…Obama has said that India is important for the future the US wants. It doesn’t alter Chinese supremacy over India to Washington but assures that India – a rising superpower as admitted by Obama– can not be neglected. Studies have already predicted that India would be within three biggest economic powers of the world in future. Obama’s statement should be seen in this light…
Ahead of bilateral summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama, India did not expect any path breaking development in Indo-US ties for a simple reason that New Delhi was quite low in Obama’s foreign policy priority and even a foreign policy was low on his priority with economic crisis and health care reforms being the biggest issues. On the contrary, India apprehended US intentions following its slighting in Beijing and Tokyo. After the summit, what emerges out shows that our expectations and apprehensions are partly correct and partly wrong. Though critics could still term positives of summit as Obama’s damage control measures, there’re few things really noticeable and significant. US President, for instance, used term ‘nuclear power’ for India for the first time, promised to go ahead with Nuke-deal, recognised India’s importance for future the US wants to build and so on. Well, all these things are not worthy of recongnising as any development, but they serve to allay fears that have been born ahead of the summit.
The relatively firm tone that PM Manmohan Singh adopted prior to the summit worked to regain as much India’s status as was possible. Obama’s acceptance of India as a ‘nuclear power’ and pledge to fulfill N-deal shows that he is most likely to adopt the policy of his predecessor on this count now, not forcing New Delhi to sign NPT or CTBT, instead putting check on its possible venture on Nuke tests through the deal alone. That India and the US can work together for nuclear disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy is directly linked to this. India’s acceptance as ‘nuclear power’ and a check on any further nuclear tests by it through N-deal rather than NPT puts India in a different group, as previously under George W Bush’s regime. Obama, through this, assures his suspicious Indian guests that what’s important for the US – as far as no more nuclear tests in the world are concerned – is not signature to NPT or CTBT, but a practical policy based on a middle ground to stop a nuclear capable nation from doing so.
Besides, Obama has now made it clear that India is important for the future the US wants. No doubt, it doesn’t alter Chinese supremacy over India to Washington at the moment but assures that India – a rising superpower as admitted by Obama in the summit – can not be neglected. Various studies and projections by American experts have already predicted that India would be within three biggest economic powers of the world in future. Obama’s statement should be seen in this light. He is trying a tough job in which he has to accommodate two other economic superpowers – China and India. His commitment to finish job in Afghanistan and continuous to Pakistan to bring perpetrators of 26/11 to book is also something that India wants. So, the lesson is that India needs to deal with China and Pakistan independently and should be rationally firm towards the US when its own interests are at stake.