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Pressler gets a hug and loves it
George Iype in Kochi |
September 27, 2003 13:12 IST
US Senator Larry Pressler wanted his first trip to Kerala to be exclusively spiritual. He wanted to be hugged by India's most famous godwoman, Mata Amritanandamayi. He also wanted to enjoy the beauty of the 'God's own country,' as they call this southern state.
Also see: Everybody's Amma
Pressler did get a warm hug from the Amma and he did spend time in Kerala's famed backwaters, but he also ended up talking politics, India-Pakistan politics, to be more precise.
As Pressler learnt from a group Kerala fishermen the ancient method of fishing using Chinese nets at Fort Kochi, he exclaimed: "Oh, this is wonderful -- the fishing and the backwaters."
He was clearly in communion with the God and his country.
"This is the best thing about India. Wherever you go, there is variety and beauty. That is why I love your country. Every journey of mine to India is a journey that imbibes in me new knowledge about the country's culture, religion and languages," Pressler, who is in Kochi to participate in Mata Amritanandamayi's 50th birthday celebrations, told rediff.com.
Pressler travels to India often these days, mostly to Bangalore, where he is a full-time director on the board of information technology giant, Infosys Technologies.
These days, the senator says, he is busy setting up an India institute in Washington.
"I have initiated the process of establishing an India institute, which will be a non-profit organisation. The basic agenda of the institute will be to help forge a better understanding of India in the United States," he said.
He said India's biggest strength is its democracy. "There is no other vibrant democratic country like India. Elections are held here impartially and free," he said.
Pressler said there is an urgent need, especially in the US, for a better understanding of India and her problems. "I am sure this institute will tremendously help in this regard," he added.
Pressler believes that India, like the US, is a misunderstood country. "Look at it. The menace of terrorist activities is greater in Pakistan. But always, India's problems with Pakistan are taken as an Indo-Pak squabble.
"I predict that in the next 25 years, India's biggest challenge will not be Pakistan, but China. I expect a greater military challenge for India from China in the years to come," Pressler said.
"In the years to come, I expect China to be a military threat even to the US. The Chinese role in the world power sharing will be very decisive," he added.
In Kerala, Pressler took time off to talk diplomacy with a number of Indian leaders, including Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani. "I have invited Advani to the US. I am keen to see Advani coming to the US and presenting India's case before US Congressmen," Pressler said.
He sees a real threat of a nuclear conflagration in the sub-continent. "I fear that the next India-Pakistan war will be a nuclear one. That itself is a pressing reason for both countries to talk peace, urgently and immediately," Pressler said.
Also see: Embrace India Pressler to Bush