There may be some anxiety in India about how the Obama administration will deal with the sub-continent,but Barack Obama has personally voiced his commitment to further build a close strategic partnership between the two countries.
An admirer of Mahatma Gandhi whose autobiography is among his favourite books,Obama carries a medallion of Lord Hanuman with him as a good luck charm.
There has been some disquiet in Delhi following reports that Obama may name a special envoy on Kashmir but recent indications point to the appointment of an envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan or the Indian sub-continent without mentioning Kashmir.
On terrorism,another issue of immense concern to New Delhi,Obama has said that both India and the US “have been victims of catastrophic terrorist attacks and we have a shared interest in succeeding in the fight against al-Qaeda and its operational and ideological affiliates”.
Obama had strongly condemned the November 26 terror strikes in Mumbai. “These coordinated attacks on innocent civilians demonstrate the grave and urgent threat of terrorism. The United States must continue to strengthen our partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks. We stand with the people of India,whose democracy will prove far more resilient than the hateful ideology that led to these attacks,” the President-elect’s Chief National Security Spokesperson had said.
On the issue of outsourcing,a sector in which India has a major stake,Obama has promised to offer tax incentives to companies that create jobs in the United States.
The US “cannot and should not put up walls around our economy. But we must find a way to make globalisation and trade work for American workers,” he had said.
“I will pursue common sense measures such as offering tax incentives to companies that create jobs in the United States.”
Obama,who backed the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal after initial reservations,had said that he voted for the agreement because India “is a strong democracy and a natural strategic partner for the US in the 21st century.”
On the Indo-US ties under his Administration,Obama has said he would move forward to build “a close strategic partnership” between the two countries.
“The world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy are natural partners,sharing important interests and fundamental democratic values,” he had said.
About Mahatma Gandhi,he said he had always looked to the apostle of peace as an inspiration “because he embodies the kind of transformational change that can be made when ordinary people come together to do extraordinary things.”
“Gandhi’s significance is universal. Countless people around the world have been touched by his spirit and example,” he had said.