Incredible means incredible. All of India - endless contrasts: not only the vibrant nature and stench on city streets, amazing monuments of architecture and shanty of slums of the city, but impressive economic growth and poverty of the majority of the population coexist here. A good salary is the sum of thousands of rupees in 3: this is about one and a half thousand rubles. However, experts paint India a great future. Below - about what place in the Indian future can be with us.
Country of contrasts
Modern India is a combination of two completely different worlds. New Delhi - a modern metropolis with government buildings, universities, luxury hotels, boutiques of famous brands. And old Delhi is noisy, dirty, messy. It is he who is the symbol of that backward India, in which a large part of the population still lives: without electricity, sewage.
This old India even in the 21 century lives according to ancient laws. For example, the division of society into castes, with which the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi so fiercely fought, still exists here. It is said that in the case of unequal inter-caste marriages, newlyweds are killed, as well as tens and hundreds of years ago. After all, if, say, a young man married a girl from a lower caste, all of his relatives automatically end up in the estate of the bride.
However, as Arun Mohanti, a professor at a university in the capital, explains to me, caste is slowly but becoming obsolete. In recent years, however, some analysts began to say that caste is necessary for India, since it is only because of this tradition that the country does not experience dissatisfaction with a beggarly life (according to some data, about 800 million Indians live, that is, almost 70%, according to some data. the state subsistence minimum is 12 dollars per month - less than 400 rubles). For the time being, lower-class people are still afraid of spoiling karma, hoping in the next life to be reborn as representatives of a higher caste. However, the process launched by Mahatma Gandhi, it seems, is already unstoppable. “The caste problem gradually becomes a class problem,” says Arun, “The lower the caste, the poorer the person. This has been the way of centuries. Indians have such a psychology: if I am from the lower class, I must obey. On the other hand, they are already beginning to realize what democracy is. In deaf villages a person still suffers humiliation, and in cities no longer. For example, in our university the most active part of students is representatives of the lower castes. ” AT stories modern India was even one president from the untouchable caste - Kocheril Raman Narayanan, who held this post from 1997 to 2002 year.
The state is still listed among the world leaders in the number of illiterate people (half of the Indian peasants cannot read and write). And at the same time is considered one of the largest software developers. India is already not only a nuclear, but also a space power. The volume of gold reserves of the country, according to the latest data, has exceeded the mark of 308 billion dollars, and gross domestic product is 1 trillion dollars, making India the twelfth largest economy in the world. (If measured by purchasing power parity, the country has the fourth largest GDP in the world - 4,7 trillion dollars). India has the largest army of workers on the planet - 516 million people. By this criterion, and indeed by many others, India is in second place, immediately after China. However, it is possible that this is only for now.
The Indians themselves chuckle, claiming that the whole world is afraid of the expansion of the Chinese and does not notice that in the shadow of China a much stronger power is growing - India. A country with an ancient history, its philosophy. Indians do not limit fertility and may soon overtake China in the number of inhabitants. They claim, however, that they never start a war first. Therefore, the Indians sympathize much more than the Chinese, from whom all the time waiting for some kind of trick.
India does not hide its goal - to become a world power. But when in Beijing, I asked politicians about how they see the future of their country, I was told that the PRC does not seek to pursue a sovereign policy, because sovereignty means expansion and violence, and they are peaceful people and dream only of being on the planet harmony reigned. But how will the promotion of Chinese harmony differ from the promotion of American democracy, which the US implants with fire and sword all over the world, nobody explained to me.
In February, in the water area of Severodvinsk, the farewell horn of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier sounded, heading for Mumbai. This beep is the final chord in the long history of the transformation of the Soviet aircraft carrier into the beauty and pride of the Indian military fleet. The degeneration of Admiral Gorshkov into Vikramaditya, that is, in the Almighty, was accompanied by a series of scandals: the deadlines were repeatedly postponed, as a result, the ship was rebuilt for nine years instead of four, and the initial amount of the contract increased almost 4 times - from $ 600 million to 2 billion three hundred! They even said that because of the aircraft carrier, the Indians could part with us, like ships in the sea. However, the Russian ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, claims that rumors of New Delhi's discontent have been greatly exaggerated. “The Indians, of course, wanted to get the ship earlier,” he said in an interview with “However.” “But they showed more understanding than our press.” When the Gorshkov-Vikramaditya tests took place, it was the Russian, not Indian, media that made a fuss, claiming that this was a failure. The Indians did not freak out and did not seek to find flaws in our aircraft carrier. "
True, many experts associate precisely with the scandal around “Admiral Gorshkov” the failures of our defense industry in tenders for the supply of equipment for the Indian Air Force. For the first time in many years, Indians chose to buy fighter jets in France, and helicopters and cargo planes in the United States, rather than in Russia. They saw a change in the foreign policy of New Delhi, the decision of the Indian authorities to move closer to the West to the detriment of Russia. However, according to Kadakin, this interpretation is fundamentally wrong. “It’s early to bury our cooperation in the military-technical field,” he assures. - In the media they write that Russia is losing its position in the Indian market. But if the French won some kind of tender, which, by the way, is still hanging in the air, it absolutely means nothing. ” In any case, the Indian fleet on 80% is equipped with our weapons, and the Air Force - on 70%.
Although it must be admitted that the Indians still show dissatisfaction with the cost of spare parts, the timing of their delivery and the general maintenance of military equipment purchased from the USSR. “There are, for example, problems with MIG-21,” explains “However,” the head of BrahMos Aerospace Sivatkhana Pallai. - Rosoboronexport, which sells equipment to us, is also responsible for servicing and supplying spare parts. And it cannot be denied that there are delays, there are serious problems with the service and availability of some parts. Russia should not ignore these problems, and we hope that then most of the questions will disappear. The attitude of India to the Russian Federation has not changed. Just demands have increased. And no wonder. After all, in the next five years, our country is ready to spend about 150 billion dollars on re-equipment and purchase of new weapons. ”
The concept of "superconnection"
The current head of the government of India, Manmohan Singh, is known for his pragmatism. He seems to be in favor of cooperation with Russia, but at the same time he is a supporter of rapprochement with the United States. At the beginning of the XXI century, as is known, the United States reconsidered its attitude towards New Delhi. In many ways, this happened under the influence of the American neocons, which they saw as a natural ally of the United States in democratic India. In addition, the main goals of the Bush administration — the democratization of the Greater Middle East, the fight against international Islamic extremism, and the support of moderate Muslim states — were consonant with the interests of the Indian elite. The idea of a strategic alliance with New Delhi was attributed to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Philip Zelikov. The basis for such an alliance was a nuclear deal that allowed Indians to receive from the US fuel and components of nuclear reactors. Thus, the de facto Bush administration recognized India’s nuclear status. Not surprisingly, in the middle of the 2000s, the Singh government was fixated on America. “Only the United States can make India feel a great power,” the Indian prime minister said at the time. A significant role in the rapprochement with Washington was played by large IT-related businesses, which increasingly focused on the United States.
However, it is not in vain that Singh is called a supporter of the concept of "superconnection", meaning the development of close ties with all world and regional powers. “By the end of the 2000s,” says Professor Arun Mohangi, “in New Delhi, they concluded that if friendship with the United States is detrimental to relations with Russia, it is not in the interests of India. And it’s not just the price of military equipment and nuclear reactors. Although it should be recognized that Russian products are much cheaper. And not even in the fact that over the past 10-15 years, Americans have not built a single reactor. Most Indians are attracted by the fact that Russia, unlike the United States, does not put political conditions for them. The American president, when he came last, made it clear that contracts for military-industrial complex products would depend on India’s position on Iranian and Burmese issues. ”
From brotherhood to privileged partnership
At the household level, Americans in India, too, do not favor. Suffice it to recall how we met the Nimitz aircraft carrier a couple of years ago - a huge crowd of protesters gathered in the port, which burned the US flag. Indians are traditionally very disposed towards Russia. Moreover, according to Alexander Kadakin, relations between Moscow and New Delhi have changed for the better. “In the Soviet era,” he says, “there was too much romance: Hindi - Rusi: bhai bhai. Now the relationship has matured. ” Bhai-bhai, that is, the brothers, became business partners, and privileged ones.
Indeed, perhaps, we have no such confidential relations with anyone. Russia is ready to provide the Indians with access to the GLONASS satellite navigation system, and a joint development of the Brahmos cruise missile is underway. General Marketing Manager Pravin Patak shows me the rocket system, demonstrating not only the technical excellence of the brainchild of the Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace, but also an excellent command of Russian. It turns out that he studied at the Kursk Technical University, first arrived in Russia in the winter. Then Pravin was not amused, but now he remembers with pleasure and, one can even say with nostalgia. “I was in 25 countries,” he says, “but only Russia was close to my heart.”
By the way, the Russian language in India is among the three most popular foreign languages. Only on courses at Russian cultural centers 700 is currently engaged in people - almost 2 times more than in the Soviet era. The students answer the question “Why?”: There are prospects! A girl named Firdaus says that she once studied Russian at the university and did not even think that he could be useful. “When I got a job at a Russian company,” she says, she decided to brush up on her knowledge. I asked the name of the company, it turned out - "Tajik Airlines". Another girl named Vashan began to study Russian just a year ago, but she already speaks practically without an accent ...
The head of BrahMos Aerospace, Sivathanu Pallai, calls the relationship between Russia and India “special”. “With Russia, we are friends, partners, do not“ buy and sell, ”he notes. - What other country can give another nuclear submarine? Only Russia of India! A striking example of the "special relationship" is our joint project Brahmos. This is the only enterprise to develop and promote one of the most powerful and advanced rocket systems in the world. ”
Another example of successful cooperation with the Russian Federation is generally from a different area. Dreaming to enter the club of leaders of a multipolar world, India is diligently learning to look neat and well-mannered. In Delhi on this issue solve the road problem. On the streets of 16-million capital is going on hell. It seems that the main principle of local drivers is “anarchy is the mother of order”. Many cars have no rear-view mirrors at all: it’s not customary to follow the maneuvers of others. If you need to turn or change the lane, the driver signals, and then - "who did not have time to give me up, I am not guilty." One of the solutions to the road problem is the construction of the metro. And Russian experts help build the subway. Our technology, multiplied by the industriousness of the Indians, gives excellent results. The first metro line earned in 2002 year, and now there are already 6 branches, 142 stations, and the total length exceeded 190 km - as in Moscow.
... Many are surprised that the volume of trade between countries is at the same time total 11 billion dollars (for comparison, India and China - 70 billion, and Russia and China - 80 billion dollars).
But we have something to offer each other. The only question is to engage in the development of relations systematically.