Beware the gift horse!


Four underwhelmed listeners

Four underwhelmed listeners

Mike Scott comments on a BBC website: “Perhaps Mr Cameron should try forging a (trusted) partnership with the British people first before he starts blowing smoke towards India”.

Wise folk in India will – like the commentator – be looking David Cameron’s gift horse in the mouth, totally unexcited by the invitation to open up India to failing British banks.

In October the Cameron-led British government asked its high commissioner in India to meet Narendra Modi, ending 10 years of international isolation for Gujarat’s chief minister, under whose ‘watch’ about 1,000 Muslims were killed in the Gujarat riots.

‘Sanctifying large-scale violence’ – are there any further lengths to which the current British government will go to make a profit?

Praful Bidwai, now freelance, The Times group’s most published journalist for 20 years and a fellow of the Transnational Institute, gave the background in his website and in the Guardian:

“British officials had followed a “working policy” of no contact with Modi’s government “because of our concerns over what happened in Gujarat”. Modi was also refused a visa by the US and EU. Modi’s global isolation has helped to sustain domestic civil society pressure to bring the massacre’s perpetrators to justice. This in turn encouraged the Indian supreme court to intervene, by asking the Gujarat government to reopen criminal cases closed for “lack of evidence”, and transferring some trials to Maharashtra”. He continues:

‘Modi was delighted, of course, immediately tweeting “God is great”. Modi’s industries minister instantly promised to “fast-track” British investment projects’

Bidwai concludes: “Evidently, the Cameron government doesn’t want to lose out on Gujarat’s business opportunities or support from Britain’s prosperous Gujarati businessmen, described by the Foreign Office as “one of the most successful and dynamic communities in the UK” – even if that means sanctifying large-scale violence”.



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