Writing a joint editorial for the Washington Post was a unique and unprecedented gesture by President Obama and Prime Minister Modi. It signaled a new level in diplomacy. In the editorial the two leaders wrote: “The true potential of our relationship is yet to be realized.” Do both leaders themselves realize the true potential? Mr. Modi on the Internet opined: “President Obama and I share a vision for a partnership in which our nations work together for the benefit of the entire mankind.” In what way is that to be accomplished? For a long time this writer has held a view of Indo-US relations considered utopian but events now seem to be moving in that direction.
The relations between America and India can be truly unique. They need not herald a strategic alliance, close partnership or even a model for other nations to emulate. The relationship offers the potential of becoming the catalyst to create a New World Order. The commonality between America and India needs to be appreciated. Both are large continental nations. Both are democracies. Both have multi-racial communities from all parts of the world residing in them. America acquired its multi-racial character 200-300 years ago. India acquired it over 5000 years ago. America leads the developed world. India leads the developing world. Both have flaws in their democratic functioning. Both cling to the fundamental values of democracy in theory if not practice. On this basis I share my vision of the distant future.
In the New World Order the United Nations will have to reform itself to become the center of the future world government. Its capital will be America. Already offices of most international institutions are located in America. Already people from all over the world are its citizens. They all have dual loyalties to their nation of domicile and to the nation of their origin. America may evolve in the global scale not different from what Delhi is in our national scale. Migrants from all over India reside in Delhi having loyalty to the capital as well as their parent state. For America to act as the world capital the President of the World government, located in America, would be elected by all nations. The American President would remain confined to American affairs.
This is of course a long way ahead. To reach this goal the world has to be converted to democracy. America and India jointly can promote that. There is much democratic reform within both nations that will have to be undertaken during the interregnum. America insists on multi-party democracy. Democracy could even be party-less as Mahatma Gandhi envisaged. It might even be a genuine single party democracy which China could become but it has not. Defusing terrorism may not be through force alone. It may be even through understanding and negotiation. There is much that India can contribute to achieving global harmony. All this may be dismissed as a pipe dream. But all great ventures begin with a dream.