Uncle Sam is at it again...

The world starts at the US borders, and ends with it, apparently. India - just a resource; a roughly delineated zone that good ol' Uncle Sam can tap into anytime. That seems to be the view of the US' with regard to India-US relations. It seems to me that we Indians should be on our knees in gratitude at the golden chance of befriending the USA. Take a look at the wishlist:

  1. Compulsory Licencing
  2. Patent Issues
  3. Preferential Market Access
  4. Localisation

At no point in the Indo-US dialogue has the US ever given serious thought to the manifest Indian concerns and wishes; so where does the question India toeing the US line arise from? The USA has steadfastly ignored India's concerns on innumerable occasions, and only given lip-service to the same, while continuing on their pre-set agenda. 

They object to compulsory licencing and our patent rules -  compulsory licence is a provision under the Indian Patent Act which allows the government to mandate a generic drug maker to produce inexpensive medicine in public interest even as a patent on the product is valid.  Fine. Now tell us what do we do in the case of an epidemic, when your MNC drugs will be priced way out of reach of the common man? Dont the poorer sections of society have a right to medication? And what about all those third world nations dependent on Indian Generics? Of course, of course - humanity, right to drugs, right to life only apply to US citizens, isnt it? Right you are. Indian stance is amoral, indefensible and a crime against humanity. Lets initiate a Drug Crimes Trial with every Indian Citizen as a criminal. Good for you. 

Preferential Market Access and Localisation: The PMA policy recommends that 30 per cent of demand be met by products made in India achieving the desired domestic value addition, if they are technically and commercially competitive for government procurement. Thus, goods manufactured in India, by domestic or foreign companies, must fulfil required standards to receive the benefit of this policy in equal measure. Why object, dear USA? Dont we have the right to develop our own internal strengths? Why should we continue to import everything, at the cost of further disturbing our Current Account Deficit? You scream about job creation at home - well, be informed we too have to undertake job creation for our unemployed! We have the right develop our economy and ensure internal strengths are developed. Regardless of the success and failure of this policy - should we now assume that India should ask US permission for something entirely internal? Or is that only US interest matters? Is this the way to develop a dialogue? Why is this entirely internal issue being raised in far-off USA. It is our policy - accept it and be done with it. Dont cry and scream blue murder. We have a right to govern our own nation for bad or for worse, thank you very much!

And by the way, why the complete silence on manifest Indian concerns? We are in a dialogue - two sovereign and equal nations talking to each other. What about the Indian Wishlist?

  1. Visa Row
  2. Pakistan Defence Supplies
  3. Access to David Coleman Headley
  4. Solid Fuel Technology
  5. Agricultural Subsidies in the USA
  6. Lack of sufficient support and cooperation in the war on terror
  7. Technology access and partnerships in various fields
  8. UN Permanent Seat
  9. Cryogenic Technology
  10. China-US Dialogue and our concerns on it

There has been no action on any of these; and the US has not learnt its lessons either. If the general perception is that Uncle Sam can browbeat changes in Indian Policy, forget it. That is not going to happen. For we Indians understand one thing: and that is friendship is a give-and-take relationship; and as of now, there is no "give" happening from the USA. They only want to "take" - without giving. Which is precisely why they aren't getting anything either! If you want reasons for the derailed India-US dialogue, look no further than a mirror, Mr USA. Your continued reluctance on full technology transfer of space and defense technologies, vacillations on Headley, weapons supply to Pakistan, Agricultural subsidy issues, Lack of true cooperation in the war on terror and lack of appreciation for our Afghanistan efforts are the cause of it all. Without this, you can never count India as a friend, let alone an ally. I personally do not believe even one item on that list is negotiable... in closing, please memorise this hindi song:  it is self-explanatory

Koi Jab Tumhaaraa Hruday Tod De, Tadaptaa Huaa Jab Koi Chhod De
Tab Tum Mere Paas Aanaa Priye, Meraa Darr Khulaa Hai Khulaa Hi Rahegaa Tumhaare Liye...

Translation: when you realise India's true value - come to us. We will wait for you with open arms.


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