February 19, 2006

Indo-U.S. Relationship : New Dimensions

related articles here and here
also here


(Visualisation of conversation during Dinner party to be given by Mr. Manmohan Singh in honour of Mr. Bush (Big B) on March 2, 2006. )

Full backing

Big B: Hey Man, I wanna have a word with you in private, if I may.

(Both Manmohan and Mantek move closer to Big B. Mulford gestures to Mantek that Big B. wants to speak with Big Man, not him. Mantek moves back, disappointed.)

Mulford:(whispering to Big B) Mr. Prez., please do not address him as Man.
Big B: Why do you say that, he is Man all right.
Mul: No, no, I mean if you say Man, it confuses them whether you mean Manmohan or Mantek..
Big B: Oh, ok, get your point Dave, thanks.

(Big B talking to Mr. Manmohan Singh.)

Big B: So what's up? Tell me about the Nuke deal, how’s it goin on your side?
M: We are moving in the right direction Mr. Bush. I assure you I will carry everyone along. We will deliver on all our promises before you do.
Big B: Yeah, that’s important y’know. I have a tough task ahead convincing all those guys back home.
M: We appreciate what you said you were going to try to do for us Mr. Bush.
Big B: Sure will. I can do business with you, I told you when you came to the U.S.
M: (Smiles)
Big B: Talking of business, that reminds me. You know the Senators from Arkansas ain’t convinced yet. I am afraid; they are going to be tough nuts to crack. I told you about them back in US already.
M: But we are going to separate all our facilities as you told us.
Big B: Yeah, they know it too. But the folks from Arkansas are concerned about their own State, you see. They are getting impatient and they have to see a few Wal-Mart stores opening in Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. I have to show that I have done something for their state too, not just India. Don't forget, Wal-Mart want to come here in India's interest. They can very well go elsewhere and that will be your loss, not theirs.
Mulford : (interjects) I hear they already have invitations from other countries. Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Lithuania......others..
Big B: Speed in decision making counts a lot.
M: I get your point Mr. Bush. Let’s hear Mr. Nath too on this.
Big B: Nut, who?

Mulford : (again whispers) Not Nut, Mr. Prez, Mr. Nath, their Commerce Minister.

(Big B nods that he has understood.
K. Nath joins the group.)

Mulford: Look here, Nath, the Prez. wants to know what has been done since Wal-Mart team met with you last year. It is nearly a year, you know.
Nath: Yes, we are working on it. I am confident that we shall overcome all the resistance. There is the usual problem with Mom and Pop shops that I need to tackle. I am going to convince them that what we are doing is for their own good. They will be able to sell their shops and get good money.
Mulford: So?
Nath: The Left parties are also making some noises... I have been trying to convince them too that it will help India in a big way. There will be backward linkages, cold chains and so on. Farmers will benefit. Above all, they will bring down prices by importing stuff from China and our manufacturers will also improve to meet the Chinese competition. Consumers will benefit. The lowering of prices will help our Finance Minister too who has been struggling to keep inflation under check. And also....
Mulford: (menacingly) See 'ere, you are only repeating what WE told you to enlighten you. The Prez. is not interested in all these stories. Enough is enough. Just do it that's all. Don’t fool around with us if you know what’s good for you.
Nath: (nervously looks at Manmohan Singh who avoids his glance)
Big B :(nudges Mulford) Let me handle this Dave, if you will.

Big B: Relax, Nath. They told me all about you. You are a nice guy. I know I can rely on you to do what we want you to do in your country's interest.
Nath: I am doing my best Mr. President. I won’t disappoint you. It is just that these Moms and Pops and Left parties..
Big B: I understand all that. Let’s put it this way: Can these small shops or the Left parties give you a nuke deal? Can they help India by doing what Wal-Mart and Boeing and other American businesses will do?
Nath: You are absolutely right, they can't. You can count on me to get Wal-Mart in. I think the Left parties also want us to do it because of Buddha, the Enlightened One, amongst them. So they would actually like it if we ignore them. We have already ignored the opposition because they are also supporting it by not opposing strongly.
Big B: So when do you think you can do it?
Nath: Very soon. We have finalized the concessions for them. In confidence, I can tell you that but for the objections from the Left, we were in favor of treating all Wal-Mart stores in the country as a single Special Economic Zone and giving them exemption from all Indian laws, tax breaks etc. We will still do the best without inviting trouble from the Left.
Big B: (smiles) That’s good then.
Nath: We are counting on Wal-Mart to transform the face of our agriculture. Our Agriculture Minister also feels that Wal-Mart can easily do what he could not do.
Big B: Hmmm
Nath: We are looking to them to export also our agro products in a big way, especially fruit.
Mulford: What fruit, Mango?
Nath: Yes, but we can offer Bananas too in a big way.
Mulford: You grow Bananas too?
Nath: Oh YES. You will be surprised to know, we are the largest Banana producers in the world. We produce 23% of the world’s production.
Big B: Wow, isn’t that something? Hey Dave, why didn’t we think of it before? The largest Republic in the world is the largest producer of Bananas. Makes a lot of sense. (laughs)
Mulford: Yes Mr. Prez. That’s it then Nath. Good luck to you. Let’s have a drink together and leave the Prez. with your PM.

(both move away)

Big B: (to Manmohan Singh) Nice guy, Nath. But needs a bit of a push from the top, I think.
M: I have been doing it but this young blood, you know how they are.
Big B: If he can do it, it will be a load off my head and I can convince the Arkansas folks. You know what?
M: What, Mr. Bush?
Big B: The Wal-Mart people in Bentonville have great confidence in your party President. They have a lot of hopes about her because of the enlightened economic policies like allowing Wal-Mart.
M: I am glad they think so of our party President.
Big B: Sure, they do. In fact, they are appreciative of the help they are getting from you guys. I am sure they will be happy to see your party win the next elections too. You could count on their goodwill.
M: I am happy to hear that.
Big B: Good work is always appreciated. Tell me how far have you come on your aircraft fleet orders. The people at home were a bit concerned that Airbus will walk away with the remaining orders.
M: That portfolio is handled by another of my coalition partners as you know. But I am sure, we prefer Boeing.
Big B: I hope so. Minister Patel knows a lot about US. Patels have a lot of motels out there. His boss Power is also quite practical. I do not see any real reason to worry. But Boeing is important for your economy. The people in Seattle and Chicago think so too.
M: Sure, we recognize it is in our interest to give preference to Boeing. We only give some orders to Airbus to keep Mr. Chirac in good humor.
Big B: Things are certainly changing since your government came in power. You are also establishing your party's credibility. It is evident from the way your party took actions on the Volcker Report. Condie told me it has had a lot of positive impact on your foreign policy too. It has helped in giving a new meaning to our relationship. By the way, I don’t see your computer man around. Where is he?
M: Computer man?
Big B: I mean the number cruncher, PC. A PC has all the figures, haha.
M: Oh you mean Mr. Chidambaram.
Big B: You got it right.
M: He is busy trying to think of explanations and reasons for the Budget proposals he just presented.
Big B: Yeah, its always difficult to convince people to see sense in the Budget proposals.
M: He can make himself sound convincing.
Big B: Tell you what, I’ll tell Aly to call up PC and give him advice on how to handle the economy. India is going to be a big economy and you’ll need a lot of expertise now.
M: Aly?
Big B: Greenspan. He can be a good ally.
M: Oh. We would surely appreciate that Mr. Bush. Shall I send PC over to meet with him next week?
Big B: Let me get back first and brief Aly what we would like him to suggest.
M: I understand.
Big B: Always happy to be of help to friends like you.
M: (raises his voice) Mr. Bush, I want to tell you something important.

(Others around them come closer)

Big B: What is it Mr. Prime Minister?
M: (raises his voice further) Let it be clearly understood. I do not want any misunderstandings later on. I want to say it with all the emphasis at my command. You should not think that we are going to do whatever you say.
Big B: (alarmed) Please calm down Man.
M: Don’t you Man me. Listen to what I say. I have told everyone about this in my country. Whatever we do is going to be strictly done in the light of the changing situation. We make our own policies. All our policy decisions are going to be taken in our own enlightened national interest. We will agree to do everything you suggest only because it is in our national interest and for nothing else. I hope I am making myself very clear.

(applause from the Indian side present)

Big B: (relieved) Oh that. Sure Mr. Prime Minister. I know you are very strong and firm about that as you told me back in the US. You can rely on me there. I always think of that and whatever we suggest is only in India’s interest. Have we not always done that? I worry about India’s interests just as I worry about Indiana’s interests. You know that.
M: I just wanted to make it clear once again. I will NOT do anything that is not in India’s enlightened national interest. Most certainly not.
Big B: I admire your firmness in saying this. That's how it should be. I sure am glad that you want to do everything in the interests of your state...er...I meant nation.

(raises a toast) Cheers to strengthening of our new relationship.




Break for dinner…….

10 comments:

mediumlatte said...

that was a long one! nicely dome though.

manchanda said...

though imaginary, shows lot of realism in our case.

Anonymous said...

For the full year ended January 31, Bentonville-based Wal-Mart said net sales rose 9.5 percent to $312.4 billion and net income rose 9.4 percent to a record $11.2 billion, or $2.68 per share.

Lalwani said...

Clearly in case of allowing Walmart, some hanky-panky is involved. This is the trade mark of Congress. Same thing happened when our fellow nationals helped the British.

Anonymous said...

from newsreports on Bush visit, it is clear that the americans are going to get a lot of benefits from our market by just giving vague assurances.

pritam Mohta said...

very well visualised 10 days BEFORE the visit. Are you part of Bush speechwriters' team.

Atlantean said...

Hahaha! Hilarious!

tanvi said...

that sure was hilarious. hehehehehehehehe

kancha said...

Hillarious AND realistic. Something like that must have transpired.
People know our Indian politicians' mentality too well and by now people also know how the Americans operate.

Meena said...

Brilliant!!!

Just came across this. So perceptive, seeing whats happening now after three years, with the Nuke deal with the Left and others opposing it.

Big B = Big Bush? Big Boss?? Big Bully??? Big Bluffer????

KEEP IT UP.

ppl need to wake up finally and voice their opinions about the way things are messed up under pressure from the developed world.