“When it comes to the sphere of our work, building a future of greater prosperity, opportunity and security for our people, there is no doubt; I have to go India. But even more, I am proud to go to India, and I look forward to the history that we will make together, progress that will be treasured not just by this generation but by generations to come”. With these words in June this year, US President Barack Obama announced his intention of visiting India.
In a prompt response External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna then said “I and over one billion citizens of India look forward to welcoming you and your family later this year…A very warm and heartfelt welcome awaits you and the family”. The ball was set rolling on an extremely positive note.
And now he is arriving in the first week of November and this would be his longest stay in any country after he took over as president. So what does the implication of his visit hold? After all this is no ordinary visit. It is a meeting of two gigantic democracies and at the helm of both are two leaders, different in cultures but similar in their brilliance and farsightedness. Both leaders with impeccable credentials who could rise above petty politics to define a new road map for not just their individual countries, but the world as a whole.
At our end we have our soft spoken but formidable Dr. Manmohan Singh whose visionary approach left India almost unscathed while major world economies were almost on their knees. At the US end, Barack Obama inherited the malaise of his country’s past including some politically and economically incorrect policies, which saw the economic giant faltering. But against all odds, Obama must be credited, for taking some drastic and politically daring decisions that has resulted in saving his country from an economic disaster.
As such this is to become a meeting of equals… A meeting where far reaching decisions can be made primarily on economic and bilateral issues. One thing is clear. In the present situation both countries are inter-dependent and, if I may say need each other, if their individual peoples prosperities are priority. So let India make the first move. To start with it would be advisable that except for the prime minister and his select team of ministers, no politician should be allowed to raise any issues publicly. Secondly, and more importantly economic issues relating to both the Indian and American interest should be given preference and time bound strategic policies should be formulated. Simply, put the interest of only India and the US should be chalked out. Later other issues concerning the international community can be considered. If that happens, a new beginning will be made.
And as a sign off, we hope history will be made together and its progress will be treasured by generations to come.