By Kaavya Nair
Over the past few months since the induction of the Modi administration as the front runners of Indian Politics, the face of India, as perceived by the world,has taken a step towards progressive change.
Since Prime Minister Modi took over, he has put in significant efforts to strengthen India’s foreign relations. His attendance at the BRIC conference just a few weeks ago, taking up several issues of pertinence shows the impact and role that India has in the International Scenario today. With Modi’s visit to USA, relations between the Modi and Obama administration was highlighted to be at a new height.
This confirmation of growth between USA and India, came with perhaps, the biggest diplomatic coup that Modi has pulled off so far. In a major sign of the deepening ties between India and the US, Prime Minister Modi invited President Obama to be the chief guest at the Republic Day ceremony next year, during his visit to Myanmar and Australia, when he met with President Obama at the East Asia summit and the G-20 meeting of world leaders.
With Obama’s acceptance of the request, for someone who is barely six months in office, this is a major diplomatic feat to pull off and the Indian diplomatic community has never had it so good or have had their hands this full, in a long time. The question that arises at this juncture is – Why is this visit so significant for not just India but also USA? The understanding is crucial.
The coming together of leaders of the oldest and the largest democracies on an occasion like the Republic Day of the latter is symbolic in itself and a reaffirmation of the success of democracy. President Obama’s prompt acceptance of Narendra Modi’s personal invitation to attend the parade gives out two strong messages to the global community — one, that India matters to the US, and two, that India means business.
This visit is significant on the strategic front with the USA being keen to engage with India and position the country as its trusted partner in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to counter China’s growing diplomatic and economic clout.China’s rising military and economic status and America’s declining diplomatic influence, is a cause for US worry and it needs to strengthen its alliances, from an American perspective in this case, USA needs India more than India needs USA. The challenge for the US is that India and Australia have an increasing economic agenda with China, while Japan is already a major trading partner with China, with massive investment.
The USA has been losing its diplomatic influence in the Middle East and with rising resentment against the US, it is keen to use India’s outreach in the Central Asian region to influence and check rising Islamic militancy.India emerges as an important factor in the American strategic plan, when it comes to power play in the Middle East.
But India still needs the USA. It is the leader in military – industrial capacities, which is required by India to see through the process of development in the country. Modi’s aggressive outreach to the international community is beginning to pay dividends and the timing is just right with the global economy being on the recovery path. Modi seems to be the right man, at the right time and at the right place, to seize this opportunity to drive home the India advantage.
India needs investment, big investment and with Modi initiating reforms, the coming time will see a surge in investment inflows. This Republic Day is going to be like no other and if that happens, history may just look back on a year that belonged to one man, Narendra Modi.
Kaavya Nair is a currently a second year Political Science major at Miranda House, University of Delhi. She is passionate about liberal arts and obsessed about issues of International significance. An avid debater and a passionate writer she strongly believes that a dedicated youth working together can create change for the better, and hopes to positively impact the world through her passion and dedication for words.