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India: Obama in Black and White

Categories: Central Asia & Caucasus, East Asia, Middle East & North Africa, South Asia, Afghanistan, China, India, Iraq, Pakistan, Democratic Party, Republican Party, Globalization, Government & Politics, International Relations, Nuclear Proliferation, Terrorism and Security, War & Conflict

Indian bloggers are joining the rest of the world to decipher Barack Obama and reflect on what his election to the White House would mean for their country and its civilian nuclear development programme and Indo-US relations. In a post entitled Obama in Black and White, Delhi-based blog Chanakya's World [1] discusses what Obama's nomination could mean to India and its neighbours, the War on Terror and the delicate balance of power in a volatile part of the world.

To set the scene, the blogger writes:

The 16 months debate with all its melodrama shifted to the upper level and strategists and thinkers all over the world are trying to decipher the mind of Barack Hossain Obama, 46, the democratic hopeful of the US Presidency. Whether he will take along the existing policies or even favour more or put a spanner; all possibilities are being explored.

For citizens of America, it seems a new chapter is being written in which young and liberals are having greatest flights of aspirations. “But if Obama does win, it will symbolize the great change that has taken place in America. Racial polarization used to be a dominating force in our politics- but we’re now a different, and better, country,” argues Paul Krugman in NYT.

But, perhaps governments in South Asia, where America’s ‘War on Terror’ is being fought, are seeing this development rather closely. Whether Pakistan will have the similar run of luck as it’s in the present form and what will be the faith of civilian nuclear deal with India (remember! It’s still alive)

China is another point but, let’s have a look on India’s equation with the US in case of Obama presidency.

The blogger also asks:

Will Obama, the discovery of post 9/11 era, support Indian Civilian Nuclear deal and take forward the ongoing process initiated by the Republican administration? This is the moot question gripping the Indian nuclear minds at the moment. His opposition to the 123 Agreement last year makes his overtures doubtful.

“Obama has promised to push both the CTBT and the FMCT that Bush has avoided imposing on India. Unlike the Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain, Obama has not yet made the promise to implement the Indo-US nuclear deal in its present form,” says strategic expert C. Raja Mohan.

To continue the Bush’s policies on national security and defence will be difficult for him. On Iraq and Pakistan he certainly will do a reversal and in that case India will not be left unscathed.

When he will get the real Ground Zero situation and inputs on bigger gameplan on Afghanistan-Pakistan axis, the K-word (Kashmir) will again be playing prominently. If Hillary joins him at White House then perhaps swing might be in favour of India.

On Outsourcing, another India specific issue and which became the hot potato in the last Presidential election, he may go soft. “We cannot reverse the process of globalisation,” said Obama in a meeting.

A firm belief in Mahatma Gandhi or a metal figurine he carries as one of his lucky charms which resembling Hanuman (the Hindu monkey God) perhaps will not impact his mind on the issues!