Principles and pragmatism
He is by no means a great orator, but Dr Manmohan Singh made some good points on a number of topics in his address to the United States Congress: on the war against terrorism, on India’s “impeccable” commitment to non-proliferation, about globalisation and economic reforms, on the fight against HIV/AIDS and on UN reform. But it was the conclusion that really made this speech.
As two democracies, we are natural partners in many respects. Partnerships can be of two kinds. There are partnerships based on principle and there are partnerships based on pragmatism.
I believe we are at a juncture where we can embark on a partnership that can draw both on principle as well as pragmatism. We must build on this opportunity.
My objective on this visit was to lay the basis for transformed ties between our two great countries. I believe that we have made a very good beginning. With the support and understanding of the Congress, the full benefits of our partnership will be realised in the months and years to come.
India is today embarked on a journey inspired by many dreams. We welcome having America by our side. There is much we can accomplish together. [via IE]
Tailpiece: Dr Singh said this on UN reform
On the reform of the United Nations, we believe that it is time to recognise the enormous changes that have occurred since the present structure was established. There must be comprehensive reform of the United Nations to make it more effective and also more representative.
The UN Security Council must be restructured as part of the reform process.
And it was at this point that Dick Cheney clapped.
Update: An analysis of the speech, on Rediff.