US and India: Expectations of Mutual Respect

US is certainly not the same that used to be in years ago, neither is India. While US economy is badly on decline with its middle class in trouble and all the jobs disappearing fast. It has maximum number of the Nobel laureates, but that hardly provide any solace. Media provide a glimpse of American worries and so do the residents. Solutions are known but the possibility of its execution is bleak. Many a times, the democracy is considered as cause as well as curse. India, by default (?) is an emerging power, a big market, and has a great history of diversity and tolerance.

I was here in the months when US was excited about Obama getting elected as its President. This time here I find the euphoria dead. What the Americans think is totally different considering what the American administration does.

It was just a chance that I came across the wonderful article of Fareed Zakaria, How to Restore the American Dream in ‘Time‘, Oct. 21, 2010. I have been reading ‘America Needs Jobs‘ series in ‘Huffington Post’ too, as that is what perhaps India needs too. And so come my viewpoints here.

I find the problems and solutions for both US and India similar. Both suffer from a government system that provides no hope. But the private sectors and people can also be saviours. Both must shun the total dependence on China for everything that a household needs. Both must have a special thrust on manufacturing. Nano of India could have flooded the global market and India would have taken a lead at least with its one product. US car manufacturers still can quench the thrust of car crazy Americans. Both could have created or recreated a moral boost to its manufacturing sector. But it is still to happen. I don’t know if it will happen at all. Americans are almost hindered percent dependent on the Chinese for its wares as I see in every store that I visit. India too is unfortunately heading towards that fast. Many a times I wonder who is doing a better job for US-Mr. Mr. Obama or the Iranian gentleman who left Nokia and opened the popular food outlet in the nearest mall from our residence and has employed a number of Americans.

Even Zakaria is shore about the denial/delay mode of the American visas to the brilliant bests from different countries of the world graduating from the best professional colleges in the country causing a clear reverse brain drain. I wonder if US would love to retain people like Zakaria or wish them to leave for creating jobs for Americans. Should a country that pioneered globalization think in that narrow manner instead of focusing on finding out the real solutions to providing best education and skill to its students and creating the right kind of jobs in million for them? I don’t think the subject is in the priority list of Obama, though thousands of highly US educated persons of foreign origins are living an uncertain future with their American dreams.

Interestingly, as reported, Indian firms are investing almost as much here in the US as their American counterparts are in India. Prominent Indians, such as Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra, Narayan Murthy, and Nandan Nilekani are donating huge funds to the American universities. India keeps American high tech manufacturing sector busy with its billions of dollars worth of orders. American business still shows more interest in China and American governments in Pakistan. I was surprised to know that US still has problems in exporting the equipment, even machine tools with dual use technology to India. Can Obama and his visit bring a change and make the Indians feel more comfortable with America? Many don’t expect much.

It would have been better if India and Indians stop expecting and focus on building its own strength in manufacturing sectors and R&D as China did. I wish Americans and particularly, its government could understand India and Indians better and treat them with respect. How can one go on expecting American authority humiliating Indian dignitaries under the excuse of security or doubting the visits of Indian experts in US with question marks?

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