Opinion: The Rise Of The Indian-American Century

Opinion: The Emergence of the Indian-American Century

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been hailed and celebrated by Indian Americans on numerous occasions, but this time, something feels distinct.

The White House orchestrated a charm offensive of unprecedented magnitude, marked by an elaborate welcome on the South Lawn that saw 7,000 Indian Americans in attendance. The state dinner, featuring a first-of-its-kind plant-based menu with delectable dishes like stuffed mushrooms and saffron risotto, was meticulously designed not only to win over India as a nation but also to forge a personal connection with PM Modi.

The prevailing perception is that the current state of the U.S.-India relationship can be encapsulated in a single word, or rather, due to a single word—China. In an increasingly unipolar world, where countries prioritize their own interests, it is believed that India currently serves the interests of the United States.

However, skeptics argue that history has shown the U.S.’ propensity to swiftly shift alliances, discarding former friends without much ceremony. Examples range from Venezuela to Pakistan, leaving doubts about how India will fare when the geopolitical landscape takes a new turn. Some suggest that India is merely a swing state, susceptible to replacement when geopolitical headwinds blow in a different direction.

But perhaps it is time to challenge this conventional thinking. The rise of the Indian-American diaspora in the United States has played a pivotal role in reshaping the narrative. With their significant contributions in various fields—be it technology, academia, business, or politics—Indian Americans have not only become an influential force but have also elevated the stature of India itself.

The Indian-American community has fostered deep-rooted connections, establishing themselves as an integral part of American society. Their achievements have brought recognition and respect to India, transcending mere swing-state dynamics. The diaspora’s ability to influence policy decisions and public opinion within the United States cannot be understated.

Furthermore, the bilateral relationship between India and the United States is based on shared democratic values, economic interests, and strategic objectives. Beyond the China factor, the two nations recognize the mutual benefits of collaboration in various domains, including trade, defense, climate change, and counterterrorism. These shared interests provide a solid foundation for long-term engagement and cooperation.

India–United States relations - Wikipedia

While it is important to remain cautious and pragmatic in international affairs, it is equally vital to acknowledge the evolving dynamics between India and the United States. The narrative of India as a mere swing state or disposable ally may overlook the lasting impact of the Indian-American diaspora and the deepening bilateral ties.

As the world undergoes a transformative phase, with power dynamics shifting and global alliances realigning, the Indian-American century may be on the horizon. The confluence of India’s rising stature and the growing influence of Indian Americans within the United States presents an opportunity for a sustained and mutually beneficial relationship. It is a time to recognize the potential of this partnership and the role it can play in shaping the future of the international order.

In conclusion, while skeptics may question the longevity of the U.S.-India relationship and India’s status as a swing state, it is crucial to consider the transformative impact of the Indian-American diaspora and the shared interests that underpin the bilateral ties. The rise of the Indian-American century is marked by the growing influence of Indian Americans within the United States and the evolving dynamics between the two nations. This presents a unique opportunity for long-term collaboration and the shaping of a new international order.