Saturday, April 18, 2009
How and why the US and the other 'white powers' help the black of the southern hemisphere! A global 'white' guilt is being exploited by the political powers of the west with vested interests in the resource rich land known for its diamonds and yet to be exploited oil. The pre-recession era of the west was a place which had more money and less happ'y'ness. It is mostly a 'persuit' of this happiness that has been driving the white upperclass of rich nations to do charity in godforsaken lands like Africa (and India, recently even more after the success of Slumdog Millionare) and when charity comes so easy everyone joins hands to contribute. Giving away a day's burger can buy education for a girl in Africa some say. The charity is good but the problem is that the effort ends just there. No follow ups are made by most people, they trust their govenments which shows them impoverished faces with smiles and a bright colored flag on their favorite TV channels.
Movies like 'Black Diamond' are rare and though appreciated they fail miserably to excite the fancies of most. The west has been able to get to what it wants on most occasions. Many African governments are formed by the consensus of a 'white board' mostly populated by US and UK diplomats. If a couple of 'talks' and a donation of the surplus money of its nation can buy a land rich in resources, who would say no? The situation in a few other countries was similar. The west had an overwhelming interest in their resources and what followed was Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, etc. In these places the society had a tougher political structure and a resilient army to involve in a fight-back. Africa, sadly, has been slow to evolve to be a strong resistance (or terrorists as they are mosty referred to by the west for most other cultures) and centuries of oppression and slavery could be blamed for this.
How is India and the subcontinent different, now? Drastically! We have emerged as important players in the economic scene of the world, have an intimidating armed force and a global presence (even a couple of Indians helping Obama frame laws for America!). It is another thing that most important resource of India is 'Human' and it is in the best interest of the west to reap the benifits of the human resource that is reared by the Indian Government and works for them! A colony (or colony like establishment like in Iraq and many parts of Africa) would result in weakening this important resource. The 'Slumdog' is infact bailing out the west out of these tough times in many ways.
Post recession things have changed. The west is no longer happy and no longer rich (like it was before). Most charities have dried up as even the big corporates who wanted to gain some SRI (Socially Responsible Index) points are now shying away from donating to the poorer continents.
So, the big question is, "Can money relieve the situation or is something else needed?" The answer is not simple but a number of measures like political influence, physical engagement, representation of these countries in the world forums/culture, development of industries inside Africa and a genuine support for the existing ones can make a big difference to the current situation.
How would Obama be different? Being a black and all he's expected to bring about a sea change to the situation not just in America but in the world (or the 'world' of America at least!). But, quite frankly, how black he really is? Obama is, first, an American citizen who has lived his life like one. His political career is not motivated by the evils against the blacks (something that motivated Martin Luther King) but rather the equality that he's enjoyed for major part of his life. A comparison which is often drawn is that of Mayawati aka Behenji. The parallel, unfortunately, lies just in the heads of a few media folks and is far from being a ground reality. A dalit, girl child in rural parts of India suffers much more than the 'black American citizen' of modern times can even imagine. She has been a champion of equality and life for the dalits in India and if continents like Africa have to come up with the modern society they need many more leaders like her rather than a philanthropic monetary effort as an outcome of a guilt which has always pressed the white population of the world pre-recession.