Report comment

For many years I have maintained that the U.S. has a propaganda apparatus that would make Goebbels extremely jealous. As an example I give you the film "Slumdog Millionaire". Whether or not any three-letter agency had a hand in its financing and production, we in fact have a movie that came from nowhere (it was supposed to have gone straight to video) to Oscar glory in 2008. Its lessons:
1. Indians are striving for material success (contrary to India's historical image).
2. India is rapidly modernizing.
3. Most Indians speak English.
4. Indians have adopted our cultural icons.

The goals:
Draw India and the U.S. closer together by means of a thin veneer of mutual amity and warm feelings generated on the one hand by Indians watching the success of an Indian film in the U.S. and on the other hand by Americans being convinced they are not so different from Indians.

My purpose here is not to denigrate Indians or suggest that they are not in fact closer to Americans culturally than Chinese are. My purpose is to suggest that the film was hyped to be a psychological counterweight to the spectacle of the Beijing Olympics (which it was timed to undercut) and to open the door for India as a producer of products that will be consumed in the U.S. if and when the Chinese are no longer the workshop for the West.

Tata's ownership of Jaguar is a signal moment in the global economy ... we can expect more of the same from a country where 1 in 80,000 attains entry to the American Institute of Technology, a virtual golden ticket to silicon valley. Hundreds of years ago their Malabar Coast was so cosmopolitan and prosperous that a Chinese admiral sent to subdue it told Beijing to forget about it--too tough a task. Although the British succeeded where China wouldn't try, they were ultimately ousted not by force of arms but by moral force and force of will. Do not underestimate India.