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This Week in History

January 5-11, 2003:
Lyndon and Helga LaRouche Return To India

January 2014

Lyndon LaRouche at Calcutta University.

This report on the visit of Lyndon and Helga LaRouche will be followed by transcripts of Lyndon LaRouche's public addresses as they become available.

Lyndon and Helga Zepp LaRouche visited India January 10-22, 2003, where they met many old and new friends. In addition to the 170 members of the faculty and students at the Federation of Rajasthan University in Jaipur, LaRouche gave public addresses to the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute in Calcutta; the Institute of Economic Growth, a government think tank at Delhi University faculty and students at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi; the government think tank at Delhi University; and an extremely lively meeting of officials, professors, lawyers, and other policy-makers in New Delhi. In addition, there were many private meetings with serving and former high-level members of the Indian government, policy think tanks, and friends of two decades and longer.

LaRouche began every discussion by telling people of the two State of the Union speeches which will be given in Washington on Jan. 28—his first, and then President Bush's. This was very welcome news, with one very high-level former government official telling LaRouche: "I would vote for you for President."

The first question from almost everyone, was about the danger of a U.S. attack on Iraq. LaRouche's discussion of his personal leadership in mobilizing the U.S. military and other institutions, to—thus far—prevent the war, month by month, from September until now, had a big impact in countering widespread worry and pessimism on this question.

The other focus was the world financial/economic breakdown, and how to rebuild. LaRouc emphasized in the discussions, that if the Iraq war can be averted, how optimistic he is about the potential for the rapid growth of Eurasian economic cooperation. The core of this is the India-China-Russia Strategic Triangle, which, with neighboring nations in Asia, will become, LaRouche said, the main engine for world economic growth. The Triangle, with other Asian nations, is geared for combined economic development and national security: Nations establish their sovereignty by economic development of every region. Western Europe needs the markets of China and India to survive, and the same is true of Japan. The Mekong River project and the rail line in Korea, if completed, will play key roles.

There is great interest in China from the Indian side, some positive, some more cautious. One frequent theme of discussion, was how to improve Indian-Chinese economic relations, which can be done with water and power projects, and in technical cooperation, such as between India's highly developed software industry, and China's highly developed hardware.

In all the meetings, the Indian leaders and policy-makers denounced the role of the IMF/World Bank in choking Indian economic development. India must become willing to "burn" these international financial bloodsuckers. India is not investing due to its "fiscal deficit," but this is, in reality, costing the economy enormously.

LaRouche emphasized the importance of infrastructure: that 50% of a nation's economy must be infrastructure investment, led by the national government. Two things are vital for Asia: water management and nuclear power. Asia, as EIR's New Delhi bureau chief Ramtanu Maitra, who accompanied the LaRouches on their tour, stated, has very different water conditions from other continents, and this in itself is an opportunity to share water technology among Asian nations. India is launching a nationwide highway program to link every corner of the vast subcontinent, but also urgently needs to improve its rail system. Both President Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee have some excellent ideas, but the "fiscal" crowd, which the World Bank has cultivated in the Indian bureaucracy, will always clamp down on any initiatives. The private sector has not taken up the slack of reduced government spending since the fiscal reform. Therefore, India must develop institutions for national investment, free of the IMF and World Bank.

The visit to Calcutta, LaRouche's first since his memorable days there in 1945 and 1946, had a profound effect. Calcutta is now in worse economic condition than he saw it under British rule, LaRouche said. Infrastructure, buildings—everything has been allowed to collapse under 25 years of disastrous rule by the CPM (Communist Party Marxist) government. Although there was a massive demonstration of up to 1.5 million people in Calcutta during the visit, this was only a "show of force" by the CPM. Of Calcutta's 13 million people, some 20%—that is, 3 million people—live in the streets. Even in the center of the city, there is little or no public sanitation: In some places, there are human feces on the sidewalk and in the gutters. Food is cooked on the street, and the only "housing" is some blankets on the sidewalk. People, dogs, cows, goats, and pigs all live on the streets together. Many people are second-generation street dwellers. Yearly income is the equivalent of US$100.

In New Delhi, Helga Zepp LaRouche visited an HIV/AIDS clinic. This is the work of a women's NGO, founded to help AIDS victims in New Delhi's slums. The mass migration of rural workers, as LaRouche noted, is becoming a critical national security issue for India. Many millions of migrant rural workers, from West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat, are flooding into India's cities, now becoming unmanageable "super cities." The spread of AIDS is one part of this problem, the other is the spread of criminal elements, which subversive and terrorist networks penetrate and use as a cover for their operations.

In the cities, poor migrant workers are targets of drug pushers, prostitution, and AIDS. Slum housing ranges from old houses with no running water or toilets, to huts built of anything available. Water is available only in the street, and even that often fails for days on end in the summer. Conditions become much worse in the summer, when temperatures reach 45° Centigrade (113° Farenheit). Many families can afford fresh vegetables only once a week. In these conditions, the NGO runs weekly clinics, "outreach" to families with puppet shows and house visits, to teach children and parents about health, and a clinic for AIDS victims. The clinic staff and health workers are well-known and very welcome in the areas where they work, as we saw directly. They work closely with local leaders, including the two Muslim and Hindu "elders" of one neighborhood, where religious strife is unknown. In another, the local teacher was the neighborhood coordinator. The NGO is caring for AIDS victims, and a small but growing number of children born HIV-infected.

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