From Mr R. Vijayaraghavan.

Sir, Your editorial “Partners in Delhi” (November 6) is timely and balanced, and you rightly conclude that the US-India friendship is a “young friendship” that requires nurturing. However, on the issue of a permanent seat for India in the UN Security Council you present the usual excuses of the competing claims of half a dozen other countries. First, any friendship must rest on fairness. In 1973, Taiwan was replaced by the People’s Republic of China on the Security Council, and after the fall of the USSR in 1991, the USSR’s spot has been occupied by Russia. Therefore, it is only fair that Europe give up one of its seats to India, and the US must support and welcome it.

You point out that India voted with the US only 30 per cent of the times in the UN General Assembly, thereby implying that India was on the “wrong” side at other times. Agreeing with someone 100 per cent of the time is not necessarily a requirement of good friendship. A “nice” friend may go along with you all the time, including on dumb escapades like invading Iraq, but a “good” friend should be able to tell you “Stop it” when necessary.

“But the intangibles will matter”, declares Edward Luce on the opposite page, in his article “ Rancour pursues Obama on his winter’s journey east”; and he urges why the president’s aims to “deepen ties with a democracy that shares many of America’s values and fears …chime with America’s national interest”. I rest my case.

R. Vijayaraghavan,

San Jose, CA, US

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