Sunday, March 15, 2015
Forward Together We Go
What factors will shape U.S-India ties in the next five years?
When two biggest democracies from two different continents want to have friendly ties, there will be many hurdles of political, socio-cultural, economic and nationalistic barriers to be crossed. But thankfully, in our case, the two democracies are India and U.S. Hence the hurdles can be overcome if the people of two countries are eager to have a deep emotional & cultural bonding in next five years. Also, U.S. and India should have equal respect in each other’s capabilities. In this post, I try to give some indications about that:
Cinematic bonding: Me and my urban friends are fond of Hollywood movies. But how much do Americans know about Mumbai film industry? A film is a great way to interpret a country’s culture. So, best Bollywood films should be dubbed into English. They should be shown regularly in the popular movie theaters in USA. Special invitations should be sent to the Hollywood’s top directors and actors for awareness. American youths should connect with Indian movies. Recently, the film p.k. made its entry into America’s top 10. So, the scope for cinematic bonding is always there.
Sports: Basketball, baseball and American football are very popular among Americans. And cricket has become the new religion in India. Our challenges lie in popularizing American sports in India and encourage Americans to play cricket. Then we shall have joint sports activities every year. That way, the sports enthusiasts can share their feelings by going beyond boundaries. What about a Wrestlemania or a World Wrestling event being organized in Kolkata? I am looking forward to buy a ticket for it!
Student exchange: Top US varsities should have student exchange programs with their Indian counterparts. Indian students should enjoy American life and vice versa. There should be one country specific volunteer chosen for each university, who will be primarily responsible for improving bilateral relationship.
‘Be My Guest’ approach: The travel & tourism model can be revived between two countries. Instead of staying into a five star hotel, an American family can be invited to take the hospitality of an Indian family. If I visit America, I may look for an American family with whom I can befriend with. Hearts should be shared, not just the natural beauty.
Literature: I am sure that every year, new set of Indian fiction & non-fiction writers (writing in English) are coming up and most are unknown to American readers & media. We need to have a joint prize in literature where one writer from U.S. and one from India will be honored for their first book or, for their overall contribution to the literature. Governments should be made liable to popularize the contesting Indian & American authors in both countries. Also, NYT, WSJ should broadly cover book fairs like Jaipur Lit Fest and Kolkata International Book Fair.
Others: Governments should continue talking about health, tech innovation and business cooperation. For sensitive defense issues, U.S. and India should have a joint team of army.
The above factors or initiatives should be taken as the joint responsibility for both countries’ leadership. In Abraham Lincoln’s words, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
Let Americans & Indians help each other to live better.
Note: The image used in this post is not used from a stock photo and is designed by the blogger Biswajit Ganguly. Only Mahatma Gandhi’s quote is taken from a third party site.