By The Editor
PM Modi’s has finally arrived in both literally and metaphorically sense. The country that denied him visa for more than a decade has opened its arms to welcome him as the head of Indian state. His trip carries the weight of convincing the world that India can be a manufacturing and commercial hub and that pitch starts from United States. He has to secure the deals, allay fears and assure the CEO’s and business leaders that “Make in India” would be too lucrative an opportunity to miss.
A lot of hopes ride on him, especially of those Indians settled here in US who have aspirations to establish a business venture in their mother country. Indian community has means, money and resources to set the ball in motion regarding the growth and job creation in India. It will be these men and women who’d be more than interested to invest in India and if these people can come to India for business, anyone can. Couple of weeks ago the head of a well-known auto giant illustrated the difficulties of doing business in India. His reference to the red tape bureaucracy and political unpredictability points to the major hurdles that foreign investors could face and the reasons why they might be weary of setting the plants on Indian soil but given PM Modi’s track record for getting things done, the hope is always there in India’s favour.
Another more important aspect of his visit is the strengthening of strategic and military ties with United States. India’s geographical location is sort of similar to a guy living in a tough neighborhood. Nawaz Sharif riled on Kashmir issue recently at UN, Al-Qaeda is threatening to spread its tentacles in India and Chinese incursions in the east are causing tensions on the border. We need allies whose interests align with ours. We cannot see or afford a Ukraine like situation. Not to forget the growing threat of ISIS for world security, though the Islamic Caliphate is far from our shores but there is very real threat of domestic terrorism that plagues both India and US. Coordination and relations with Obama administration would play a key role in business and strategic matters. There were reports of some limelight seeking individuals who tried and are trying to sour Modi’s visit by court summons and other kind of stuff but it’s nothing more than a feeble attempt to gain attention. The stakes are much higher to get distracted by these shenanigans.
This visit of Narendra Modi will hopefully open new doors for opportunity for both countries. Obviously, there was friction in the past but it’s crucial for both countries to pave the way for future with renewed trust and cooperation, as there is a saying in Hindi, “Der aye Durust aye” – came late but came better.