Monthly Archives: January 2015

Obama Speaks Directly to the Indian People at Siri Fort

#ObamainIndia has provided a treasure trove of multimedia, and we will keep publishing videos and other content on this page from the three days.  The trip was a watershed moment in US-India relations, and in the days to come we’ll expound on why.

Many people around the world know that Barack Obama is a gifted public speaker.  His flowery oratory is admired around the world by fans, and resented by detractors, in both cases for its lilting power.

This week we witnessed something truly unique: a speech directed at the Indian people during his trip to New Delhi, and especially focused on India’s youth.  Without an ounce of exaggeration or condescension, I can state that Obama spoke to the Indian audience about the emerging nation’s strengths – and also weaknesses – better than any other American leader or even Indian leader is capable of doing.  Some highlights of this speech, which I highly recommend you should watch all the way through:

1) Obama said the United States can be India’s “best partner.”   He said when Indians and Americans look at each other, it’s like looking in a mirror.

2) At times it felt like he was speaking to citizens of his own country.

3) Without touching on India’s gang-rape epidemic or chauvinism directly, he spoke firmly about women’s rights.

4) He constantly self-deprecated, mouthed phrases in Hindi, or at times both to great applause.  He spoke of his age, and about the future long after he is gone in a way most American politicians abroad never do.

5) He reiterated the goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons in all nations.

6) Most importantly of all, he spoke to Indians in an adult manner about sectarian discord while even acknowledging that his own country had problems in this regard, including against himself, and against Indian-Americans.

Obama’s ability to combine humor, empathy, gratitude, and deadly serious topics in the speech easily makes it among his best  speeches ever.

Want proof of its effectiveness?  India’s messy democracy, led by politicians and a free media immediately erupted into debate about many aspects of what Obama brought up.  There can be no better bellwether than that.

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor 

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Kal Penn Explains Obama’s India Trip

This video is a quick preview of what happened during Obama’s trip to India.  We recommend it as a starting point.  We will be posting more videos and coverage of the eventful trip this week.

*GUEST EDITORIAL* Time to Bring Home America’s Arunachal Missing in Action

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Editor’s Note:  usindiamonitor only very recently came across this purely humanitarian issue of bringing home the remains of MIA American pilots who crashed in India.  While the views here are those of the author and Families and Supporters of America’s Arunachal Missing in Action, we stand strongly in support of this cause and encourage action by every reader regardless of where you are.  Obama’s pending visit to India brings fanfare-focused media attention but this is a real issue that deserves more exposure.  These Americans who fought alongside the Chinese cannot be recovered now due to China’s stubborn stance and the inaction of US and Indian governments.

*****

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1st Lt. Irwin Zaetz (Burlington, Vermont), navigator of the B-24 bomber “Hot as Hell”

For many years (at least since 2004), the US Government has known, and has stated publicly, that the mortal remains of over 400 US airmen still lie unrecovered at their World War II crash sites in northeast India, primarily in Arunachal Pradesh.   These aircraft crashed while flying back and forth between Assam and South China, in support of the Chinese war effort against Japan. In the years immediately after the war, the US military made efforts to locate these crash sites, so as to recover and repatriate  these airmen’s mortal remains to the US for proper burial, but failed.

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Obama & Modi: Burgeoning Bromance or Business Ass Usual ?

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This winter season we witness a whirlwind of promising activity in US-India government to government contact. All evidence indicates that this phenomenon is being led personally by President Obama and Prime Minister Modi as countless of their underlings have publicly announced.  Is there a bromance blooming as Obama prepares for his second India trip this month, as the first sitting US president to smell the Indian stench twice?  I have long argued that the governments’ cooperation is just one prong in the bilateral relationship, and not even the most important one.  However, when this goes well it is usually an indication that the relationship is on the right track, and poor diplomacy can certainly derail all the progress. Read the rest of this entry

India, Pakistan cross-border fire ahead of @BarackObama @JohnKerry visit. Via @al_tagreer

I am publishing here a comic by provocative and subversive Brazilian comic artist Latuff, whom I follow.

That being said, I disagree with the premise of the cartoon, namely that the United States is not trying to heavily involve itself in the India-Pakistan peace process.  The fact is that American diplomacy is simply not very effective these days, certainly not as high in quality as its martial force projection. Additionally there is the insinuation, that Obama is expected to resolve the India/Pakistan/Kashmir problems. Unfortunately, these started many years before Obama was even born, and will outlast Obama’s presidency.  South Asian nations need to take care of South Asia’s difficult problems themselves like adults.  Ironically, and hopefully, it seems that Pakistan and India both agree on this.

Latuff

John Kerry Speaks at Vibrant Gujurat Summit

From Mango News

John Kerry has found the perfect role for his skill set as US Secretary of State.  He is a smart guy, a likable and empathetic diplomat, and clearly very comfortable in distant lands, including India.

However, as I thought back in 2004, his monotone speaking style and lack of charisma were always destined to keep him locked out of the White House.

This speech in Gujurat brings up some great points about US-India relations, but one would not call it highly exciting.  At 15 minutes it’s worth the watch.

COMIC: Dirty Mistresses

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Weak Brew: Spare Me the Gandhi-Bot Beer Controversy

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Some Indian-American folks, including the inimitable Rajan Zed of the Indo-American Leadership Confederation, berated the New England Brewing Company in the last few days for its naming of one of its beers as Gandhi-Bot.  An illustrated robotic version of Gandhiji is also on the can.  While the demands to rename the India Pale Ale beer have so far not been met, the brewery was forced to apologize for hurting anyone’s feelings.

The ridiculousness continues.  Some morons in India are trying to sue the company even though the brewery does not even sell the product in India. Perhaps the name of the beer is insensitive, but this is going too far.  We’ve seen this movie before, unfortunately a hundred times, such as the recent attacks of Selena Gomez.

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