Now dogmatic partisanship has given way to the pragmatic calculations whereby India is building bridges with the whole world regardless of its past affiliations and the present fault lines in global politics, although with great caution and care. While offering a toast to Ms.Clinton last week, no secret was made of hosting Iranian trade delegation, demonstrating the assertiveness to the US. Contrast it with the way the US is treating Pakistan these days, applying unbending pressure to reopen the NATO supplies route and continuation of drone attacks despite clear-cut parliamentary recommendations in this regard. Maltreatment of the top Indian film star on the US airport was apologized loudly and unconditionally, but in Pakistan, even the loss of life at the hands of US soldiers does not cause any uproar in the US, let alone any apologizing. India definitely enjoys cutting edge superiority over Pakistan and its worth-pondering for us to know and emulate the success of our neighbour.
The noisy domestic political scene in Pakistan also warrants comparative consideration vis-à-vis Indian turbulent, yet smoothly working political dispensation. Here millions are spent by a chief minister on grandiose schemes meant to steal the popular limelight, but there, Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar (and if the deal is struck between Janata Dal and BJP, the candidate for prime ministership in 2014 elections), in his Janata Darbar, virtually ensures delivery of justice at door step.
The opposition in Pakistan relies mainly on loud sloganeering and esoteric doublespeak to place the government in the dock, but BJP President Nitin Gadkari’s statement is instructive as to how to conduct when confronted with the incumbent governing setup. He has made it clear that instead of focusing on the downsides and shortcomings of the current government, they are going to highlight their achievements and accomplishments. The Congress government is under immense pressure because of electoral dubbing in the recent state elections, including UP which is its home constituency, but there is no attempt to scuttle the government by raising the temperature at the hustings.
Huge corruptions scams have been unearthed in the tenure of the incumbent Congress government implicating some sitting MPs, but stability of the system has been ensured under constitutional guarantees, whereas media and the court zeroed in on the corrupt elements. What India has done is that it has got itself into a position where it is able to look on the horizon and think of becoming a major world power, but at the same time, it could not come out of the typical Third World syndrome hampering its progress and hurting its image due to slow and creaky bureaucracy, rampant poverty, deep-rooted corruption and social fabric marked by discriminations along the lines of cast, creed and gender.
While comparing both South Asian neighbours, one can not escape the conclusion that now India has surged ahead of Pakistan and it’s a moment of concern and deliberation for the rulers and citizens alike as to what lessons can be learned from the Indian experience. Deep-seated hostility has to give way to appreciation at least, if not outright cordiality in short term if we want to follow in the footsteps of our estranged neighbour. After all, learning ought not to constrain us to learn something good, even if we have to be tutored by the enemy.