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article imageOp-Ed: 'India is technologically superior to Britain,' says Dalrymple

By Ajit Jha     Aug 20, 2012 in World
Columnist Theodore Dalrymple thinks India doesn’t need British aid not just because India today is technologically superior to Britain, but also because foreign aid doesn’t help poor countries.
Writing in the Telegraph, in the article titled “India is heading for Mars: it doesn’t need British aid money to pay the bills” Dalrymple claims, “the best and most beautiful spoken English in the world” is now heard in India,” and that foreign aid doesn’t help any poor countries, “it just corrupts their governments.” and goes on to state further that he is in a position to note the absurdity of continued British aid to India which is “not only absurd: it is corrupt.”
Dalrymple quotes former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, according to whom India did not need British aid which was “peanuts” anyway, yet, according to Dalrymple, the former colonial master persisted with “almost groveling requests to continued aid to India” which is interpreted as the “hangover of a colonial superiority complex.”
The British believe they are superior to their colonial subjects in someway provided they continue giving aid to India. However, they fail to notice that an Indian company took over Land Rover and Jaguar because it was beyond their organizational powers.
Dalymple believes it was not British aid that propelled India’s development but the efforts of her manpower. On the contrary, aid fosters corruption as Dalrymple goes on to claim:
Aid is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition of the economic development of a poor country; there is no country that has been lifted out of poverty by aid, which is a form of international social security for corrupt governments.
India has a long, varied, glorious (and terrible) history of civilisation, with the sophistication necessary to absorb influences from abroad, including Western scientific ones.”
The best and most beautiful spoken English in the world is now to be heard in India. It is outrageous that we condescend to it with our paltry aid, just to pay the mortgages of aid workers.
Yet, no one including Dalrymple can forgive India for its governance. “It remains profoundly corrupt and its government is incapable of passing necessary reforms. Rural poverty is deep and persistent. Nevertheless, it is not so very long ago that all right-thinking people saw the future of India as hopeless, one of perpetual epidemic and recurring famine”
Dalrymple is perhaps right when he Dalrymple claims that India’s “young population thirsts for real education in a way than much of ours (Britain's) does not”, but he appears to exaggerate when he rationalizes India’s under performance at the 2012 London Olympics: “One manifestation of the underlying wisdom of India is its low tally of medals at the Olympic Games, only six - none gold - when it has a sixth of the world's population. Its young people have more important things to do than put the shot or throw the javelin”.
It is one thing to be an Indophile, but quite the other to lose sight of reality under Indo-centric perception.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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