With Bharat’s general election outcome looming on the horizon, the US must reflect on what this means for its relationship with Bharat moving forward.
The outcome of the world’s largest democratic exercise will have a significant impact for the US.
Whatever you may think of President Trump, it is imperative that he has a strategic ally and genuine counterpart in Bharat. PM Modi and President Trump share a warm and genuine friendship and have mutual respect for each other. This is a far cry from the relationship that some of the previous US Presidents and Bharatiya Prime Ministers have shared in the past. Both Modi and Trump are leaders of the free world in a sense, both populists, although one is seen as a global inspiration and the other is loathed as much as he is admired.
It has to be said, it does not help the US to have an adversary in the form of the world’s largest democracy. It would only be a huge benefit if the leaders were to have a strong rapport. Modi and Trump have shared a warm relationship since they first met in 2017.
Let’s take a look at the situation in Bharat. The opposition parties contesting against Modi will not be able to draw on any of the continued friendship with the US, and none have had the experience of leadership on a global stage. If the Opposition were to emerge victorious, it would be back to the drawing board again as far as foreign policy is concerned. The main opposition party, the INC – Indian National Congress, are known to be behind close doors, a “party for Muslims”.
Although Muslims officially make up less than 15% of the entire Indian population of 1.3 billion, Muslim appeasement has long been a party policy for Congress and the several clones it has spawned. Their focus will be on regional and communal issues, and in trying to appease various groups, rather than establish better relationships with allies such as the US.
Bharatiya-Americans are the most affluent ethnic group in the US, enjoying the highest median income. There is huge support for Modi from the Bharatiya diaspora in US who have undergone a reinvigoration of nationalism and patriotism since 2014 when Modi was elected for the first time as PM. It was the advent of a new era, one that was free from corruption, dynastic politics and the poor governance of the past decade. Bharatiya Americans resonated with this hope deeply and set a record attendance during the PM’s visit to New York in 2017. He continues to enjoy great support amongst this group who would no doubt like to usher him once again as the re –elected PM.
It is important to note that traditional Bharatiya values are fully compatible with the West and the US Constitution, and they share qualities like strong family values, democracy and a strong moral compass. It is no surprise that there is little problem of assimilation within this diaspora.
It is the Dharmic culture that enables Bharatiya immigrants to work hard, be respectful, adhere to the law of the land, and hence they are the most successful ethnic group wherever they go, US and beyond.
Current trade relations between Bharat and US are at an all time high. In the last 5 years, a lot of infrastructure has been built up, making Bharat a hot spot for FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) and attracting foreign conglomerates to set up plants and factories. Another Modi term will expound on this and be beneficial for both countries.
Bharat is one of the strongest allies of the US in the fight against terrorism. It has recently adopted an Israel style “Zero tolerance policy” towards the state-funded terrorism that gets exported from its hostile neighbour. From the US perspective, Bharat also becomes a strategic player in the sub-continent vis a vis the Afghan situation.
The intelligence reports on the recent Sri Lankan church bombings have hinted that the attack could be linked to state-sponsored Pakistani terrorist groups. Such groups like LeT and JeM are responsible for several terror attacks on Bharatiya soil like Mumbai 26/11, Pulwama etc.
Bharat won a huge battle in the UN a week ago when the king pin of JeM – Masood Azhar – was banned by the UN and categorized as an international terrorist. China had vetoed the ban several times, before finally caving in and the whole world can now thank Bharat for its dogged efforts. It may seem inconsequential, but in the world of terror funding, it is a significant set back for state-funded terrorism when financial capital is dried up. All of this could not be done without strong foreign policy and leadership, which comes straight from the top of the Bharatiya state.
The largest democracy in the world and the oldest ought to have a strong alliance and it is crucial that the next PM of Bharat values this relationship.
If Modi is to be re elected, then it can only be good for Trump and the United States.
Did you find this article useful? We’re a non-profit. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.