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Bush pursues strategic “partnership” with India

Bush travels to South Asia in pursuit of key strategic “partnership” with India

By Keith Jones – World Socialist Web Site

US President George W. Bush travels to South Asia this week with the aim of cementing a strategic and “global” partnership with India. According to his aides, the trip is among the most important that Bush has made in his entire presidency.

Rhetoric aside, the Bush administration has two interconnected objectives.

First, it wants to ensure that corporate America plays a major and ever-expanding role in India’s rapidly expanding economy—as exploiter of cheap labor in the offshore-oriented information technology and business-processing sectors, as participant in public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at furnishing India with the transport and energy infrastructure needed to more tightly bind it to the world capitalist economy, and as purveyor of weapons and weapon-systems to India’s burgeoning military.

The Bush administration is especially interested in prying open India’s retail trade sector—in which tens of millions are employed in small, unregulated businesses for want of proper, full-time jobs—to companies like Wal-Mart and in gaining greater access to India’s agriculture sector—which continues to provide over 60 percent of Indians with their livelihood—for agri-business giants like Monsanto.

While Bush will tout the rise in India’s GDP as a spectacular “free market” success story, the post-1991 dismantling of India’s nationally regulated economy has been accompanied by a rapid growth of social inequality and economic insecurity. In “democratic India” hundreds of millions of people must struggle to survive on less than a $1 per day and education and health care have for all intents and purposes been privatized with only the poorest of the poor using the dilapidated public education and health systems.

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