PLAYING THE TRUMP CARD FOR ANOTHER SHOT AT VICTORY

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Photo: bbc.com

Rifa Deka

A statement in which the US President accused India of not treating the western country ‘well’, and another statement where he said that he is ‘saving the big deal for later’, makes people question whether the ‘numero uno’ is saving his ‘Trump Card’ for the American Presidential Elections approaching in November. This further lowers our already low expectations of mutual interests of both countries catching any speed.

An occurrence we must not forget is that India was removed from the list of countries which would receive preferential access to the American markets. India was also labelled ‘Tariff King’ as POTUS repeatedly used the term to refer to India as only taking the right steps to protect the interest of our domestic producers.

Another actuality is that Indian immigrants contribute trillions of dollars to the US economy and Indians are some of the most entrepreneurial groups, generating employment for many Americans. The US president had also previously made remarks on how Indian immigrants settled in the US, compete directly against ‘vulnerable’ Americans.

India and the United States, however, both look forward to trading and investment exchange and both had earlier emphasized on their need to collaborate in space research, defense deals and commitment to fight ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’.

It is not news to us anymore that Modi government’s decision to revoke Article 370 and deny persecuted Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan the right to seek asylum in India ignited sparks or protests and lit fires of rebellion across the Indian subcontinent. Although India has relied on global support to fight cross-border terrorism allegedly sponsored by Pakistan to defend its decision, the same has heavily disrupted India’s diplomatic ties especially with the United States.

India previously dismissed the US president’s offers to mediate on the Indo-Pak affair, it is clear that Trump administration could stipulate concerns over human rights in India in a re-election year for Trump.

‘The  United States and India will make our future brighter than ever’, said the Donald Trump at ‘Howdy Modi’ in Texas last year, eager to strengthen ties with India to benefit from the Indian Diaspora which is an enormous vote bank to the Republicans.

Will India’s ‘Namaste Trump’ benefit us and ease our intricacies, earning us a bigger quota for H1B visas and will Indian aluminium and steel find their way into the American markets? Only time will tell whether the meet-up has the potential of turning into a tryst for the two countries, especially at a time like this, when India’s economy seems to be moving at a pace slower than that of a slug and when a blanket of turmoil envelops the most populous democracy in the world.

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