We have picked a great ally in India

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Harry C. Alford and Kay DeBow

Beyond the Rhetoric

By Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow

On the morning of September 20, 2019, we witnessed a very amazing occurrence on television. There was a rally being broadcast live from Houston Stadium. It was entitled a “Howdy, Modi” rally. There it was on live television, over 50,000 people, mostly of Asian Indian descent, crammed into the stadium to hear an address from their “hero,” Prime Minister Narenda Modi of India. He had come to the United States to boost the morale of the Indian Diaspora throughout the world and increase relations with the United States and the United Nations.

As the audience assembled you could detect the high emotions and pumped up pride. The Prime Minister of their “Motherland” had come to address them, along with the rest of the world, as it was being televised worldwide. As the Prime Minister approached the microphone his aura took control. His first assignment was really a mind blower. He began speaking and it became apparent that his first assignment was to introduce his guest speaker. That guest speaker was none other than our President, Donald Trump! Narenda had the participants on their feet as he told why he was selecting President Trump to address his Diaspora members.

He referred to President Trump as his “true friend” which is rare and very bold in our current political climate. He was taking a strong position and was telling it to the world. The broadcast was airing live in India and many other places around the world. Keep in mind, India alone has over 2.4 billion citizens.

Just how did President Trump perform? He almost “blew the roof” off the stadium from the loud applause and cheering that the very motivated crowd awarded to him again, and again and over and over. The loudest response which lasted nearly 10 minutes long was when he vowed to destroy Islamic terrorism wherever it may be and will do this together with India and other allies. It was one of the strongest events to be televised in recent history. The implications are enormous.

The history of India is most interesting. It was part of the British Empire and was “compressed” together with what now has become Pakistan, a classic case of European powers dominating the world with the rewriting of maps and reorganizations of tribal nations.

Pakistan is a nation of 230 million who are 96 percent Muslim.

In 1857, Pakistan became part of British India. When India gained its independence in 1947, much of the Muslim population desired to become separate and independent from India. So, it was done and the relationship between the two nations has been “touchy” ever since. There have been a few military skirmishes from time to time with India having the upper hand every time.

As opposed to the Islamic state of Pakistan, India is predominantly Hindu.

However, it proudly proclaims itself to be the largest documented democracy in the world.  This is what makes it attractive. Also, India is developing at “lightning speed” in terms of technology and economic sufficiency. It is so important for America to have good quality allies. In India, it appears that we have one.

In terms of trade, what better trading partner could we have than with one possessing 2.4 billion consumers. It appears that Prime Minister Narenda and President Trump are going to make the best of their partnership and trade will be one on the biggest beneficiaries.

Don’t take this wrong! We are not neglecting Pakistan. The very next day, President Trump spent quality time with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Prime Minister Khan is a charismatic leader who was one of the greatest cricket athletes of all time. He is equally as popular in Pakistan as Narenda is in India. President Trump has made it clear that we value partnerships with both nations.

However, it appears that India shows the love a little better than Pakistan.

Pakistan is tolerant with the rebel Taliban tribe which fights us constantly in Afghanistan and occupies some of Pakistan (outback country) without any challenges.

India has no tolerance for the Taliban. It only makes sense that we should rely on India more than Pakistan when it comes to rebel threats. Remember, Osama Bin Laden was “chilling” in Pakistan when we caught up with his vile self. Pakistan offered no justification for the tolerance they gave him.

Both nations are nuclear powers. It is scary that so many Islamic terrorists travel through Pakistan with impunity. India cracks down on them without fail. In fact, there is debate that India may be a little too rough. We disagree with that.

Pakistan has the 11th largest military force in the world. India comes in at 5th (we are number 1). It is good insurance for our nation to have friends who can protect themselves in the hotbed of the Asian continent. It appears without argument that India is the better of the two. President Trump and Prime Minister Narenda are grooming a very strong and productive partnership. We must not mess this up in any way.

Finally, the Indian Diaspora is powerful! In our travels we have seen it before our very own eyes. Trinidad, Jamaica, Ghana, Kenya, England, South Africa and just about every where else in this world there is a connection with “Mother India.” We need friends like this!

Mr. Alford is the Co-Founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®.  Ms. DeBow is the Co-Founder, Executive Vice President of the Chamber. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Emails: halford@nationalbcc.org, kdebow@nationalbcc.org.

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