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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

UK tabloid resorts to usual whining over Chandrayaan-3 success, gets schooled

Sections of UK society and the Western world suffer from a severe case of colonial hangover. In the worldview of academics like Niall Feguson, Britain did Bharat a ‘favor’ by colonizing it. One recurrent trope in such circles is their inability to digest Bharat’s funding of advanced scientific and technological initiatives such as the ISRO space program Chandrayaan-3, which yesterday saw Bharat becoming only the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon.

‘Is it moral for a poor country like India to splurge on such projects?’, ‘Why is India misusing our aid in this way?’ – is the usually the line such arguments take. A recent article in UK tabloid Daily Express titled, “Being taken for a ride! India lands on moon after taking £2.3bn in UK aid over five years”, expresses similar sentiments.

What is conveniently forgotten by these ignorant commentators/colonial apologists are facts such as these –

  • Bharat’s devastating poverty at time of Independence was a direct consequence of 190 years of brutal British colonial exploitation. We have come a long way in improving an ordinary citizen’s life in the last 76 years, although many of our ruling class still suffer from mental colonization and there is a long way to go yet.
  • A lot of Western ‘aid’ to developing/Global South countries is nothing but an investment (cleverly masked as ‘charity’) to advance their own geopolitical interests and impose Western Universalism on the rest of the world. Western NGOs like Oxfam do their best to block development and destabilize the target country, while Christian evangelical outfits (funded and supported overtly or covertly by Western governments) like World Vision, Compassion International etc seek to erase Dharma-based civilizations and cultures.

A tweet by CittiMedia in response to the Daily Express article explains why such misleading, quasi-racist articles deserve to be trashed by both citizens in UK and Bharat –

“A country which looted $45 trillion from India does not trade in the currency of ‘aid’. And hysterical tabloids which mislead readers don’t seem to trade in the currency of facts or data. So here are some (facts + data), along with 5 questions, for The Daily Express:

Question 1. Why haven’t you explained this to your readers ?

– India refused your aid many years ago;

– Former Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee gave Britain one condition in exchange for accepting continued “aid” from Britain (& this was c. 2 decades ago) – that India would donate the same sum back to Britain as aid+ £1. In other words, India told Britain to “take a walk.”; – A few years later, Former Finance Minister – later President of India, Pranab Mukherjee publicly stated that British aid was not actually ‘aid’, that it was peanuts anyway, & that it was not wanted nor asked for by India;

– £1bn of the ‘aid’ you refer to in your headline is actually in the form of investments through BII to advance British commercial & foreign policy interests in India;

– £749m is to international and multilateral organisations to advance British interests in India;

– The rest is also seen by many as ‘incentives & facilitation’ to advance British commercial & foreign policy interests in India.

It is Britain that keeps pushing this ‘incentive programme’ to various ‘intermediaries’ in India, & then dressing it up as ‘aid’. Former British International Development Minister, Andrew Mitchell has even admitted, on record, that ‘aid’ was used as an ‘incentive’ for India to buy the Eurofighter. [We ended up buying the Rafale, by the way – a safer bet on many fronts].

Question 2. Why have you added a photo of Rishi Sunak for the (hysterical + misleading) headline below about India’s moon landing ? Dog whistling ?

Question 3. When was the last time you wrote about the $45 trillion Britain looted from India + started a conversation with your readers on how best to make reparations to India ?

Question 4. When was the last time you told your readers that Britain’s GDP was circa 0% – that’s right, c. 0% – of world GDP before the colonial era, whereas India’s was up to c. 33% ?

Question 5. And finally, why, for a handle which has c. 1 million followers, do you hardly have any reposts and likes on so many of your posts ? Are your followers fake / purchased ? Even small independent media firms like us have far more numerical – let alone relative engagement than you.

Namaste from India. Keep an eye out for our mission to the sun, which comes next”

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