Why do we sneeze when the Western world catches a cold?

Winter has arrived in Bangalore. Clinics and doctors are busy nursing citizens who have fallen ill with a cold. All kinds of viral fevers are knocking out even the toughest and healthiest. When I took my maid who had fallen ill yesterday to the local clinic, the doctor mused that this is normal – when the weather changes, people will fall ill.

This chilling of the Bangalore weather is in stark contrast to the fiery discussions that are taking place around the world on the upcoming climate change talks. The Indian media which normally does not bother much about the climate change talks, as it is busy with all kinds of domestic ‘breaking news’, has suddenly heated up to the remarks that John Jerry made.

Kerry in an interview with a leading international business daily had recently warned that India could be a “challenge” at upcoming climate change talks in Paris, with its government reluctant to accept more of a role in addressing global warming. “We’ve got a lot of focus on India right now to try to bring them along. India has been more cautious, a little more restrained in its embrace of this new paradigm, and it’s a challenge,” he was quoted as saying.

The Economic Times quoted a ‘top government source’ who said that the statement was deliberate and an attempt to divide developing nations. “This is how things happen. Sad but true. India does not quarrel. When he (Kerry) made a comment on India, it was intended," the source said. Indian Express reported Environment Minister Prakash Javedkar, ““It is in a way unfair to say that India will be a challenge. It is actually not doing justice with India. The US is our great friend and strategic partner. His (Kerry’s) comments are unwarranted and unfair. The attitude of some of the developed countries is the challenge for the Paris conclusion,” he said. The Hindu reported that India has reacted strongly to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that the country will be a “challenge” in the coming climate change talks in Paris. The First Post wrote ‘India rebuts John Kerry remark; displays new appetite to take on US at climate change convention’. Ajay Mathur, Director General of India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency was quoted in the Mint saying “What that means is that any country which puts forward a point of view for negotiations should not say so. Especially if it is different from the US point of view. Then why do we have negotiations,” The Asian Age stated that John Kerry is creating divisive climate.

What the hell, I ask!? This seems like a typical case of the US catches a cold and all in India are sneezing! Who cares what John Kerry says!

It is obvious that he is trying to intimidate India. For the first time, India has taken on a strong leadership role and made ambitious INDC commitments. We should have expected that the Western world led by the US, which is on the defensive will react badly to us. Ignore them I say. Leaders don’t bother about stray comments that challenge their leadership. Leaders keep their focus on the road ahead and not get distracted and drawn into small road side battles. This is exactly what the US is trying to do – to draw us and distract us with irrelevant comments.

The fact that India has taken on the role of representing the interests of the entire developing word is bound to rattle the US. Never before has India done this and never before has India been as prepared for the climate change talks like it will be in Paris.

Don’t bother about these chaps India….don’t bother about these comments Mr. Javedkar! India and its citizens are with you. Don’t catch a cold in Paris. Be prepared for all kinds of derailment plans.

Sneeze at the criticism that will be leveled at us.