India and the USA are both worlds celebrated democracies, one is the largest and another one is the oldest democracies. Both share democratic and liberal thoughts. So here I would try to decipher that.
After the end of World War II, the world is divided into two different blocs USA and USSR. World War II marks the end of the colonial world and new world order had been established. There are many countries who got freedom after this which India is one of them. The world was divided into two blocs one is with the USA and another one is with the USSR. So when India got independence then the USA expected India to join the USA bloc but Nehru being the Prime Minister of the county which tasted freedom just now, Nehru bypassed this whole controversy along with the newly independent nations choose to be neutral. Hence created Nonalignment which was not taken by the USA in a very good light . Nehru is criticized for not able to choose a side. However, it was a balanced relationship, and India and the USA were having good relations. Its contribution can be found in the green revolution, also American Universities offered help in the Indian Institute of technology.
During the Indo China War USA supported India. The rift started to built one India choose the USSR bloc in the times of Indira Gandhi. Again India and Pakistan were at the war in 1971 and this time America choose Pakistan and threatened India on behalf of Pakistan. It took a long time to mend the ties.
The factors which played crucial role in shaping the relationship in a positive and negative . Lets break it out in pieces
After India became independent, Nehru was obvious that we might need nuclear energy but he always believed that if used for the purpose of weapon it would be devastating. Nonetheless, he admitted that sometimes we might need it for our national security. It was used for peaceful purposes so the USA agreed to give heavy water to the nuclear reactor. When China was approaching India he went to both the USA and USSR to seek help but no one was interested as both were busy with Cuban Missle and India losses to China.
In 1964 China tested its first atom bomb, this again increased suspicion also Bhabha asked the Indian government to approve Atom Bomb Program, however, the then Prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had objected to it. Bhabha made him understand that this could also be used in the engineering field. As per Bhabha India was not developing Nuclear weapons but he demanded a peaceful Nuclear Explosion. He also went to the USA for advocating his idea for PNE but it is said through his actions that Bhabha wanted the bomb. The USA decided against nuclear support in India.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was created by the United Nations according to this it gives the condition that those who are signing the treaty will never make any nuclear weapon. India by not signing this treaty attracted a lot of controversies. According to NPT USA, UK, Soviet Union had already recognized as a Nuclear weapon state.
In 1971 India took the sides of the USSR by signing the Treaty Of Peace Friendship and Cooperation. The USA threatened India during the 1971 war by sending American fleets to the Indian Ocean. After 1974 India test its first nuclear bomb in the 1990s there came pressure from the USA. After Pokhran, nuclear bomb test India invited sanction on herself.
In 2005 India and the USA signed the Civil Nuclear deal and in 2008 the deal got the approval of US congress. But the deal had to come under a lot of controversies because of certain reservations of some kind or other.
Role of Indian diaspora in Indo USA relation
In any democracy, it is understood to the importance of the ethnic group and how it shapes the bilateral relation. America in her census 2010 recognized India as the fastest-growing ethnic group in North America and third-largest after Mexicans and Chinese. In 2010 it is recorded as 4.4 million Indians with a growing of 69.37% of the total population. 308,745,538.The increase in the Indian diaspora is due to student admission programs, beneficiaries and H1b visa program, family-based preference, and worker visa program.
So it is important that the US makes very strong and trustable relations. They are all the potential voters so the relationship would affect the votes and votes would affect them. If we look into the pattern of the 2020 election everyone is trying to wooing Indian votes by saying that they would maintain strong bilateral relations like never before. The strong and prominent Indian diaspora might attract USA support which we needed in the time of crisis. Also, we need to get the help of the USA if we aspire to take the permanent seat in the UNSC. (United Nations Security Council).
Indo USA relation in the geopolitics.
The invasion of Chinese in the Galvan valley and threats from China in the South China Sea has brought them more closely. Both have a common rival so it is important to see how it is rolled. The USA had always maintained its influence on the Indo Pacific region it has always been part of their national security. So any important location which is important from the point of view of geopolitics America had always tried to bring that under her influence.
But China’s aggression is creating fear and suspicion among Americans. So to balance it out they want India to be active as per Indo Pacific role is a concern. The promotion of Indian influence in the Indo Pacific region is promoted by the think tanks of the USA and Australia.
So it is quite clear that both need each other as per the national security and global security is a concern. So the 2+2 dialogues are important. India is an aspiring superpower also it is surrounded by the enemy like Pakistan and China with whom we had the experience of battle. So in the international forum, we need someone who can be on our side.
At last, I would say that it is interesting to note the relationship rolled out in years some year back we had invited sanctions too and now India and the USA are coming and working closely. US elections are important for India as well. Even Indians are keeping their eye on. The sound Indo USA relation is helpful for not only the leaders but the common people as well.