One False Note on Portuguese
Portuguese António Guterres, the UN secretary general, recently traveled to India. It was an important visit in a variety of ways. It highlights India’s growing geopolitical significance, to start with. India is becoming a “powerhouse” on the world stage following 75 years of its independence, according to Guterres.
The nation’s commitment to the objectives of sustainable development was praised by the secretary-general. In his words, “High-impact programs performed at scale have been a hallmark of India’s recent development experience. This includes the largest food-based social assistance program in the world and the vast expansion of access to sanitary facilities and clean water.
The UN head requested India “to preserve & promote the rights of all citizens, especially members of minority populations” during his recent visit to India. India is doing more than that. It is a power for good in the world and deserves respect rather than prediction.
India is the largest supplier of police and military personnel to UN operations, according to Guterres. The first all-female UN police unit for a peacekeeping assignment was given by India, which is significant. Since 1948, 49 Indian men & women have participated in peacekeeping operations.
However, when it arrived in India, Guterres wasn’t all roses. At the Indian University of Technology Bombay, he delivered a speech. He offered India some unpleasant advice during his speech. According to Guterres, “India must shape international human rights and defend & defend the rights of its citizens, including people of minority populations,” as an elected representative of the Council on Human Rights. “If real steps are done in favor of the freedoms and liberties of reporters, human rights activists, students, and intellectuals,” he continued, “India’s global position will gain.”
Guterres is a Portuguese native. He would be well advised to keep in mind that his ancestors introduced the Inquisitor to India. Vasco da Gama brought on a period of European rape, murder, and plunder in Asia when he landed in 1498. The Portuguese, unlike the British, did not depart amicably. Jawaharlal Nehru, whose pacifism Guterres cited, had to send soldiers in 1961 to drive the Portuguese out of Goa.
Indians do not appreciate Europeans, particularly the Portuguese, evangelizing to them, according to historical evidence. In Western publications, the cliche that India is losing its inclusive and pluralistic nature has been used frequently. The NY Times has recently published pieces on India that are pure poison in New York, wherever Guterres lives. The plot is uncomplicated. It goes like this. Hindu fascists make up the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Minorities are marginalized, liberties are violated, and the legal system is weakened. White knights in sparkling armor must, in reality, arrive to save India.
Guterres showed a startling lack of compassion by lecturing India on human rights. The likes of Guterres overlook India’s history of colonialism, colonization, and ongoing robbery while joyfully preaching to the country, as Indians have observed. India has contributed to the betterment of the world and is still doing more than that.
Some Key Facts on Indian and Portuguese
India periodically has elections. The BJP just suffered a defeat to the opposing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, a delicate border state that was divided in 1947. Another border state, West Bengal, is governed by Trinamool Congress (TMC). Longer than Guterres’ Portuguese, India is a democracy. Most people are unaware that Portuguese just achieved democracy in 1975. In India, there are peaceful transitions of power from the BJP towards the AAP or even the Marxists to the TMC. India is the biggest and most diversified democracy in the world.
India has a thriving legal culture. Indian courts are cumbersome, but the political establishment does not control them. The Supreme Court Commission has total authority to choose justices for India’s top court, unlike the United States, judicial nominations are a political football game. Parliament and the prime minister have little influence.
In political elites pick judges, this is unthinkable. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hasn’t named a single judge, in contrast to American presidents. Judges have chosen their brethren on the bench. The majority of them are members of affluent English-speaking families that have historically supported the Congress Party, which is still led by the Nehru dynasty.
India is steadfast in upholding its population. With nearly 1.3 billion people and such a diverse range of religions, races, languages, castes, and groups, no country can completely avoid tragedies.
More upon Indian and Portuguese relations
However, one in 3 black males and one in six Latino boys in the US, where Guterres dwells, “may expect to go to imprisonment in their lifetime, compared with one in 17 white boys,” Guterres writes. In addition, according to the American Civil Liberties Union since 1970 “the number of jailed persons has surged sevenfold to 2.3 million in prison and jail today, considerably surpassing population growth and crime.” In comparison to the US, India performs a much better job of defending the liberties of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and all other minorities.
Importantly, India has improved the status of women’s rights and their misery significantly. The triple talaq custom was outlawed by the government. Muslim males cannot divorce their spouses by saying “talaq, talaq, talaq.” This action has benefited the human rights of approximately 80 million Muslim women.
“India is on the largest toilet-building binge in human history,” according to The Independent. According to a study from 2018, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election in 2014, his administration has constructed an estimated 80 million bathrooms. The amount has now surpassed 110 million. This indicates that women are not required to urinate or fecate in the fields. Their well-being, respect, and health have significantly increased.
India also provided free COVID-19 vaccinations to hundreds of millions of people. Without regard to class, caste, gender, sexual orientation, or any other kind of discrimination, it provided vaccinations to its residents. During the epidemic, it also provided food for the most vulnerable populations. After the US abandoned this unfortunate nation to its terrible fate, India even supplied 50,000 bushels of grain to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, where millions were facing hunger and starvation.
The humanitarian action India has taken for Afghanistan refutes Rana Ayyub’s claim from The Washington Post that the BJP government is anti-Muslim. Why should a Hindu fascist regime support millions of Muslims suffering under the Taliban, if Ayyub’s accusations are accurate?]
Americans tend to forget that in 1999, the Taliban provided shelter to terrorists on an Indian airliner. India will never forget the hijacking of a flight from Kathmandu, Nepal, to Kandahar, Afghanistan. When the BJP was in power, it freed three terrorists who went on to slaughter thousands of people. One of the three people who were freed was in charge of kidnapping and murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl. Another created Jaish-e-Muhammed, which carried out the horrific assaults on Mumbai in 2008 and the Indian legislature in 2001. The third keeps delivering jihadists to Kashmir.
Despite this track record, the purportedly fascist Hindu administration reconciled with the Taliban. In addition to providing millions of Afghans with food, India also made immunizations possible. India “spent billions in development projects” in Afghanistan, according to Voice of America. Despite the Taliban government’s backing for jihad against India, the BJP government’s humanitarian help has spared the lives of billions of Muslims.
Less Preaching, More Respect for Portuguese
Guterres displayed covert bigotry when visiting India and lecturing to his hosts. He overlooked the fact that the organization he represents is immobile. The Security Council, or masters’ table, is where the World War II winners are seated. Others ate without being able to object at the servants’ table. Nations that they are still spoken down to by their masters.
The five countries inside the Security Council with veto power do not include Guterres’ country of origin. However, he is from a nation that marked the beginning of the European imperial era. Portuguese national epic is still Os Lusadas. It chronicles Vasco da Gama’s journey to India. The BBC reports that “de Gama unleashed a terror campaign against Muslim ships off the Malabar Coast,” yet this epic makes no such reference.’
The Meri, a ship carrying Muslims coming from their Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, was seized by the greatest of Portuguese warriors in 1502. The 400 passengers—men, women, and kids—were set on fire. All of them died within four days. Guterres isn’t a ruthless imperialist like da Gama. However, he shares the white savior mindset with many Americans and Europeans. Commonwealth countries like India are rarely given their due Guterres.
The Times Are A-Changin’, as Bob Dylan, the Nobel Prize winner, sang. There is no longer an empire in Portuguese. Rather, it is buried in debt. Portuguese debt-to-GDP ratio, according to the Financial Times, reached a record high of 135.2% in May. The debt problem is also affecting other European nations. To make matter worse, Europe is experiencing double-digit inflation & rising interest rates, which increase the cost of new borrowing as well as servicing. For this war-torn continent, the Russia-Ukraine War had proven to be an absolute catastrophe.
Other hegemonic powers are also not doing that well. As a result of its careless abandonment of Afghanistan, the US is now weaker on the international scene. Saudi Arabia & OPEC+ turned their backs on the United States, and a petroyuan market is now taking off. A disastrous zero-COVID policy and Xi Jinping’s arrogance are to blame for China’s woes. Following an economic crisis akin to that in the developing world, the UK faces yet a new administration. This administration is contemplating significant tax increases and expenditure reductions to balance its accounts.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva has been extremely complimentary about India despite the gloomy global outlook. “India deserves to be termed a bright light on an otherwise dark horizon as it has been a quick economy, including during these tough times, but still most importantly, this development is supported by fundamental reforms,” she said. India has made significant progress since 1991, when it had a currency crisis, due to decades of Nehruvian socialist economics that failed.
Georgieva, a fellow European and colleague of Guterres, is now applauding India for its prudent economic management. India is a force for world good thanks to its estimated growth rate of 6.8%–7.1%, strong democracy, generous adversarial to the UN, and vibrant multiculturalism. India requires less preaching and more respect, which white saviors must understand. The United Nations Security Council seat would be a terrific place to start.