Mars journey will be 'huge step' for India: PM
An Indian spaceship will go to Mars and
collect important scientific information, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh announced Wednesday. "This spaceship to Mars will be a huge
step for us in the area of science and technology," the prime
minister said in his
London: India, which
has announced it will send a space probe to Mars, is now a country
with more technological prowess than Britain and the "best and
most beautiful spoken English in the world" is now heard in India,
the Telegraph said Friday.
In an article titled "India is heading for Mars: it doesn't need
British aid money to pay the bills", columnist Theodore Dalrymple
said foreign aid does not help any poor countries, "it just
corrupts their governments".
The writer said he was "well placed to appreciate the absurdity of
continued British aid to India".
"It is not only absurd: it is corrupt," he wrote.
Quoting former Indian finance minister Pranab Mukherjee - now the
president - that India did not need British aid which was
"peanuts" anyway, Dalrymple said though Mukherjee was right, his
statement "was met by almost grovelling British requests to
continue aid to India".
The writer said that in this "urgent desire to send aid to our
former possession", there was the "hangover of a colonial
The British believe that if they give India aid, "it must be
because they need it and therefore that we are superior to them in
Britain, however, failed to notice that an Indian company took
over Land Rover and Jaguar, as the task was beyond Britain's
It was not British aid that caused India to develop, but the
efforts of its own people.
"Aid is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition of the
economic development of a poor country; there is no country that
has been lifted out of poverty by aid, which is a form of
international social security for corrupt governments," Dalrymple
"India has a long, varied, glorious (and terrible) history of
civilisation, with the sophistication necessary to absorb
influences from abroad, including Western scientific ones."
"The best and most beautiful spoken English in the world is now to
be heard in India. It is outrageous that we condescend to it with
our paltry aid, just to pay the mortgages of aid workers."
He, however, said India still has many problems, including
"It remains profoundly corrupt and its government is incapable of
passing necessary reforms. Rural poverty is deep and persistent.
Nevertheless, it is not so very long ago that all right-thinking
people saw the future of India as hopeless, one of perpetual
epidemic and recurring famine," Dalrymple said.
He said India's "young population thirsts for real education in a
way than much of ours (Britain's) does not".
He questioned India's tally of medals at the 2012 London Olympics.
"One manifestation of the underlying wisdom of India is its low
tally of medals at the Olympic Games, only six - none gold - when
it has a sixth of the world's population. Its young people have
more important things to do than put the shot or throw the
javelin," the writer said.