Obama or McCain – who is better for India?

November 4, 2008

Like much of the world waiting to find out who leads the United States as its president for the next four years, India too looks askance at the mother of all elections.

While some believe India-U.S. relations have evolved to a strategic level where it does not matter who is at the helm of affairs, a debate rages on whether Obama or McCain will be good for the South Asia region, and India in specific.

As in the U.S., in India the balance seems to tilt in favour of Obama. His backers say he will be a welcome change from the stifling neoconservatism of the Bush administration and its heavy-breathing belligerence.

The Times of India newspaper says: “…a McCain win will result in a broad continuation of Bush administration policies…Beyond that, US-India ties, at least from Washington’s perspective, would continue to be largely security driven, subject to conservative impulses arising from fears of an extremist Islamist agenda to India’s west and an expanding Chinese influence everywhere.

“Obama on the other hand promises to be different, he will bring in fresh informed change to the region.”

Obama’s supporters say his political vision is evolved from a more composite understanding of the world, and he is more inclined to engage diplomatically with the Islamic world. This is good for India. The Republicans, on the other hand, are known backers of a militarized Pakistan and historically played the security card in South Asia according to their needs.

But when it comes to key issues such as immigration and outsourcing, McCain seems to score with India.

Obama has spoken of ending tax breaks for companies that ship US jobs overseas – a threat he may not follow through since outsourcing remains a key cost benefit tool for American corporations. But Obama’s supporters say he will be more sympathetic to Indian and other Asian migrants in high professions because he is committed to fairness and to principles of racial diversity.

Not all agree. “Yes, McCain might be more inclined to attack Iran. By the same measure, he would also be more inclined to pressure Pakistan to act on terror by providing a stick as well as a carrot,” writes analyst Dweep Chanana.

“On the economy, Republican presidents have historically been far more supportive of higher work permit quotas for Indian workers, and push more for free trade.”

Obama has voted to reduce the number of H1B visas issued to foreign workers. McCain is said to favour more H1B visas.

Clearly, both have things to offer India. But how wise is predicting U.S. policies for any one particular country when what Obama or McCain will eventually do is, what they perceive is, good for the American people?


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

State Democracy thrives on busy political times

However, Shukoor Ahmed and Frank Islam go one step further. They feel that not enough Americans are involved in the political process, specifically voting, and they are using StateDemocracy.org to try and change that. For More hit on the link given below

http://www.indusbusinessjournal.com/ME2/ dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod= Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A702742 1841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=1FD8BD8 20EBB4611B499518C17786593

Posted by adellina | Report as abusive

[…] Krittivas Mukherjee wonders ‘how wise is predicting U.S. policies for any one particular country when what Obama or McCain will eventually do is, what they perceive is, good for the American people’ but asks the question nevertheless: Not all agree. “Yes, McCain might be more inclined to attack Iran. By the same measure, he would also be more inclined to pressure Pakistan to act on terror by providing a stick as well as a carrot,” writes analyst Dweep Chanana. […]

Posted by Who’s good for India? at Blogbharti | Report as abusive

First and foremost is who will be good for america and the world. next comes india. Obama will be best for america and the world.

Posted by vicky | Report as abusive

Shouldn’t it be the other way around?! For which newly elected U.S. president will India as an emerging superpower be better? Is it not for India to decide what is on the agenda in South Asia? It is time, as China has conflicting interests, that India took its responsibility to be the leading power for the course of their own future and the region. With respect to the relationship with Pakistan, much more is at stake and is nowadays largely being obstructed by the U.S. Even Obama I don’t trust to understand the thousands of year relationship India has with their neighbours and those who have been under a repressive Islamic regime like Iran. For the U.S. after elections the Islamic fundamentalism will remain a threat and even then they will struggle to deal with it, not trying to really understand the discontent that lives in the Islamic world. This is clearly illustrated with their inability to cope with Iran. The suggestion to even make a comparison with Iraq (and a policy that failed) makes it clear that the U.S. only see an Islamic threat rather than try to make a difference in nuance. The question remains if this will change after U.S. elections. Of course Obama get’s the benefit of a doubt as the general assumption is that McCain will only carry on Bush’s foreign policy. There is no direct consequence for India to wait the outcome of the U.S. elections and it is even an opportunity to seek the role they are obliged to history and should seek for instance better ties with Pakistan and contribute to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. They should on the other hand use a past common heritage with Iran to persuade the regime to abandon their hard line policy for a Greater Hindustan no matter the outcome of the elections of a decreasing power.

Posted by Reza Ketwaru | Report as abusive


Posted by prasanta kumar | Report as abusive


I personally do not agree that either President hopefulls would have any major impact on how India is treated!! As an NRI and having lived in the US for over a decade, i dont see the relevance of the change in the White House at all.
In India as well, i sincerely dont see any difference in who attains the power seat in Delhi, and has not made any dent in what is really done for the common man on the street.
I may sound pessimistic on the whole; but, frankly this is the fact of the matter……

Posted by Ameet | Report as abusive

Great News and wishes to Obama, but many have to follow its always and everywhere post elections many spoken and later very few implemented. These are my view points.
1. US to respect UN and not to act on bias and have control of UN.
2. Make a complete study of terrorism and ensure that its eradicated at the root level rather than making just statements.
3. Give Iraqis their country back based on the security constraints and ensure that a stabilized and people government is formed at the earliest.
4. Ensure strong measures for terrorism are enforced and everyone is made to respect each religion and do not discriminate based on color, creed, caste and associated factors.
5. Indian government need to act in full control to get back the lost places of Kashmir and ensure that Pakistan has no rights to enter Kashmir and the LOC totally to be made void and give us back Kashmir and we will take care of the development activity. The Indian Government need to act sensibly and use the intellectual brain of Obama.
6. US to identify the companies that are in shortfall or getting into the likelihood of shortfall and make before hand analysis so that the economy is not affected thereby global economy is also not shaken.
7. Identify those companies that outsource Jobs and ensure that proper compensation provided to the already employed people in those respective organizations so that the word hate is avoided and ensure that the jobs outsourced to any other country be it alone India is not affected in longer run.
8. Strict checks be made when visas provided and people who migrate.
9. Work for global peace.
10. Ensure that every year conferences summits are conducted on various sectors and knowledge is shared and not hidden exception for Military.
11. Work with UN and not ask UN to work US.

There are many others to be written and told.

Sir Obama, ensure that during your tenure lots of progress to happen and do not concentrate on one issue during your entire tenure in the White House. You are young dynamic and i wish you all the success and this election has made everyone to look that skin color does not matter. Follow your strong political career and iam sure you will keep on wining lots of elections.
Please Note: Do not at any point of time use Hitler Policy or British Policy.

Best Wishes and Happy Days ahead and you shall possess all the synergy to ensure global peace prevails everywhere.

Posted by ramesh | Report as abusive