No Internal Politics Please!

Vipin Pubby

Vipin Pubby

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One only hopes that PM Modi keeps his focus on business and diplomatic ties during the visit and does not attempt to drag in domestic politics.

The relations between India and the United States have come a long way since 1971 when the US sent its Seventh Fleet to the Bay of Bengal in the wake of India-Pakistan war which later led to the Liberation of East Pakistan and formation of Bangladesh.

While that period witnessed the worst of relations between the two countries, prime minister Narendra Modi’s current visit has the potential to elevate the relationship to its best so far.

Ironically America had banned the entry of Narendra Modi nearly two decades ago when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. The ban was lifted after it became obvious that he would be taking over as the Prime Minister of the country.

There has been no looking back since then. He has already visited the US eight times since he took over the office but his latest visit in an official state visit.

This honour is rarely accorded by the US to foreign dignitaries and adding to that is the invitation to the prime minister to address joint session of its parliament which places him only among the four such world leaders to do so.

The relations between the two countries had of course witnessed several ups and downs including the low after our 1998 nuclear test and mending of fences during the visit of former prime minister Manmohan Singh.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and his wife Smt. Gursharan Kaur with the US Vice President, Mr. Joe Biden, his wife Dr. Jill Biden and the Secretary of State, Ms. Hillary Clinton at luncheon meeting hosted by the US Vice President at Washington on November 24, 2009.

While much water has flown after the threat in 1971 when the US had openly sided with Pakistan, the evolving geo-politics has left little choice but for the two countries to come together and provide a counter balance to the Russia-China-Pakistan-Iran axis particularly after the Russian attack on Ukraine.

But while the current scenario might have prompted the two countries to forge closer ties, the democratic traditions of the two countries and their unique resources and expertise make a perfect recipe for a win win situation for both the countries.

America is by far the leader in technology, partly fuelled by the Indian diaspora itself, while the burgeoning middle class in India is an ideal destination for production as well as consumption.

Transfer of technology and joint ventures between the two countries have vast potential.

The current trade balance is actually weighed in favour of India. The total value of trade between the two countries is currently a record US $ 191 billion making it India’s biggest trading partner.

U.S.For the US, India is its ninth biggest trade partner. As per the latest data available, total exports from India to the US were worth US $ 102.35 billion in 2021 while US exports to India were US $ 56.66 billion in merchandise and services.

There are a huge array of areas where India would like support from the US particularly in the field of defence equipment and technology, keeping in mind the threat being posed by China to India, besides joint investments and new initiatives in space, infrastructure, health, energy and food security.

It would not be prudent to delve into the American politics as PM Modi did last time by giving the slogan “Ab ki baar, Trump sarkar”.

Several impediments in the trade policies of the two countries would need to be sorted out and hopefully the differences would be ironed out during Modi’s current visit keeping in mind mutual interest.

No more ‘Ab ki baar, Trump sarkar’

One only hopes that the Prime Minister keeps his focus on business and diplomatic ties during the visit and does not attempt to drag in domestic politics with the ensuing Lok Sabha elections less than a year away.

Nor would it be prudent to delve into the American politics as he did last time by giving the slogan “Ab ki baar, Trump sarkar”.

The outcome of the landmark visit would be keenly watched across the globe and Modi would need all his charm and skills to make the most of it. punjab


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Vipin Pubby

Vipin Pubby

The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.

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