The U.S.-India relationship is enveloped these days by grand rhetoric. But for a reality check on the state of bilateral affairs, look no further than the summit meeting between President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two weeks ago. The get-together was designed to inject new energy into a partnership that just a few years ago looked so promising but which is now roundly seen as going flat. Yet even before Mr. Singh journeyed to Washington, the trip promised to be a ho-hum visit at best.
Noticeably gone was the excitement and pomp of Singh’s state visit four years ago, when President Obama put on an extravagant state dinner on the White House South Lawn honoring him. It was the hottest ticket in town, attracting party crashers to boot, and even the rainy weather did not dim an event theWashington Post likened to a Hollywood production. Back then, both leaders were fresh off impressive electoral victories and, with expectations raised by the recently-codified civilian nuclear agreement, they spoke augustly about a “future that beckons all of us.”
Their latest meeting, however, was in sharp contrast. Continue reading