Expectations in India Ahead of US President's Visit

“As President Obama gets ready to leave for India, the mood in the country is not exactly positive,” says Asia Society Associate Fellow Sadanand Dhume. “People are upset about an American aid package for Pakistan, the cancellation of a proposed visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, queries about outsourcing to CEOs invited to a business summit, and perceived hostility toward India's beloved IT industry. Much of this is simply a reflection of India's somewhat complex relationship with America. For one, a presidential visit is no longer a big deal for India -- this will be the third successive sitting president to make the trip. And though the people are broadly pro-American, ruling elites and intellectuals tend to be much less so, in part a legacy of the Cold War. There's also a feeling in New Delhi of having been let down by Obama, especially after eight years of the Bush administration, perhaps the most pro-India government in U.S. history.”

Sadanand, who is writing a book about the new Indian middle class, is currently in Washington DC. To arrange an interview, contact the Asia Society communications department at 212-327-9271 or pr@asiasociety.org.