Today PM. Modi of India and President Trump of USA came together in Houston to speak in front of one of the largest gathering of people from India. There are very few such moments a person (or the generation) can have in it’s lifetime, that defines many many years of international relationships. After the independence and during the cold war, India got closer to Russia and relied on Russian technology to strengthen itself against troublesome neighbors. India was part of Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) to stay away from international politics, while focusing on improving life and infrastructure back home.
Unites States focused most of its energy and resources in containing Russia and found a partner in Pakistan to handle Russian influence in Afghanistan. Though India was part of NAM, but it was still considered as a country closer to Russia and hence United States would sanction the country to contain India’s nuclear programs. Things have changed in last 15-20 years. Cold war has phased down and another challenger to American hegemony has started to spread his wings. Chinese influence is gaining momentum in various Asian and African countries by providing easy infrastructural loans and cheaper products. These cheaper products are killing many local businesses in these countries and has contributed to increased unemployment. Many countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka are looking for alternatives to cheaper and sustainable loans, rather than relying on money from China. India on the other hand has rather little colder relationships with China. India had fought a war with China and still has a border and land dispute. India has opposed China’s ambitious Belt and Road project as it passes through conflicted region of Pakistan occupied Kashmir. US sees a potential ally in India to contain China and it’s growing influence in Asian region. Also India’s growing influence in Afghanistan can help in maintaining peace in the region when USA moves it’s troops out of the country.
With “New India”, the country is expanding it’s wings across world platform. We are more involved in international politics. India is one of the largest democracies and even larger economic market. India gets a huge negotiation leverage due to it’s largest consumer market. Every country wants to sell their products in India, be it China or US.
Iran is the largest exporter of petroleum products to India. By providing petroleum alternative to India, US can negotiate better with Iran. India can also strengthen it’s position with in American trading partners.
We could see a history building today in Texas, where PM of India and President of USA, spoke at lengths about the ways each country is helping other. US is working on improving immigration and other policies to help legal immigrants coming from India. A strengthened legal immigration framework is not only going to help the economy of United States, it will also help improve security, and living standards in the country. It will also encourage legal immigrants from various other countries to come to US and contribute to the economy here.