The U.S. continues to pursue carrot and stick policy towards India

On Thursday, U.S. ambassador to India Nancy Powell met with Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi, the most popular PM candidate, in Gandhinagar. The meeting marked an end to the diplomatic boycott of Modi by the U.S. and the admission of the fact that attempts to remove Washington’s least favourite politician from the Indian political scene have suffered a failure. However, Washington has no plans to give up its policy of carrot and stick towards India, says Boris Volkhonsky, an expert at the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies.

The Chief Minister of Gujarat, a leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, has been banned from entering the U.S. due to his alleged involvement in Muslim pogroms in the state in 2002. Although, Narendra Modi has fallen into disgrace with Washington, this has not affected his popularity across the country. At present, the victory of the BJP in the elections in the spring is seen as inevitable, while Narendra Modi is considered as the most possible PM candidate, says Volkhonsky.

“In short, the U.S. has fallen into its own trap. It’s one thing to slander an opposition politician, but when this concerns the future Prime Minister, it’s a different story. The partners of the U.S. understood this some time ago. The British High Commissioner lifted the boycott in October 2012, this was followed by senior diplomats of several countries in the European Union and Asia,’ Volkhonsky said.

Washington has continued to pursue a policy of the rejection of Modi. Even this time, announcing the meeting of the American ambassador with the Chief Minister of Gujarat, a U.S. State Department official said that a ban on entry visa to Modi would remain unchanged. In short, after throwing a carrot, the U.S. decided not to reject the stick completely.

Most likely, Washington believes that the future Indian government regardless who heads, it will inevitably has to follow the policy of strategic partnership with the U.S. Narendra Modi himself supports such an opinion although he has abstained from making commentaries on the situation concerning the rejection of entry visa, says Volkhonsky.

“The situation is not so simple. The logic of the developments in international relations demands a rapprochement of India with the U.S. Both countries are worried over the growing influence of China in the world and are not interested in spreading its influence to the Asia-Pacific region and the Indian Ocean. Lately, these two regions have been united into Indo-Pacific in political literature.

“However, the practical implementation of Washington’s strategy of rapprochement with Delhi has often turned against India, which according to Washington strategists, is at first glance allocated the role of younger partner. For one, several years ago, in its anti-Iranian fervor, the U.S. forced India to cut Iranian oil imports sharply. Eventually, this has led to a rise in the prices of consumer goods, inflation and sharp fall in the exchange rate of rupee,” Volkhonsky said.

The U.S. continues its policy of dictate towards India even now. This shows not only the scandalous detention of an Indian diplomat in New York last year. In the past weeks, the U.S. has launched a large-scale campaign against India’s economic policy, which allegedly contradicts American interests. As a result, sanctions have been imposed against pharmaceutical companies that produce generics, cheap and affordable branded medicines. This week, U.S. International Trade Commission initiated a large-scale investigation on Trade, Investment and Industrial Policies in India: Effects on the U.S. Economy.

Determination to establish relations with the potential candidate for Prime Minister is quite reasonable. However, the meeting of the American ambassador with Narendra Modi cannot conceal the main thing. The U.S. has no intention to give up its policy of putting pressure, even while throwing sweet pills.

India USA