Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., popularly known as Joe Biden (Democratic party), is all set to be the 46th president of the United States of America after a historic victory over serving President Donald J Trump (Republican party) in the 2020 US President election on the 7th of November, 2020. After a last-minute vote number tussle, 20 constituent votes of Trump’s domestic state Pennsylvania put Biden over the 270 appointive votes required to win.
Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris is set to create history as she becomes the first woman of colour (part Jamaican, part Indian) to become the Vice President. Biden also served as the 47th Vice President from 2009 to 2017 during the presidential reign of Barack Obama.
Major media houses including the CNN, Associated Press and the New York Times have started projecting Biden as the winner; celebratory shouts, car horns and festive music could be heard on the streets of Washington D.C. as Americans waited for over three full days to hear who their next President is. Similar celebrations were reported in other cities across the country, including New York.
“America, I’m honoured that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me,” Biden tweeted in his first public reaction to the news.
While the whole world, along with the USA, is celebrating the victory of the liberal power that is likely to modify the prevailing condition of racial discrimination, minority oppression and women’s rights in the country, how does this result align with our interest as Indians?
The first speculated point could be the Covid-19 episode that has affected China’s global position. India, on its part, has been confronting with China due to a developing border conflict. While Trump transparently communicated his disappointment with China at the chance of separating ties, analysts accept that Biden will take a more discretionary course. Be that as it may, not much is anticipated to alter for India.
US President-elect Joe Biden plans to extend the number of high-skilled visas, primarily the H-1B, and kill the restrain on employment-based visas by nation quota, both of which are anticipated to advantage tens of thousands of Indian experts affected by a few movement arrangements during the active Trump administration.
With Kamala Harris as his appointee, Biden is anticipated to invert the move of the active Trump administration to disavow work licenses to partners of H-1B visas — a move that had unfavourably affected an expansive number of Indian families in the US. This had also put a strong sense of uncertainty amongst Indian students who are pursuing higher education in the US or plan to do so in near future. All these steps are a part of a comprehensive movement change that the Biden administration plans to work on, either in one go or in formulated steps.
Joe Biden has previously expressed his ‘disappointment’ in the implementation of the NRC in Assam the passing of the CAA into a law. He even urged India to restore the rights of Kashmiris. According to a policy paper titled Joe Biden’s agenda for Muslim American community posted on Biden’s campaign website, CAA and NRC are inconsistent with India’s constitutional values of secularism and democracy. The paper even compared these measures in Kashmir and Assam with the forced detention of Uyghur Muslims in China as well as the killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
Biden’s pro-democratic, pro-freedom of expression, pro-equality and anti-Islamophobic position is likely to put pressure on the Modi government to take fundamental steps against these human rights violations and stand as two of the most strengthening democracies of the world.
India and the US have a vigorous trade relation, estimated at over $149 billion. While the nations had a long-standing conflict over selected issues, the Obama-Biden administration worked efficiently to overcome these contrasts and establish a friendly diplomatic relationship. On the other hand Trump wasted that legacy. He chose to barely centre on trade deficit in merchandise and forced taxes on Indian imports. President Trump’s visit to India in February 2020 was big on visuals and glamour, but did not result within the exchange bargain that he had promised.
Talking about what his presidency would mean for India if elected, Biden wrote:
We’ll open markets and grow the middle class in both the United States and India, and confront other international challenges together, like climate change, global health, transnational terrorism and nuclear proliferation.
While Donald Trump withdrew US’ participation from Paris Agreement, it will be essential to see the steps Biden will take towards climate change. The Obama-Biden administration had played a big role in making India sign the Paris Agreement, thus establishing allyship towards fighting the climate crisis. With Biden’s new policies on environment and energy policies, India’s disregard of its own policies and SDGs is likely to come to limelight.
With the aforementioned points, it is important to observe that although this victory of liberalism over fascism has been brought forward by the US citizens, it is sure to have an affirmative impact on global and national politics.