360° Coverage : Biden visit: Can India live up to US expectations? (Comment:...

11 Updates
Biden visit: Can India live up to US expectations? (Comment: Special to IANS)
Photo Credit: LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI, Getty Images

Biden visit: Can India live up to US expectations? (Comment: Special to IANS)

Jul 29 2013, 2:20am CDT | by IANS

US Vice President Joseph Biden's recent visit to India (July 22-25) may not have led to any major breakthrough, but provided a valuable opportunity to renew the high-level political contact between the two countries at a time when there is some concern in India that the Obama administration is not paying adequate attention to the bilateral relationship.

US Vice President Joseph Biden's recent visit to India (July 22-25) may not have led to any major breakthrough, but provided a valuable opportunity to renew the high-level political contact between...

Filed under: news

YouTube Videos

 
 
 

1 year ago

Biden visit: Can India live up to US expectations? (Comment: Special to IANS)

Jul 29 2013, 2:20am CDT | by IANS

US Vice President Joseph Biden's recent visit to India (July 22-25) may not have led to any major breakthrough, but provided a valuable opportunity to renew the high-level political contact between the two countries at a time when there is some concern in India that the Obama administration is not paying adequate attention to the bilateral relationship.

US Vice President Joseph Biden's recent visit to India (July 22-25) may not have led to any major breakthrough, but provided a valuable opportunity to renew the high-level political contact between the two countries at a time when there is some concern in India that the Obama administration is not paying adequate attention to the bilateral relationship.

Traditionally US vice presidents (VP) have a relatively marginal role in the larger matrix of US policy making, and there is a quip that the position though high on ceremonial status is largely irrelevant. The VP is relevant to the extent that the incumbent is 'a heartbeat or a scandal away from the White House' - meaning that if, hypothetically, the US president were to die in office or be forced to step down, the VP is automatically elevated to the White House. The most dramatic recall is that of then VP Lyndon Johnson being sworn in as US president following the tragic assassination of John Kennedy in November 1963. Subsequently, Gerald Ford as VP was sworn in as president in August 1974 following the impeachment of President Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal.

Over the years some US VPs have been inconsequential, but since the time George Bush senior served as Ronald Reagan's VP and then moved into the White House in 1989, successive VPs have assumed policy relevant roles and both Al Gore and Dick Cheney are case in point. Biden is following that pattern and brings enormous value addition to the Obama White House. A folksy politician with considerable grassroots appeal, Biden has had a long innings as a Senator and played an important role in enabling the rapprochement in India-US relations - particularly in relation to the 2008 civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.

In the current visit, VP Biden met with his counterpart Hamid Ansari, as also Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee and the emphasis was on three areas - political, security and strategic and economic-trade related. The last area was the focus of the Mumbai leg of the Biden visit where he met with corporate India.

The essence of the Biden message is contained in his remarks in Mumbai where he noted: "I would ask you to consider the historic opportunity that we have here...imagine what our two countries can achieve together, not only for one another but for the economic and political stability of the region."

Despite the dramatic rearrangement of the bilateral relationship in late 2008 under the Bush-Singh stewardship (when the estrangement over the nuclear issue was consensually resolved), India-US ties have been adrift due to a combination of circumstances - primarily the global economic downturn since 2009 and the deteriorating economic and fiscal health of both countries - and the related pre-occupation of the political leadership with their domestic priorities.

Against this backdrop, the Biden visit is welcome and provides an opportunity to both review bilateral ties and hit the reset button. While the US has its heavyweight political representatives who were committed to the India relationship - for instance Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and now Joe Biden - it is difficult to identify a similar spectrum in the fragmented Indian political leadership.

The 2008 civilian nuclear agreement was realized in an almost furtive and apologetic manner on the Indian side, and it is to the credit of Prime Minister Singh that in the very last lap - he stood his ground and was willing to stake his office to stay the course. Regrettably in UPA II - major political actors, including cabinet ministers, have chosen to remain ambiguous about how they wish to take the bilateral forward, and have left it to the bureaucracy and the corporate leaders to define the contours of the relationship. Where political leaders have taken a position, it has been more in the neti neti (Sanskrit for 'not this, not that' ) mode and have played up to the gallery in stoking latent anxiety about the purported nefarious and overbearing US design to inveigle or exploit India. This has been most evident in the defence and security domain where there is opaque diffidence instead of objective clarity about how to maximize the relationship post 2008.

In short, there is no Biden equivalent in the Indian political spectrum, and Prime Minister Singh is too beleaguered and lacks the political support he needs to pursue certain long term strategic objectives. India is currently preparing for its next general election, and the received wisdom is that an uneasy coalition will form the next government in Delhi. Regional parties are likely to play a critical role in the forming of the next government, and hence there is need for deep introspection by this leadership about how India's long term strategic and security interests will be served apropos the relationship with the USA.

The Biden visit drew attention to the economic and trade dimension and highlighted the fact that very soon India will reach a $100 billion trade figure with the USA, and this will be comparable with that with China - both in quantum and imbalance. Yes there are areas of divergence whether related to WTO, protectionism, intellectual property rights, lack of market access, visa protocols and foreign investment regulation among others, but this is to be expected. However, market forces, officials and corporate professionals on both sides are engaged in finding a way forward.

Regrettably, this is not the case when it comes to the security and strategic domain. Here again there are major divergences, particularly with respect to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran in the immediate context. China is a case of both sides hedging their options, though the fact that Delhi was trying to deal with the latest Chinese army incursion during the Biden visit has its own sub-text.

The Indian security apex has to evolve a long term blueprint, with appropriate political backing, that is bipartisan, about how to engage equitably with both the USA and China and manage this complex triangular relationship in such manner that legitimate national aspirations are realized, while deep-seated anxieties are assuaged or effectively quarantined.

Biden's observation that "There is no contradiction between strategic autonomy and a strategic partnership .......global powers are capable of both" merits careful review and consideration for its policy implications by the Indian polity.

(C Uday Bhaskar is Distinguished Fellow at the Society for Policy Studies, New Delhi. He can be contacted at cudaybhaskar@spsindia.in)

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
11

2 hours ago

US launches charm offensive against wary India

Jul 31 2014 1:49pm CDT | Source: Townhall's

NEW DELHI (AP) — Two senior U.S. officials are wrapping up a dayslong visit to India to pitch a fresh start in a strained p ...
Source: Townhall's   Full article at: Townhall's
 

 
Update
10

5 hours ago

Mudslide swallows Indian village; at least 41 dead

Jul 31 2014 11:35am CDT | Source: Townhall's

MALIN, India (AP) — Rescuers using earth-moving equipment and their bare hands dug through heavy mud and debris Thursday ...
Source: Townhall's   Full article at: Townhall's
 

 
Update
9

6 hours ago

India says U.S. snooping 'completely unacceptable'

Jul 31 2014 10:33am CDT | Source: Townhall's

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has raised the issue of U.S. surveillance activities in the South Asian nation with Secretary of ...
Source: Townhall's   Full article at: Townhall's
 

 
Update
8

7 hours ago

Rescuers slog through waist-deep mud to dig out submerged village houses after landslide

Jul 31 2014 9:28am CDT | Source: Townhall's

By Aman Shah MALIN VILLAGE India (Reuters) - Rescuers in India waded waist-deep through swirling sludge to dig their way into dozens o ...
Source: Townhall's   Full article at: Townhall's
 

 
Update
7

13 hours ago

World stocks drift after US Fed stays course

Jul 31 2014 3:45am CDT | Source: Townhall's

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Global stock markets were uninspired by an upbeat report on the U.S. economy, with most drifting lower Thursday after ...
Source: Townhall's   Full article at: Townhall's
 

 
Update
5

14 hours ago

Diggers try to reach more than 100 feared trapped in India landslide; 21 dead

Jul 31 2014 2:01am CDT | Source: Townhall's

By Aman Shah MALIN VILLAGE India (Reuters) - Rescuers in India were digging through swirling mud to uncover dozens ...
Source: Townhall's   Full article at: Townhall's
 

 
Update
4

1 day ago

Amazon to invest $2 billion more in India as e-commerce race heats up

Jul 30 2014 3:18am CDT | Source: Townhall's

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday said it will invest a further $2 billion in India just a day after the countr ...
Source: Townhall's   Full article at: Townhall's
 

 
Update
3

1 day ago

Kerry presses India on WTO deal ahead of arrival

Jul 30 2014 1:25am CDT | Source: Townhall's

By Sanjeev Miglani NEW DELHI (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, on his way to India for an official visit, has presse ...
Source: Townhall's   Full article at: Townhall's
 

 
Update
2

2 days ago

Sri Lankan asylum seekers are economic migrants - Australian Minister

Jul 29 2014 1:21am CDT | Source: Sri Lanka Ministry of Defense

Australia's Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison says the 157 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers are economic migrants seeking to illegally enter Australia since they came from Ind ...
Source: Sri Lanka Ministry of Defense   Full article at: Sri Lanka Ministry of Defense
 

 
Update
1

2 days ago

Improving EU-India science, technology and innovation cooperation

Jul 28 2014 7:00pm CDT | Source: European Commission

Researchers and innovators from Europe and India have teamed up to enhance cooperation and tackle innovation challenges through two FP7-funded projects, INNO INDIGO and INDIGO POLICY. The projects, which both began in November 2013, both aim to develop transnational and bilateral EU-India science, technology and innovation (STI) cooperation. ...
Source: European Commission   Full article at: European Commission
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

EU condemns UN shelter shelling, Netanyahu vows tunnel destruction (Roundup)
Jerusalem/Gaza/Brussels, July 31 (IANS) The European Union Thursday condemned strikes on a UN shelter and a crowded market in Gaza, as Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to destroy underground tunnels in the coastal enclave regardless of any possible ceasefire agreement.
 
 
India-origin woman banker jailed for theft in Scotland
London, July 31 (IANS) An Indian-origin woman bank employee has been jailed for stealing 120,000 pounds (around $202,000) from a customer's account in Scotland, a media report said Thursday.
 
 
China launches fresh drive against corruption
Beijing, July 31 (IANS) China's top anti-graft agency has sent 13 inspection teams across the country in its fresh crackdown on official misconduct.
 
 
Muslim priest killed in China, two arrested
Beijing, July 31 (IANS) At least two suspects were shot dead and another arrested after an imam of China's largest mosque was murdered in a city in the country's restive Xinjiang region, police said Thursday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Gowda lands discus gold, wrestlers Yogeshwar, Babita triumph (India Roundup)
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) Discus thrower Vikas Gowda broke a 56-year jinx, to toast with gold alongside wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt and Babita Kumari as India snaked up to the fifth spot in the medal race at the Commonwealth...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Sharath Kamal-Amalraj in semi-finals of Commonwealth Games
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) India's men's doubles pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Anthony Amalraj made it to the semi-finals beating England's Danny Reed and Sam Walker in the table tennis quarterfinal in the 2014...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Commonwealth Games medals tally
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) England are leading medals table with 44 gold, 40 silver and 39 bronze in the 20th Commonwealth Games. India are now fifth with a tally of 47 medals, including 13 gold, 20 silver and 14 bronze....
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Marsh, Hooper not moving in together
London, Aug 1 (IANS) Actress Kym Marsh and her boyfriend Dan Hooper are not planning to move in together, says the actress' spokesman. "Kym and Dan have no plans to move in together," eonline.com quoted the spokesman...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian medal winners at the 2014 Commonwealth Games
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) The following is the list of Indian medal winners at the 2014 Commonwealth Games here: Gold: Sanjita Khumukchan: women's 48 kg weightlifting Sukhen Dey: men's 56 kg weightlifting Abhinav Bindra:...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Zoe Saldana is a 'bad influence' on sisters
Zoe Saldana claims she is a ''bad influence'' on her sisters, Mariel and Cisley. The 36-year-old actress, who is reportedly expecting twins with husband Marco Perego, admits she has ''almost 10'' hidden tattoos on her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kylie Jenner gets new Range Rover for birthday
Kylie Jenner has got a new Range Rover ahead of her birthday. The 16-year-old reality TV star - who will turn 17 on August 10 - shared a photograph of the expensive black vehicle, believed to have been a gift from her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ne-Yo sues accountant for $8 million
Ne-Yo is suing his former accountant for $8 million. The 'Closer' hitmaker, real name Shaffer Smith, has filed a new lawsuit against his one-time ''manager, confidant, trusted adviser and friend'' Kevin Foster in...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie exchanged love letters
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie exchanged romantic love letters when they were forced to be apart last year. The 39-year-old actress, who has six children, Maddox, 13, Pax, 10, Zahara, nine, Shiloh, eight, and five-year-...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Perfect day for Indian shuttlers at CWG
Glasgow, Aug 1 (IANS) Indian shuttlers had a perfect day at the Commonwealth Games as all of them won their respective Round of 16 matches to proceed to the quarter-finals at the Emirates Arena here Thursday. To start...
Read more on Sport Balla