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Obama visit may spell new equations

Barack Obama, who will be the first US President as Chief Guest for India’s Republic Day, is looking forward to cooperate and strengthen bi-lateral relations with India. Under the strong leadership of Indian PM Narendra Modi, the US has started considering India as an important player and a strong pillar in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Further, Modi, a man of strong will and who believes in walk the talk, is also trying to utilize the potential of US to realize the common goals which will be mutually beneficial for both the countries. The US, which was earlier skeptical about its relations with India under UPA rule, has started to believe that Modi’s policy, vision and decisive mandate can make India the best possible partner for the US. However US also knows that it needs India more than India needs United States.


Under the leadership of Narendra Modi, global powers have realized the significance of maintaining a cordial and strong relationship with India, and the US is no exception.

Modi has made India a different story altogether. India’s new leader is self-confident and politically unchallenged at home.

He shows no signs of bearing a grudge against the US for ignoring him after Gujarat riots on his watch as chief minister of Gujarat. He appears single-minded in his determination to revive India’s economy and its geopolitical standing-achievements that would finally give the US a real partner in South Asia.

India is well equipped to secure its national interest along its borders, Indian Ocean, South China Sea and Asia Pacific.

It is the US which needs India’s assistance in securing its national interest in the Asia-Pacific region, as its old allies are now more interested in ensuring their interest than serving US’.

The US also knows that Pakistan cannot be a strong and reliable partner in long run as it is now considered as a safe haven for terrorist activities.

US has also declared ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy, for which it wants India to be a partner for countering China’s aggressive posture in Asia-Pacific region.

However, India has no interest in just becoming an anchor for US interest in the region. At the moment India is looking for economic revival and more investments.

The visit of Modi to Japan, Australia and other regional countries is an indication that it is not only dependent on United States to realize its goals. However, India will require technological know how and some capital from US initially.

Other than economic and strategic interest in the region the US will require India’s immediate assistance in maintaining stability in Afghanistan post NATO troop withdrawal and some cooperation in Middle East.

Therefore, Obama Administration is putting its best foot forward to ensure that they be in the good books of India and develop a sustained relationship. In recent days, Washington has gone out of its way to stress on the importance of the relationship with India.

India can be a big market for US defence and software products as there is an increased demand for both. The United States can also benefit from India’s growing consumer needs. India’s demand for electronics products is forecasted to rise nearly 10 times in the next decade to reach $400 billion by 2020.

India has the potential to become the world’s largest middle class consumer market with an aggregated consumer spend of nearly $13 trillion by 2030, as per reports.

The US high tech companies are already flourishing in India. Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, amongst others, have a very a wide and growing base of Indian consumers.

The United States should reciprocate to India’s large and growing market access by markedly increasing its business and foreign direct investments in India.

But Washington should be careful in its approach while proposing its economic or strategic plans. India, which is a booming economy and maintains good relation with almost all important players in the world, is not willing to be just an ally of US. It needs to be considered as an equal partner and should be treated accordingly.

Despite all these strong prospects, there should not be great expectations from Obama’s visit to India, however once can expect to see the fruits of such actions only after some time.

Modi’s focus on business and his clear agenda on economic revival provide the United States an opportunity for a fresh look at its relationship with India.

America must realize that it will find India as a more reliable and trusting partner for long time to come. Washington needs to reach out to Modi and assure him that while the past cannot be swept under, the future of US-India relations can be bright if managed productively.