India did not have an ambassador in Iraq for seven years. Once that post was restored in 2011, among his first ventures was a visit to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region. Three years later, as a separate Kurdish nation becomes even more likely, India needs to make its presence felt there, while the Chinese have already established economic ties.
Even as Narendra Modi does diplomacy with Barack Obama and the Chinese, he’s obviously at greater ease working with those attuned to his centre-right vision, such as Japan's Shinzo Abe and Australia's Tony Abbott, writes Anirudh Bhattacharyya.
The derailment of a potential engagement between Modi and Sharif in New York isn’t quite a train wreck as far as India’s foreign policy imperatives are concerned. But if a dialogue does ensue, possibly after US pressure, it will give Pakistan an opportunity to internationalise the Kashmir issue.
Many US presidents are southpaws. There is little proof that PM Modi is left-handed. He signed in as PM favouring his right hand. But that hasn’t prevented the Indian Left Hander Club from claiming him as a member, writes Anirudh Bhattacharyya.
Once the self-appointed champion of the Global South, India has, in recent years, shown signs of a psychological shift to a philosophy of pragmatism.
As the Brazil World Cup reaches its climax, it has been marked by the quadrennial exercise in dissing the global sport. Among those at the forefront of the affront is author Ann Coulter, who opined in a column: "I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer."
India’s security establishment has enough to worry about on the terrorist front in West Asia. But it also faces a challenge in cyberspace, in the propaganda battle against those like LeT chief, writes Anirudh Bhattacharyya.
Modi’s mandarins may well argue with respect to the Obama White House that if it quacks like one and limps along like one, it is indeed a lame duck. In effect, New Delhi may have to wait until January 2017 to catch the drift and truly revitalise ties.
The Narendra Modi government will have to put some distance between itself and Washington while it charts out its own course for Kabul. Anirudh Bhattacharyya writes.
Modi and Obama are obviously pols apart, in terms of ideology. But it seems rather obvious that as with the Obama campaign, the Modi team finessed the craft of sentiment management and presentiment marketing, writes Anirudh Bhattacharyya.
If Narendra Modi does become PM, come September, expect him to take Manhattan, arriving there to address the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Leaders of countries do not need the US’ permission to camp in New York at summit time.
Despite systems in place in the US to increase voter turnout in polls, it cannot match the Indian voter when it comes to participation at election time.
For all their interest in elections in India, NRIs are not yet a significant constituency for any political party. They may be treated as ATMs, but it’ll take some more capital and electoral reform before they evolve into a full-fledged vote-bank.
It’s possible that many will be unaware of the Afghan polls since that country appears to have gone off the radar just as the MH370 did recently. While Barack Obama is grappling with a greater threat than the Taliban, the fallout of the botched birth of Obamacare, Putin has brought the Big Bad Bear out of the closet and into Crimea.
Even if the current crisis in Ukraine subsides, Vladimir Putin is likely to keep pushing, sensing a lack of purpose in a White House that always wimps out in its worldview.