His statement seemed to come out of nowhere as the question was about clean water and air in the U.S., it was offensive that that inspired an attack on India. Though I am not surprised as I heard comments like this my whole life growing up the U.S. and I have been offended by them since I was a child. But, coming from the head of state is just over the top. It never is stated that India was a victim of Western Colonialism, that 45 Trillion dollars of wealth were stolen or that 66 Million Indians died in colonial caused famines. India has risen back to the 5th largest economy in the world, and it is never really acknowledged for the miracle that this is. India did not do this with a handout or a Marshall plan. It did not do this, with a scheme to end the U.S.S.R. and the building of factories and preferential access to markets like China. India was not even given food assistance in 1951 when mass starvation was imminent by the arbitrary partition of India, by Britain or the U.S. The partition of India was a geopolitical game played by the British Empire and enshrined by U.S. foreign policy. If India’s air is indeed polluted in areas such the National Capital Region of Delhi, and other metro areas, it is a cost India pays as it had to industrialize and rapidly build the economy after 1947.
It was said by Western Economists that India would have mass starvation in the 1970s though they offered no solution, instead India became a food self-sufficient nation and later food exporter in that decade. The progress seen in India is undeniable, and the colonial water system, which used to cause outbreaks of dengue fever, typhoid and polio on a yearly basis, are events which do not happen today. In fact, in middle-class Indian homes tap water is filtered through elaborate filtration systems, and children and the aged no longer suffer illness like the 1970s. The Poor are given food and medicine, and not left on the sides of the road to perish, as was the case when a Colonial Empire which called itself a democracy, brutally occupied one of the oldest continuous civilizations in the history of the world. Yes, you can call India’s air filthy, but I see an India which lifted more people out of poverty in the last 10 years than any other nation in the world. A nation which is an atomic power, and one which is innovating spheres which hardly any developing economy in the world can. It has one of the largest food reserves in the world. The COVID-19 crisis may hurt India’s economy but it will very shortly be one of the fastest-growing economies in the world very soon once more. People who cannot appreciate the progress India has made seem to never understand the value of sacrifice, dignity and to do battle against hopeless odds. India has done all these things.