Foreign Affairs

Who is saadi Dilli's choice for next Amrikan Rastrapati?

The election battle in the United States is intensifying. Republicans have already nominated John McCain as their presidential candidate. Among the Democrats, a bitter fight is going on between Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton for the nomination ticket. In India, the US electoral process has created a lot of interest.

Why Indians should be bothered about who gets elected as the president of the United States? “Because what happens in the US has significance and repercussions for India and indeed the rest of the world in terms of foreign policy, economic policy etc,” says Chidanand Rajghatta, foreign editor, Times of India.

He adds, “To begin with the results will be significant for the geo-politics. Who wins will have a bearing on the war in Iraq. A McCain victory will spell an extended stay in Iraq with its own consequences. An Obama will mean other consequences that may arise from a quick US withdrawal.”

But what does it mean to the student community in India?

“Change in US administration also change in its education policy. The US president decides on how much money to allot for scholarships and foreign exchange programmes. For someone like me who is teaching in America, the results of the US elections are very important,” says Sadiqur Rahman, a Fulbright Fellow. Sadiqur is currently teaching teaches Bengali at the University of Texas at Austin as a part of a teacher exchange programme.

Alvite Singh, a student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi says, “I think Barack Obama has a fair chance of winning the elections.”

What about Clinton who has often been dubbed as India’s original friend? He retorts, “There is gender politics playing in the States. Americans talk about women empowerment and equal rights. But it is only for men not for women.”

Shalini Nair, from the same university, however doesn’t have any individual favourites. She feels Democrats have a chance of winning. “Considering what George Bush has being doing during his reign, especially in Iraq, Republicans are not going to win this time,” she feels.

However Harsh Kalan, a student of journalism at the same university, feels India doesn’t appear much on the election campaign. He says, “Honestly, India is not a big player as far as it being on the US radar goes. They are more concerned about China and up to an extent Pakistan. India is something they are just concerned with as far as nuclear policies go.”

US Elections issues: Indian interest

  • Immigration
  • Outsourcing
  • Arms and military support to Pakistan
  • Trade policy with China
  • Plans on Iraq

Written as a part of class exercise by Kunal Majumder

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