India at the G8 Summit
The G8 Summit will be the high point of this week with India, being invited to the Summit for the first time, writes Nabanita Sircar.Updated: Jul 05, 2005, 18:02 IST
The G8 Summit at Gleneagles will be the high-point of this week and with India, now the fourth largest global economy, being invited to the Summit for the first time, we desis here are keen to see what is expected of India, especially on the issue of climate change.
Coincidentally, the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's visit is perfectly timed to celebrate 75 years of the statuesque India House, at Aldwych. The building has lived through the pages of history that has seen Indo-British relation change so remarkably. It was on July 8, 1930 that King George V accompanied by Queen Mary opened the grand rosewood doors with a golden key. Those were the days of the Raj.
Now, three-quarters of a decade on, it will be Dr Singh who will lay the commemorative stone. Yes, it has been a long journey, and probably highly nostalgic for those who have lived through those times of the independence struggle. But for young Indians too it marks the significance of India's achievement where it now stands as an equal partner of Britain.
The last five years of course has been another story. I remember the times when second generation Indians here, found it embarrassing to admit they were Indians. If you dared to ask them of their origins, they would stare back at you and sometimes reluctantly submit that a few generations ago their family lived in India. But all that is becoming a tale of the past.
Today, you notice young girls of Indian origin attired proudly in Indian outfits in buses and tubes. They rock away to popular Indian numbers at nightclubs. India is a hip word now. And it is comforting to see the change. Yet, I feel there are things that need to change in India.
It was the Live 8 show at Hyde Park that made me think. Whatever the criticism against Sir Bob Geldof's efforts, I decided to become adventurous and brave the crowds to attend the show, only to get a feel of the atmosphere, which undoubtedly, was charged up. There were poignant moments, which brought tears to everyone's eyes. For instance, when the audience was shown a young Ethiopian girl dying, with only 10 minutes to live. The next minute she was on stage, a beautiful young lady, and we were told it was Live Aid, 20 years ago that saved her.
The evening made me wonder why, our Bollywood stars don't get together to put up such shows in India and raise funds to help the poor and uneducated in India! I agree the likes of Vivek Oberoi and Rahul Bose have actually showed a great humane side to their characters during the Tsunami disaster. Others, like Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee donated cheques to the PM's Fund.
But, would it not be touching to find our stars, who thrive on the fanfare and adulation of admirers, could put up such fund-raising, awareness-raising events in India. After all, they do throng to the UK every year to perform in lavish shows. Why not do some for charity in India?
Finally, about the entire gripe against outsourcing to India. The Sun's recent sting operation, exposing one Karan Bahari, and credit fraud, has caused concern here. But computer experts here, who create such programs for banks and other institutions, do not agree that a single person can get hold such secret details, so carefully are the computer programs designed. So was the recent exposure a fillip to fears of losing jobs to India? Many are asking.
Basere se dur, India is a hip word.