From 'no visa' to close partner: How Modi's US story has unfolded in a decade
Narendra Modi is perhaps the only politician in the world who has mended relations with the United States in the shortest time. Starting from the denial of the visa by the US to Modi, who was then the chief minister of Gujarat, in 2005---2016 is set to witness the leader's fourth visit to across the Atlantic in less than two years.
US has softened its stand in all last 11 years: From no visa, it now changed its tone to gentle warnings
The US's stand, on the other hand, has changed from denying the visa to Modi under the Immigration and Nationality Act over the 2002 Gujarat riots to gently reminding India about intolerance, religious freedom and human rights records. [From our archives: 65 Indian MPs write to Obama against granting visa to Gujarat CM Modi]
Modi set to make fourth US trip since September 2014
The issue came to the limelight when Modi became the prime minister of India after his party---the BJP---swept the general elections in 2014. The resistance fell apart in no time and starting from September 2014 when Modi made a rock star-like appearance in the US, June 2016 is set to see him embarking on his fourth US trip and seventh meeting with US President Barack Obama since May 2014. What is more significant is that Modi is going to the US this time as one of Obama's closest international allies.
Indeed unbelievable by what it was in 2005.
It's not that Americans have forgotten the past; it's that they can't ignore the present
It is not that the Americans' concern vis-à-vis Modi has changed. The matter is that the present scenario in international relations and the current of change in it has made Modi's India an inevitable ally for the US.
While India's rise as an economic power which is known for its intelligent, cheap and technologically educated manpower is something that the West cannot ignore any more, Washington's strategic battles in East and West Asia also requires India's support.
Although Modi will have to start from scratch with next US president but still his rapport with Obama has laid the groundwork
Even though Obama is set to exit the White House and Modi will have to start everything from scratch with the next American president, yet the personal rapport between the two current leadership can't be overlooked.
Both for the US and India, the camaraderie between Modi and Obama, even if it has a short life now, is significant towards developing a new equation in world politics. In fact, both these leaders have wasted no time in giving their respective countries an entirely new foreign policy orientation.