NEW DELHI: Even as the United States has christened Prime Minister Narendra Modi's
vision of Indo-US ties as 'The Modi doctrine', politicians and political
watchers feel that Modi has been able to break from India's past
hesitation in dealing with the US and also turned the diplomatic
occasion into a great "personal victory" for him as well.
Modi has addressed three barriers - personal, ideological and
institutional. There was a hesitation about engaging with Modi. The US
was disinclined also because they preferred India merely as an ally not
an autonomous partner. They were not clear about institutional
engagement," Praful Ketkar, Editor of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
(RSS)-run 'The Organiser', told IANS.
"The United States also had
ideological differences with India. But all these have been knocked
off," Ketkar said, adding that during last two years, "One single most
achievement of the Modi government in foreign policy was the ability to
change a global perception that India's foreign policy is generally
non-committal and passive."
Biju Janata Dal floor leader Bhartruhari Mahtab endorsed a similar sentiment.
up strong Indo-US ties has been an agenda for the Indian government
since the time of Rajiv Gandhi. But there always was some hesitation. To
an extent this hesitation prevailed during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee
regime despite Jaswant Singh and Strobe Talbott (former US Secretary of
State). But now that hesitation is gone," Mahtab told IANS here.
welcome the fact that PM Modi has shown it clearly that there should
not be any hesitation or a kind of shyness in embracing the United
States with open arms publicly. This is a new shift," he said.
Janata Party (BJP) leader Kailash Vijayvargia also welcomed
Washington's gesture in designating Modi's vision as "The Modi
doctrine", and said "This is a great personal victory of one leader who
remained focused on his work even when everyone else and the secular brigade and NGOs wanted the international community to isolate him".
Minister Modi's vision of Indo-US ties has been christened "The Modi
Doctrine" by Nisha Desai Biswal, the US' Assistant Secretary of State
for South and Central Asia.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist has been critical of the burgeoning ties with the US.
Modi government has clearly abandoned India's longstanding policy of
developing good neighbourly relations and also the "Look East Policy".
The government has to answer against whom is India becoming a priority
partner of the USA in the region," a statement from the party politburo
Reacting to this, Mahtab took potshots at the Marxist party
and wondered: "I do not know who the comrades are trying to impress. Is
it aimed towards Beijing?"
A number of BJP leaders, especially
from the party's foreign policy department, say that not only with the
US, but also with other countries, Prime Minister Modi has tried a new
road map to establish enhanced ties.
"Modi seems to have done his
homework well prior to all key meetings. His handshakes are firm and
more than once he has taken note of the minutest things, like German
Chancellor Angela Merkel's birthday in 2014 when Modi was hardly a month
in office," a BJP leader told IANS declining to be named.
homework about each leader and government has come in handy for Modi
when the actually meeting takes place. Modi often uses carefully
tailored oneliners with each leader at every bilateral meeting and these
have gone off well," the party leader said.
Engaging with China
during the last two years, despite the unease in ties, Modi did not seem
to be bogged down by any "bitterness of the past", said the BJP leader.
"He has tried to carry SAARC along and also tried the same while engaging with BRICS," the leader said.
and political commentator Sunanda Vashisht feels: "Modi doctrine is a
new genre of diplomacy. It can be defined as diplomacy for development."
But Modi's seeming tilt towards the US has invited criticism from a key ally, Shiv Sena.
a sarcastic dig at the Prime Minister, the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna'
wrote: "The US President has become a good friend of PM Modi. Their
relationship is so deep that we wonder if the Obama family will shift to
Surat, Rajkot, Porbandar, Manali, Mahabaleshwar or Delhi post his
(Nirendra Dev can be contacted at email@example.com)