The world, though pre-occupied with the Covid-19 pandemic and its containment (in respective nations), is also waiting with bated-breath for the outcome of the U.S. elections. A week before the final outcome (i.e. on Nov.3), all countries are looking at America to gaze the mood of the electorate. In this polarised world, some are staunch supporters of Donald Trump and some are of Joe Biden. In a way, these leanings are more ideological. Those who support Trump are more bent towards nationalism; protectionism: of identity; of religion and of historical moorings of their country. They are champions of boundary-wall to their country and less/no enthusiasts of allowing migrants. They seem to be possessive of their country’s historical past and its associated colour. In a way, they are conservative Republican Party principles. However, these feelings are more fore-grounded in Trump’s presidential term i.e. since 2016 because of social media.
Joe Biden’s supporters seek for values of enlightenment, which are the realisations of the humanity after the World War-II. They, in their own way, stand for free passage of immigrants, because they believe America has become ‘great’ by the contributions of immigrants. They also stand for a free-society, free-market, freedom of speech, above all the ‘rule of law’ and human rights to prevail. Of course, they are all American values too. To the Liberal-world, religion is a great inhibitor of scientific temperament. The Liberal opinion makers would make target of Trump for the violation of the world-order they are in-sync with. To them Trump has brought in all unenlightened views of previous eras to the fore with a lightening hurry. Among them the biggest roadblock for the liberal order is: Identity-based politics leading to tribalism that is in turn to – ethnicity and religion. Perhaps, due to excess of secular liberal values espoused by liberal activists in that country back-fired to the pass of Trump-administration. It’s pertinent to note what Fukuyama had to say in his book: Identity. He writes, ‘Freedom and degree of choice that exists in a modern liberal society can also leave people unhappy and disconnected from their fellow human beings. They find themselves nostalgic for the community and structured life they think they have lost, or that their ancestor supposedly once possessed.’
In the U.S. already the die is cast. Many states had cast their vote. Many people that lined- up at the polling centres to cast their vote, were supposed to be Trump-supporters, according to political pundits. For, Trump has cast aspersions on postal-ballot/ballot by mail. Record number of voters turned up till now. Americans are calling it record of the century! Both presidential candidates are now concentrating their campaign in the swing-states that decide this election-result.
As far as India is concerned, any party the American people elect, is the legitimate/deserving party to govern that country. Because, it is the sovereign right of that country’s people to have their say. However, there are many right-leaning activists that desire Donald Trump to win. They have their strong feelings that connect with Trump’s ban on people coming from some Muslim-countries. Unlike the democrat-presidents, he would not interfere in India’s internal matters; his proximity with Indian Prime Minister Modi ji: the event of Howdy Modi! in Houston, Texas (forgetting our prime minister was close to democrat-president Barack Obama too, who was invited to the India’s Republic Day, as chief-guest); and his impertinent bashing of liberals on any given occasion. Above all, Joe Biden’s leaning towards the hard-core Left-liberals.
The 2+2 Dialogue:
On 27 Oct., India has had a 2+2 dialogue with the U.S dignitaries. India’s Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Foreign minister S. Jaishankar had talks and agreements with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper. The U.S. designated India as a Major Defence Partner. Major Agreements like: LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement), COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement), BECA (Basic Exchange and Co-operation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation) were signed. These agreements, as foreign policy measures, would continue, irrespective of whatever party comes to the power in the U.S. next. To rein-in the expansionist China, America needs India’s support strategically in this region. Like never before, all western European countries including the U.S. aspire for India’s growth in the region. This is to India’s advantage. Never before, were so many countries keen on India’s growth!
To contain China’s aggressive expansionist designs in the region of Indo-pacific, South-China-sea and in this sub-continent, the U.S. has come out in open to prop India up. As a matter of fact, it was waiting in wings for this opportunity to come. India, as a sovereign country, resisted all the while for American support. The country had a fear, where it had to lose its strategic autonomy. Now, with all checks and balances in place, India has come to these agreements. In any case, India’s pro neighbour-hood policy remains intact. In the recent 2+2 meeting of Defence and Foreign Ministers, though American dignitaries made out-right criticism of China, Indian ministers were dignified and poised in not making any comments on China overtly. The U.S. is far from this continent of Asia. The neighbourhood countries like; Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh etc. are all well aware of that they need to live in harmony with their neighbours, especially with China without provoking it.
Earlier, Australia and China were partners in business and had struck many deals. Later, when Australia came to know how deep China penetrated into their system and into their politics, they carefully crafted a policy to disentangle themselves from the Chinese network and interference. India maybe silently working for the same. Of course, it has already begun to keep Chinese business at bay. It is for India to become Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) in all the ways for its progress and to contain the hegemony of China in the region. The days ahead are bright for India.