This week, the circle of fools rejoicing in the title of “Our Government” decreed that it would continue to send millions of pounds of aid to India to help the poor. Although this is not quite as stupid and pointless as say, sending aid to Switzerland, it is still stupid and pointless none the less.
The Indian economy is growing at 8.5% per annum whilst ours stumbles along like a drunk Essex girl in 6 inch heels. India has the spare cash to fund a nuclear weapons program and revels in the success of a space program the like of which even the US are unable to afford. One of the World’s largest private residences (owned by one of India’s many billionaires) sits arrogantly in the centre of Mumbai like a grotesque one fingered gesture to the slum dogs therein.
In the past 12 months, India has hosted the Commonwealth games, the ICC Cricket World Cup and their own IPL competition, itself an orgy of overpayment and extravagant wealth, while millions sleep on its streets and beg for food. No Indian city, no matter how developed, is without poverty so visible that only the hardest hearted on this planet can fail to be sickened by it.
Furthermore, the Indian government may want to look at taxing its burgeoning middle class a little more diligently than it does at the moment. Unless Lord Coe decides that tax evasion will become an event at the 2012 games, there is little to be gained by the Indian authorities in allowing the current situation to continue and much to lose.
India is more than capable of sorting out its own problems. The UK sending them aid is probably more down to a sense of colonial guilt that any real hope of changing a country more than able to change itself.