USA keen to work with Modi

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Voldemort, May 13, 2014.

  1. Voldemort

    Voldemort Senior Member Senior Member

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    WASHINGTON: Even as exit polls in India pointed to a prospective Narendra Modi-led NDA/BJP government, President Obama on Monday set the tone for continuity in US-India ties, saying he looks forward to the formation of a new government once election results are (formally) announced and to working closely with India's next administration.

    In a separate statement that went lock-step with the White House message, the state department also said it looks forward "to working with the leaders chosen by the Indian people to advance this important partnership and to set an ambitious agenda."

    Neither statement referred to the exit polls or to Modi by name, pending formal announcement of the election results, and the parliamentary process that will pitchfork the 14th Prime Minister of India into office sometime next week. But the sentiment in the messages, released even as exit poll projects were flashing a victory for Modi-led BJP/NDA, was unmistakable: Washington will do business with whoever the people of India will elect.

    "India has set an example for the world in holding the largest democratic election in history, a vibrant demonstration of our shared values of diversity and freedom," President Obama extolled in his statement, even as the administration in recent weeks has begun walking back the punitive approach some its human rights flag-bearers pushed it into taking. This group did not see the same kind of merit in Modi being elected thrice by the voters of Gujarat, a state the size of Italy or France.

    The state department, under whose directions Modi's existing visa was first revoked, followed by gratuitous denials of a prospective visa even when he did not apply for a new one, also gushed about the just-concluded polls, saying they are an "inspiring example of the power of the democratic process in action, and the United States, like so many others around the world, has great admiration and respect for the vibrancy, diversity, and resilience of India's democracy."

    But going above the recent diplomatic skirmishes between the two sides, the US President emphasized a long-term perspective in his statement, saying the United States and India have "developed a strong friendship and comprehensive partnership over the last two decades, which has made our citizens safer and more prosperous and which has enhanced our ability to work together to solve global challenges."

    "We look forward to the formation of a new government once election results are announced and to working closely with India's next administration to make the coming years equally transformative," he added.

    The Obama administration has in recent weeks been striving to erase its ostracization of Narendra Modi, first by directing the US ambassador in New Delhi to initiate contact with him, and then virtually withdrawing her as it emerged that the Gujarat chief minister might lead his party to victory and become India's next Prime Minister. Although the policy to blacklist Modi was initiated during the Bush administration, it continued under the Obama-Clinton-Kerry dispensation, reportedly under pressure from the human rights lobby inside the administration, in Congress, and in the country's NGO community, including some Indian and Indian-American leftists.

    But with a Modi victory looking imminent now as per exit polls, the US administration will have to do some heavy lifting to remove the baggage that has piled up over the past decade with the Indian right. Many of the BJP stalwarts with whom it did business have either been sidelined or have faded gently into the twilight.

    In fact, the administration is having to dust up those who knew Modi in his younger days before he became an "untouchable" because of strictures from the human rights crowd.

    One such analyst, former State Department official Walter Andersen, told ToI in an interview last week that he expected Modi to steer India closer to Japan and China, in keeping with Hindu nationalism traditional look east policy. "I don't think he is going to ignore US, but this is not what his focus is going to be," Dr Andersen, who co-wrote a seminal book on RSS, said. "But if I had to make a guess as to the first country he will visit, it will be Japan."

    Andersen also contested the view in some quarters that Modi's rise would mean greater saffronization of India with the RSS running amok. He cited the work of American political scientists Susan and Lloyd Rudolph who argued that any group that comes to power in a country as socially complex as India has to move toward the ideological center; if it does not, it will not come to power or stay in power. Modi, Andersen maintained, will be move interested in development than pushing the Hindutva agenda.

    Another former US official who facilitated Modi's US visit in the early 1990s as a state department guest said Modi struck him during that trip as "pragmatic rather than a Sangh Parivar ideologue, despite his RSS history."

    Ab ki baar Modi sarkaar? America tayyar - The Times of India
     
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  3. Ash

    Ash Regular Member

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    VIP and Voldemort like this.
  4. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Modi will probably look to expand relationship with china, when USA denied him a visa
    Many Indian Americans were outraged. I am sure modi still remembers this. Foreign
    Investments will increase and a new chapter will begin bringing the country out of this
    Vacuum of corruption and stagnation.
     

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