Tweeted this video to the Indian Embassy in the US and US Consulate in India
So is the tail perhaps the elites and the dog the governments of the countries?
Or is the tail the media, and the dog the gullible masses of the two countries?
Let’s think for a bit about that…
When Atal Behari Vajpayee first opined that India and the US were natural allies, it was something that pretty much came out of the blue. Well at least when you consider the generally glacial pace in which these the stratified, ossified, governments of these two democracies have traditionally adjusted their worldviews (not just with regard to each other). In reality, there were plenty of indicators that such an overture was long overdue. And yet, the Indian Prime minister does deserve his due for showing the courage to actually s-p-e-l-l it out for the less mentally gifted. Which if you think about it is much of the state apparatus even considering ABV’s considerable age when PM. Check this famous article out.
From the American side, it is often said that Clinton laid the seeds for the improved US-India relations. But I highly doubt that. At best, Clinton showed a few liberal leanings toward the cultural side of things (and rockstar side of his persona did no harm – look up his visit to the Indian parliament). The president who really made a personal difference was the class clown, George Bush. But before even getting to him, the star head of state where it comes to Indo-US improved relations was…. drumbeats…. Pervez Musharraf. Though he wasnt really the head of state at the time.
Prior to Clinton’s memorable visit to India, the Kargil war saw India firmly painting Pakistan as the naughty kid in the neighbourhood and India duly took full diplomatic advantage, which to my opinion created the initial goodwill that enabled the next babystep, and the next, and the next. Some great minds from both sides were thankfully alert enough to hammer out a relationship state that was neither a pretend cold war of the 70’s and 80’s nor a honeymoon period.
India and the US managed to keep the threads of a mutually respectful relationship from snapping despite the little crises that kept popping up, while leveraging every single opportunity to drive the stake of friendship just a little further in the ground. In spite of the Pentagon and the State Department. In spite of Indian communists and much of the left leaning intellectuals in India.
As Bush held fort:
the hyphenation with Pakistan was removed.
Pakistan’s veto over US policy in South Asia was removed.
hyphenation with China was avoided (something Indians won’t normally acknowledge)
a strategic decision to, however slowly, continue to seek new ways to improve relations was found.
Therefore, with Dubya in power, and his refreshingly direct approach to foreign policy (that was sometimes disastrous elsewhere) the notoriously entrenched US institutions, and the notoriously lethargic and understaffed Indian counterparts got the blessing to make a famous tilt toward finding a defining stake to drive into the ground. This came in the form of the controversial nuclear deal. So with MMS the perennially silent and Bush the wish-he-were-silent, we had moved from nuclear pariah to nuclear partner. And from pretend enemy to likeminded friends.
Meanwhile what were the people of the countries doing?
Oh they were decades ahead. They didn’t even need a cause celebre.
About the time the Berlin wall was collapsing, Indians were already building businesses in Silicon Valley.
About the time the nukes were exploded, Indian students were flooding US grad schools. General Electric, Ford, Pepsi and a host of US companies had already made permanent inroads into the Indian market.
And by the time the nuke agreement was sealed, India was in the top two countries in the world where it comes to favourable view of the US. Far, far ahead of the so-called European allies the US has. Whose people by the way pretty much despise everything the Americans do. Meanwhile, Indians were already an integral, permanent part of American communities nationwide, a growing political force and increasingly relevant in the cultural scene.
And so let’s get this straight, while many Indians continue to be massively irritated by the idiocy of this whole Khobragade thing. it’s barely going to register a ripple in the overall Indo-US relationship. While the governments of the countries has had a smart minority that has worked toward better relations, the massive bureaucracies remain entrenched in their old proud ways.
And lets get one more thing straight, where it comes to India and the US, the relationship building is NOT defined, and NOT led by the governments. Unlike say other historic shifts like China, Russia and Iran.
So no, the tail refers to the governments and the dog is the citizenry of the two nations.