Air of Optimism in India, Says Consul General Tayal
Indian Consul General in Houston Skand R Tayal delivered a public lecture on "India and The US: An Evolving Strategic Partnership" at the Emory University on October 28. His lecture was part of the Halle Institute's Speaker series.
While the Consul General admitted that India still struggles with the crushing poverty that affects many of her one billion inhabitants, he painted a broader context. "There is an air of optimism," he said. "You have to see from where we have come and where we have reached. Even when people are poor, their station in life is improving."
Tayal provided an overview of India's economic developments, which took a major leap after market reforms in the early 1990s. Now, the Consul General said, India is emerging as an important economic partner for the US. Military and political cooperation has developed in parallel to growing economic ties.
Moreover, said Tayal, "the Government of India is stable and democratic values are very well entrenched in the entire country."
An experience of terrorism also links the two countries, in Tayal's view. "Once the US faced a direct threat of terrorism," he said, "you came to know what India had been undergoing since 1989."
In the lively and frank exchange that followed his presentation, Tayal took questions about Pakistan and sounded a cautionary note both about that country's role in the region and about US cooperation with Pakistan.
The lecture served as an orientation session for the fifteen Emory University faculty and staff members who will travel with the Halle Institute to India in January 2004. It was co-sponsored by the Asian Studies Program and the Halle Institute for Global Learning.
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