Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Obama's Visit to India--Hype reduces by Rhetoric

The immense hype of Obama’s visit to India is reduced to some rhetoric, especially in the Indian parliament, and some good dances of both The President and First Lady Michelle Obama, at some selected spots. Obama launched his maiden trip to India , by staying at the terrorism- hit Taj Mehal Hotel at Bombay. He termed it as a symbol of his commitment to send “ strong message” to the terrorists .While Obama made no mention of Pakistani-sponsored terrorism, he demanded that the perpetrators of the 26/11 attack be brought to justice. "Mumbai is a symbol of energy and optimism," he said, adding that the Taj and its staff were "symbols of the strength and resilience of Indian people".

Obama maintained, "In our determination to give our people a future of security and prosperity, the United States and India stand united." Stating that the world will never forget the images of 26/11, including those of portions of the Taj set ablaze, he said, "Indeed, today, the United States and India are working together more closely than ever to keep our people safe. And I look forward to deepening our counter-terrorism cooperation even further when I meet with Prime Minister Singh in New Delhi. We go forward with confidence, knowing that history is on our side... And that is the shared determination of India and the United States, two partners that will never waver in our defence of our people or the democratic values that we share." Against the expectations, Obama did not mention the name of Pakistan, directly involved in the Taj attacks.

Even the Visitor’s book placed at Taj , personified formal ‘diplomatic’ and generalised remarks , “The US stands in solidarity with all of Mumbai and all of India in working to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and we offer our love and friendship," he wrote in the guest-book.

During his visit , Indian and US companies have discussed and signed over $14.9 billion in deals around President Obama’s trip that will support 53,670 US jobs, the White House said. The US export deals, estimated at $9.5 billion, won’t go far to settle America’s trade deficit, which was $46.3 billion in August alone, but the numbers are testament to India’s growing importance as a global market and have provoked a swell of pride here. The primary objective, clearly orchestrated , the weakening Obama at home, in his reply to a question , “I want to be able to say to the American people when they ask me, well, why are you spending time with India, aren’t they taking our jobs?’’ “I want to be able to say, actually, you know what, they just created 50,000 jobs. And that’s why we shouldn’t be resorting to protectionist measures. We shouldn’t be thinking that it’s just a one-way street.’’

The executive director of KPMG India, Pradeep Udhas, who is also president of the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce, said the 'deals' are significant less for their absolute value than their message. “A two-way street between the US and India has started,’’ he said. “It’s important in terms of sending out a message to US constituencies that India is not just some Third World country. It’s actually a huge market.’’India is also a growing investor in the United States. From 2004-2009, Indian companies invested over $26 billion in the United States, creating more than 55,000 jobs, according to KMPG sources.

Indian Media maintained that “For five decades after Independence, Indians looked up to the rest of the world for aid, technology, and capital. Now, the world looks upon India as a dynamic creator of jobs and income opportunities”. There is a faction of Media and analysts, who maintained, that Obama shows the weakening economic infrastructure of USA, whose title to be a “sole super power” is threatened , as more economic Super powers , like China and Japan are already capturing the world trade. The economic marriage between India and USA , is not apparently aimed at facilitating the “ the Rising India” , with latest weaponry against Pakistan, but to reduce the economic recession , prevailing in USA at various tiers, which is personified in the results of recent mid-term elections. Obama is visibly perturbed over the out-sourcing of US IT firms to India, where labor can be achieved at much lesser rates.

Though American and certain factions of Indian media observe President Barack Obama’s ‘single support’ for a permanent seat for India in an expanded UN Security Council as “a powerful endorsement” and “a major policy shift” that could aggravate China.The reports, however, point out that it may be several years before any agreement is reached on United Nations reforms, notably the overhaul of the Security Council. However the international observer are of the view that Obama’s oratory does reveal any time frame for when India would secure a permanent Security Council seat, nor does it offer any guarantee that India would secure such a seat, in the given future scenario. .” The LA Times stated, Obama’s statement signified “a dramatic show of respect to the powerful nation he hopes will play a key role in support of US interests around the world.” But it also said that the United States is backing its addition only as part of a series of UNSC reforms that could be years in the making. So far the reaction of China or Japan is not reported .According to Ashley J Tellis, the South Asia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the US endorsement of India is stronger than the one extended to Japan some years ago.

It is pertinent to note that India remained herself away from security Council in a bid to contest the permanent seat in the SC for last 15 years . But the hurdles , as personified By foreign minister SM Krishna said recently , "There are obstacles and roadblocks. These cannot be wished away. So we have to keep pursuing relentlessly,". India is therefore aparantly convinced that it is very hard to get permanent set in UNSC, so she accepted temporary membership of UNSC , which is being commenced from 1st Jan 2011.

Since last 2o years or so. Japan has had its hopes set on a permanent UNSC President Clinton endorsed the idea of Japan and Germany joining the Council’s five permanent and veto-endowed members: the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France. A decade later, in 2005, the Bush administration made supporting Japan’s accession to a permanent Council seat . But time and again Japan has seen its hopes dashed, as a global security body that largely retains a configuration dating from its post-World War II creation finds reform bids stymied by regional suspicions, geopolitical calculations, and plain old power-mongering.

There is a debate going on ,for ceratin reforms to be brought in the Security Counci,l needs to change to reflect a 21st century of diffused power and new global players. It last saw reform in 1965, when the number of nonpermanent, non-veto-wielding seats was expanded to reflect the UN’s expanding membership in the postcolonial era. This is bound to be a very difficult process and it’s bound to take a significant amount of time. Brazil is another country which is desirous to get UNSC seat.
Obama’s speech in the Indian parliament . did not present any charge sheet against Pakistan, as expected by Indian Intelligentsia . “As we work to advance our shared prosperity, we can partner to address a second priority-our shared security”. The political and strategic analysts believed that Indians wont like the appreciation of Obama for Pakistan’s role in combating terrorism “Our strategy to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates has to succeed on both sides of the border. That is why we have worked with the Pakistani government to address the threat of terrorist networks in the border region. The Pakistani government increasingly recognizes that these networks are not just a threat outside of Pakistan-they are a threat to the Pakistani people, who have suffered greatly at the hands of violent extremists”.
Obama’s dedicative statement for Pakistan, “we will continue to insist to Pakistan's leaders that terrorist safe-havens within their borders are unacceptable, and that the terrorists behind the Mumbai attacks be brought to justice. We must also recognize that all of us have and interest in both an Afghanistan and a Pakistan that is stable, prosperous and democratic-and none more so than India.”, highlighted a reserved and balanced point of view in the region, which orchestrates, Americans realize this very fact , that without the help of Pakistan , USA will never get safe exit from Afghanistan .