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New Diplomatic Ties between the World Largest and Oldest Democracies in the Post-Cold War Period: India and the United States | OMICS International
ISSN: 2332-0761
Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs
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New Diplomatic Ties between the World Largest and Oldest Democracies in the Post-Cold War Period: India and the United States

Debasish Nandy*

Department of Political Science, Kanchrapara College, West Bengal, India

*Corresponding Author:
Debasish Nandy
Department of Political Science
Kanchrapara College, West Bengal, India
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: August 01, 2014; Accepted Date: November 14, 2014; Published Date: November 21, 2014

Citation: Nandy D (2014) New Diplomatic Ties between the World Largest and Oldest Democracies in the Post-Cold War Period: India and the United States. J Pol Sci Pub Aff 2:139. doi: 10.4172/2332-0761.1000139

Copyright: © 2014 Nandy D. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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This paper will focus on the reasons for decline in the diplomatic importance of India in Moscow’s perception, and its diplomatic value to the U.S. It will also describe the socio-cultural ties between the two countries in post Cold War period. It will shed light on the U.S.A.’s relations with Pakistan and China and their importance as factors in Indo-US relations.


Diplomatic; Democracies; United States


The relations between India and the United States have witnessed many ups and downs during the Cold War period. Although a slight favorable situation was found just after the India’s independence .During Indian independence movement the USA was sympathetic to India’s freedom struggle against the British rule .The democratic values of America also greatly fascinated by the Indian leaders, especially, Nehru. Nehru had keen interest to make close relations with the US. He visited the US in 1949 and visited to Moscow in 1955. He had a keen interested to USA rather than to USSR. However, with a huge expectation and dream Nehru had paid a visit to Washington in 1949. The first visit to Washington was not fruitful. Nehru had given numbers of proposals to the US president, David Truman, for various developmental programmes of India. But no assurance was given by US the president. Nehru’s idealistic point of view towards America got setback. However, there were so many issues between India and the USA where they differed from each other. The US regarded Kashmir issue as a serious problem between India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, on Kashmir issue Washington sided with Islamabad from the very beginning. Apart from Kashmir issue in the beginning of Cold War period, there were so many issues, which made differed view of the two countries like international control of atomic energy question, Palestine question, creation of Israel, Indonesian independence, Indochin issue, Korean crisis, NPT, American policy towards Pakistan issue etc. The end of the Cold War and disintegration of Soviet Union have collectively brought a change to Indian outlook towards the US. In 1991 a coalition government was formed under the leadership of P.V Narashima Rao. Since then India has open its market for foreign direct investment (FDI), i.e., for MNCs. There was no alternative for India.

Objectives of the Paper

This paper will focus on the reasons for decline in the diplomatic importance of India in Moscow’s perception, and its diplomatic value to the U.S. It will also describe the socio-cultural ties between the two countries in post Cold War period. It will shed light on the U.S.A.’s relations with Pakistan and China and their importance as factors in Indo-US relations .India and USA is the two major partners in terms of pluralist democracy and liberal political culture. Although culturally two countries are different from each other, socially also they are not similar. New Delhi and Washington belonged to different ideologies in the Cold War periods. The Pro-Pakistani attitude of the US hampered the Indo-US friendly relations in the Cold War era. Why and how the USA has tilted towards India, these questions will be focused in this paper.

Methodologies and Hypotheses

In my current paper I have followed three methodologies, (1) Content analysis method, (2) Observation method and (3) Interview method.

There are also four hypotheses in my paper, which are as follows-

1. The disintegration of USSR has brought about an opportunity for India and the USA to make a close diplomatic ties

2. Market economy is the key factor in bilateral relations

3. After 9/11 incident diplomatic ties led to strategic engagement

4. India’s quest for being a permanent member in Security Council of UN is another reason for making a rapprochement with the US.

Discussion and Analysis on Current Paper

It is almost a Cliché to suggest that India and the US are natural partners given their vibrant democratic institutions, shared values and convergence on vital national interests. But during most of the Cold War period India’s relations with the US and the erstwhile Soviet Union were viewed in a zero-sum context. The US foreign policy vis-àvis South Asia had a “tilt” towards Pakistan as the US viewed India as too closely allied with its Cold War adversary, the Soviet Union. Today the US diplomacy towards South Asia is predicated upon its decision to help India become a major world power in the twenty-first century [1]. However, at first I would like to discuss about diplomacy briefly. The word ‘diplomacy’ is often employed in a broad meaning which embraces both the making and the execution of foreign policy. In its more technical meaning here employed it has been aptly described by George F. Kennan, the prominent American practitioner and scholar, as the business of communicating between governments. Diplomacy is the inevitable outcome of the co-existence of separate political units with any degree of contact and indeed, its origins can be traced to remote antiquity. At all times rulers considered diplomacy an important instrument of state policies but gradually it transcended a purely national role [2]. Diplomacy may be defined “as the process of presentation and negotiation by which states customarily deal with one another in terms of peace.” In the Oxford Dictionary it is defined as “the management of international relations by negotiation or” the method by which these negotiations are adjusted and managed.” Sir Earnest Satow in his book Guide to Diplomatic Practice has defined diplomacy as the application of intelligence and tact to the conduct official relations between the governments of independent states.

The final important function of diplomacy apart from bargaining and negotiation is to provide to those who formulate goals and plans of action, and occasionally to make important policy decisions themselves [3]. Before discussing, Indo-US diplomatic relations, it is necessary to examine the objectives of the U.S.A. establish friendly relations with India. Actually the main purposes of this chapter are to focus on basic interests of both countries which are responsible for making a good relation to each other. First, the USA’s intension over India was primarily started with some mistrust and suspicious. But some years USA had realized that India is a faithful as well as peaceful country which could be a partner of considering democratic values and liberal ideological point of views. Second, India’s huge and promising market was responsible for the bilateral diplomatic relations. As the foreign policy of one country is determined by its national interests so in case of the USA that was same. USA had been attracted by India’s growing market, so it was interested for making friendly relations with India. Third, India’s performance in IT is well known by the world community. The USA had shown, therefore, its interest in this respective area and invested a huge amount of money. Fourth, India had been alerted from Russia that, it will not able to supply arms and it will also not be able to give India monitory support. Because Russia, a successor State of the USSR has been crippled itself economically and militarily. And its political and diplomatic weight had also been reduced. When India had been fully confirmed that the USA was the only dominating power in post-Cold War world politics, it decided to lean towards USA for getting diplomatic and economic support. Fifth, Relations with the United States have improved markedly, despite the latter’s renewed support for Pakistan Cooperation has grown in a number of economic and military arenas, for example at the height of the India-Pakistan crisis of 2002 American and Indian forces were engaged in joint military exercises near Agra. Sixth, As India’s general standing in the international community had enhanced; it was no longer seen as a predictable and reticent state, but a country that other powers have to understand and accommodate. Overall, there does a more balanced and objective understands of India in the major states of the world, like the USA. Seventh, The USA had been aware of the fact that the Chinese influence in South Asia had been increasing. So, to maintain balance of power in this region and to reduce the Chinese raising the USA preferred to India. Eighth, Pakistan is an old friend of USA, but the latter had influence fully informed about Pakistan that it could not be a faithful and responsible partner. The internal crisis has led to the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, criminalization of administration, militarization of the government, growth of terrorism. These are hampering Pakistan’s democracy. So USA had started to find a potential and faithful partner since 2001. And finally Washington knew in New Delhi a reliable diplomatic partner.

Indo-US Diplomatic Engagement in 1990s: Relation of Assertion and Complexity

It would be a mistake to under or-over-estimate India’s identity on Asia’s strategic chessboard. For many decades, Washington treated India like an insignificant pawn, which was incorrect. Both American and Indian officials have used the term “natural alliance” to describe the new relationship between these two countries, but the vagueness of the concept itself evident [4]. However, in the era of globalization, despite some differences in political sphere, the relation between the two countries in the economic, cultural and educational sphere continued to grow and USA provided valuable assistance to India to fight against HIV.

India adopted quite-co-operative attitude towards USA during the gulf war of 1990-91 and provided refueling facilities to American transport aircrafts bound for the war zone in the Gulf, even at the cost of internal as well as international criticism. Although since 1991, Indian government has started to maintain closer relations with USA continued to be unhappy with India because it refused to accept international inspection regimes on the plea of country’s threat perceptions vis-à- vis Pakistan and China, and peaceful use of nuclear power. Few American interests were directly impacted in South Asia as the Cold War came to close. During the 1980’s, the US had started into the region to challenge the expansion of Soviet power into Afghanistan, however, after the Soviet defeat Washington ignored Afghanistan and virtually abandoned its erstwhile ally, Pakistan. In fact, George W. Bush (Jr.) administration imposed sanctions against Pakistan under the aegis of the Pressler Amendment in 1990, saying it was unable to certify that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear explosive device [5]. The collapse of USSR forced India to think a new diplomatic and strategic partner. New Delhi could not be totally faithful to its old friend. Because Moscow did not give India all types of military or diplomatic support. India slowly and gradually has turned to make a good bilateral relationship with China. India thought if it is not able to make normal relations with the existing World’s biggest Socialist Country, then it might be looser, because Chinese ability in terms of military economy and politics are stronger than India. If Beijing attacks New Delhi, It has no doubt it will defeat.

However, more importantly, the Indians largely abandoned their reflexive opposition to American strategic, economic and diplomatic policies, evincing a new openness to the pursuit of mutually beneficial endeavors [6]. India’s foreign policy maker realized that its closer relations with US could help them fill the power vacuum of USSR, which countered the Chinese aggression in South Asian region. The US, for its part, was no longer forced to view India in light of the latter’s friendship with Soviets and could re-evaluate Indo-US relations on their own merits [7]. So it was clear that a major structural shift had occurred in Indian stand point and relational approach in International politics.

Domestic factors also contributed to an Indo-US rapprochement in the post-Cold War era. The most important element was to serve financial crisis that gripped India in 1991, after the first Gulf War. The convergence of three distinct forces caused this crisis. First, India had badly depleted its foreign exchange reserves purchasing oil on the global spot market prior to the outbreak of the war. Second, the hostilities forced India to repatriate, at short notice, over 100,000 expatriate workers from the Persian Gulf region. Their return closed an important source of foreign exchange. Third, shortly after the War’s end, a series of loan payments to multilateral banks came due. The combination of these three factors sent the Indian exchequer into a tail spin [8]. Due to Persian Gulf War a major financial and Structural weakness of Indian economy has showed. To recover this crisis, in the early 1990’s Indian Prime Minister Narashima Rao and Finance Minister Manmohan Singh were finding some short-term solution. They decided to shift some fundamental changes in India’s economy. Indian government adopted some new approaches. Key aspects of this approach included adopting a structural adjustment regime, reducing tariffs and agricultural subsidies, loosening industrial regulations, and Paring down India’s massive Public sector [9]. Indian new marketoriented approach has helped to her economic growth. Adopting liberal economic policy, New Delhi was able to make a good diplomatic relations with Washington. Washington’s rapprochement with New Delhi was possible, for its changing ideological practices. Both sides have much to gain from further cooperation in the future. They can no longer afford to ignore one another.

S. Paul and Sumit Ganguly have observed that, individual leadership had also played a major role in enhance by Indo-US ties. Various Indian and American leaders have made significant contributions in this regard [10]. In the early 1990’s Narashima Rao and Manmohan Singh launched a policy which represented a remarkable departure from the previous policies. On the other hand U.S. President Bill Clinton also took an initiative in fostering Indo-US rapprochement. Clinton’s role as a diplomat for normalizing Indo-US relations was vital, as he was the first one who did not blindly support Pakistan in Kargil War in 1999 [11].

After the beginning of the Kargil war, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz-Sharif visited Washington and asked Clinton to follow reconciliatory policy towards Pakistan. But the U.S. President made it clear that the USA should not side with Pakistan on Kargil War, because Pakistani soldiers crossed the LOC. So USA shall not cooperate with Pakistan regarding this war, Clinton said. Clinton also kept New Delhi informed of the Progress of his discussions with Sharif. The latter eventually agreed to Clinton’s terms and called for the withdrawal of all intruding forces back across the LOC [12].

The personal chemistry between Clinton and Narashima Rao seemed to have turned out well despite the differences in age, temperament and outlook. Clinton himself acclaimed that success of his visit was in promoting economic reforms within a democratic framework [13]. India’s P.M. Narashima Rao visited U.S.A. in June 1994. Rao demonstrated extra-ordinary diplomatic and political skill in apparently yielding little, but gaining a lot. US President Bill Clinton told the press conference that in spite of huge differences between India and American common values and interests, the similar diplomatic approach was vital for making a strong bilateral relationship.

The U.S. President, Clinton offered a significant assurance to the Indian Prime Minister I.K. Gujral at their meeting on September 22, 1997, at New York that the U.S. would be “careful not to intervene in any ways with the issue of contention between India and Pakistan [14].” During discussion with I.K. Gujral, Clinton did not raise Kashmir issue or Indo-Pak disputes. The issue of CTBT had been focused by the U.S. President. Replying Clinton’s point I.K. Gujral answered that India was willing to engage in discussions on disarmament issue including by implication the CTBT. The Hindu, editorially stated that, “the categorical assertion by Mr. Clinton that the US would not in any way interfere in the outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, will be the positive outcome of the just concluded talks between the U.S. President and the Prime Minister I.K. Gujral [15].

The Clinton administration sent a high-level delegation led by the US Ambassador, Bill Richardson to the U.N. He was the number two person in the US State Department. The basic motto of Richardson’s visit was to prepare the ground for Clinton’s visit to India. During his visit he had not made any commitment to New Delhi on the question of a permanent seat in UN Security Council. Two sides reviewed the regions security environment and agreed to strengthen defense cooperation in various fields, including military to military contacts [16].

India, under Narashima Rao, was eager for a closer relationship with the US in the changed structure of world power. India’s policy of engagement with the US was not entirely novel, however. Before this, Indira Gandhi and Ronald Regan had seemed to launch the two countries by signing in1985 a “Memorandum of Understanding” to promote technological cooperation [17].

The new circumstance of a changed geopolitical context following the end of the Cold War was perhaps more propitious for an improved relationship. India sought through its strategy of constructive engagement to improve relations so as to build its capabilities. President George Bush (Senior) Sought precisely to contain India’s capabilities and, more critically, to divest it of its nuclear option. This was no recipe for success in building fruitful relations [18].

Initially India’s relation with Clinton administration got off to a bad start on the non proliferation and Kashmir issues. Though Clinton administration sought to increased interaction with India, yet it also successfully persuaded France to stop supplying nuclear fuel for the commercial reactor at Tarapur. Actual motive of US was to resist India from developing and making the missiles. But India did not to stop its missile programme and tested its Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) ‘Agni’ in January 1994. Actually initial motives of Clinton administration towards India were to give a threat as a Super Power and the U.S.A., desiring as a ‘colony’ to treat India like Pakistan. But Washington was lately able to understand that India’s position was not the same as Pakistan’. Its manpower, technology, Science, resources, market and economy, military sides are more powerful than Pakistan’s. But, during the second term of Clinton administration, its approach towards India had been changing perceptibly.

India’s Nuclear Test in 1998: Complexity in Indo-US Relations

By carrying out five nuclear weapons tests within 48 hours, India had at long last demonstrated its political will and courage which was expected of any nation which acted as a regional and global player of some significance. In launching its nuclear programme, India had been motivated mainly by the security consideration. India lives in a region where its security is threatened from several quarters [19]. The dramatic announcement about the nuclear test was made by the Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee at a press conference on May 11, 1998: “I warmly congratulate the Scientists and Engineers who have carried out these successful tests [20].”After explosion in Pokhran II, the U.S. administration stopped the assistance to the tune of $ 142.3 million which this country earlier promised to grant. That apart, the U.S. would also oppose the loans and guarantees extended by the international financial institutions where India expected $ 3.8 billion as assistance [21]. The other part of the sanctions would basically impact on U.S. exports to India. For instance, the U.S. Export Bank said its action of ceasing all new approvals of financing of US exports to India would immediately affect approximately $ 500 million transactions [22].

However, the most crucial element is the mandate to the US administration to oppose loans and guarantees in international financial institutions such World Bank, the International Development Agency, the Asian Development Bank etc [23]. In reply to India Pakistan also tested nuclear bombs in Chaghai. But U.S. policy towards Pakistan was not as cruel as India. U.S.A. threatened Pakistan softly. Washington’s this type of activity New Delhi has taken suspiciously. Washington adopted a softer policy to Pakistan on nuclear testing. India’s tests of May 1998 were answered by Pakistan’s own test with a view towards establishing parity, if only for perceptual purposes. Pakistan’s quest for a nuclear device assumed seriousness after the defeat in the 1971 War, the 1974 nuclear explosion and finally the Indian tests of 1998 [24]. The Point is that Pakistan’s insecurity stems from perceived Indian designs on the unity of the Pakistani state, and this perception forms the basis of Pakistan’s strategic calculus. Thus any change in India’s capabilities, whether real or imagined, is seen to add to the imbalance in India’s favor, and therefore necessitates that Pakistan try to counter it. This is why the role of the United States assumes importance in Indo-Pakistan relations [25].

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) rebelling information that Pakistan in, its latest exercise to enhance its nuclear weapons capacity has imported 500 ring magnets for use in its cast centrifuge plant for enriching uranium has put the cast among the pigeons of discriminatory non-proliferators. There is much private cogitation in the United States on how to deal with China which has exported these restoring arms supplies to Islamabad [26] Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani Prime Minister flatly denies Pakistan having imported ring magnets, as she did her address to the Pakistan Institute of Foreign Affairs in Karachi on February the 25th 1995. She said: “The story about nuclear magnets from China is baseless [27].” She went on to argue that it was India which should be targeted by the US for disciplinary action.

Benazir Butto’s religious diplomacy had been shown before, when she alleged that India had targeted missiles, which could not only reach Pakistani cities, but also Teheran, Baghdad, Kuwait, Riyadh and even Cairo. It is interesting that she perceived Indian missiles to threat only Islamic countries of Gulf, West Asia - a convoluted exercise in generating Islamic paranoia [28]. The U.S. attitude to Pakistani activities is somewhat nebulous. The U.S.A. was well informed by its own intelligence agency that Pakistan had borrowed technology of nuclear missiles and blaming New Delhi without any valid reason that it targeted its missiles to the Islamic countries. The USA, of late, has evinced Keener interest in Indo-Pak relations on the Jammu and Kashmir issue. In fact, there is an undercurrent in the US establishments desire to play a direct mediatory role in Indo-Pak relations Another dimension of Indo-U.S. relations is the influence of China in South Asia and its activities to India. During his visit to China, President Bill Clinton and his counterpart, President Jiang Zemin, issued a joint statement on South Asia on June 27, 1998. The speech emphasized Washington’s perception that Beijing should play a larger role in tackling the South Asian situation: “Recent nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, and the resulting increase in tension between them, are a source of deep and lasting concern to both of us. Our shared interests in a peaceful and stable South Asia and in a strong global non-proliferation regime have been put at risk by these tests, which we have joined in condemning [29].

From This above Mentioned Statement Three Conclusions can be Drawn

1. The United States and China are taking an important role in non proliferation programme or strategy in South Asia, especially to India and Pakistan. U.S.A. also viewed that China is an important strategic partner of Pakistan.

2. Beijing has accepted U.S. argument to maintain status-quo. In this region China will follow the international order-set by U.S.A.

3. Both India and Pakistan are problematic states that need to be “managed” through a joint U.S.-China partnership.

So from U.S.A. and Chinese statement it is true that any how these two big powers controlled and dominated Pakistan and India. Although U.S. and China mentioned the name of Pakistan, but the later is an old and present friend of the formers. India should keep in mind that U.S. could not be a faithful, only be just a partner. Although, the main objective of this chapter is to highlight the prospects of Indo- US diplomatic relations, yet the Pakistan factor and Chinese factor are of much importance. The vast majority of studies on Indo-Pakistan relations have focused on the confliction aspects of the bilateral relationship, such a focus in hardly unreasonable [30]. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their emergence as nation-states from the detritus of the British Indian Empire. Though war has not erupted between India-Pakistan since 1971, relations between them remain strained particularly over the status of the state of Kashmir [31]. USA supported Pakistan in the 1971 war. Since then India didn’t have confliction relations with USA. So New Delhi has tried to make a distance from Washington till mid 1980. Pakistan always sided with USA and influenced as USA did not have any co-operation with India. India and Pakistan had hardly emerged as independent states from the collapse of the British Indian empire when they were instead in a conflict over the status of the state of Kashmir [32]. The Indo-Pakistani relationship is too intricate, much complicated and of a highly zerosum nature for it to be easily untangled by declaratory statements, even those from a super power. In the Cold War period US contribution foreign aid to Pakistan and India was different. Pakistan received a huge amount of financial and military equip mental aid. USA has not been interested to supply any aid to India because later closeness with USSR.

According to George W. Bush (Jr.), “Good relations with America could help the both nations in their quest for peace. Not long ago, there was so much distrust between India and Pakistan that when America had good relations with one, it made the other one we’re making good progress. Pakistan now understands that it benefits when America has good relations with India. India understands that it benefits when America has good relations with Pakistan. And we’re pleased that India and Pakistan are beginning to work together to resolve their differences directly [33].” President G. Bush (jr.)’s remark was highly diplomatic. He gave same importance to the both countries. And his aim was to play a mediatory role in Indo-Pak relations. The President wanted to make both India and Pakistan realize that the USA was the important country which only could solve the bilateral problems of India and Pakistan. Indian Govt. realized the logic of the US diplomacy, but did not make any comment on this statement.

President Bill Clinton’s Visit in India in March, 2000: Changing of Perceptions

However, America’s remarkable tilt towards India became apparent in the closing eras of the Clinton administration’s tenure and grew even more pronounced when President Bush came to Power [34]. During President Clinton’s South Asia visit in 2000 it was clear that USA’s attitude towards India had changed. In Kargil war Clinton played a prominent role. Clinton was fully aware of Pakistani conspiracy. So he advised to Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to pullback the Pakistani Army from the border. This initiative of US President was a turning point in Indo-US relations. In his book, Engaging India, Strobe Talbott quotes former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh’s “Something terrible has happened these past several month between us and our neighbours. But something quite new and good has happened this weakened between our own countries, yours and mine - something related to the matter of trust. My Prime Minister and I thank your President for that [35].” C. Raja Mohan remarks that, “this was the first time that the United States supported India in its various conflicts with Pakistan. The crisis saw a rare intensity of communication between the leaders of India and the United States [36].”

Throughout the Kargil conflict, India was skeptical about America whether the latter would be fair in its assessment of conflicts, origins or firm in its dealings with Pakistan as it sought to undo the mischief. However, New Delhi was pleasantly surprised by President Clinton’s exertions and his determination to make Pakistan realize the depth of its folly [37]. New Delhi had been highly delighted by American standpoint in the Kargil War. It was for the first time, after 1998, Pokhran II phenomenon, that the USA treated India as a real faithful friend. USA had sent a message clearly to Pakistan that it must maintain Line of Control (LOC). Thereby Newaz Sharif government had been overthrown by a military coup led by Pervez Musharaf. Since then USA felt insecure about Pakistani democracy and also doubted its political stability. In October 1999 Pakistan lost its democracy and started a military regime. Since then, USA reduced its diplomatic exchanges with Pakistan. America’s aim was to reestablish democracy in Pakistan. During the Clinton visit gave a signal to India that he preferred democratic regime to military rule. Clinton spent five memorable days in India, while he only spent a few hours in Pakistan. But before Clinton, US diplomats gave more importance to Pakistan than India.

Diplomatic Ties Transformed in to Strategic Partnership: The 9/11 Incident and After

His India trip proved to be a resounding success. The gain for India consisted in the shift in American perception on Kashmir, which seemed to parallel Indian policy [38]. New Delhi was really surprised and happy about Washington’s changed standpoint towards South Asia. But there were some differences between USA and India, especially on terrorism. In spite of India’s grievance about Pakistan’s support for cross-border terrorism, USA did not properly acknowledged India’s appeal. India had been faced terrorist threat since a long time with international terrorism. Initially USA did not take it seriously. But American perception about international terrorism had been totally changed after devastating attacks on itself. On 11 September 2001 Al Qaeda terrorist group attacked World Trade Center (W.T.C.) in New York. WTCs twin tower, the pride of USA were totally broken down by this attack.

The Bush administration’s firm and swift response to 9/11 raised India’s hopes of a sympathetic and effective US action to force Pakistan to deal with the terrorist camps operating from within its territory [39]. But USA forgot that it only depended on Pakistan’s cooperation. If Islamabad took some bold and strict steps against Taliban terrorist group and stopped its support to internal terrorist group then it could be possible. USA needed Pakistani support to fight against international terrorism. So India’s fear that America’s South Asian Policy would fall back into the old groove, regressing to the days when Pakistan’s importance as a frontline state had led the US to forgive all its sins. On the one hand USA and India gave all of their efforts for rebuilding their faithful relations; on the other hand the U.S and Pakistan renewed their old relationship [40].

After terrorist attack on World Trade Centre, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Pakistan and India between 15th and 17th of October, 2001. A discussion was held between Powell and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee giving some negative reaction to Powell, which was not satisfactory to US govt.

India’s perceptions or reactions were as follows

1. Although India agreed to help U.S.A. to fight against international terrorism and promised to give military support to USA in operations against Taliban which is rooted in Afghanistan, yet USA has again chosen Pakistan over India as an active partner.

2. USA has tilted towards Pakistan in Kashmir question.

3. USA is not interested in acting against terrorism sponsored by Pakistan against India. USA is only concerned with terrorism directed against the US and its allies in Western Europe and against countries like Japan [41].

4. Colin Powell’s statement that, ‘Jammu and Kashmir is a central issue in Indo-Pak relations’. This statement has been objected by India, which asserts that it is cross border terrorism but not Jammu and Kashmir which is central issue.

5. India was disappointed about the U.S. Because the US was not taking any strong step against Pakistan, or USA did not declare Pakistan as a terrorist country.

India’s effort for declaring Pakistan as a terrorist country by the U.S.A. has been successful after 26/11 incident. After the Mumbai blast India created a strong pressure on the U.S.A. with strong evidence to declare Pakistan as a terrorist country. The U.S.A. declared Pakistan responsible for international terrorism. The USA further declared that Pakistan involved in anti-Indian activities. Needless to say, it was a great diplomatic gain for India.

However, New Delhi’s offer of military facilities to the US during the Afghan Campaign was not that crucial for the operation, mainly because India did not share any border with Afghanistan [42]. Nonetheless; it was significant that such an offer was never made. India’s keenness to support the war effort was evident when the Indian navy subsequently provided valuable by escorting US vessels bearing supplies for Afghanistan as they transited along the Malacca Straits [43]. These initiatives clearly indicated that the means, goals and world views of both countries had begun to change as both adapted to new realities. Their bilateral relationship was being pushed to a new level. The US President Bush (Jr.) in early 2002 vowed preference for regarding India as an essential part of the larger Asian balance of power system. Moreover, America’s willingness to uphold the Sanctity of the LoC found favour with New Delhi [44].

All countries of South Asia are watching the Indo-US strategic embrace with trepidation. India’s old position of keeping the US out of the subcontinent’s politics has not only been reversed, but India is being seen as the State that will further the US interests in this region and beyond [45]. The Indo-US engagements have raised threat perceptions in the entire Asia Pacific region. Even US Congress and policy analysts have noted that the new US linkages with India have “significant implications” for Asia and on US relations with Pakistan and China. The Indian foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee has asserted that India rejects “outmoded” practices such as the “balance of Power” between India and China. The US however, adheres to it and it forms the crux of their relations in Asia where the containment of China is part of national Security doctrines. India’s close defense tie up with Israel is testimony to this. India’s old position of support to the Palestine cause is much more muted. India voted with the US on sanctions against Iran and then abstained a second time [46].

The first Bush administration (2000-04) had deliberately cultivated equal relations with both India and Pakistan; the second attempted the same. Among the momentous decisions made by the US in early 2005 was the resumption of F-16 fighter aircraft sales to Pakistan. India was understandably upset by this change in policy, but its reaction was subdued rather than vehement [47]. But Washington did not delay to announce to help India. Because to USA India is emerging as world power in every aspects in this century. Immediately U.S.A. gave counter offer to India for selling F-16 fighter. But India demanded for further developed F-18 or F-20 fighters. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice remarked that: “What we are trying to do is solidify and extend relations with both India and Pakistan at a time when we have good relations with both of them - something most people didn’t think could be done - and at a time when they have improving relations with one another [48].”

C. Raja Mohan observed that the paradox of Indo-US relations can be understood only in terms of the American towards India’s periphery and the consequences for Indian security. While there was no direct conflict of interest between India and the United States, the latter’s relations with Pakistan and China and India’s ties with the Soviet Union created a political dynamic that was impossible to reverse. US policy toward India’s neighbours in the Cold War era was driven by the imperative of the American global geopolitical competition with the Soviet Union [49]. In 1998 when US President Bill Clinton visited Bangladesh then it indicated that the US has vested interests in South Asia. U.S.A.’s diplomatic activism in South Asian periphery was tension area to India. From security perception India had due cause for fearing. To Indian foreign policy makers the biggest challenge is in coping with uncertain relationship between Washington and Beijing. However, India and United States have expanding stakes in regional and sub regional cooperation in South Asia. India and the USA both also have a common interest in ensuring that the fledgling democracy in Bangladesh - one of the World’s largest Islamic nationssucceeds. Promotion of moderate and modern Islam in Bangladesh is of considerable political value to both India and USA. In many ways Bangladesh could become a more important economic priority than Pakistan for both India and the U.S.A [50].

Actually , India has serious differences with the U.S. on various issues, including Iraq, the government claims that it had acted in the larger and long - term interests of India [51]. Some of the foreign policy experts have argued that the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Deal have been done by USA obviously to contain China. Undoubtedly Washington has in mind a new balance in Asia in which China did not run away with dominance and which would also secure its own continued central role in Asia. For India, the United States has been far too important to ignore, in as much as the United States has always been seen as both a source of advanced technology and a global hegemony. Given India’s regional ambitions, it has always felt the need for recognition of this role as it’s done by the United States [52].

Recent studies from the United States reflect changes in US perceptions of India. There is a growing demand that the United States move beyond its zero-sum-approach toward India and Pakistan and aim to redress the imbalance by engaging with India [53]. Even before the nuclear tests, an important RAND corporation study has suggested that future instability in South Asia may be caused by Pakistani insecurity from Indian economic and technological growth and not necessarily by any overt Indian attempt to establish military hegemony over Pakistan [54].

For policy makers of Washington, closer military relationship with India will serve multiple purposes. Firstly, Washington regards India as a vital balancing force in Asia, where several emerging powers exist. Zhao Oinghai, a Chinese international affairs researcher has pointed out that, “There is a military meaning under Washington’s pledge to “help India to become a competitor of China.” Secondly, overstretched by two wars, the United States obviously hopes to find a new partner like India to share some of its burden across the globe. Thirdly, the U.S. defense industry could benefit from growing U.S. arms sale to India, which has been increasing defense procurement. Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing co. are competing for India’s plan to buy 126 multirole fighters, which would be one of the largest arms deals in the world.

India’s nonalignment and independent foreign policy is unlikely to change. India’s traditional relations with Russia and other key regional players may require a balance when dealing with the United States and other countries at the same time. According to Robert O. Blake, “Climate change is another thorny issue where there is room to make progress. The United States views India as a partner in confronting the interrelated challenges of clean development, energy, and climate change [55].” But India’s stand point about climate change is not the same to USA. The U.S.A. always claims that third world countries are responsible for global warming and the resulting climate change. But India has been protesting against this view. According to Manmohan Singh the Prime Minister of India “First world countries are also same responsible for climate change.” Already the Washington and New Delhi are working together to promote more energy efficient buildings, clean coal technology, and the use of solar, wind, hydro and other clean energy alternatives to ensure a lower carbon future.

Some analysts of USA are concerned that, as Washington pursues a new “Strategic Partnership” with New Delhi, U.S. government attention to such abuses has waned. According to the U.S. state Department’s country Report on Human Rights Practices, 2006, the Indian government “generally respected the human rights of its citizens, however, numerous serious problems remained.” A major U.S. news outlet claimed that some U.S. officials had urged that India placed in the Tier 3 category, which is known as “blacklist” can be bad to penalties in lien of swift government action. These officials reportedly were overruled by the secretary of state, who instead called for a special six month evaluation of New Delhi’s progress in this area [56]. Upon the report’s release, the head of state’s trafficking office, Ambassador Mark Lagan said, “The Tier 2 Watch List is not supposed to become a parking lot for governments lacking the will or interest to stop exploitation and enslavement on their soil”, and he called India “the world’s largest democracy with the world’s largest problem.

Narendra Modi’s us visit in 2014: resurgence of new diplomacy

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit is significant for many reasons .During his visit Modi has discussed on various issues with his American counterpart President Obama as defence, security, economic, technological and so on. Modi and Obama met for the first time ever on September 30, 2014 in Washington. They had talked more than two hours and both sides issued an expansive vision statement chirpily titled “Chalein Saath Saath” [57] (Forward together We Go) , and in a surprise move, the leaders essayed a joint op-ed in the Washington Post pledging a partnership that is “robust reliable and enduring”.

During the Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s regime Indo-US diplomatic relations has witnessed many ups and downs. In regarding Pokhran II issue India’s relations with the US had reached in bitter position. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was willing to maintain a close relation with the US .Washington was also eager to remain a warm relation with India looking towards its diplomatic, economic and strategic interests. The US also has a keen strategic interest to India. To fight against international terrorism American government declared India as a reliable partner. To maintain world peace and the ensure the securities of nation states the US and India were agreed to work jointly .Bilateral arms trade, e-commerce, space and IT research exchange programme was reached at highest position during the NDA I government. I would discuss this later. During his visit in US Modi, took it as an opportunity for enduring and the bilateral relations However, The notable point is that, when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujrat, then American administration had refused the Modi’s visa application for US. The US had accused that Modi was involved in communal riot in Gujrat in 2003. Actually American administration has no option as India. India’s reliable image in world politics with a potential market and vibrant democracy India is a full of package to American administration. It is very clear to Washington the reliability of Pakistan and democratic question Pakistan is a failure state. Pakistan is also responsible for the changing contours of Indo-US relations. Actually, since the very beginning, Pakistan factor is an irritable factor between India and the USA to be specific since 1954 just after concluding of US-Pakistan Military Pact. Throughout the Cold War era Pakistan had tried to misguide the UG to go against India. Narendra Modi, has a clear and bold concern about Pakistan Unlike Manmohan Singh, he is not ready to spent so much time to impose international pressure on Pakistan .Modi is ready to established Pakistan as a terrorist country, which is spreading cross border terrorism in South Asia. Duding Vajpayee’s regime Indo- US joint working group was established to counter international terrorism. Modi has emphasized on Indo-US strategic relations where terrorist activities of Pakistan is vital .During his visit Modi talked with Obama on growing terrorist activities of Pakistan and security threat of South Asia. It is not a new phenomenon. During the Kargil war, 1999, Prime Minister Vijpayee had sought against Pakistan and surprisingly US President Bill Clinton had vehemently criticized Pakistan to cross the LoC and starting of unjustified war. As per Clinton’s direction Pakistan had withdrawn its military troops from the Kargil border. It was a diplomatic gain to India. Narendra Modi, has tried to revitalized and reshaped the Indo-US diplomatic and strategic relations. Kashmir issue irreconcilable issue with Pakistan. Several US Presidents had shown interest resolve this problem as a mediator. India had strongly opposed the third part intervention in this regard .During his speech in UN General Assembly, Nawaz Shariff had raised the Kashmir issue to internationalize it. Narendra Modi also made it clear to US President that India is against of third party intervention on Kashmir issue. On October 24, 2014 India has taken a policy no talks with Pakistan under shadow of terrorism. The significance of this declaration is in spite of taking peace initiatives from Indian side, Pakistan creates mistrust.

The op-ed largely echoed the “Vision Statement”, which, while short of announcing a formal US-India alliance, is redolent of a transcendental partnership aimed at elevating the relationship to a higher plane than enjoys now. The crux of the joint statement emphasized a deep and abiding security partnership. “Our strategic partnership is a joint endeavor for prosperity and peace. Through intense consultations, joint exercises and shared technology, our security cooperation will make the region and the world safe and secure. Together , we will combat terrorist threats and keep our homelands and citizens safe from attacks, while we have respond expeditiously to humanitarian disasters and crises” [58].

The vision statement also suggested upcoming agreements, overt or covert, while supporting “open and inclusive rules –based global order, in which India, assumes greater multilateral responsibility, including in a reformed United Nations Security Council.” Although there is a wide difference regarding the responsibility of climate change between the two states, yet both leaders have agreed to take some positive steps on climate change .Obama and Modi have expressed their willingness to mitigate the problems of global warming and climate change. Both leaders have cleared their stand point on climate change. They said, climate change threatens both our countries and we will join together to mitigate its impact and adapt to our changing environment. However, Modi should have to tactfully handle the global warming issue related with US. In 2009 an international conference was held in Copenhagen, which hosted by the U.N.O. Then The US President of US has blamed that third world countries are responsible for increasing of global warming. Then the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, has opposed it. There were some extended areas of partnership, including US support for a “clean India “ campaign, where the two sides will leverage private and civil society innovation, expertise and technology to improve sanitation and hygiene throughout India. Both countries have also agreed to expand their joint effort to empower women, build capacity and improve food security in Afghanistan and Africa. Never the less, since 2002, in the post Taliban era, India has given tremendous effort to reconstruction of Afghanistan in many ways. It has spent already billions of US $ for various developmental activities of Afghanistan. It was actually a part of bilateral strategic and security partnership.

Narendra Modi’s appeal to the US to stay on in Afghanistan came hours before the US and Afghanistan signed a bilateral security agreement. With the deal inked, the US, Obama said, will focus on two main activities in Afghanistan “targeting the remnants of Alqaida and training, advising and assisting the Afghanistan National Security Forces.” India and Afghanistan will observe whether the US takes its counter-terrorism measures inside Pakistan. However, Modi’s appeal to the US on Afghanistan is interesting also because New Delhi has, until recently, held that the US was part of the Afghanistan problem. Its fatal attraction for Pakistan, apparent inability to see that problems for Afghanistan lay inside Pakistan, promised dark days for Afghanistan as it struggled to find a place under the sun. Afghanistan requires the help of US to ensure its democracy and security. India’s security is also closely related with Afghanistan.

India itself is surrounded by enemies. India requires US help to combat terrorism and cross border terrorism and to establish a stable and peaceful region. India’s strategic partnership with the US is an extension its long vision diplomacy. Energy security is another crucial issue both for US and India. India is hugely dependent to mitigate its fuel crisis. Indo-US civil nuclear deal was concluded in 2008 to mitigate its energy crisis. A strong controversy was raised on this treaty. According to this treaty US will supply uranium to India to generate electricity and entire uranium would be use foe civilian purpose not for defence and armaments. That treaty was a strategic and diplomatic gain for India. In spite of vehement opposition and criticism of China and Pakistan “Indo-US Civil Nuclear Agreement” was concluded successfully. It was a message to the world community India has become a reliable partner of USA. However, during his Washington visit Modi has once again tried to revitalized Indo-US energy security ties.

The growing synergies between the United States and India have shown during Modi’s visit in Washington. The US President gave importance to Indian Prime Minister rather than Pakistani Prime Minister. It was a significant message to India. In South Asia as well as in world politics US has been considering India an emerging power. After becoming the Prime Minister of India Modi, getting priority. After Devjani Khabdegare case (January, 2014) Indo-Us relations reached at a lowest point. The US government did not maintain rules of diplomatic immunities on this case. India has vehemently criticized on this case. In reply India also cut off some privileges of American embassy of New Delhi. Regarding the Bangladesh general election stand point of India was differed from the US. In spite of being a terrorist state Pakistan is still receiving a huge amount of foreign aid from the US. India is dissatisfied about the double standard policy of US towards South Asia. It is true that India needs US assistance to establish a stable South Asia.

India and the USA are two democracies in the world between which a tremendous of mistrust and non cooperation remained for a long time. On Kashmir issue, PTBT, NPT, NAM, CTBT issue, not supplying of uranium at Tarapur nuclear plant, imposing sanction on ISRO, Pokhran II issue, Devjani Khabdegare issue Indo-US relations was damaged in many times. During the Cold war period ideological differences got priority in India’s foreign policy. In 1991, a coalition government was formed led by congress party under the Prime Minister of Narashima Rao. India has adopted a liberal economic policy to revive and reconstruction it’s broken down economic structure. India felt uncertainty of getting supports from Russia. India was bound to tilt towards the leader of Unipolar world, the US. There was no option for India. Since then India has abandoned its idealistic foreign policy and took a realistic views. Market economy, FDI, MNCs were become major determinants of India’s foreign policy. However, economic and diplomatic ties gradually transformed into strategic partnership since NDA I government.

American Medias have given priority and importance on Modi’s visit. Once up on a time Modi was rejected by the US administration, now he becomes the focused by the US administration as well as US business houses and Medias. Actually, personal chemistry is a factor in bilateral relations. The relations between Bill Clinton and Vajpayee in personal level were so close. The successor of Vajpayee, has given so importance by the Obama administration. It is never the less, to say US policy towards India has been shifted in several times randomly .However, Modi’s US visit has drawn a fair amount of media coverage, including editorial comments and opinions. US companies as well as US economy have been suffering from economic crisis .The have aimed to invest and accelerate their business link with India. The US is aware about Modi’s policy towards foreign investments. Apart from economic issues strategic and defence issues got priority in Modi’s visit. However, Modi’s government will need to be much more forthright about removing the threat of retroactive taxation that hangs over foreign companies. Modi would open up key sectors-especially defence and space research and exchange programs. India and the US can cooperate more closely in space exploration and cyber defence, in fighting terrorism and piracy, and in preventing the disease such as Ebola. These issues are not new between the two countries. Indo-US defence ties were concluded earlier. To prevent AIDS US government had given a handsome amount of US $ in the previous years .To prevent new dieses like Ebala both can take further initiatives. As a part of Indo- US strategic relations so many initiatives have taken by the both sides in IT sectors. Through using of information technology both countries can prevent cyber terrorism .Modi has shown a keen interest in this regard.

During his visit Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasised on ‘defence economy’. He invited American defence companies to invest in India and also told US President Obama he hoped for a deal soon to allow WTO trade facilitation deal blocked by India to go forward. Both leaders have talked on space research. Eventually, both countries have successfully sent space vehicles to the Mach in September, 2014. Modi stated,” I am happy that we are meeting here just a few days after the India and US missions reached Mars at the same time. After India- US summit on Mars, we are meeting on earth.” US government had imposed sanctioned on ISRO for a long times .However, sanctioned had been withdrawn couple of years back. Now time to enhance the space research programme between the two for mankind.

Research Findings

In spite of differences in many issues, there are two issues are present between two which can enhance the closeness. Firstly, democratic values of India and the US may play the role of catalyst. The US is the oldest and India is the largest democracies in the world. They may play the key role for reconstruction of democracy throughout the world. During his visit Modi and Obama have agreed on this issue. Already I have mentioned in Afghanistan both countries have paid tremendous efforts for fostering the democratic forces. Indo-US relations has witnessed many ups and downs during the Cold War period. Although a slight favourable situation was found just after the India’s independence. During Indian independence the US was sympathetic to India’s freedom struggle against the British rule. The democratic ideals of America also greatly fascinated the Indian leaders, especially Nehru. Nehru had keen interest to make close relations with the US. With a huge expectation and dream Nehru had paid a visit to Washington in 1949. Nehru was attracted by the democratic system of America. The first visit to Washington was not fruitful. Nehru had given numbers of proposals to US president, David Truman for various developmental programmes of India. But no assurance was given by US president. Nehru’s idealistic point of view towards got setback. However, there were so many issues between India and the US where they differed from each other. According to Dennis Kux,”nether the neither Cold War nor anti-colonialism caused the first bilateral differences between the United States and India. A controversy has risen over the unfinished business of partition-the dispute over the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Secondly, A grate linkage is remaining significant in Indo- US relations. It is special and quite relevant today because of peace and non violence. The world has witnessed so many violent, cruel and in humanitarian incidents. Thousands of peoples are dying every day. It is not expected. Mahatma Gandhi of India and Marin Luther King of USA are two right persons for maintaining of world peace. During his visit Modi significantly has gifted to Obama that is the first special edition of the ‘Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi’. On the other hand Modi has received a special gift from Barack Obama –‘Martin Luther King Jr’s memorabilia from his 1959 India visit, including an air recording of his speech and a photo of king at Raj Ghat’4. The philosophy of Gandhi and Martin Luther King can enhance the peace process in the world. Both leaders have rightly raised the context of these two great persons. Thirdly, after 9/11 incident the US had started to give priority India rather than Pakistan. To American perception, India is a reliable partner which may fight against international terrorism. So, US government has started multi dimensional strategic relations with India through joint naval exercise, air exercise and jungle warfare. In reply, India was also interested to do this for suppressing Pakistan and China. Fourthly, India needs US diplomatic support for getting permanent membership in Security Council. To get low interest loan from World Bank and IMF India needs American support. On the other hand, US has requires India for its big and potential market. However, in the post Cold War period market economy has become the key factor in Indo-US diplomatic relations, which has been revitalized by Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India through his historical visit to the US in September, 2014.


India’s quest for being a permanent member of UNO‘s security Council, required America’s diplomatic support. Modi should revitalize the former strategic policy of India towards USA with a new outlook. The strategic partnership was strongly started with India during Vajpayee regime. As a successor of Vajpayee, Narendra Modi should tactfully handle its strategic policy towards America. During UPA I government Indo-US relations had reached at the apex point with the conclusion of Civil Nuclear Agreement. This government has to face various criticisms from oppositions and its allied parties. UPA I was formed by several regional parties headed by Congress and left parties supported this government from the outside. On nuke deal issue left parties have had withdrawn their supports from the UPA government in 2008. They have raised a question of Indian sovereignty on nuke deal. The immediate obligation of a coalition government is over dependency on allied parties. Fear of broken-down of government, majority party is compelled to consultation with allied parties before going to take any crucial decision. The UPA II government has to face the same question. However, in many issues related to US, Manmohan Singh government could not take bold decision of its compulsion of coalition politics as well as national interest. Narendra Modi becomes the Prime Minister of India through majority vote. Former BJP led NDA government’s Prime Minister Vajpayee had to face some problems of obligation of coalition politics. Modi is free from this trouble. Narendra Modi should make a blue print of future of Indo-US relations. In terms of internal politics, now ball in Modi’s court. He can take any decision any time without consultation with others. National interest is the focal point of foreign policy. India should keep in mind sometimes national prestige might have been prior to national interest. On Devjani Khabregare case India had given much more priority to national prestige rather than national interest. Modi should set Indo-US relations on bargaining basis. The strategic relations with US can be used for economic and technological cooperation. Foreign Direct investment is required for India’s further economic development. Yet, it should keep in mind as US defence companies and agencies along with other MNCs can’t control Indian economic and defence policy. For security purposes India would maintain a balance ties with the USA.


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