American president Barack Obama has uttered the word ‘India’ in a sentence and the conchshells are being blown to high heaven in New Delhi. What he said as part of his greetings to India on Republic Day was that the Indian people “have no better friend and partner than the people of the United States”.
Now our diplomats, unlike grammarians, failed to notice the importance of who was the subject and who the predicate. There would have been a somewhat more understandable happiness if Mr Obama had said that the American people have no better friend than India. But then, who’s going to play partypooper for our desi admirers of the global top dog? The fact is that the mandarins in New Delhi all pulled a long face when Mr Obama, in his inaugural speech as president last week, failed to utter the ‘I’ word. While Pakistan and other nations were name-dropped, India wasn’t even mentioned in passing. That itself sent shivers down South Block spines.
Has Sri George W. Bush been replaced by someone who didn’t want to be friends with India? That funk has now lifted. Mr Obama does think of India. In fact, going by the celebrations among our policy experts, Mr Obama loves India that can finally thank its lucky stars that it’s no longer friendless.