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Howdy Means Namaste: India’s Karma In American World

America must export American values. These include competition between free entities, laws that apply to all, material progress and the possibility of rising beyond one’s rank in the social hierarchy and above all, a transparent democratic political system.

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Yes, America is the world’s only true imperial power in the world. It is an empire like none before. There are definitional distinctions that make it unique and acceptable.

Three occurrences of significance happened the last 10 days – President Trump came to India, the Taliban signed an agreement with the Americans in Qatar and the coronavirus situation is now effectively, a pandemic. I was in London all this while and each one of these stories found exposure in the local media. The concurrent and contextual reportage was to me, one more sign that it is America on which we must keep both our eyes fixed.

The planetary network of American influence is inescapable. And why would we look to escape in any case? No people on earth are better placed to benefit from a partnership with the United States of America than us Indians. Hence, aesthetics aside, this public adoration of the American President and the First Lady was a job “well done “!

The two filters that I would like to apply on India –US engagement are economic and the cultural. It is private corporations, brands and economic institutions that are the most significant players here. 

Six months after the collapse of the Soviet Union, thirty-four of America’s most respected foreign policy strategists met at Stanford University. The deliberations were on a new philosophy for the post -Cold War world. They concluded with a need for ‘ a new organizing principle for thinking about the world and how to act in it’. No one was focused on earlier doctrines of deterrents and containment. The world had to be embraced and collaborated with, transparently and with a win-win mindset. 

America has stood for a ‘liberalism of abundance’. Individual liberty, political pluralism, free enterprise – these have been the ingredients in the recipe for the American style politico-economic combo meal. America does not prescribe a utopia or any “blueprint for society”. It only appeals to one’s self-interest.

This American Empire has emerged as a social model – de facto - assuming the ‘one American world’ shape now.

America’s co-option or control of the others relies on cultural content, control on universal content, internet& information and capital.

The USA is itself witnessing an irreversible juxtaposition, mingling or fusion of all races, cultures and even religions. America is creating a vast multicultural salad bowl tossing and turning identity, race and differences. The United States is the most racially mixed area of the world. Being American is vastly different from being German French and Japanese. The American world is not a government or state enterprise. It is a private commercial project, where only the successful thrive. It is competitive enough for it to be preferred by others. The cultural export is not something that threatens the’ besieged tribe’. The central theme has always been – ‘The American dream’– social mobility, freedom and creature comforts for all. The other theme has always been the unexplored new frontier – be it the wild west, international markets or outer space!

Pax Romana was established after more than a century and a half of civil war, repression, punitive anti-insurgency expeditions, foreign conquests, economic upheaval and social churn. Pax Americana is led by Netflix, Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Visa, Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing and several others. The American imperialism doesn’t demand more than a trial it is not about the televised appearance of their President. It is about knowing feeling and believing that their president is important like no other person.

Every treaty, deal, the opening of market or culture legitimise is the primacy of America.

Governments everywhere are privatising, deregulating, liberalising the exchange of goods and capital. They are fighting and competing for investments. All of this is in a hope to establish a direct connection with the great American Dynamo

Televised and internet-driven mass culture is not going away. American brands are successful because they are liked. But pizza, camembert, tequila, nachos, tacos and sushi are American too !! That’s the magic. They embrace and Americanise everything. 

The Americans seem to be alone in possessing the attitudes and knowledge essential to lead and manage the internationalisation of the world.

Models for the 21st century- whether they are economic, cultural or technological - are being worked out almost exclusively in the United States.

But cheering crowds at the Motera stadium were not the real deal. Of course, it was a magnificent photo opportunity. But, the real deal is that Americans must create impact beyond the promise of commerce. America must export American values. These include competition between free entities, laws that apply to all, material progress and the possibility of rising beyond one’s rank in the social hierarchy and above all, a transparent democratic political system.

 That’s the real deal and that’s when Namaste Trump will mean the world to us.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Shubhranshu Singh

The author is a global marketer, story teller, brand builder, columnist, and business leader. His interests include studying social change, impact of technology on consumer lives, understanding young consumers, history and politics.

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