I woke up this morning to a great piece in Mint by Anil Padmanabhan on the makeover potential of Indo-US ties. He cut through the chaff of mass euphoria and clever-speech-writers-at-work and made some very interesting points about the relationship between the two countries.

And like a good host, rather than slam Obama‘s obvious US-interests-first intentions, he kind of justified why Obama had to do or say (and not say) so far on his trip to India.

But then as the day progressed, the US President played the aces he’d hidden up his sleeve, and made two significant announcements – which India had been waiting for, for years. One, he endorsed the inclusion of India as a permanent member of the UN Security Council; and two, he stated that Pakistan has a lot of work to do still, to prevent the spread of terror from within its territories!

Was this really an ace up his sleeve, kept for the last day of his ‘now historic’ trip, or was this the result of some serious behind-the-scenes negotiations and lobbying by India? Well, whatever it was, the truth is captured in this excerpt from Anil’s column:

The headline, both in international and domestic media, after Day 1 of US PresidentBarack Obama’s visit to India was startling: It talked about how the President had salvaged a trade deal (with the promise of more foreign direct investment by Indian companies) worth $10 billion (Rs. 44,300 crore) that would generate 50,000 jobs in the US.

It is difficult to imagine we are talking here about the US, the world’s largest economy at over $14 trillion, and India, with an economy valued at a little over $1 trillion.

At once it tells us several things.

One, if anyone had doubts about the potential underlying the Indian economy, they should stand dispelled.

Second, following up on the previous point, it is an official acknowledgement of the tectonic shift under way in the global economic balance towards the East.

Whatever the motivations, the ball has been set rolling by some very smart, clear thinking, manipulative (in a positive way) people, for a larger, common economic good.

Which is quite the opposite of what’s happening on Bigg Boss 4!

As some tweeple pointed out, Bigg Boss 4 (#bb4) is the largest gathering of official criminals (reformed and otherwise), accused and accusers, and other sundry B grade losers on television anywhere.

But surprisingly, the alleged most dangerous (Seema-ji) and the strongest (Khali-ji) seem to be the nicest and most decent of the lot out there! The worst of the lot, is in my mind, as @shagorikah pointed out – Dolly Bindra is like an episode of “Animals Gone Wild”. Which to me is an insult to the animals gone wild!

Yet we as a nation are watching with combined bated breath and excitement – both BB4, and the POTUS!

Bigg Boss 4 is grabbing huge eyeballs and TRPs, even shaking up the Big B and his Koun Banega Crypat… sorry Crorepati. And the news channels will all come out with their own calculations, how they had more viewers than HBO or Colors or Sony or whoever claims to normally have the max viewers on any given idiot-box day!
Singhji, Obamaji Dollyji Salmanji


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