John Key, the current Ambassador from China to NZ, put all our cows in one Beijing Paddock as an economic strategy during his decade of empowering Beijing in the South Pacific.
Welcome to New XiLand
Turns out that strategy has locked us into geopolitical subservience to our new Chinese Economic OverLords, much to the fury of our Political Masters in Washington.
As we scramble to detach from China, India keeps getting mentioned as our new saviour from an authoritarian regime with questionable human rights practices…
Labour leader Chris Hipkins has promised to lead a prime ministerial trade delegation to India within the first 100 days of taking office if Labour wins the upcoming election.
Laying out his party’s economic strategy today, Hipkins said India would be a priority next term.
“After securing trade deals with the UK and EU this year, my next priority will be to lead a Prime Ministerial delegation to India within the first 100 days of a new Government,” he said. Hipkins met Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi in Papua New Guinea earlier this year, where Modi invited Hipkins to visit India.
…but is India a trading alternative from an authoritarian regime with questionable human rights practices OR is India another authoritarian regime with questionable human rights practices?
I thank the Charles Veillon Foundation for honoring me with the 2023 European Essay Award. It may not be immediately apparent how delighted I am to receive it. It’s even possible that I am gloating. What makes me happiest is that it is a prize for literature. Not for peace. Not for culture or cultural freedom, but for literature. For writing. And for writing the kind of essays that I write and have written for the past 25 years.
They have mapped, step by step, India’s descent (although some see it as an ascent) into first majoritarianism and then full-blown fascism. Yes, we continue to have elections, and for that reason, in order to secure a reliable constituency, the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party’s message of Hindu supremacism has relentlessly been disseminated to a population of 1.4 billion people. Consequently, elections are a season of murder, lynching and dog-whistling – the most dangerous time for India’s minorities, Muslims and Christians in particular.
It is no longer just our leaders we must fear, but a whole section of the population. The banality of evil, the normalisation of evil is now manifest in our streets, in our classrooms, in very many public spaces. The mainstream press, the hundreds of 24-hour news channels have been harnessed to the cause of fascist majoritarianism. India’s Constitution has been effectively set aside. The Indian Penal Code is being rewritten. If the current regime wins a majority in 2024, it is very likely that we will see a new Constitution.
It is very likely that the process of what is called “delimitation” – a reordering of constituencies – or gerrymandering as it is known in the US, will take place, giving more parliamentary seats to those Hindi-speaking states in North India where the BJP has a base. This will cause great resentment in the southern states and has the potential to balkanise India. Even in the unlikely event of an electoral defeat, the supremacist poison runs deep and has compromised every public institution that is meant to oversee checks and balances. Right now, there are virtually none, except a weakened and undermined Supreme Court.
…I’m not sure moving our trade from an Authoritarian Communist Regime that is committing cultural genocide and mass repression to a Racial Supremacist Fascist State that is committing hate crimes is really all that much of a win for New Zealand ethically.
Our trade is jumping out of the Chinese pan and into the Indian fire while our American Capitalist masters demand more heat.
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