The Indian view of the American election

American liberals were allies to India's independence movement. And John K. Galbraith, the economist, used to be the American ambassador to India; he is still beloved here. So, at one level, it's no surprise that a column titled "McCain vs Obama: Who's better for India" would come down plumb in favor of Obama. But the thing is ... with Indian-Americans being the wealthiest minority in the US, the group tends Republican and that has been seeping into the home country's media as well. Plus, the Bush administration has actually been good for India, not getting in the way of the offshoring boom, proposing a nuclear deal and accepting India's views of Islamic terrorism. So, it should really have been a toss up with good arguments for both candidates.

However, the author is clearly taken with Obama's personal knowledge of the region (as opposed to McCain's knowledge of the subcontinent only through official visits):
But here's a trivial observation that suggests why Obama, because of his eclectic and unusual upbringing, may be different: He's the only American leader who has been heard to pronounce Gandhi and Pakistan correctly — just like it's pronounced in the subcontinent (Gaan-dhi, not Gain-dee; Paak-isthaan, not Pack-is-tan). In other conversations, Obama has also referred to Indian success in technology fields, and drawn comparisons between his father (who came to the US "without money, but with a student visa and a determination to succeed") and the experiences of Indian immigrants.

Such empathy and "connection" to immigrants from the subcontinent is only one part of Obama's plural multi-ethnic background and wide-ranging eclectic education (American, African, even part-Asian) that makes him arguably the most unusual and exciting presidential candidate in US history — more universalist than American.
Meanwhile, the case for McCain is more cerebral and less from the heart:
Conventional wisdom in Indian circles is that a McCain win will result in a broad continuation of Bush administration policies, including a possible revival of the US-India nuclear deal in the event of a favourable political alignment and atmosphere after the general elections.
and in the all-important (to India) issue of Islamic terrorism, McCain would be unreliable, whereas Obama may do the right thing:
Despite his abiding friendship with Pakistanis from his collegiate days, Obama appears to view a military-dominated Pakistan and the fundamentalist monarchy in Saudi Arabia with deep distrust (his Karachi visit happened during the Zia years). McCain, on the other hand, is the author of the long-running Republican coziness with the fundamentalists and militarists in Riyadh and Islamabad respectively, dispensations that India too has reservations about.

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