Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on his recent visit to New York, had a meaty one-hour meeting with Bush but did not connect to Kerry over the phone.
John Kerry, by contrast, is a relative unknown and Indian officials fear traditional Democratic concerns casting a shadow. India's nuclear and missile programmes could come in for questioning, blocking some of the gains made during President Bush's tenure.Kerry has made no major policy statements on South Asia during the campaign. The Democratic Party platform dismissed India in two sentences, one prescriptive, the other patronising. "We must also take steps to reduce tension between India and Pakistan and guard against the possibility of their nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands," the platform said. The Republican manifesto not only devoted five times the space to India, but talked of a "historic transformation" of Indo-US relations under Bush, and envisioned a role for India in "creating a strategically stable Asia." And it did not mention the 'O' word (Outsourcing). Kerry has become synonymous with opposition to outsourcing, the one area where India is really shining. It has driven some Silicon Valley types to the Republican camp. Ramesh Kapur, the doyen of Democratic Party activists, counters, saying Kerry only wants to close the tax loopholes for companies (see Rand Beers interview) that outsource jobs.
While the Indian government may prefer Bush (so does Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf) more Indian Americans, especially Muslims, are for Kerry while Pakistani Americans, who have borne the brunt of post-9/11 excesses and suffered midnight raids, are overwhelmingly plumping for Kerry. "It's McCarthyism the way Muslims are being singled out," says Mahinder Tak, a prominent Indian fundraiser. She talks of her Muslim friends and the indignities they suffer daily. Writer Suketu Mehta points out that President Bush's policies have led to an alarming rise in anti-Americanism around the world. "I live here and my kids are growing up here. I want America to be loved again, not feared and hated," Mehta says. Novelist Amitav Ghosh, equally appalled at the hysteria around Bush, says the Republican strategy for winning is to create a sense of fear and then ratchet it up. "The lesson here is that democracy is partly about techniques of manipulation." But the view from the perch of the wealthy is decidedly different.
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT