US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited India from May 7-9 as part of a larger Asia swing with an itinerary encompassing China and Bangladesh. Coincidentally or not, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was on hand in Dhaka during Clinton’s two-day stopover in Bangladesh, the first by a sitting US Secretary of State since the arrival of Colin Powell in 2003. This came right after her nearly week-long visit with China, where most headlines focused on the controversial high-level negotiations over the fate of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng.
A historically significant paradigm is playing out in U.S.-India relations, somewhat below the radar, receiving minimal fanfare because the meme about Iran sanction disagreements between the two nations has dominated headlines. With all the gender inequality still pervasive in both countries, it’s appropriate to applaud some girl power when we see it. With the successful confirmation of Nancy J. Powell to the post of U.S. Ambassador to India, and her reporting for work on April 19, 2012 there is an unprecedented level- by far- of female leadership guiding the delicate bilateral relationship today. Read the rest of this entry