Free Market Fundamentalist Opinion

Selfish India

India doesn’t seem to care much about the floods wrecking havoc in neighboring Pakistan. It has every right not to.

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.


  1. this author is selfish, himself
    if india are selfish..than indian troops wouldn’t be in afganistan! or in 20 other countries for peace keeping!

  2. I agree with you, India should forget all its rivalries at this time of need and extend its help to Pakistan. Many Indians in United Sates already are helping them (by testing swat for a $10 donations) but India as a state should also extend its helping arm.

    Thanks for the writeup, yours is the only available on this topic.

  3. if india are selfish..than indian troops wouldn’t be in afganistan!

    India is in Afghanistan to prevent it from becoming a safe haven for terrorists once again. Terrorists who are likely to target India. That’s why I’ve repeatedly and consistently argued that India should be involved more in the war; in this entry for instance.

  4. Kumar forgot how India helped the PoK after the earthquake. Did it matter? Worse, the terror attacks went up after the earthquake. I think India is doing right, just sent a letter….millions in India are suffering everyday for food, prices are in the roof… is unmanageable for the poor Indians…..why worry about the country that brought us down… selfish like China, US … for your people’s welfare….always some Indians in the western countries try to write some non-sense to show their intelligence….hell, go to India, work for India….you stupid selfish live in America and UK don’t have rights to call a country slefish….

  5. No I do not concur:-

    India need Pak’s help, as any two neighbor’s would need each other. Ex:-Recently India asked Pak-army’s help in finding our missing Jawans in Leh flash flood. I hope India will not act silly by missing this golden opportunity of getting to the business of being true neighbors.

    Rather then sending “condolences” , as India’s FM , Mr Krishna did, India send some relief material. The fact that Pak has not used the 2005 relief money yet or they removed the “made in India” stickers from the relief meant for Kashmiri victims , should not act as a impediment from sending relief now.

    the greater issue is the environmental degradation in Indian subcontinent, the rape of Himalayan Jungles, unchecked buildings on river beds and occupying river catchment areas etc , are epidemics that needs to be addressed jointly by SAARC countries.
    Remember India had harsh floods in Bihar -2008, once in a millennium floods in AP-2009 and now in this epic floods in Pakistan. Its becoming an annual phenomena!
    Droughts and Deluges are going to hit the Indian Subcontinent pretty hard.

  6. what the hell… India has always supported its neighbors in the time of need, during Kashmir quake India did sent some consignment and cash too, but official (according to Times of India) reported that Pakistanis removed the label of “made in India” and never used the cash… nobody with sane mind will try to help again this treacherous country

  7. Brilliant article Mr. Ottens!

    The points you have made about India with respect to helping those who would want to kill us and destroy our way of life simply because we do not subscribe to their beliefs is very true. Even during the 2008 Kashmir quake, Indian aid that was sent was removed of all “Made in India” tags so that the powers that be in Pakistan could perpetuate their propaganda. Our monetary aid was flatly refused!
    India itself is hardly a developed country to throw its money around for the heck of it. Millions of Indians and even our own soldiers who risk their lives for the safety and prosperity of the common indian citizen face dire restraints in terms of food, clothing, weapons etc.
    Why should we as a country that is dealing with our own calamity extend the Olive branch only to be shunned away and fuel conspiracy theories that defame India ??

    India is NOT selfish, India is merely wise from past experience.

  8. Guys,

    While you guys are talking..chating.. India did the walk and offered 5 million dollars which is more than china or germany or france initially offered… pakistan took week even to acknowledge the offer while begging somewhere else.. it is the state of neighbour we have. India could have sent helicopters returned from congo 19 of them to pakistan. But imagine what would be pakistan response?

    Dont waste your time.. do some donation and take care of your family

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