31 October, 2020

Been So Long, Archiekins

Indo-US relations have traversed tough terrain and endured

Been So Long, Archiekins
In '47, India and the US expected that they had enough in common to sustain a good relationship. There were doubts and suspicions in both countries, but there was also a sense that they should be close. They both had democracy and Anglo-Saxon institutions. They could communicate in English. They were large pluralistic societies. Economic production was largely in the hands of private producers, even in India. Their newspapers and intellectuals were free and lively. Their people were God-fearing and religious-minded, yet their public life was secular. Both were reluctant to get involved in other people's fights, although the US had fought two world wars and would soon be at war in Korea. India too would be involved in war with its neighbours Pakistan and China.

Looking back over the last sixty years, all the commonalities notwithstanding, the relationship turned out quite differently from what might have been predicted. What happened?

First, their strategic views were often different enough for the commonalities to be submerged. The...


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