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Obama’s top priority: Smooth business with Modi

By Avinash

Narendra Modi
The United States is leaving no stones unturned to woo Prime Minister Narendra Modi and showing its desperation in expanding the envelope of cooperation with India's new regime. The recent gestures of Obama administration justify this move.

After Obama administration recognised India as one of its most important strategic partners, senior Republican senator John McCain too has joined the ongoing US efforts to reach out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

McCain, apart from joining the group of pro-Modi lawmakers, took a step further by urging the congressional leadership to invite the Indian Prime Minister Modi to address a joint session of the United States Congress.

"When the PM comes to Washington, I urge our congressional leaders to invite him to address a joint session of Congress. I can imagine no more compelling scene than the elected leader of the world's largest democracy addressing the elected representatives of the world's oldest democracy," McCain said in a major speech on India at the Senate on Thursday.

US desperate to improve its image in Modi’s eyes

With the same mission, the Arizona Senator and a former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is arriving in New Delhi next week to meet Modi and his national security team.

US have been continually appeasing the new dispensation in New Delhi ever since it came to office, and President Barack Obama's congratulatory call to Modi was an attempt to further boost the ties between two countries.

All these developments prove that Washington wants to improve its tarnished image in Modi's eyes, whom it denied a visa in 2005 alleging inaction in 2002 Gujarat riots, at all cost. Sensing it early that the Indian voters' mood is largely in favour of Modi, who is known for his business friendly attitude, the Obama administration started pursuing the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate right from his campaign days. US Ambassador Nancy Powel's meeting with Narendra Modi highlighted the Obama administration's change of guard.

But, a pertinent question which crosses every mind is why this sudden change of this stance?

Business, money, profit is the answer to all such queries. The US administration understands it well that ‘Modi is the man of the moment' and India is a fast emerging global economy. Modi in his election campaign had promised radical changes in major sectors - including health, agriculture, infrastructure, defence, and technology - this would open a widespread market for foreign investors. US would be hoping to improve its trade ties with India by acquiring maximum number of deals.

White House wants to make a five-fold increase in its bilateral trade with India to $500 billion but that lies in the hands of its Indian counterpart.

Former US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell had said in the past that the US wants to achieve $500 billion in bilateral goods and services trade with India in the next ten years. The Indo-US trade relation currently stands at about $100 billion.

India is one of the largest importers of weapons and defence equipment, Russia and Israel being its biggest suppliers. As India is now looking for other alternatives other than these, the US is showing all these desperations to improve ties with India in this lucrative sector.

With change in Government after a span of a decade, US hopes that Narendra Modi Government might look for new partners and improving relations would definitely give them an edge over others. But, the Indian Government should tread cautiously on this new found love front as it must not severe ties with old allies. India should adopt a balanced approach so that both sides get equal benefits in all diplomatic deals.

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