U.S. Foreign Policy, India, and Leadership

By | May 20, 2014

[May 20, 2014] The country of India, the world’s largest democracy, just had a major election that resulted in a major victory for Narendra Modi and his party. What is so special about this turn of events? Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party want to make progress in breaking through India’s law and culture to create greater economic freedom.

Have you heard about this election? Does the average American even know it occurred and that the significance is important to the United States? Probably not, and probably not for many reasons.

Yet, this is probably one of the greatest opportunities for India in decades … and by extension a tremendous opportunity for America. All great leaders take advantage of opportunities.

We continue the status quo. For decades, the U.S. has had a rather consistent but lukewarm foreign policy1 when it comes to the country of India. For a variety of reasons, the policy has been one that we simply maintain a nondescript friendly relationship; not a strong relationship as might be expected given democratic India’s size and economic potential.

Modi is being compared to Britian’s Margaret Thatcher for his leadership and desire to free up the country’s economic engine. He is also atypical, similar to Thatcher, not being born rich into an upper class family. This is in contrast to India’s historically dominating Congress Party that is composed mostly of the Nehru and Gandhi families.

We understand that Modi wants closer ties with America. The opportunities for both America and India are immeasurable and very positive. Is the United States stuck in its old foreign policy mold? Will U.S. senior leadership take advance of this development for the benefit of all? Only time will tell.

This is something Americans need to consider. Will America’s senior leadership also take advantage of this opportunity?

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[1] Some say our foreign policy toward India is more muddled than lukewarm. Regardless, there are many that believe we should be closer to India for reasons that make sense and advantageous to all. See article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-with-modi-heading-to-victory-in-india-us-policy-needs-to-change/2014/05/15/830a8b0e-dc80-11e3-8009-71de85b9c527_story.html

 

 

 

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.