I understand that one faction of my readership wants me to stop baiting Dilip D’Souza. I have never understood their point of view. Dilip’s views are invariably interesting, not because of their content, but for the insight into the mind of the holders of these views. As an example, let us take this sentence:
All right, let’s see. Iceland, Singapore, Korea, Norway, Taiwan, Japan and Germany after being devastated in WW2, arguably even Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Botswana until it was hit by AIDS a decade ago: all these countries managed to “improve the lot” of their citizens, all somehow created the “conditions for human development.” (More than three seconds)
How many of us lesser mortals can manage a sentence like this? This is the difference between an ordinary lazy writer and Dilip D’Souza. To be an ordinary lazy writer, all you need to do is not think, and reach into your wardrobe of soiled cliches for one that fits the occasion. To be Dilip D’Souza, this is not enough. You need to be actively lazy. It must take an enormous amount of effort to push away thoughts that are contrary to the cliched point that you are trying to make.
If your or I had tried to write the above sentence, we would have paused and given some thought. “Wait a minute. Did I just add Korea to the list? South Korea? The country whose very existence would be in danger if it were not for the United States’ implicit guarantee to use power on its behalf if attacked? I guess the same goes for Taiwan? And Germany too… presumably I mean West Germany? And Sri Lanka, which did achieve a high level of human development which is now under threat because it did not play the power game well. Hmmm… I guess I must think a bit more about what exactly Nitin means when he says ‘power projection’.
But that is for you and me. Dilip D’Souza operates at a different level. He can get up in the morning, do twelve push ups, have six eggs for breakfast and miss a point completely in under three seconds.