Modi's greatest challenge will be to represent, defend all Indians: NYT
The challenge before India's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is not only to reverse a decline in economic growth, but also to represent, and defend, all the country's people.
In an editorial published by the New York Times, it is said that the recent meeting between the US ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, and Modi reversed a long estrangement between the two nations after the Devyani Khobaragade case.
In 2005, the US imposed a visa ban on Gujarat Chief Minister, Modi, over questions about his role in the savage riots there in 2002 that left nearly 1,000 people dead, most of them part of the Muslim minority.
Despite, Modi being cleared of any wrongdoing both by a Supreme Court investigative team and a Gujarat court drawing similar conclusion over lack of enough evidence, the Obama administration maintained this week that the visa status remained the same.
However, if Modi rises to the prime minister's role, his visa status might change, but it would also prove troubling to many Indians, especially the Muslims and other minorities, due to his staunch Hindu nationalism views.
It further noted that India and the US have much to cooperate on, including Obama's efforts to strengthen America's role in Asia and work with partners there to balance China's rise and more assertive stance in the region without provoking conflict.
India also shares US' concerns about a potential takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban once American troops leave and any potential spillover in nuclear-armed Pakistan.
Therefore, opening a door to a relationship with Modi is a necessary step for the US regardless of who succeeds Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this year.
(Posted on 15-02-2014)