After giving India £1bn in aid, the country has stuck two fingers up at Britain.
In a leaked memo, India’s finance minister Pranab Mukherjee called our gifts of aid ‘peanuts’ – the ultimate insult, ingratitude.
As the country’s economy booms and takes on the world powers, India has famously even launched its own space programme.
For a nation that has more millionaires than us, it seems absurd that we still give aid after they have found so many ways of spending money that do not benefit its poorest.
They have their priorities all wrong. While they relish keeping up with the Joneses of the developed world, vast numbers of their people live in poverty. And as we continue to donate cash that we can’t afford to waste, they will continue to exploit it and fritter it away on unnecessary vanity projects.
While millions live on ‘peanuts’, India spends billions of dollars, over 2% of its total GDP, on defence. But rather than condemn them, international development secretary Andrew Mitchell thinks it is wrong to stop giving them money – even after the Indian minister’s outburst.
How can he justify their behaviour? There are other ways to solve a problem than simply throwing money at it in any case.
It wasn’t that long ago since we stopped giving money to China – a country with an appalling human rights record and the second strongest economy in the world. And we are still helping Brazil, which recently overtook us in the world economic league. How absurd.
I agree that we should help the poor of the world. It is our duty as a rich Western nation to help those who are less unfortunate. But we should be either encouraging these nations to help themselves (especially when they can obviously afford it) or helping through charitable means.
Why do we not instead give the money to charities who work in these countries? At least Andrew Mitchell could sleep at night knowing that India’s millionaires weren’t counting Britain’s money – or, heaven forbid, investing in more space-related antics.
There is nothing worse than an ungrateful recipient. We gave the gift of progress and it seems it is not appreciated.
So if they are so happy to do without, why don’t we let them try? With a recession in our midst, we could happily do with the £280m we give each year to them.
India says they don’t need our aid, yet such a large number of its citizens go hungry and live in poverty. It is morally reprehensible to waste money instead of improving the lives of the lowest people in society in this way, yet by giving aid our own government is condoning actions that condemn those Indians at the bottom to staying there.