Thursday, March 24, 2005

A new Deal for Delhi

This was an article by Robert D. Blackwill that appeared in the Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago, which throws the Indo-US relationship in a new light. The article quotes "Condoleezza Rice's visit to New Delhi last week boosted the U.S-India relationship and demonstrated that she and her new colleagues at the top of the State Department view India as a rising great power. Ms. Rice's talks in India were more than useful." After gushing effusively about added the number of policy makers specially for India, Bush's awe at the democratic process in India and the openness of bilateral diplomacy the article goes on to extract its pound of flesh. There is a list of must do's for India as well viz. support US to help "build a civil society in Iraq, persuade Iran to give up on a full fuel cycle and Tehran's pursuit of nuclear weapons , normalize relations with Pakistan and work with the US to deal with the regional instability emanating from Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, the latter a growing center of international terrorism". The article also espouses reduction of barriers for US exports, services and investment to India, in part to deal with the outsourcing problem. The column ends with "So the Bush administration and the Congress Government in Delhi must push through these fundamental changes in policy from the top down. It can be done."

It was a feel-good article which bought forth some of the "India Shining" banter, especially with emphasis on the "Shining" part. Is there much truth to that? I wonder or is it just cyclical hype that rears its head every few decades and goes back to being the "perennial sleeping tiger". Only time will tell.


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