Narendra Modi, the politician who came to power in India with huge majority visited New York on September 26, 2014 with a backbreaking agenda packed with speeches, rallies, meetings, interviews and business breakfasts expected to redevelop better relationship with the United States.
Highlights include Madison Square speech in front of thousands of Indian Nationals and Indian American, a private meet with the U.S. President Barack Obama and CEO-packed breakfasts in the end. The five-day trip is believed to reinvent and boost bond between the two largest democratic countries in the world.
The surrender crowd welcomed Narendra Modi with a reception befitting more to a pope or a rock star than a foreign minister. The excitement over Modi’s visit to the States is a result of huge popularity back home and Indian America has high expectations from his arrival. Modi is looking for more bilateral affiliation and plan to invite foreign companies to India. The visit can turn into any headline-grabbing agreements in the future.
Motto of Madison Square Speech
18,500 enthusiastic Indian American welcomed new Prime Minister of India in Washington who chanted “Modi! Modi! ” He appealed to Indian-Americans to improve his country’s economy, promising that his guidance will make India flourish and the developing nation wouldn’t look back.
“Our country used to play with a snake, now we play with the mouse”-said Modi laughing and claiming that India is no longer a land of “snake charmers.” Modi is no new to the big stage and his speeches leans on basic words like India, brother, sister and people unlike his predecessor. Indian-Americans at Times Square and Madison Square likened the enthusiasm of his heroic rise to that of Obama’s promise to bring “change” in the states.
India has never been on America’s radar and the United States is more bothered about their strategic relation with Philippines, Taiwan and Japan-because of the China issue.
“I might live miles away from you, But I do understand your issues”- Modi. In an hour-long signature speech from Modi, complete with soaring arms, vows, rhetorical flourishes; he requested people to have “big vision.” The main motto of Modi is to sell the idea of new and modern India who can be trusted to deliver his promise. Whether he is willing more to bridge difference with the States on tax policy, outsourcing, business perspectives and other issues but India is yet to prove his credibility as a trusted partner on foreign policy priorities.
Further his arrival, the American media came with a racist cartoon satirizing India’s exceptional space success as on September 24, making India the first country in the world to send an orbiter to Mars in its first attempt. The cartoon showed a poor Indian villager with a cow knocking the doors of the Elite Space Club. The idea shows how America views India’s achievements albeit; it’s difficult to prove whether Obama’s government shares the same mindset or is far away from it.
Bilateral Summit between Modi and Obama
In their first talk, Prime Minister of India-Narendra Modi and President of United States-Barack Obama pledged to take the bilateral relationship to a next stage focusing on issues on counter-terrorism and blocking implementation of the nuclear deal.
“We have had an outstanding discussion around a range of issues. And we, during our discussions, reaffirmed that as two of the world’s largest democracies, vibrant people-to-people contacts between India and the United States, including an incredible Indian American population that contributes so much, that we have so much in common it is critical for us to continue to deepen and broaden the existing framework of partnership and friendship that already exists.”
-President Barack Obama
The primary goal of both the nation is to improve education and encourage job training to increase more global participation. Modi’s vision is to lift the situation of poverty in India so to improve their lives. Both ministers addressed challenges due to terrorism and fight against Islamic State. India and U.S. can work together on space exploration, humanitarian emergency like Ebola and scientific discoveries.
U.S. and India planned to extend their defense corporation to another ten years and invited American firms to contribute in Indian defense sector. There is nothing new if United States policies will undergo slightest shift after Modi bids adieu to the land.
“Chalein Saath Saath: Forward Together We Go”-India And U.S. Vision Statement
Narendra Modi and Barack Obama collaborated over a joint editorial on The Washington Post framing the future collaboration of two nations. The idea of joint op-ed came after PM Modi’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal before he headed to the U.S. The editorial was concluded when PM arrived in Washington on September 30.
The United States and India are looking for a unique partnership to rebuild international peace and security for coming years. There will be a new agenda that focus on rewarding possibility, expand trade collaboration, technology for development, investment, while supporting the United States global growth.
Ahead his visit, PM wrote an editorial piece for Wall Street Journal: “India and the US have a fundamental stake in each other’s success—for the sake of our values and our many shared interests…The complementary strengths of India and the US can be used for inclusive and broad-based global development to transform lives across the world.”
Why CEO-Packed Breakfast?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi approached nearly dozen of U.S. CEOs to propagate the idea that India is committed to liberalize its economy and expand emerging markets after years of hasty growth. Modi spoke to 11 chief executive officers at a breakfast vowing to get country’s economy back on track.
Modi made a strong pitch to encourage investments in India and assured friendlier business environment and tax stability in the country. Owing to his maiden visit, Prime Minister held meetings with top CEOs from leading companies including those of The PepsiCo Inc., Boeing Co., Google Inc., General Electric Co., and KKR and Co. LP.
“Make in India” campaign led by Modi wanted top companies to strengthen their business engagement with India and invest more in the initiative. During the talks with corporate America, Modi pitched for big-shot investments to further expand India’s infrastructure, create job opportunities and enhance the standard of living.
Enticing the CEOs, PM idea is to “reinvent opportunity for future and clean up the past.” This is first of a kind business meet in the US with foreign minister to discuss the economy and future investment of one country.
The Future Of India-US Relationship After The Visit
The Prime Minister’s main objective is to pitch the prospect that India is open for hospitable investment. His meeting with private sector leaders from prominent businessmen to CEOs was in an effort to signal three outlooks.
Firstly, he is dedicated to probable macroeconomic environment, and that he is concentrated on managing inflation, augmenting growth, improving governance quality and minimizing corruption. Secondly, he aims to build investment climate more powerful. As India ranks low on World Bank’s Index. He is keen to reduce the bureaucratic red tape that infects foreign firms and Modi is working to mitigate the complaints of foreign business hoping to enter the Indian economy. Lastly, Modi plan signals that he will soon include foreign capital in nation’s development goals.
Since, India is still developing plan to involve foreign private sector in the future is a halfhearted effort due to the failure of previous foreign direct investment policies. And also, state-owned enterprise will continue to play a major role in crucial sectors of the Indian economy. This seems non-agreeable for aggressive economic path.
India recently locked down defense pacts for more ten years and will hopefully import 100 billion dollars’ worth weapons beneficial for United States also. United States and India both share good understanding because of people-to-people ties of the two prolific nations and will remain strong in the future. From American industries to Hollywood movies, the United States is present in Indian national perception.
In defensive area, there are two major elements- export of American weapons as well as combined training between the two economies. Evidently, there is a rising trend in the defensive empire. In political ties, India and U.S. follow democracy rule which provide further connection. India safeguards its independence both in terms of foreign policy and domestic issues, albeit, India is willing to walk along with the United States.
The community of more than three million Indian-American living in the U.S. have brought two nations closer and will continue to strengthen new possibilities. The biggest challenge in the coming future will be government-to-government alliance. India is keen for United States interference in three key areas i.e. defense technologies, energy export and higher education.
If India can manage to make certain changes to its current policies and government rules, there could be a wave of progress in the growing economy. In the end, it’s the U.S. ability to influence the economic and financial strength that will take India where it desires to reach.
What’s Next for Mr. Modi?
After successful trip to United States, Modi is gearing up for another Madison Square roundup in Australia on Nov.17. His next big venue is Sydney’s Allphones Arena, addressing diaspora of Indian-Australian during his four-day trip. Around 14,000 people have registered for the event and number is still increasing. With the major conflict between Australian and Indian community in the past, Modi’s visits might raise new hopes for Indian students in Australia. The coming pact, agreements and big investment policies are yet to see.