The United Nations Security Council has five permanent members, with the power of veto over UN resolutions. Those countries are UK, US, France, China and Russia. By rotation, India is presently a member of the UN Security Council, albeit a non-permanent member.
But when the world’s largest democracy does not stand up and vote in favour of a no-fly zone over Libya to protect innocent civilian lives, you know India is not mature enough to have a permanent seat on the Security Council. India lacks a sense of its own responsibilities on the world stage. Whilst doubtless politicians in India are more busy with the economy and the rewards that brings, they lack the maturity to understand why Britain stands up to be counted.
Anyway you may say it is all to do with oil. Well, it is difficult to justify armed conflict to Britons if neither national security or closely tied to that, economic security, is not at risk. So that is not a problem. In fact, whatever it takes to undertake humanitarian relief is good. Even if you think it hypocritical – so what – one life saved is worth a million hypocrisies.
So why is Britain involved? Cameron and Hague have the energy of a new administration – add Clegg to that – and in fact credit to the Leader of the Opposition too. They made clear their heritage, values dictate their involvement. Values. Not something you hear about nowadays. Say what you want about Britain being a post-Imperial spent power – but they have a sense of responsibility.
Do not be surprised of in International Relations our morals are derived closely from our personal affairs. So consider that Britain has a sense of its history and heritage. This is not overreach, it is simply a case of, ‘if they do not do it, who will’? India wont, clearly. India will let civilians die. Then again Indian lives are cheap anyway, look at the slums in Mumbai of this $1trillion economy whose sons build skyscrapers to reach the gods above them, but not the humanity around them.
India would not stand against Burma – in its own back garden. India would not stand against China over the Dalai Lama – where was the Indian message that Buddhism was the born in India and India has housed the world’s persecuted for two millennia since the Jews led by St Thomas. That is India’s heritage. If you wanna come around looking for trouble in attacking it, you will get some trouble.
Worse than India not doing anything is the Arab League. Once again the West has to clear up their mess. They have oil, but instead of being civilised and cleaning up their own house, they kill each other. Make no mistake, so did the West until 1945. I am not saying all things Western are good, but the Arab world, Saudi Arabia in particular, needs to take the lead for once and show some moral courage.
The worst kind of country or person is one who has someone else do their dirty work for them. It is tantamount to cowardice. So it was Samuel Johnson said, ‘Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other.’ Add Ambrose Redmoon, ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear’.
And so it is India betrayed its heritage this past week, and Britain lived up to its. Say as you wish about British politicians – but they are giants compared to Indian ones. There was a time when Indian politicians could stand up to a Churchill – just ask Gandhiji, Sardar Patel, Nehru, Jinnah. Or ask the 5 million Commonwealth soldiers fighting in Western wars – cleaning up the West’s mess in the past. Not so now. Now the Indian politician betrays the brave Indian soldier by preventing him standing up to a Gadhafi.
So the next time someone shows you a chart of how India will be the third largest economy in the world in 30 years – say a prayer for the rest of the world.