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India Reacts to the Re-Election of US President Barack Obama

The recently concluded US presidential election generated much interest in India. At the government level, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated US President Barack as did Sonia Gandhi, the President of the Indian National Congress Party. But what about those on the ground in India – what has been their response?

Shibayan Raha at Youth Ki Awaaz, India's largest online platform for young people, said in an open letter to President Obama:

As you gear up to take your seat in the White House I have these following suggestions which I think if accepted will raise USA’s status much higher in the developing world.

Indians in Mumbai celebrate

Indians in Mumbai Celebrate Obama's Victory. Image by Gayatri Agnew. Used with permission.

Raha suggested five things:

1. Put Tibet on top of your Foreign Policy Agenda

2. Stop the Drone Attacks

3. Release Bradley Manning

4. Don’t let Israel Bomb Iran

5. Close Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility


India Ink
highlighted government response to the re-election of Obama, but also quoted the Dalai Lama’s response which is aimed at reminding President Obama of the importance of addressing the “poverty, injustice and deprivation suffered by billions of people,” according to a congratulatory letter he wrote to the president. Dalai Lama also thanked the president for his “steady encouragement” and support toward finding a “peaceful peaceful resolution to the problems in Tibet.”

In a less serious piece, Delhi Walla wondered:

“What if Barack Obama was a neighbourhood or a landmark in Delhi? What would he be?”

Responses ranged from Gurgaon and Connought Place, to Khan Market and Nizamuddin. Siddhartha Basu, a TV producer said in above mentioned post:

“Barack Obama would be India Habitat Centre. He, like the IHC, is the new kid on the block, unlike the conservative India International Centre

Indians in Mumbai Celebrate Obama’s Victory, Image by Gayatri Agnew. Used with permission.

As Infoqueenbee says: The expectation is that the United States will continue its current relations with India, “Expanding trade, ramping up military cooperation, staying out of the India-Pakistan Dispute over Kashmir and opposing outsourcing in the IT field and forcing Indan IT companies to hire US employees.

The Indian diaspora have also welcomed Obama’s re-election, saying saying his administration has delivered and victory is good for the community and India both.

On twitter, a few notable reactions:

@vdehejia (Vivek Dehejia): “Most outsourcing industry leaders said…much of..Obama’s criticism of outsourcing was campaign rhetoric…”. Hope so!

@dhume01 (Sadanand Dhume): FT- In India, a collective yawn. [There was little to separate Obama& Romney on policy toward New Delhi.]

‏@ShivAroor (Shiv Aroor): Mitt Romney trending in India, but Obama isn't. Proves how much we Indian tweeps love losers.

‏@jonathanshainin (Jonathan Shainin): Tonight's burning question on Indian TV: Is Obama or Romneybetter for India? Spoiler alert: the answer is no.

The next four years we will see where India and President Barack Obama truly stand.

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