Commentaries & Articles
Obama’s visit, India’s hopes
US President Barack Obama’s visit to India in early November has not generated much excitement so far despite its great importance and the enthusiasm that his inspirational election victory had produced almost two years ago. His complex personality has sent complex messages to India. His early Pakistan-leaning position on linking the resolution of the Kashmir problem to a successful conduct of the Af-Pak policy and working with China to promote peace and stability in South Asia touched sensitive chords in India.
OBAMA’S VISIT NEEDS TO BE SUCCESSFUL
Given the economic mutuality of the two countries, India may elicit a recognition of its territorial integrity from the US
Civil Nuclear Liability Bill is an Asset
The Civil Nuclear Liability Bill passed by Parliament needs a dispassionate appraisal as controversy has surrounded it. Its passage has not been greeted with any particular enthusiasm, as the government did not get exactly what it wanted and the opposition had no reason left to object because its amendments were acccepted. Criticism of the bill, on the other hand, has been loud - from the business lobbies and some analysts who bemoan it for ending India’s prospects of becoming a major producer of nuclear power.
SUBSTANCE WILL DEFINE VISIT NOT RHETORIC
President Obama’s forthcoming visit to India is awaited with muted expectations. Both sides need a “successful” visit so that the substantial political investment already made in the bilateral relationship is protected. The absence of a “defining” issue like the nuclear deal makes the task of projecting “success” relatively more difficult. Moreover, “decisiveness” has not marked Obama’s Presidency, and that too lowers expectations of closure on complex outstanding issues.
Erosion of the Basis of the Russia-India-China Dilogue
It is widely accepted that the global power balance is shifting from the Euro-Atlantic area to Asia, with China and India the principal emerging powers. How does Russia, which straddles both Europe and Asia, position itself in the developing scenario? Russia’s principal strategic challenge has come from the US, inducing it to reinvigorate its ties with China, but the perceived decline in US power accompanied by the spectacular rise of China in recent years, coupled with the sluggish pace of its own resurgence, presents Russia with a complex challenge.
The Dangers of Going Into Denial
China’s denial of a normal visa to General Jaswal, who heads India’s Northern Command, for the fourth round of the defence dialogue in Beijing — because he came from the “sensitive location of Jammu and Kashmir” and “people from this part of the world come with a different kind of visa” — is grave political provocation and not mere “needling”, as termed by our media. This Chinese step has many implications.
Soft State Style Won’t Work In J&K
The turmoil in Kashmir continues and government’s nerve seems to be cracking. Curfews, police firings, dying protesters have not broken the momentum of the street protests. Pressure to find a “political” solution to the problem has increased, as if the government hasn’t tried to find one in the last 63 years with a frustrating lack of success.
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The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) is a New Delhi-based think tank set up with the collaborative efforts of India's leading security experts, diplomats and philanthropists under the aegis of the Vivekananda Kendra. The VIF’s objective is to become a centre of excellence to kick start innovative ideas and thoughts that can lead to a stronger, secure and prosperous India playing its destined role in global affairs.

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