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'Obama attaches a lot of value to India'

November 08, 2010 10:20 IST
Strategic thinker K Subrahamanyam shares his views on the parameters within which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United States President Barack Obama will take forward the relationship between India and the US.

Both India and America have pledged themselves to building a secular, democratic world order. People have not realised that the US and India have never shared a worldview. This is the first time in history that nearly 50 per cent of the world is being governed by democratic regimes.

Secondly, the US is in competition with China. It needs a reservoir of knowledge. For that, it can depend on China. The 21st century is knowledge-centric.

The production of knowledge will depend on how many people are working on it. The US doesn't want to lose its technological edge. In the new world order, knowledge will be the currency of power.

India can become a partner of the US in this knowledge-oriented industry.

India's democracy is under threat by terrorism from Pakistan's soil.

I don't think America is going to change its policy on Kashmir. Rather, China has changed its policy on Kashmir because they are trying to expand their position in West Asia and Pakistan is very important to them in that scheme. Their stance in West Asia is not India-centric, it is US-centric.

Obama is not operating under the 'balance of power' system of President George W Bush. Personally, Obama is not working under the old world order.

Obama is the most intellectual president since Franklin D Roosevelt (US president between 1933 and 1945). Obama, like Roosevelt, is trying to rescue America from an economic depression. Like Roosevelt, he is trying to bring about a social security network through medicare. Like Roosevelt, he has a broad worldview. He is not a Cold War man. He attaches a lot of value to India.

I am not sure he has ways to implement it. Even Dr Singh doesn't have it.

As told to Sheela Bhatt.

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K Subrahamanyam