West is Not the Best, Look at Britain and US Today

Letter from New Delhi

Before castigating India and other upcoming countries, take a hard look at the mess in Britain and USA

The British media preaches to new nations like India on how to run their economy and government while dithering and fumbling on how to tackle Brexit.

Just absorb the most humiliating historic defeat of the British Prime Minister Theresa May in parliament on 15 January 2019.

After losing by 230 votes, yes, 230 votes including members of her own party – the biggest government defeat in British history — Theresa May did not resign and faced a no-confidence motion which she won by a very slim majority.

No wonder the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called Brexit defeat “catastrophic”.

Yes, catastrophic it is because no matter on what conditions or no conditions Britain exits, it is a slide all the way, for its economy and political status.

High time to eat the humble pie and stop lecturing to India on what and how to run the economy and how to manage its government as the Indian economy has already overtaken the British economy and as India takes its place at the high table of world powers.

How the hell did Britain get into this Brexit mess?

First it joined the EU on its own tough terms keeping its pound to mint money, opting out of a common visa for Europe and many other conditions.

Now it wants to move out from this club and still enjoy many membership rights without contributing to its budget.

Wrote a British journalist, “But even if she stays in power, Britain faces a period of unprecedented chaos as politicians scramble to find a way forward for Brexit.”

Wake up and smell the tea.

And it’s the same story with the American media that never fails to publish negative news about India.

With President Donald Trump triggering the longest shutdown in US history going on right now and his unending gaffes, the American media is usually critical of India. The mainstream US print media pays hefty sums to its correspondents who provide exactly what the media wants: stories on violence, minority rights, social injustice and so on. The Western media keeps pushing stories about intolerance, cow protection and strife.

How come these papers never publish any stories about India’s space achievements arrived at a fraction of the budgets of the West or its digital progress? India now has the world’s second-largest internet user base. Further, it is a leader in mobile internet usage, with close to 80% of its web traffic accessed through mobile phones (as compared to around 55% for China and a global average of 50%). This is giving rise to unique mobile-first business models and is reshaping industries, including e-commerce, entertainment and the sharing economy. Plus, transparency in government.

No mention of over a billion mobiles connecting India’s 1.3 billion people and Total Transaction Value in the Digital Payments segment amounting to US$ 62,234m in 2019. Or hundreds of such projects and initiatives.

Before castigating India and other upcoming countries, take a hard look at the mess in Britain and USA.

Osho says, “Politics has existed always, politicians have existed always, but what has happened? The world remains the same sorry-go-round! In fact, misery goes on becoming multiplied every day. All these revolutionaries and radical politicians have only proved to be mischievous – with good intentions, of course; but intentions don’t count at all – what counts is consciousness.”

Kul Bhushan worked as a newspaper Editor in Nairobi for over three decades and now lives in New Delhi

* Published in print edition on 18 January 2019

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