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LinkAsia | Nov 8
In the aftermath of the President Barack Obama's victory, Indian observers took the optimistic stance that Indo-US ties will remain stable. Contrib...
The debate elicited sharp reactions in another Asian powerhouse, India, but not because it was a topic of debate, but because it wasn't even on the agenda. As our contributor in New Delhi, Ajoy Bose, tells us, bloggers and tweeps were miffed.
The deafening silence on India makes an interesting comparison to how other countries in Asia fared in Monday's Presidential debate. For instance, Afghanistan was mentioned 21 times, India's arch-enemy Pakistan got named 25 times, and rival China had 32 references. India Real Time, a blog on India in the Wall Street Journal, quoted Sadanand Dhume, a foreign policy expert as saying, "India is much less central to US foreign policy than many pundits in Delhi would like to believe."
A cheekier sentiment came from First Post, a leading Indian web magazine: "What's the point of our 'stealing' so many middle-class American jobs through the outsourcing route if we can't even find one measly mention in the US presidential debate?" it asked.
The chatter on Twitter reflected these concerns: "It is amazing that Obama's particularly successful trip to India found no mention in the foreign policy debate" commented one user." For him Pakistan had won a victory over India by getting mentioned. An anti-corruption activist tweeted "India was not mentioned in presidential debate because corruption/scams was internal virus to be kept long distance from."
But not everybody was bothered about India being ignored in the debate. Television anchor Barkha Dutt commented, "How can anyone seriously crib about being not mentioned in the debate? How utterly inane! We really do have a complex!"
There were also those who felt that the debate did not matter to Indians. This blogger remarked, "Wish I could care about Obama and Romney. Too busy getting a life in India though.
And another scoffed at the interest shown by the Indian elite in the US elections: "Some people who have not ever voted in India wake up whole night to watch the US presidential debate."
Interestingly, these varied responses here to the US presidential debate perhaps reflect the concerns among middle class social media users about the state of their own country. Indeed much like the United States itself, India today is so besieged by a whole range of political and economic challenges that foreign policy takes a back seat. For LinkAsia, I'm Ajoy Bose in New Delhi.