July 24, 2005

A STRONG ANTITERROR SPEECH from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:

Every time terrorists strike anywhere all of us who believe in democracy and the rule of law must stand together and affirm our firm commitment to fight this scourge resolutely and unitedly. I sincerely hope that all of those who cherish and value open and free societies will join hands in the war against terrorism wherever it is fought. I wish the people of London well. I pray that their lives will soon return to normal and they can resume their celebrations for having been chosen the venue for the 2012 Olympics.

And, like Blair and Howard the other day, he sounds as if he’s read Jim Bennett’s book:

Today, with the balance and perspective offered by the passage of time and the benefit of hindsight, it is possible for an Indian Prime Minister to assert that India’s experience with Britain had its beneficial consequences too. Our notions of the rule of law, of a Constitutional government, of a free press, of a professional civil service, of modern universities and research laboratories have all been fashioned in the crucible where an age old civilisation met the dominant Empire of the day. . . .

It used to be said that the sun never sets on the British Empire. I am afraid we were partly responsible for sending that adage out of fashion!

But, if there is one phenomenon on which the sun cannot set, it is the world of the English speaking people, in which the people of Indian origin are the single largest component.

Of all the legacies of the Raj, none is more important than the English language and the modern school system. That is, if you leave out cricket!

As The Economist recently noted, India is moving much closer to the United States these days — and vice versa. I guess they’ve all read Jim Bennett’s book.

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