US may have to ‘reconsider attitude’ towards Modi-led India

A top American expert on South Asia, Stephen Cohen, said that US would have to adjust strategically, politically and economically.

By: Press Trust of India | Washington | Updated: April 30, 2014 3:54 pm

The US may have to “reconsider its attitude” towards India if BJP wins power and Narendra Modi becomes prime minister, a top American expert on South Asia has said.

“Modi and his strategy, if I can summarize it…India is going to be squeaking loud and is going to be doing things, some risky, some dangerous and some positive…and I think the American policy has to reconsider its attitude towards India,” Stephen Cohen, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, at the India Project at Brookings Institution said at a panel discussion on Indian elections on Tuesday.

India under Modi, he said, is going to attract more attention and the US would have to adjust to that, strategically, politically and economically.

“I think, the big change that I see, we all thought Modi would transform India’s economy. I think, that’s true if there is a Modi government. That is going to give him (Modi) more muscle and leverage in foreign policy. And the key country is China plus Japan and South Korea. Modi has close relationship with China, Japan and South Korea and a bad relationship with the US,” Cohen told a Washington audience, which among others was addressed by Indian Ambassador to the US S Jaishankar.

“He (Modi) is going to expand this into strategic advantage for India. That is he is going to use the economic relationship with East Asia, especially China, to enhance India’s power elsewhere.

“The original Nehruvian dream to make India among the top five-six countries of the world, I think he (Modi) is going to implement that,” said Cohen who has written several books on India and is considered to be among the authoritative voices on India in the US.


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  1. I
    May 1, 2014 at 8:49 am
    Obviously. Modi govt will be definitely giving more access to Non USA countries to the vast market of India. Modi is more pro people person and he will make sure the countries other than USA helping both ways with more respect. US definitely will pay for listening to stanis and christian coeteries who advised to object Modi from day one.
    1. N
      Nita Chhabra
      Apr 30, 2014 at 11:17 pm
      Attn: Editor Indian Express: I submitted a posting on the above story about 2-3 hours ago. I read and edited it on your site. It was up on your site for a few minutes. But now it has disappeared. For my information, kindly advise what happens to our comments? Do you publish comments of only those who are registered with your paper?Arun K. Chhabra, Attorney-at-law, Washington, DC, USA
      1. S
        Sep 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm
        Modi is a realist, a pragmatist in the true sense of the word. He'd gladly, and gratefully, take aid and istance wherever it comes from. Notwithstanding the US denial of visa to him in the past, he would be more welcoming of the US, and wary of China, even when he tries hard to get along as a good neighbor with the latter. We should also not overlook the role 3 million Indian-Americans play on a daily basis in fostering and maintaining good relationship between India and the US. Gujaratis being a close knit community, I am sure, have amply filled in their Gujarat-native, Modi, with their experience in this country - including their growth and success in the lazzaie-faire US environment. BJP's electoral success offers both India and the US a huge opportunity to realize their near-term and long-range objectives. With the US corporate and public help, India can develop its economy at a fast clip, while the US will have in India a strong, balancing counter-weight to China in South-East Asia, which is naturally suious of the increasingly expansionist, arrogant China.Arun K. Chhabra, Esquire, USA
        1. K
          Krithivas Ramamurthy
          May 1, 2014 at 5:25 am
          Mr. Cohen must be joking, "Modi has close relationship with China, an and South Korea and a bad relationship with the US". He is attempting to fool us because it was the sanctimonious US that blew up its relationship with Mr. Modi. Like the German blaming the Jews for all ills, Mr. Cohen is blaming Modi.