15 January 2021, Kolkata: Commenting on India-US relations under US President Joe Biden, British economist and politician, Lord Meghnad Desai, said, “I don’t think Kamala Harris is going to be absolutely 24X7 friend of India. She has her own views on many things. India and USA will probably have differences as Biden is on the soft left of American politics as Donald Trump is on the populist right of American politics. Therefore, there may be differences between Narendra Modi and Joe Biden on questions of human rights, Kashmir and so on. There already have been differences even when Trump was President with the Congressional Democratic members in America.”
Lord Meghnad Desai was addressing an online session of Kitaab series organised by Prabha Khaitan Foundation of Kolkata and presented by Shree Cement where his latest book “Rebellious Lord: An Autobiography” was formally launched by guest conversationalist Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Indian economist and former civil servant. The Kitaab session was formally initiated by Ms Priyanshi Patel of Ehsaas Woman of Ahmedabad and was joined in by guests from all over the world.
On India-China relations Desai said, “There is no solution to the India-China issue. It is a clash of two very deep nationalisms; two old cultures. How we are going to reconcile is very difficult.”
Lord Meghnad Jagdishchandra Desai, is a British politician, life peer, author, economist, commentator, columnist and a film buff who has written over 30 books on economics, politics, history, cinema and fiction. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2008 by the Indian Government. He resigned from the Labour Party in November last year after 49-years citing anti-semitism.
Talking of Indian films Desai said, “Bollywood and Indian films have an uncanny ability to tell India’s story to the world since Raj Kapoor’s times, even as it changes. I am a great fan of Bollywood, including southern films, which is a very good storyteller with content and entertainment,” Desai said.
Regarding his analysis of the economic policies of the BJP in the mid 90s, Meghnad Desai said, “The BJP had a very muddled economic policy 25 years ago. Mentor, Deen Dayal Upadhyay had a kind of third-way idea, neither capitalism nor socialism. It was a khichadi. The Singh-Rao reforms were successful and instead of opposing those reforms, they swam with the tide. So their manifestos were totally irrelevant as to what they did.”