Millennium Post

Racing relations, Joe Biden-style

Now that the vice president of the United States of America is here to ‘voice concerns’ on India’s wobbly economy and to convince the Indian elite of America’s ‘good intentions’, to the extent of sending an emissary of hope, the first vice president in three decades to visit this country, and not our more boisterous, western neighbour, clearly it is time to consider whether ours is a land of serial genuflectors.

Barely a month after the American secretary of state John Kerry made his much publicised visit to the national Capital, Biden has flown in to discuss ‘trade and security’, in the wake of the latest wide-scale FDI hike in as many as 13 service and manufacturing sectors.

Evidently, Biden’s diplomatic parleys are meant to hardsell what the Washington-based corporate lobbies seek to achieve in the Indian market, ostensibly under the garb of helping India stabilize its sinking currency, which has weakened by over 9 per cent against the dollar in the past few months.

Biden’s litany of woes, including the infrastructural lacunae and bureaucratic redtape, now compounded with the slowing down of the once blistering growth rate, clearly point out that American patience with the elephant is running out, and the loopholes are starting to look like pills too bitter to swallow.

Biden’s complaint about India’s investment climate and the suggestions to spruce it up, are, however, tied to the larger picture that the government is reluctant to see at the moment. While saddled with a weakening rupee, which, as is now obvious, had been the fallout of the US Federal Reserve tightening its leash over the Indian economy, by withdrawing the short-term loan schemes, sending the investment-dependent business sector in a tizzy, the government is also grappling with what in investment parlance is termed a ‘collapse in confidence.’

Evidently, Biden’s agenda, to make India hike its import of US-made defence equipment, is geared to bring us too close to the US military, that is bound to have severe security implications for the nation. Given that the food security bill, an important and unavoidable step, will dent the government exchequer in no uncertain terms, upping arms purchase from the US might look like yet another extravagance that the UPA will be mired in just to indulge the American masters, and to soothe the nerves jangled by the recent spate of Chinese incursion.

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