The Soviet pullout from Afghanistan should result in the United States discontinuing military aid to Pakistan and building closer ties with India, according to a visiting Indian management leader and regional political leader.
Shyamal Datta Gupta says he fails to "understand how the Americans who swear by democracy and human rights could encourage the dictatorial regime of Pakistan to build nuclear weapons against the interests of peace in the South Asia region."Datta Gupta is the chief executive of Firmark Management Consults, a Bombay-based service in management training and consulting. Politically, he is associated with India's ruling political party, serving as the joint secretary of the Congress Party in the Bombay region as well as the chairman of the Congress Manifesto Implementation Cell.
Calling his native land more than a misconceived "country of snake-charmers," Datta Gupta said India is a politically stable, economically developing nation that offers untapped labor and resource potential.
Using the adage "a man is known by the company he keeps," he said India is the United States' sister democracy, awaiting an appropriate gesture.
With his itinerary planned by the U.S. Information Agency, Datta Gupta has been meeting with political, management and government officials in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Dallas and Orange County, Calif.
He spent the past few days in Salt Lake City and Provo, monitoring the survey work of the Wirthlin Group - headed by pollster Richard Wirthlin - and learning from BYU's renowned election-research program.
"Here you are able to use the scientific process of understanding the electorate's mind and then try to take stands on various issues on behalf of the best interests of society."
Datta Gupta also observed campaign efforts on behalf of Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Wayne Owens.
One Utahn who was involved in the visit arrangements said Datta Gupta's visit is in part to learn methods and techniques to "popularize" India Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, whose popularity has declined somewhat during his four years as the country's head of government.
Datta Gupta admitted that his U.S. visit was deliberately timed to coincide with the summertime national political conventions. Political processes of the United States and India are similar in that they are large democracies based on federal systems and use comparable electioneering techniques.
Another similarity Datta Gupta noted between Americans and Indians is political apathy. Only about half of each nation registers to vote, and about 50 percent of those registered actually vote.
Differences include the United States' strong media coverage - especially television coverage - of political campaigns and the extensive use of scientific surveys by politicians, Datta Gupta said.
"And you tend to sell a candidate like a commodity, like toothpaste or soap," he said, adding that he wasn't sure if such an emphasis was good or bad. "That's for you to decide."
In India, the Congress Party is the nation's major political party. There are also more than a dozen different regional and communal parties. Datta Gupta said Marxist and fundamentalist Hindu parties are two examples of the smaller parties, all of which are threatening to ignore their own differences and join together in opposition against the ruling Congress Party.