Come 9th November (IST) and the world will be holding its breath as US citizens vote for the most influential post in the world with far reaching effects, to choose who will be the 45th President of United States of America. Top 2 contenders at the moment are Donald Trump Presidential nominee for Republican Party and Hillary Clinton Presidential nominee for Democratic Party. Both are neck to neck if one goes with the latest poll numbers as the difference in the lead is less than 4% among both candidates in the general poll numbers across US. Amongst many things which are at stake in this election it will also influence how the US-India relations emerge in the near future. From the available information we can gather an insight on what we might see if they are elected as presidents.
Many in media both in US and in India want to make sure Clinton wins as she has been part of the establishment which makes it easier for them to have the same status-quo and nothing changes from the current dispensation. One must also not forget the revelations from Wikileaks on how DNC was rigged to make sure Clinton wins against Sanders. But here we are talking about how both these candidates may influence decisions with regards to India. So what do we know about Clinton’s dealings with India? Well so far it hasn’t been good for India if one looks at some sequence of events in this chronology from the time Bill Clinton became the President in 1992 till now. Listing some of the recent decisions taken by Clinton viz-a-viz India.
2009 : Bill Clinton friend and former Assistant Secretary of State Robin Raphel is known to have anti-India returned as a senior adviser on Pakistan under then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
2009: Hillary Clinton backs talks with Taliban.(Effectively saying that there is a good Taliban and Bad Taliban)
2009-2012: Hillary Clinton carries on a get-Modi campaign against Narendra Modi.(Read here on how Obama reversed it post May 2014)
2013: Clinton Global Initiative partners with evangelical Christian group World Vision
2015: Huma Abedin, a key member of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign has close links with Jihadi’s which are funded by Saudi Arabia along with her mother were working radical Islamic journal for 10 years.
2015: Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Christian missionary and India-baiter Tim Kaine admits Pakistan has connections to terror group LeT but praises Pakistan for fighting terrorists and advises India to have a better relationship with Pakistan
2016: Clinton Foundation donor linked to Pakistani arrested for corruption and harboring terrorists
Apart from this on many occasions Clinton has undermined India’s interests which has helped our enemies indirectly and made sure India suffered in long term. Over all she comes across as someone who is part of the establishment and wants to win this election at all costs. Also not to forget that she still thinks that Russia is the enemy number one for US and not the terrorism in the middle east, which of course will make it harder for India as we walk on the tight rope balancing our relationship with US and Russia as both of them are important global partners for India in the 21st century in various interest areas. Also recent Podesta leaks reveal that her campaign chief in 2015 also was sending funds to certain NGO’s and individuals which were involved in anti-India activities, including trying to block deals of Indian companies in other countries.
In short, Hilary Clinton has lied through her teeth about deleting 30,000 mails which became a major national security issue this election, rigged the party process to become the Presidential nominee and more importantly done huge amount of damage to India’s interest at Global level.
Donald Trump on the other hand is a completely new entity so far when it comes to politics. He has not served in any position of government so it is still bit unclear as to what his policy will be for South-East Asia if he wins the election but we have some interviews of his where he says that India is a partner of US and has all praises for the PM Narendra Modi, whose Visa also denied by the Obama Administration to US from 2008 on wards of which Hillary Clinton was also part of.
Trump has shown tough stand on illegal immigration and also on issuing visa to immigrant work force asking for more jobs for the American’s, this may be one of the factors which may not go down well for Indian work force which are looking to work in US on work Visa. But recently he is seen to be relenting and having a softer stand on this. But these flip-flops are not giving any confidence so far. Although to assure Indian Americans Trump recently held a rally to make his stand clear to the community.
Also if one goes by his statement on seeking India’s help with dealing Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, its assuring that US under Trump will have a tougher stand when it comes to cross-border terrorism. Pakistan is already voicing it’s concern on the idea of Trump winning the election’s as it may dent US-Pakistan relations greatly calling is a ‘Nightmare‘ for them. Many are skeptic that if he wins India will suffer economically but we are forgetting that China will suffer more which will indirectly help India boost its manufacturing capabilities.
Another important point is that Trump has clarity of thoughts when it comes to who is enemy of US and that it is the terrorism and not Russia. Even PM Modi has time and again emphasised this that all the countries need to come together to fight terrorism, also Trump doesn’t have hostile views with Russia which will go down well for India as far as foreign relations go. Trump has not done anything substantial to make us believe that he will be a better choice for Indian interest, people have argued about this in great length and here is another such argument about who will be better for India.
In the end we don’t know which candidate will win this election but whether its Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump it will be important as to how the NRI’s vote as both the candidates are trying to woo the 2.2 million strong Indian community in US. It will also decide how Indo-US elections move from here on as India aspires to become a world super power in terms of Economy and Military strength. India is a key player for US to check China so whoever wins will try to have good relations with India but how much of that will become reality only time will tell. People in India and outside better choose whom they are supporting more carefully after studying past history and what implications it holds for our future.
With Inputs from A Gourav.