Who are the beautiful people in India

India delivers images of horror. This is what it looks like when the corona pandemic gets out of hand. Desperate families cremating their dead in backyards; Chaos in front of the clinics; People who no longer know where to get the oxygen for their loved ones from. The aerial photos of the crematoria have an apocalyptic effect.

The huge country that attaches so much importance to independence suddenly needs international help. It is not only supplied, but also from European countries. On the one hand, it gives you courage. Solidarity and assistance seem to last through the worst of times. On the other hand, that is far too little. A drop in the ocean. And the pain of the Indians is now mixed with anger over a government that has made it too easy for itself and has not taken enough precautions.

The struggle for survival - it will also occupy a virtual summit between the EU and India. However, Europe's heads of state and government do not only want to talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the horrors of the present when they consult on video on Saturday. It should also be about opportunities after the pandemic, i.e. the question of whether India and Europe could and should not cooperate much more closely in the future.

The rise in power of China brings India and Europe closer together

One thing is certain: in view of the geopolitical situation, we will need each other. But don't fool yourself: India has always been a complicated partner. And the ruling Hindu nationalists are not making it any easier.

Even if India is overshadowed by China, the country has gained so much weight that it would be a mistake to misunderstand its global importance. Above all, it is strategic considerations that suggest we should close ranks. Beijing’s increase in power is likely to force a closer alliance between India and Europe. For anyone who does not want to surrender to the force of Chinese expansion will find an important partner in Delhi.

The border confrontation in the Himalayas was a painful wake-up call for India. As much as Corona is currently tormenting the country, the tensions with Beijing have been forgotten for the time being. Nevertheless, they are trend-setting, they are driving India towards the West. However, Europe's states should not repeat the mistakes they have already made when dealing with Beijing. There is no point in ignoring differences in human rights for the sake of harmony. Sooner or later, the beautiful glow will burst anyway.

Modi embodies the dominance of the Hindu nationalist movement

India is often touted as the "natural partner" of the West because it presents itself as the largest democracy in the world. But that ignores the fact that Delhi is governed by a man who thinks and acts in an authoritarian manner. Modi embodies the dominance of the Hindu nationalist movement. She fights against the pluralistic and secular heritage of India.

If the situation consolidates, the world will have to deal with an "illiberal India", as the political scientist Sumit Ganguly describes it. This state allows elections, but the space for free debate is shrinking and the climate is becoming toxic. Tolerance dies.

In view of such conditions, it would be a lie to praise an alliance between India and Europe as an exemplary "alliance of values". The differences are too great for a dream wedding. The prospect of a strategic alliance of convenience remains to curb China's expansion.