This afternoon Ari Force One touched down in Mumbai ariport bringing Michelle and President Obama and their two wonderful daughters to India. The Republican Administration of George Bush was quite sensitive to Indian demands particularly on the nuclear issue and right from the very first day of his Administration Obama has been taking a very firm and tough line against nuclear proliferation. It came as a huge relief to the Indians that the sanctions imposed after the Pokan nuclear tests against the Indian nuclear establishment has been lifted. This decision willgo down well with the Indiangovernment, and in return there will be defence deals worth nearly 15 billion dollars which will be signed during the President's visit. It is expected that nearly 53,000 jobs will be created as a direct consequence of this visit. President Obama after having received a drubbing in the mid term elections in which the Democrats lost across all states will be able to show some success to his domestic constituents.
The President and his family are staying in the Taj hotel which bore the drunt of the attack by Pakistan sponsored terrorists on Noveenmber 26, 2008. India's 26/11 and Americs's 9/11 are both important dates in the calendar of national identity politics. Though there has been a lot of concern in India that US was not forthcoming as far as sharing the information provided by David Coleman Headley, the American terrorist who masterminded the attack on Mumbai, the symolism of the US President staying in the Taj was not lost. Barack Obama gave a beautiful speech in the sombre memorial service held on the occasion of the Presidential visit. His speech was deeply moving and the words so carefully crafted that it appeared, evern for just a moment that Obama has got back his gift of words. He quoted a line from his hero Gandhi to underscore the point that terrorism will not succeed. Though Indians were disappointed that the President did not explicity name Pakistan as the country behind that horrific attack, his careful and dignified speech did bring a large measure of comfort to a striken people. I must say that Obama is at his rhetorical best when he takes upgut wrenching emotional issues. Who can forget his sppech on the campaign trail whenhe addressed the Wright controversy.
India was vey apprehensive about Obama's explicit policy against outsourcing and many in the fledging IT industry here in India felt that Obama will impose restrictions on Indian companies that are involved in the outsourcing industry. The fact is that India is only doing thje chores that the Americans do not wanbt to do because US IT labor is too expensive to be globally competitive. It appears that after making some noise in the direction of the dometic audience, Obama will not impose any major restrictions on the Indian participation in the IT sector.
On one issue I want Obama to hold firm. It seems that the corrupt bunch of dynastic couttiers in the Congress Party want India to get a seat in the United Nations Security Council. I want the US President to hold firm and deny the seat because India under the present dispensation will only act and talkm a bully.
The visit of President Obama is really causing a lot a goodwill for the US.