Living in one of the fastest growing economies in the world where opportunity lurks in almost every marketplace, it is little wonder that the people of India are finding new reason to take pride in their country and in themselves. Another way of putting it is that India is becoming self-centered or selfish.
At The Diplomat, Sanjay Kumar fears that his country is increasingly “lost in its own world” and he blames it for not bothering about its “responsibilities and moral duty toward its neighbors, even when they’re in crisis.”
The neighbor which Kumar refers to is Pakistan which is experiencing one of its worst natural disasters in recent history. While international aid efforts are underway, “India seems to be aloof and blind to the tragedy affecting Pakistan,” according to Kumar.
Kumar points at the United States which are mobilizing relief efforts though he admits that these may be more selfish than they appear on first sight: “the Obama Administration wants to win the trust of a Pakistani public that often sees the United States as working against their interests.” Dan DePetris made the argument for helping Pakistan for that very reason. “In fact,” he wrote earlier this week, “the floods should be perceived by the White House — and Congress — as a ripe opportunity to bridge the gaps between the millions of Pakistanis who view America as a hostile force and an American government whose dependence on Pakistan is growing by the day.”
India should be helping too, according to Kumar, and his argument in favor of it is a typical mix of moral highbrow and trying, in vein, to appeal to the supposedly selfish mindset of his fellow countrymen.
What Kumar neglects to mention is not only that India is suffering from flood damage itself, with hundreds injured and hundreds still missing amid the debris in Kashmir Province; he assumes that humanitarianism on the part of India will somehow change the minds of Islamic extremists operating not in the areas of Pakistan most affected by the flood, but along the mountainous frontier with Afghanistan from where they regularly launch attacks against Western coalition forces, their fellow Pakistanis and the people of India. Just how Indian aid win “the hearts and minds of the Pakistani people” after decades of intense nationalist strife, Kumar doesn’t say. If the Pakistani Taliban are any indicator, India will have a hard time winning their “hearts and mind.” They have urged Islambad to reject all foreign assistance.
No matter talk of “responsibilities” and a “moral imperative” on the part of India, its government is doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing: looking after its own people. No state has any “duty” to care for its neighbors. No government has any obligation to place the interests of neighboring people above those of its own, nor demand that its own people sacrifice for the sake of a nation that has repeatedly and constantly waged war on them and continues to terrorize them up to this very day. India is pursuing its national interest and has a full right to do so.