August 15, 2004
I am writing 57 years after the day of Indian independence. Some believe post-cold war neocolonialism still rules India. Others believe America, with overburdened problems in housing, health care, drug addiction, and crime, is no better than a colony of Europe. American Government supports self-determination. But how is then America said to colonise the third world?
When I compared the development of Indian history with American history over the past 200 years -- the years of Indian colonisation and the years of American Independence--- I discovered many parallels. Such trivial studies motivated me to explore alternative paradigms in understanding Indo-US relations.
Most who go to the USA from India and become financially successful, are not from my kind of background as regards social class. Vast majority of US foreign relations are dominated by the CIA. The CIA men, with due respect to their professional abilities, are not at all popular in the Third World. Even the American Senate raises concerns on their actions outside the US. The foreign policies pursued by the US in Nicaragua, Mexico, Iraq, and often in India are no better than a big failure. I believe that the perceptions of priorities by the US official agencies (such as the CIA) do not match the needs of the common people in the third world. Will it ever change? I doubt.
What is an alternative? What if average common and small people like me study American politics more seriously. Can we come up with any better? Of course we are no professional politicians who can guide the wishes and the behaviours of the masses.
What else can a person like me do? Despite a decent academic background, almost every body believes that I cannot do independent research like my classmates/juniors do (many are established Assistant Profs in USA, some are Prof. in high profile Indian Institutions). And I am not interested in remaining a teaching assistant or a research assistant. Most will say that I am a small guy with a big ego/mouth and overambitious; but I don't bug others if I cannot succeed as well as my classmates. That's the reason Bangalore will not like me.
Why study Capitalism? What my 'big name' friends and professors call 'reserach' is related to Industrial development in Europe in the past 200-300 years. I can understand that process because of my direct experience with the laboratory and industry. It is like "dudher swad ghole metano (replacing the desire for milk with butter-milk)". However my perceptions might be different from the CIA, since I came from a different section of the third world population.
Will I be any good? If I am mediocore, I shall remain mediocore. No harm in trying something new, without being a pain in the neck to my established friends.
How do I 'study' American Capitalism? I shall discuss that in another note?