23 November, 2020

Superman Never Returns

India can go ape—or it can learn to talk to itself and the world

Gireesh G.V.
Superman Never Returns
For some years now, the English press has treated us to such headlines as 'India, the Next Superpower', 'India's Global Takeover', or 'Bollywood Fever Sweeps the West'. This enthusiasm has even infected American and European policymakers and journalists who, increasingly wary of China, seem to be hoping for a likeable Asian counterweight to the inscrutable Middle Empire.

For much of its 60 years of existence, India appeared in the Western press as a land of maharajahs, beggars and deluded socialists. Abruptly now, Time, Newsweek and Foreign Affairs hail India as a 'roaring capitalist success story', hoping that the country will be the US's new 'strategic partner'.

Plainly, the American business and foreign policy establishments have no choice but to seek new markets and allies in an uncertain post-9/11 world. As always, their geopolitical calculations are marked by wishful thinking. Faced with imminent decline, great powers like the US become particularly prone to ideological illusion. But why should...


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