Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Obama on India

Recently "India Indeed" emailed the Obama campaign with a few questions for the US presidential hopeful and strong democratic contender Senator Barack Obama. I asked about the role he expects India would and does play in world politics, his support for the nuclear agreement and if he would visit India if here were to become President.

Although the response was a bit generic and rehearsed in parts, it was prompt and resonated with his support for strengthening ties with India. While I assume that the letter was not actually penned by the Senator but by an authorized spokesperson, he is the signatory on the letter and its contents must reflect his opinions and policies.

In his letter he draws parallels with the US on the value for the rule of law and cultural pluralism among other goals and interests. He says our commonalities in values and united fight against all forms of threat to its citizen's way of life make him support "joint initiatives in fields from military cooperation to public health to energy and technology", without a direct reference to the nuclear deal with India.

In light of India's 60th year of independence, he alludes to Mahatma Gandhi's freedom struggle as influential to young Americans and inspiring velvet revolutions in Eastern Europe and the abolishing of apartheid.

He acknowledges the "strong contribution" of Indian Americans who have been "balancing love of the homeland with a strong commitment to America".

Gandhi's non-violent revolution seems to have deeply influenced his belief in "peaceful organizing to bring about popular rule ". This according to him is also India's enduring legacy and one of India's greatest gifts.

Do his glowing tributes indicate his intent to visit India in the future? With no answer to that question, I assume it's a "maybe"!

View full text of the letter from Senator Obama at "India Indeed In-depth"

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