The Washington Post

In India, President Obama seen as the safer choice


New Delhi residents read the day's newspapers. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI – India, wrapped up in its own problems of corruption, governance and a slowing economy, welcomed President Obama's victory, but without any of the enthusiasm that greeted the underdog victory of an African American four years ago.

Analysts welcomed Obama as a known quantity who had already proved his commitment to a stronger partnership with India, and as someone perhaps less likely to upset the applecart in Asia than the wild card of Republican Mitt Romney.
 
"If Romney had come to power we would have had pressure on Iran. There might have been an ugly trade war with China. We are now safe from that," said former diplomat Lalit Mansigh on the NDTV news channel. "As far as India is concerned at least there is certainty about what Obama stands for... We thought George W. Bush was the friendliest president towards India but Obama has gone way beyond George W Bush. We have greater convergence on political views than ever before. Romney is not George W Bush. We don't know anything about him. He has not said anything about India."
 
Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-chairman of global IT and consulting company Infosys welcomed Obama, but not without reservations. "We are looking forward to a period of some changes. I think the election and the whole process of interacting with citizens would have given the president feedback on what changes he needs to make."
 
He said he hoped the president's campaign criticism of outsourcing wouldn't translate into any protectionist policy changes. "Such remarks have been there in campaigns before and we are strongly hoping this has not affected the issues," he said. "We'll have to see whether this translates to anything."
 
There was also debate on television about how the Indian-origin community in the United States was becoming more active, donating more money to political parties and getting Indian-Americans like South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) elected in recent years.

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