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How do you think the U.S. presidential election will impact U.S.-India relations?
By Taniappa Vidyadhar
| Category: U.S. India Relations

India and USA are two great democracies. Democracy of USA was born some 240 years back whereas India’s democracy is 70 years old.  USA always attracted best talents from across the world.


Being a democratic country, with abundant talent and intellectuals, India came closer to USA.


Though both the countries came closer, ideological differences exist. For example USA was deeply engaged in wars.  Fought wars against dictators in Libya, Iraq.

Whereas India remained economically poor due to rule of mogul emperors and British rule for several centuries draining the wealth. Further India never waged war against any country, but had to defend its territory, when war was forced on it,  by fighting  war with China, Pakistan .


Further India had large numbers of spiritual leaders, who appear to have dictated the thought process of many intellectuals, in the world. Nonviolence became the guiding philosophy, by and large.


Right now relationship between India and USA is at the peak. Thanks to the Prime Minister Modi  and USA President Barak  Obama . Modi is focused on development. Obviously,   he looks at the  most developed USA , though prevailing conditions are different. However the growing of terrorism in the world has created road block in the peace path, thus questioning the thought process of both the secular countries.


By and large, Indians favour Democratic Party in USA, as we are closer to socialism being sovereign democratic republic. Republican Party always presented itself as party of capitalists and practised capitalism.


Basically relationship between India and USA is very strong, and presidential election, may not affect unless major policy change is made by the new administration. India’s wish list is as follows.

1. USA should continue to lead the world in destroying Terrorism.

2. USA should stop financial and military aids to Pakistan, and ensure dismantling of terrorist training camps in Pakistan..

3. Curb the ISIS at the global level with the help of NATO;  India can help in developing logistics using technology to support USA.

4. USA should continue to employ Indians, particularly in IT, BT in the mutual interest.

5. USA should provide defence technology so that India applies the Technology to manufacture the defence equipment for USA.


If Hillary Clinton wins the presidential elections, she may continue to pursue the foreign policy that was practised by Obama administration, being a democrat. However, in reality,  Obama was not able to enforce Pakistan to dismantle terror groups nor did he ensure the aids to Pakistan, are used for curbing terrorism. Even ISIS was allowed to expand to some 30 countries, it is believed.


On the contrary Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump appears dynamic and aggressive. He wishes to go out to destroy ISIS in the world with the help of NATO power.


Since Pakistan has demonstrated that it cannot stop terrorist activities, Trump might take drastic steps to curb aids thus make Pakistan weaker militarily as well as financially, in spite of China’s support. China’s economy can be made weak, if there are global   sanctions against it,  for supporting terrorism. In this condition world may have to live without cheap goods from China.


Though Donald Trump may appear like a cow boy from Hollywood of early twentieth century, who goes all out to win a fight, he lacks experience and diplomacy, not knowing the long term impact of his decisions.   Example he once talked about disallowing Muslims to USA and spoke poorly about Mexican immigrants not knowing its impact on USA. Trump may even put a break on qualified immigrants, in the hope of jobs for the locals.  Such populist measures may boost his image as short time gain, but this will impact India substantially and may strain the relationship.


Finally the way Presidential election campaign is heading, it appears that there will not be considerable strain of relationship even if drastic measures are taken by Republicans, as USA has many wise men and a powerful media that can change the route map of President.   

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this contest entry are those of the author and do not reflect the views, positions or policies of the U.S. Government