Successful moon landing: what does it tell us about India?
The Indian space probe Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed at the lunar south pole on Wednesday — unlike the Russian probe Luna-25, which crashed a few days ago. The spacecraft will now start searching for water sources, among other things. Commentators say the mission’s success reflects India’s new strength.
Time for a new G8
La Repubblica believes the time has come to include India in the group of democratic global powers:
“Success in space travel is just one of the indicators that confirms India’s rapid rise as a world power: With a GDP of 3.38 trillion dollars in 2022, India is already the world’s fifth-largest economy and is projected to become its third-largest by 2030, showing how the simultaneous consolidation of democratic institutions and rights fuels growth and development. The time is now ripe for the West to take a bold decision: to expand the G7 to include India and create a new G8 of the world’s major economies that share the core values of freedom and democracy.”
Stop pumping aid into India’s pockets
A country capable of such a feat should not receive any more financial aid, argues columnist Ian Birrell in The Times:
“Yet watching that Indian mission touch down on the moon prompts a question for its former colonial master: why is Britain — laden with debt, suffering a severe post-Brexit hangover and struggling with creaking public services — pumping aid into Indian pockets? ... A report earlier this year by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact showed that Britain spent another £2.3 billion on aid to India over the five years to 2021. ... [T]he lunar landing shows the supine absurdity of Britain’s dismal aid system as well as India’s impressive rise.”
Advances highlight regression
The renaissance of space travel to the moon is driven mainly by the desire to boost national prestige, observes the Frankfurter Rundschau:
“This is reminiscent of the race between the US and the Soviet Union in the Cold War era. To some extent, these advances also highlight the regressive development of the international community. In space travel, nations worked together. In the current missions, each country is pursuing its own interests.”
Rivals on Earth and in space
The successful landing of the Indian space probe is highly significant, writes De Standaard:
“It is notable that the space race to the moon’s south pole is taking place against the backdrop of the Brics summit in Johannesburg. The failure of the Russian space expedition and the success of the Indian moon landing seem almost symbolic of the changing circumstances in the world. The Brics countries say they are united in opposing Western dominance of the world. But in reality they are competitors in the race to gain as much geopolitical influence as possible.”