April 15, 2010

Obama & India



There is a growing chorus of voices warning the Obama administration that it is veering off-course with India. Evan Feigenbaum offers some advice:

The administration needs to ramp up its relationship with India now. After all, even if Obama does everything right–and many Indians believe he has gone badly wrong in Afghanistan and with Pakistan–there will still be constraints on the U.S.-India relationship. India has moved beyond nonalignment, to be sure, but it has yet to coalesce around a new foreign policy vision. And although New Delhi may ultimately settle on a strategy that is conducive to a more open and global partnership with the United States, that is not assured.

In the American Interest (sub required) C. Raja Mohan makes the case that India can become an expeditionary military power (as it was under the British) and partner with the U.S. in global security.

The idea of a strengthened U.S.-India alliance is very appealing for all the obvious reasons: they're a large democracy with a growing economy located in the heart of Asia. But our relationship with Pakistan, and the counter-insurgency in Afghanistan appear to be greatly complicating efforts. I don't know how - or if - there's a formula that can keep Pakistan happy while cultivating an alliance with India (and vice-versa). Tilt too far toward India, and Pakistan has every reason to nurture its ties to Islamist terror groups as a hedge, undermining whatever fragile progress we've made in Afghanistan. Tilt too far toward Pakistan, and we'll lose a most promising strategic partner.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Few Hindus Convicted in Gujarat Massacre

NEW DELHI - Five years after seven members of a Muslim family in the
western state of Gujarat were burned to death, including two women who were
gang-raped, only eleven of the 40 Hindu defendants were given jail terms on
Tuesday, October 30.

"Eleven were convicted, rest 29 were released," prosecution lawyer Siraj
Malik told the NDTV news network.

The court in the western city of Godhra sentenced eight Hindus to life for
burning to death the family of Sheikh Firoz Bhai in the village of Eral in

Three were given a 3-year term each for lesser crimes, including the
gang-raping of two Muslim women.

The court, however, acquitted the remaining 29 suspects on various ground.

Bhai survived the slaughter because he was not home when the attackers burnt
alive his wife, daughter, niece, parents and maternal grandparents.

This was one of many bloody crimes committed against Muslims during a
month-long violence in the Hindu-majority state.

Muslims were hacked and burnt to death by Hindu extremists who went on
rampage after 59 Hindu pilgrims died on train in a fire some blamed on

An enquiry by the state-run railways later ruled the train fire was an

The Gujarat carnage claimed the lives of 2,500 people, mostly Muslims.


The acquittal of 29 Hindu defendants drew immediate rebuke amid accusations
that justice was not served.

"We will go to the high court (against the acquittals)," Malik, the
prosecution lawyer, said after the ruling.

Bhai, the Muslim man who lost his entire family to the carnage, told the BBC
the verdict was inadequate.

He vowed to appeal.

Despite a national outcry, little has been done to the Gujarat massacres
culprits, rights groups complain.

Only a handful of people had been convicted in 3,200 cases related to the

Fifteen cases are still pending in courts.

The Supreme Court has accused the Hindu nationalist government in Gujarat of
complicity the bloodbath.

Yet no official has been held accountable.

Last week, a weekly magazine released a series of videotaped confessions of
Hindu activists and politicians bragging about hacking Muslims to death and
burning their bodies.

They admitted that Gujarat's chief minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking
reelection in December, had given the green light for the Hindu extremists
to go ahead with their rampage.