits of being a large, demographically and territorially, democratic and politically and economically open society. It is also evident that, having made the decision to become non-aligned, we still chose to side ideologically and politically with the Soviet Union. That decision was directly a product of Nehru's utopian socialism, and that it was not constrained by commitment is evident in that: "many of the leftmost political figures during the National Freedom movement in the Indian National Congress organized themselves into a party called the Congress Socialist Party. Their politics combined a commitment to the socialist transformation of society with a principled opposition to the one-party authoritarianism they perceived in the Stalinist revolutionary model."

    So, it is on the basis of that that I will humour you for your demand of a projection about the immediate future: the U.S. model of hyper-consumption driven capitalism is unsustainable in and of itself. However it is not unsustainable within the larger model: capitalist production. So long as innovation, the primary driver of human evolution, remains embedded within it. The lifeline of the model, indeed, will depend on future actions the U.S. takes: including fiscal restructuring, market discipline, non-distortional revenues and alternative energy sources.

    As for the 'productivity of our investments (military, nuclear and aerospace)', I'll leave you to figure their 'productivity'. Everything from the Gorshkov fiasco, maintenance contracts and spares, the integrity of our planes, bilateral trade and investment, heavy machinery during the Soviet era, monopolistic practices with respect to defense purchases- particularly by Rosboronexport- which is the state arms monopoly to export and trade tarrifs have been below potential. I'd like to guide you, for instance, to how persistently we have been taking up problems in the support of equipment for Soviet/Russian munitions at the IRIGC-MTC meetings. I could assure you, that problems like the majority of Krasnopol precision guided munitions being found to be defective during the Kargil war, would not crop up with the US.

    In addition, there is also the techological factor. Even as the United States supplied F-16's to Pakistan in the early 80's, India realized that it had to make the move to more technologically sophisticated equipment like the Mirage-2000's from France in order to maintain technological parity.

    I don't fathom your argument about 'respecting Russian sensibilities' in the least. It is precisely the morbid, redundant argument babus gave in the 70's. The only sensibilities we must respect are our own. We have a duty to the people of this nation, and that duty is their well-being and security, which comes before any 'obligations' to respect the sensitivities or entreaties of other nations. As for the timeline, having expounded upon the inertia in foreign policy, that move should have been made in the earliest, and right in my opinion in the late-1970's, pursued as a rapprochement with the United States after the liberation of Bangladesh, having consolidated its own government so that there was no possibility of returning to the status quo ante, and which coincidentally, would have coincided with the time the United States started offshoring to China.

    Neither do I fathom the question: "who approached whom first". To my mind, there was no chronological ordering to the events. If I am given to understand correctly, a cordial relationship with the Soviet Union began in the 1950s after a series of bilateral initiatives between the foreign ministries of both countries. The relationship was set into concrete by a visit by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the Soviet Union in June 1955 and Khrushchev's return trip to India in the fall of 1955. While in India, Khrushchev announced that the Soviet Union supported Indian sovereignty over the disputed territory of the Kashmir region and over Portuguese coastal enclaves. The relationship marked a major coup for the Soviet Union, one of its most successful attempts to foster closer relations with Third World countries.

    Let me clarify also that your analogy of Japan is wrong, entirely. Japanese post-War reconstruction was made possible by gargantuan U.S. investment in the region, just as West Germany's 'Wirtschaftswunder' was made possible by currency reform and economic aid provided by the Marshall Plan, the stoppage of the dismantling of the German coal and heavy industry at U.S. initiative, in addition to its acceptance in the European Coal and Steel Community, which was the forerunner of the European Union. The American government, under the auspices of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP), played a crucial role in Japan’s initial economic recovery, and sanctioned and encouraged Japanese postwar economic measures to foster postwar growth. SCAP officials believed economic development could not only democratize Japan but also prevent the reemergence of militarism, and forfend communism in Japan. Military hostilities in the Korean peninsula further boosted the economy in 1950 because the U.S. government paid the Japanese government large sums for "special procurement." These payments amounted to about 27% of Japan’s total export trade. In addition, The United States also insisted that Japan be admitted to GATT as a "temporary member" – over British opposition. It was not until the latter stage of the Korean War, that the SCAP departed and full sovereignty was returned to the government of Japan.

    India is a complex society indeed. 'Socialist reforms', indeed socialist reforms on the very lines you are advocating, have been tried and tested in this country for decades. They have brought nothing in the way of salvation for the common man. Period. India has managed to avoid famines, limit epidemics and provide employment only after revolutions of a capitalist nature, capital infusion the Green Revolution, for example, that provided agricultural self-sufficiency or the opening up to NGO's and private healthcare, that have been responsible for the vast majority of the sickness alleviation in thsi country. No other decade, other than that since the era of Economic Reform has lifted more people out of poverty. Per the U.N., some 63.1 million people have been brought out of poverty since the economic restructuring. The problem with capitalist reforms, as it is implemented in certain states is the half-heartedness with which it is implemented. You cannot do anything without committing to it. China, South Korea and Taiwan, as have every other state that has pursued economic reforms, faced severe opposition during the era of capitalist restructuring. They faced success only because they enforced one version of the economy. You cannot be vacillating between the two: communist or capitalist. You must make your choice. And you must make it well. I think 'socialism' has been given enough chance in this country. Nay?

    China never attained full literacy in the era of its economic opening, despite claims to the contrary, and has still not attained it. Demographers and economists have validated that fact in hindsight. Regulated labour was not the sole criterion for business models. Infact, I daresay the political risks attendant to a communist country, with ill-enforced contractual obligations and an empirical history of expropriating land and property at will, could well have trumped the benefits that a 'well regulated (sic)' labor could bring. Indeed, China's labour, even at the time, was raucous and unwieldly. Even as late as 2006, the Economist reported that upward of 450 riots occurred in the small towns and municipalities of China every day, the highest rate in the world. The difficulties of communication notwithstanding, there were problems then of the perception of the "White Man", and a suspicion of his motives, rigorous political structures like the Houkou and Danwei and an urban-rural divide and stratification that made free access to labour very difficult. None of these problems existed in India. On the other hand, there were problems of illiteracy, lack of skill and corruption- all of which existed in India. Despite this, China overcame. Do you not think India, with its own problems of caste and hierarchy, could also not have overcome?

    That Pakistan is not India is evident in the fact that- i) Pakistan does not have a billion plus population, or an economy, or markets the size of India ii) that Pakistan has continuously oscillated between dictatorship and democracy, the stability or lack thereof, of its political system being responsible for its perception as a 'client state'; iii) that Pakistan does not have, and has never betrayed intent of establishing, institutions that would lend it some measure of credibility, stability and respect in treatment among the int'l comity of nations and iv) that Pakistan is bordered by a failed state to its North and an ideology that has been endemic of all its problems. It is very evident to me that Pakistan is not the same, or the same case, as India. Nor ever has been. However, if you still think on this forum that it is, I will not berate the point.

    Which brings me to my final point, and the crux of my argument, which you've, I believe, missed: the Soviet Union's relationship with India was primariy a function of geo-politics. It is not, nor ever has been, contingent upon India's allowing it penetration of every aspect of its civil-political, economic and social life. Bureaucratic traditions have remained rife in India, pampered by an environment in which modes of production were state-run and authoritarian, and competition non-existent, perhaps all of this could have been avoided by making the right choices- political and economic.
     

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