Down the Memory Lane… Ever Evolving Relationship

It is always important to see both views before commenting on an issue. Having lived in India and currently being in the US, it gives a good view of how both countries react to one another while being in both these countries. With ever transitioning relationship between India and US, this post is dedicated to watching news about the other country in both India and US.
Like any relationship in the world, U.S and India have had their own share of peaks and troughs in the relationship that has lasted well over 60 years. Let us take a look at the ride these powerful democracies shared with a lasting impact on the world history. As both countries look to improve their relationships further, this trip down the memory lane is our attempt to look at how far we have come and the peaks that we still need to scale.
1. US and India were largely unaffected by each other until the World War 2 when US began to support the Indian freedom struggle in the early 1940s and stopped the pressure on UK only when Winston Churchill threatened to resign.
2. Upon Indian Independence and new found freedom, India’s first Prime Minister, Pt. Nehru’s trip to US in 1948 was a diplomatic gaffe and strained the relations with his semi-Russian leanings and his adverse outlook towards capitalism .
3. However, since 1950, US has given India millions in aid and gifts and in 1959, Dwight Eisenhower became the first US president to visit India.
4. With more countries taking sides in the Cold War, India chose to employ the Non-Alignment Policy without a clear favour towards the US or the erstwhile USSR which greatly irked US.
5. In the 1962, Indo-Sino war, US supported India and almost sent fighter jets for India’s help in order to check the growing Chinese social influence and the planes turned just before entering the Indian airspace.
6. In a marked U-turn, US supported Pakistan in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war and this war eventually resulted in the independence of Bangladesh or the then East Pakistan.
7. In 1978, Jimmy Carter, the then President of United States, visited India and held bilateral talks and reviewed the situation in South-East Asia. However, the bilateral coordination did not continue as Carter’s successors continued to ignore India for almost 20 years after that.
8. The 1979 invasion of Afghanistan calmed tensions between US and India as further Russian aggression could cause geo-political instability which in turn would have affected the US.
9. In 1998, as India conducted yet another round of nuclear testing, US tried to impose sanctions and trade restrictions but with dot com peak and strong economy, US measure failed to achieve the intended outcomes.
10. In the year 2000, things began looking upward with the visit of the then US President Bill Clinton when he spent 5 days in India and mere 5 hours in Pakistan and lifted previous sanctions and stopped pressurizing the Indian government to sign the infamous Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
11. Things improved further when the 123 agreement was signed in 2006 which led to bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation between the two countries.
12. 2008 saw the successful signing of the Civilian Nuclear Pact by the then U.S President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
13. With successive Prime Minsters Dr. Manmohan Singh’s US visit in 2013 and Narendra Modi’s visit in 2014 followed by US President Barack Obama’s Indian visit where he was the Chief Guest for the 2015 Republic Day parade, Indo-US relationships are at an all time high and hopefully the relationship continues the same and remains fruitful

Overall, there have been a lot of crests and troughs spread throughout. The original hiatus was broken with the visit of Bill Clinton and became the key turning point and the subsequent years continue to see an ever improving relationship between the two countries. As the major democratic states in the world economy, a good mutual relationship is vital to both powers as well as to world trade and stability. With newer reforms to enhance bilateral ties, improving immigration laws, a new road lies ahead which will eventually become a part of history as a fruitful and rewarding relationship for both countries.
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Srinidhi Govindarajan
Team Netapedia

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