INDIAN GOVT’S RELATIONSHIP WITH U.K:
It cannot be denied that a strong foundation for the bilateral relationship is necessary with U.K. It should be borne in mind that U.K. has considerable non-resident Indian population and this country has a growing trade partnership with India, in the last few years. Prime Minister David Cameron has been assiduously working to expand the bilateral trade investment partnership with India. Now, the present Central Govt’s promise of a friendly Govt will clear the impediments and this has been welcomed by U.K.
As the present Govt. has little connections with the legacy of the ‘freedom movement’, a new relationship is likely to be built up with the U.K. Therefore, trade and business relations on the one end and soft power, possibly through more cultural exchanges at the other are expected to grow between both the countries. . Between these two ends lie substantive foreign policy issues – security and defense, human rights terrorism, Israel, Palestine and West Asia, and the politically sensitive issue of immigration. Setting aside the previous unhappy occasions of imposing a ban on Mr. Modi, which was lifted in 2012, Mr. Cameron was the first foreign head of state at the new Govt’s celebration.
It cannot be denied that Mr. Modi was persona non grata in the U.K. and U.S. for a decade. Still it is viewed in the U.K. that the present Indian Govt should prove that it is for the whole of India and of people of all faiths. Thus, the expectations from the new Govt. are more on the issues of bilateral relationship. India and U.K. will be on the same page in the fight against terrorism. Thus, U.K. is in the lead position to resume the high level strategic interaction with the new Indian Govt.
It may also be a fact that the Indian Govt’s economic and development agenda may well lead in the neighborhood policy. The new Govt’s priority will be more on ensuring success in India’s economic growth and development as well as domestic governance issues than on foreign policy. This requires a stable and peaceful regional environment including the normalization of relations with the neighboring countries. Therefore taking India towards peace with its neighbors will be the great concern of the new Govt.