The reduction of tension on the Chinese border may have reduced the urgency of a Biden-Modi meeting, but the sooner Modi starts a bromance with Biden the better as he had done with Obama and Trump that kept India guessing to read Biden’s aggressive mind.
Ever since it became clear that Joe Biden would be President of the US, India was preoccupied with the question as to what his policy towards India would be.
But now, as he completes the first month in office, Biden has revealed his cards through his own statements and telephone calls carefully calibrated by the White House staff and the comments of his newly appointed cabinet members.
But there has been no public response from Delhi to help the President understand Indian sensitivities. Presumably, this is taking place between the officials of the two countries, but there is very little public debate on the good, the indifferent and the problematic aspects in the emerging India-US relations.
The White House has clarified that the order in his calls to friends and foes has no particular meaning, but India has noted that Biden’s call to Prime Minister Modi came even when Israel, Turkey and China were waiting for their turns, it is surprising as to how Biden kept Modi on tenterhooks.
But reading between the lines of the readouts of the two sides, there are hints of differences even on democracy., while India after assumption of power by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) remote controlled Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
The White House readout mentions that Biden spoke about his commitment to spreading democratisation, while the Indian transcript does not, the difference between world largest democracies are at stage while Modi is trying to repair damages that he deliberately fell out of the contest by supporting inconsistency of Trump. The policy that made India to suffer her global relationship, despite her being a leader of the largest democracy and at the cost of an Individual “Mota Bhai Narendra Modi’s” personal satisfaction.
This may be seen as an indication that Biden will not be uninterested in domestic social cohesion, the state of democracy and freedom of speech in India. Indeed the democracy in India is at stake while the global activists are being subjected to arrest against their right to vent their ire.
That is how Modi made india to lower her democratic head before the world leaders just for the purpose of converting India into Manusmithi ruled Hindutwa “Like a Banana Republic” by destroying India’s Sovereign, Democratic, Secular, Socialistic, Re-pubic into slavery India under proposed Hindutwa State policy of BJP.
The question of democratic State has lost its credibility as its propriety being out of the three wings of the State, the Judiciary, the Legislature and the accountable Execute but centralised into the single hand of Big brother (Mota Bhai) to make India a Scapegoat. That is where world super power is a consistently concern.
Linked with this is Biden’s intention to revive an initiative taken at the time of Madeleine Albright to set up a Community of Democracies with a vague UN linkage. India should attend, but recall at this stage the last experience of such an exercise, which did not have the desired results.
It was hard even to choose the democracies to be included. India has not been in the business of evangelising for democracy. In democracy, in Burma, the US position is different from ours.
India had dealt with the army even before Aung San Suu Kyi joined hands with the army and the US had not shown understanding of India’s stand. But the underlining the Myanmar’s relation with India are far reverse to the USA policy which the Muslim world is confused to understand incessant falsehood promoted by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
But if Biden takes a tough stand on the military leadership of Burma and imposes sanctions, the investments we have made in that relationship will be wasted.
The limitations of democracy in Burma, which has several insurgency groups may have to be driven home to the Americans. At the recent Quad ministerial meeting, the US appears to have modified its flexible position.
The participants, while reiterating democratic values of the region, expressed commitment to ‘upholding rule-based international order’ and ‘peaceful resolution of disputes’, in accordance with the Indian position, while Indian home minister Amit Shah is not concerned about International Treaties in upholding Human Rights not only in India but in Myanmar.
Biden clubbed Russia and China together as advancing authoritarianism, including the growing ambitions of China to rival the US and the determination of Russia to damage and disrupt US democracy.
The reduction of tension on the Chinese border may have reduced the urgency of a Biden-Modi meeting, but the sooner Modi starts a bromance with Biden the better as he had done with Obama and Trump.
He gave pride of place to Russia for taking aggressive actions and pledged to work against it with the allies of the US.
His condemnation of the treatment meted out to Navalny does not concern Indian strata. But Biden must not be unaware of our special relations with Russia and the exemption given to India to import S-400 missiles. India while starving to build her business relations with USA via Israel later most;y controls the policy makers in American Congress,
It may be necessary to ensure that the US does not see our relationship with Russia as hurtful to the US. Nevertheless, the global war superiority will begin after Joe Biden takes stock of his feasible control over US administration, India needs to wait and watch the factual fallout.
Biden’s description of the threat from China as the most serious competitor is music to our ears, but it is clear that he will take a lenient view of areas in which the two countries have the scope to work together. The recent fallout for Beijing is the result in Ga;wan where China started taking directions of the USA and vacated Gal van valley to please India’s aggressive stand against China,
He did not mention India-Pacific in this context, but his defence secretary had unequivocally supported the Quad dialogue as an important part of keeping the region peaceful and free of interference.
In fact, India-Pacific is the only area in which Indian cooperation is being sought, India is conceding from the backdoor.
American return to the Paris Agreement has been universally welcomed, but there is a tone of coercion when Biden speaks of raising the ambition of climate targets, which India in recent past acknowledged in the beginning of Indo-US relations..
‘That way India can challenge other nations, other major emitters,’ where the climate change agreement is facing shortfall in its forecast and execution by the change of guards in USA where Trump showed his back earlier.
Since the Paris Agreement does not endorse “common but differentiated responsibilities” and the principle of per capita emissions, India is likely to come under pressure in the negotiations. A special representative may have to be appointed to begin discussions for India.
The scaling down of American relationship with Saudi Arabia may have no implications for us, but together with the uncertainty of the Iran nuclear deal, the situation in West Asia may take a turn for the worse for which India needs to be alert.
The prospects of an end to the war in Yemen is a good beginning by the Joe Biden administration and its is welcomed world wide. Yet renewal of the appointment of the Afghan envoy is a good sign, but Biden’s position on Pakistan and cross border terrorism will crystallise only after the Afghanistan issue is settled, which is being curiously watched by US administration.
Biden is not likely to restore funding to end terrorism, as Pakistan’s duplicity in the matter is well documented, but he will have to reward Pakistan in some way if the Afghan deal is helpful to the US. I this Biden’s long experience in upholding democratic values would enable USA to keep world fingers across. Worthwhile to mention that Biden’s past association with Pakistan, there is some concern in India about his Pakistan policy.
Even though India were tantalisingly close to a trade agreement with the Trump Administration, nothing came of it because of other preoccupations and coupled with fact Trump is taller businessman than the Chai wala in India, where farmer used the policy of “Use and keep the Narendra Modi administration on toes.
India as usual should continue to lobby with the Biden administration to begin trade talks, even though he has stated that he is in no hurry to sign any new trade agreements with developing nations.
Biden’s reference to ‘middle class diplomacy’ opens up the possibility of some limited trade agreements involving certain goods produced by the middle class in the US.
After having waited for the phone call from Biden, the world leaders will be now waiting for their turn to visit Washington. This will depend on the success in controlling, if not eliminating COVID-19 which is almost a closed chapter