This nuclear detente, as sponsored by Oracle
August 11, 2002 9:11 AM   Subscribe

This nuclear detente, as sponsored by Oracle The growth of the IT industry in India, which has many connections to the US and the West, might be a stabilizing factor in the country's relationship to Pakistan. Hopefully, the presence of western companies and economic growth will also be a check on the growth of hindutva, or Hindu nationalism. (NYT registration required)
posted by rks404 (3 comments total)
This is pretty much vintage Friedman, if you've read The Lexus and the Olive Tree*. He likes to puff up globalization trends as if they're something new, when in fact international trade and a strong middle class have always been temporizing influences on extremism in foreign or domestic policy. Some of the more hawkish South Asians were talking as if their respective countries had nothing, or at least very little, to lose in a prospective war. In fact they have plenty to lose. It's going to be essential to start opening up trade between India and Pakistan, because that's going to have an even more profound effect on their relationship; but it's also clear that globally, India's relationship with the US has never been better. (Fifty years ago, it was Pakistan -- practically on Soviet Russia's southern border -- who became our strategic ally.) They're now a regional power and they're developing strong relationships with smart, sober allies throughout the Africa-Asia-ASEAN band. This thing with Pakistan is just a nuisance to that great strategic maturation.
posted by dhartung at 11:36 AM on August 11, 2002

Well, it's not anything new globally, but this is probably the first time there is evidence of it (or anything, for that matter) stabilizing this particular relationship. So it is pretty important.
posted by louie at 1:57 PM on August 11, 2002

Economic interests might help prevent nuclear war (bad for business, don'tcha know). But it won't do diddly to stop the spread of Hindutva, any more than it's helped stop the growth of conservative Christianity in the West. The whole theory of "growth bringing secularization" pretty much went pffft around 1979 with Khomeini and Reagan. The VHP -- the religious organization which brought you the destruction of the Babri mosque and the ensuing riots that killed many thousands -- has its world headquarters in London, and raises most of its money from rich Hindus abroad.
posted by ramakrishna at 7:58 PM on August 12, 2002

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