10 years after nuclear deal: How estranged democracies became ‘natural & best partners’

t’s been a transformative decade in the India-US relations, birthed and nurtured by the path-breaking nuclear deal that morphed the once estranged democracies into engaged democracies. The 10th anniversary of the transformational India-US nuclear deal, conceived on a warm summer day in July 2005, deserved a joint op-ed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama, with a soaring vision statement of the brave new future of this crucial relationship. Or better still, the two principal protagonists in catalyzing the deal – then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then US President George Bush – would have found time to pen their reflections, and a thousand visions and revisions that framed the grand bargain. They may still do that, but for now we may have to do with the joint op-ed by the ambassadors of India and the US, published in the Huffington Post.

The two grown-up democracies can’t be expected to agree on every issue, and there are still many imponderables that can challenge this defining partnership, but the horizons for the multi-hued India-US relations remain relatively unclouded. The establishments in New Delhi and beltway Washington may cavil, but the sheer strength of people-to-people relations will ensure that the intricate machinery of India-US partnership will keep humming with new ideas, energy and drive to transform the lives of people not just in the two countries, but around the world. This is the true legacy of the India-US nuclear deal, provided this transformative impulse will endure in the decades ahead.

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