Modi Obama share tea India Today/ZumaPress

De twee grote democratieën in nieuwe harmonie

CAMBRIDGE – De uitnodiging eerder dit jaar van de Indiase premier Narendra Modi aan de Amerikaanse president Barack Obama om de feestelijkheden rond de Dag van de Republiek bij te wonen, was bewijs van een belangrijke verandering in de relatie van ’s werelds twee grootste democratieën. Sinds de jaren negentig hebben drie Amerikaanse regeringen met gemengd resultaat geprobeerd de bilaterale relatie te verbeteren. Ondanks het feit dat de jaarlijkse handel tussen de landen tijdens deze periode een hoge vlucht genomen heeft, van 20 miljard dollar tot meer dan 100 miljard dollar, is de jaarlijkse handel tussen de VS en China nog steeds het zesvoudige hiervan, en heeft de politieke relatie pieken en dalen gekend.

De twee landen hebben een lange geschiedenis van wederzijds onbegrip. Elke relatie met een supermacht is per definitie ongelijk, dus pogingen om nauwe banden met de VS aan te knopen zijn lange tijd tegen de Indiase traditie van strategische autonomie aangelopen. Maar de Amerikanen zien het democratische India helemaal niet als bedreiging. In tegendeel, het succes van India is voor de VS van groot belang, en er zijn verschillende factoren die voor de bilaterale banden een betere toekomst beloven.

De belangrijkste factor is de versnelling van de economische groei van India, waar het Internationaal Monetair Fonds van projecteert dat deze in 2020 de 7,5% zal passeren. Tientallen jaren heeft India geleden onder wat sommigen ‘de hindoeïstische ratio voor economische groei’ noemen, namelijk iets meer dan 1% per jaar. Het zou beter een Brits-socialistische-jaren dertig-groeiratio geheten kunnen hebben. Na de onafhankelijkheid in 1947 nam India een naar binnen gekeerd systeem voor economische planning over dat zich op zware industrie concentreerde.

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