May 31

Inventing a History of Oppression


“To listen to populist anti-Pommy chatter here, you’d sometimes think we shared bad imperial memories with the Indians,”  writes Hamish McDonald in a comment in The Sydney Morning Herald  (3/9) on the government’s refusal to sell uranium to India.

He says that but for their party platform, senior figures in the Australian government wish to overturn the ban.

India doesn’t want or need to rush in with orders for uranium. It has plenty of supplies from countries like Canada, Namibia and Kazakhstan, and its scientists are working on an entirely new and much safer nuclear fuel cycle based on thorium.

“But remember the word ”symbolic” – we gloss over India’s three centuries of European colonial rule. It is still prickly about any hint they might not qualify as a ”responsible” power, though Indians don’t have the same burning grievance as the Chinese for their ”century of humiliation”, which was a much more fragmentary Western incursion.”

Mr. McDonald appears to confirm the view expressed here that the reason the Indian Prime Minister Mr.Manmohan Singh is not attending the Commonwealth Conference in Perth is not a disinterest in the organisation, but this ban which is considered insulting.


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