Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton in India

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 8, 2012

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On May 7-8, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to India, making stops in Kolkata and New Delhi. While in India, Secretary Clinton met with state officials and other civil society organization representatives and spoke with Embassy New Delhi staff. She also met with Indian Government officials to review progress in the strategic partnership, looking forward to the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 13 and to be co-chaired by Secretary Clinton and Indian Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna.

In Kolkata, Secretary Clinton held a townterview with NDTV's Barkha Dutt on "We the People". At the townterview, she said, “So here we are in the economic and innovation hub of Eastern India, and I just want to make a few comments before we have a chance for a conversation. I wanted to do this, because certainly for me, the work that I do every single day, the miles that I fly, are about trying to see what all of us together can be doing to bring peace and prosperity to the world, because most of the world's population are young people. That's true in India, but it's true in most places in the East, and particularly in Asia and South and East Asia.

"So it's truly about what you want for your futures. And the relationship between our two great democracies is one that is going to help determine the kind of future that we have. As President Obama told the Indian parliament, the relationship between India and the United States will be one of those defining partnerships of the 21st century. Why? Because we are united by bedrock beliefs about freedom, democracy, pluralism, and opportunity."

In New Delhi, Secretary Clinton delivered remarks with Indian External Affairs Minister Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna. She said, “The United States and India are two great democracies with common values and increasingly convergent interests. In our meetings today, we have worked to focus our agenda and prepare for the Strategic Dialogues in June.

"Let me touch on four key lines of actions we discussed. First, we have to continue expanding trade and investment between our countries… Second, we need to deepen our security cooperation… Third, we have to work to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities in South and Central Asia… Finally, we need to work together to promote a shared vision for the Asia Pacific, especially as we head toward the East Asia Summit in Cambodia this November."

You can read about Secretary Clinton's trip to China, Bangladesh, and India here.

Comments

Comments

Ashim C.
|
India
May 9, 2012

Ashim C. in India writes:

It has become routine for US leaders to mention certain things when they visit India about terrorists in Afpak region. Mrs. Clinton’s recent visit was no exception. Thus Delhi part of her visit seemed to lack freshness so to say. It was her Kolkata visit, which has drawn good deal of attention. The leftists and certain sections of press and electronic media want all to believe that this visit amounts to interfering in domestic affairs of India and that Ms. Banerjee should not have even discussed domestic law and order situation and domestic economic condition of her state. In as much as there are a number of precedents of Indian regional and state le

Ashim C.
|
India
May 10, 2012

Ashim C. in India writes:

It has become routine for US leaders to mention certain things when they visit India about terrorists in Afpak region. Mrs. Clinton’s recent visit was no exception. Thus Delhi part of her visit seemed to lack freshness so to say. It was her Kolkata visit, which has drawn good deal of attention. The leftists and certain sections of press and electronic media want all to believe that this visit amounts to interfering in domestic affairs of India and that Ms. Banerjee should not have even discussed domestic law and order situation and domestic economic condition of her state. In as much as there are a number of precedents of Indian regional and state level leaders holding similar discussions with foreign leaders for economic development of their state, these criticisms can be ignored. These are coming because this time the state in question is West Bengal – the eastern state and much ridiculed state because of it’s strange non conformist political traditions, which manifests in so many things. People of this state stopped imperial forces of Mughal Emperor Akbar and made them retreat though the same force had conquered effectively Afpak region, which repeated Western powers – English, the Russians and currently US led NATO forces find so difficult to deal with - embraced much of West during great Bengal renaissance and reaped huge benefits in virtually every aspect of the life of it’s people, which they are so emotional about and proud off; Yet the same people pioneered a most formidable political resistance to British empire and more recently this state remained under a queer brand of communist leaders for as long as 34 years, who significantly consistently professed their allegiance to Indian state and constitution. Ms Banerjee’s party has traits from the same tradition.

But the truths of the matter in more recent times are two. First, this state suffered from a sense of neglect and deprivation and that once they take to anything they take to that with unfathomable enthusiasm. One would not like to go by what official statements and media communications in judging how the Kolkata meetings went but by body language of Ms. Mamata Banerjee. There was a markedly visible elation as she stood shaking hands with Mrs. Clinton. It seems that indicates she is willing and ready for change from populism. She should be given sufficient time for this and if something happens in growth of IT and manufacturing sector, given her unique advantages in composition of Indian parliament she along with other secular forces like Nitish Kumar of Bihar, Mulayam Singh Yadav of UP can bring about a paradigm shift in terms of strengthening of “LOOK EAST” policy of India and India’s economic and strategic integration in South East Asia and Pacific region in not too distant future and similar shifts in India’s foreign policy elsewhere including a more participative role in Afpak region post NATO withdrawal from there through necessarily UN system. However, there are strong forces, which do not wish India’s look east policy to become substantial and real and would like to pin Ms. Mamata Banerjee down on this or other pretext.

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