Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oui, nous aimons la France!

This morning, I received a text message which joking said:

When asked why he is readily signing so many defence deals with Sarkozy,
Manmohan Singh replied "Have you seen the bomb he has brought with him. Agar
sample aisa hai to pura consignment kaisa hoga!!!

While the joke on the Indo-French deals and Carla Bruni was funny, there are a few realities about France that makes it bit easier for others to depend on them.

France is an unusual Western nation with a mind of its own. France stood out alone among United States' prominent NATO allies that opposed the Bush wars for good reason. So much consternation was caused in the United States that french fries were rechristened Freedom Fries!

France was the lone Western nation which adopted a moderate line towards India's nuclear tests in 1998, while rest of the West bellicosely imposed sanctions on India. The French had been warm with India even when the chill of the Cold War froze the world.

People love to bash up France calling it an Islamophobe nation, but it has perhaps recognised the danger posed by militant versions of Islam and Sarkozy has sought to legislate an opening of the Islamic sections of French society, which has the potential to modernise and integrate them into the mainstream. No other Western power really had the balls to do this!!!

While France is indeed a bit rational in its use of power, it still has to be relevant in the emerging world order. And that is what brought President Nicholas Sarkozy to India, to do business, though he was quite a bit more suave than President Obama who declared that he would get 50,000 jobs from India!!!

I would not hesitate to say "Oui, nous aimons la France!"

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