President Obama’s visit to India was a very hyped up affair. First of all, it is a bit of a rare occasion to have an American president as a guest to India. However, the Indian Prime Minister has visited the United States quite a lot. That adds up to the hype.
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Apart from that, this particular visit by President Obama had much more hype than anticipated. In fact, even the immediate visits of French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev did not garner a lot of attention. At least not as much as President Obama’s did. India observed the visit of Obama very closely. There were lengthy discussions and debates on the outcomes of the Obama visit.
Many people were sceptical about his visit and did not expect much to turn out. However, the visit changed the opinion of many Indians, including myself. But alas, only after proper examination of the whole state of affairs after the Obama visit did we realize the actual outcomes and the effects of it on India.
People were very happy when Obama left India. They thought that this visit brought Indo-US ties to a new level. President Obama gave a fantastic speech in the Indian Parliament and addressed the country’s lawmakers. His speech was clearly well research, well improvised and well rehearsed. It was designed to make an impact. And he did make an impact, a very large one.
He enthralled the Indian people and the Indian lawmakers. His words were as if the US loved India and it was believable. But when you see a close analysis of his visit, you will see that it was a rip-off.
First of all, President Obama visited India for only 2 days. India is such a huge country and absolutely nothing can be seen in 2 days. Other heads of state have always stayed in India for more than 2 days. When Vladimir Putin was the Russian President, he visited Bangalore and he stayed for 4 days. He spent all the 4 days in Bangalore and then he proceeded to Delhi. Obama’s visit was for 2 days where he spent a day in Mumbai and then a day in Delhi and off he went to Indonesia to finish his Asia tour. Obviously, he was not here because he wanted to cement ties with India and the US or share the brotherhood between the 2 countries.
Second of all, if you must notice, President Obama visited Mumbai first and then Delhi. Why did he do that? First of all, Mumbai is not the capital of India. It is the financial capital. How would President Obama feel if any head of state visited New York first and then went to Washington? Of course, it would be weird.
Third of all, President Obama’s delegation was filled with business executives more than diplomats and other administration officials. When you connect the dots, it is clear that President Obama had a lot of hidden agendas and helping India is clearly not one of them.
Obama in reality wanted to use India in order to fight problems that were growing in the home front. The USA is not fully out of a recession yet, many people in the USA are still unemployed. So what do you do? If you cannot increase your domestic consumption, then you must increase your exports. And that is precisely what Obama wanted and precisely what he did.
India is a country of 1.2 billion people. So why not sell? And that is precisely what President Obama tapped. He brought in business executives from the US to further their business interests in India. President Obama signed so many agreements with the Indians especially to further American interests, especially economical. That is why Obama targeted Mumbai first. Mumbai is the commercial hub of India and its economic powerhouse. That was where most of the money was and that is what Obama wanted.
In the end, the Americans had a very good deal. Contracts worth $10 billion were signed and 54,000 jobs were created in the United States as a result of these contracts. Obama had got what he wanted. $10 billion is a paltry sum when you look at it considering the fact that the American economy is $14 trillion. But Obama was not interested in just the money, it was the jobs he wanted.
Obama shot 2 birds that way. Not only did he secure jobs for fellow Americans, but he also addressed the problem of outsourcing in a way by balancing the jobs which were lost as a result of outsourcing activities. And what did the Indian people get out of the deal? Not much except the goods and services which were mentioned in the contracts signed. And considering the fact that these goods and services did not come cheap, that wasn’t much of a deal.
So after Obama made the deals and secured his objective it was time for the great Indian eyewash.
He started off by promising to pressurize the Pakistanis into dismantling terrorist infrastructure in the border areas and to bring the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice. However, this was just a blank promise. What Obama should have promised was capping, if not eliminating military aid to Pakistan which has never done anything to control terrorism. In fact, it is not secret that these funds are being used by the Pakistanis in increasing the military presence on the border with India and even funding Jihadi terrorism in India. But Obama wants to show the world that they are doing “their best”. He wants a counter-weight to India. So he will overtly condemn Pakistan and covertly support them. A clear case of Divide and Rule.
Then he decided to target the Indian bid for the Permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. He said that he was “looking forward to seeing India as a permanent member in the reformed United Nations Security Council”. This use of diplomatic language itself shows that he has other ideas in mind.
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First of all, we all know that the Security Council reform is not going to happen for a really long time. Experts claim that reform will happen in not less that 20-25 years. And that is a really long time for India. And the tone is not exactly supportive, but is a very passive one. Obama’s words clearly indicate that he doesn’t mind India being in the Security Council. It doesn’t mean that he wholeheartedly supports India’s bid for the Permanent seat.
Next, he tried targeting India’s apparent “shying away from matters of international importance” such as the human rights situation in Myanmar and the Nuclear weapons programme of Iran. It is clearly a very selfish motive of President Obama. He wants to garner support for his cause and prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons. Of course, I am no advocate for Iran’s acquiring of weapons. In fact, I am against it. However, President Obama fails to understand that Indians and Iranians have good relations with each other. Though the Iranian government may not have been very supportive of India, it has been a great help whenever Pakistan has tried to nose around in the region. So there is no reason why India should act against Iran for the USA. Even though the Americans understand this, it still wants to unnecessarily pressurize India into condemning Iran’s nuclear program. That indeed is very selfish.
So if you look at the overview of the deal, we see that :
1. America made lots of money, got lots of jobs
2. Obama promises to pressurize Pakistan and ends up supporting the terrorists there.
3. He promises to endorse India’s bid to the United Nations Security Council when reforms happen more than 20 years later
4. He pressurizes India to condemn Iran for a nuclear program.
And what does India get? It gets a huge bill for the expenses of hosting President Obama and his huge delegation for three days.
India is the ultimate loser.
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