Reshaping India-Australia Relations July 22, 2011Posted by southasiamasala in : India, Revo, Rohit , 4comments
There has been speculation that the relationship between this region’s largest democracies, India and Australia has lost its political traction and that the Labor government has had a different perception of the relationship, thanks to Kevin Rudd. The post-Howard era has seen a steady decline in interest of the top leadership towards each other. The banal and text book policy approach adopted by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has caused enormous damage to this bilateral relationship, caused Australia to forgo billions of dollars in lost uranium sales and eroded a huge amount of goodwill. His one-dimensional foreign policy fixation towards China has caused more harm than good.
At this moment there is also huge inertia in the Indian foreign ministry to establish a strategic partnership with Australia as it does not want to concentrate its limited foreign policy resources on a relationship which is refusing to peak. India is instead focussing more on US, Europe and Japan. The flurry of visits of Indian ministers into Australia has largely been symbolic and has not yielded any big announcements. The nature and size of partnerships announced during these visits is miniscule as compared to the deals signed by Indian ministers when they visit even smaller European countries.
Who should be Australia’s ICC representative? July 27, 2010Posted by southasiamasala in : Revo, Rohit , Comment
Fears of an Australian Indian confrontation were reignited again last month after John Howard’s bid for Vice President of International Cricket Council, as an Oceania candidate, was rejected. Had John Howard been elected he would have become the President of ICC after two years, when the current President and a powerful Indian cabinet minister Sharad Pawar steps down. However the controversy did not snowball into a media and a diplomatic tug of war, which partly showed how much John Howard is disliked these days even in Australia.
The Australian cricket board erred in its judgment by nominating Howard in the first place over NZ Cricket chairman Sir John Anderson who should have been the first choice as the Australia-NZ nomination for ICC. Howard’s criticism of Sri Lankan spinner Murali was too harsh. Prime Ministers in Asian countries don’t go about berating the sports persons of other countries. The image of John Howard using tough language after the Indian nuclear tests is more etched in Indian minds than John Howard’s decision to sell uranium to India. Remember John Howard’s treatment of Indian doctor Muhamed Haneef to get cheap votes. Howard also adopted an extreme hard line on Zimbabwe. No wonder opposition to John Howard was overwhelming and came from 6 cricketing nations and not just India. His political past would have never allowed him to be consensual candidate. There are just 10 countries which are qualified to play test cricket and a split amongst them would be disastrous for the future of the game. (more…)