New Delhi, Jan 27: Communication they say is the key to a strong relationship. And it holds true for political ties too. Narendra Modi and Obama's visit to each other's countries and their approach to the citizens are a case in point.
India's relationship with the US has always been cold since World War II, especially during the Nixon era when the US had re-aligned itself toward Pakistan, while aiding it for economy and military warfare. India too got closer with the USSR.
Things, however, saw a sea change since the era of Reagan when the diplomatic relations between the two countries started building up and the premiers started travelling to each other's country. In other words, communication increased.
It came as a shock to common man the other day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi disclosed that India and US are to share a hotline. But didn't we have it already? Strangely India did not have a hotline with the US, but was had hotlines ties with Pakistan, USSR, China and others.
International diplomatic Hotlines are a response to a crisis situation or a call for a help that one country seeks from another one. Typically, the hotline is necessary in cases that require personal communication, such as in the aftermath of large-scale terrorist attacks and tragedies, when the leaders are committed to personally express condolences.
Hotlines also exist among major nuclear powers, such as the U.S. and China, the U.S. and UK, China and France, India and Pakistan, etc. Originally, hotlines were intended for the exchange of information and consultations in case of crisis.
The fact that it never existed between the two countries was a big drawback in the relationship of these countries. However, the recent development is a step further in the strengthening of the relationship.
Taking things 'personally', reaching out to people
While we are familiar with the level of diplomacy, to an extent of 'not-so-warm' attitude toward each other in the past, we have also started to know a different kind of friendly diplomacy these days.
Otherwise, why would have Narendra Modi been received with huge pomp and show in the USA. His interaction with the people and connecting with them was rather unique, especially when he spoke of his struggling childhood and what he learnt from it. He was pretty open and so connected to the common man well.
Obama too spoke in details about his and his wife's humble background. While we are still basking in pride for the 'Chai-wala' who now leads us, we also love the way the son of a cook presented himself to the Indians. Both the leaders did nothing to hide their backgrounds and their struggles, ultimately building a rapport with the crowd.
We feel at home, given the struggles that we undergo in our day to day life and rest in peace, assured that our leaders would know our needs and will work to fulfill them.
A breakthrough in diplomatic relations, this could never have been imagined in global history. Indeed, good times are ahead!
[Read: Obama's 3-day itinerary in India]