With the results of the US presidential elections right around the corner, here’s a perspective into what the implications are for India. Can Trump and Modi’s tempestuous bromance work in India’s favor or would we gain more from Biden’s level-headed and steadfast approach to policy making?
So what outcome are we Indians hoping for? There has been considerable analysis on this topic by economic, political and financial heavyweights. However, the comradery and subsequent long-standing relationship between any two nations is not very different from that between two friends with the exception that in this case, the stakes are a lot higher.
“The enemy’s enemy is a friend”
This adage, which can be traced back to Chanakya’s Arthashastra almost 2300 years ago has found application in many political ploys. Just as it applies to our personal relationships, where nothing builds a bond like uniting against a common enemy, the same applies to nations as well. While there are many reasons to resent China, there is one thing that we can be thankful for. The fact that it is not just a nuisance to us but a host of other countries as well. India looks at China as a boisterous neighbor and a bully, over-stepping India’s personal space and encroaching her borders. USA on the other is extremely weary of losing its stature to China, a country they claim is using unfair practices ranging from but not limited to currency manipulations, unfair subsidies and intellectual property theft to dethrone USA. And then there is the matter of China’s penchant for consuming exotic creatures to which most countries, either overtly or covertly attribute the pandemic too. China does not seem to be shying away from the heat and continues to pursue selfish interests unabated. While Biden and Trump have both cautioned the world against China, Trump does seem to be more vociferous in his dislike towards China which is a good thing for us. The more riled up the future President of the United States is against China, the greater support and independence India gets to pursue her interests — bringing Pakistan to task, making autonomous decisions with respect to Kashmir etc. However, the fundamental truth that a common enemy does indeed overlap interests to an extent can also act as a double-edged sword. Much to America’s disapproval, we maintain friendships with Russia and Iran as well, but oh well, the heart wants the heart wants — missiles and energy!
“There is your truth and then there is my truth. As for the universal truth, it does not exist” — Amish Tripathi
Here’s another nugget of wisdom that can be traced back to Indian lineage. In modern parlance, this is what is referred to as Strategic Alignment; having the same perspective as another which can often result in mutual gain for both parties. It is unlikely that you would form a close friendship with someone you don’t vibe with right? This is the case with nations as well. During the initial years after India’s independence, USA maintained India at arm’s length because they disapproved of her Socialist and protectionist policies. Once we shifted to a more free-market system, USA finally began to warm up to us. We now had access to the cool kids’ table!
Making a note of where each candidate stands with respect to key issues is critical because it forms the basis for future transactions. Trump’s penchant for cherry picking facts to form opinions can spell trouble for India. By decreeing that climate change is a hoax and the onus of reducing pollution lies squarely with “filthy” nations such as India, China and Russia, Trump has passed the buck on to us. Under Trump’s presidency, USA followed protectionist measures such as stricter visa laws while at the same time criticizing India for not opening her markets to dairy products among other goods from the US. From Biden’s manifesto and campaign debates, it is evident that his policies with regards to trade, climate change and the subsequent apportioning of responsibility, immigration etc. would follow a more neutral and logical stance.
Kamala Harris, the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate has Indian lineage. Could this perhaps prove beneficial to the Indian diaspora abroad?
Biden is 77 prompting many to question if he would be able to pursue presidency with as much vigor as young and vibrant Trump. To be seen.
After plugging these variables in our proprietary mathematical model, the final verdict is as follows.
It seems Biden would be our best bet. By a whisker.