On the Howdy Modi event

The Print’s daily roundtable TalkPoint posed a question connected to the Indian PM’s Howdy Modi event in Houston: Is it smart diplomacy for PM Modi to align himself with Donald Trump’s campaign in Houston?

Whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s endorsement of US President Donald Trump at the ‘Howdy, Modi’ event should be termed smart diplomacy depends on its real impact on the future of India-US relations. The event by itself carries immense symbolic value, and the world will take note of how far India-US relations have come. This is a positive outcome. However, an Indian Prime Minister taking an overt partisan position on US domestic politics will have negative consequences.

First, this sets a precedent for any foreign leader to take sides in Indian elections or its politics. This could ultimately make it tough for India to manage its relations with other countries. Second, the Indian-American community faces the risk of being seen as more Indian and less American. Opponents of Donald Trump might even play up this line of thinking to reap political dividends in the 2020 US presidential elections. So, the costs involved are real.

The backlash against China’s attempts to influence Australia’s domestic politics showed that once nationalist political sentiments take precedence in the host country, immigrant communities face the risk of being isolated and targeted.

Read the entire discussion on ThePrint.in website here.