Despite Russia, Biden Is Popular In India Shows Gallup Poll
WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – The approval of US leadership in the second year of President Joe Biden’s term shot up by double digits in India in 2022 — the year the Indian government came under considerable pressure from the US and Europe to toe their line on condemning and isolating Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
The US leadership’s popularity in India should have cratered instead. But it went up by 11 percentage points over 2021 to 49 percent in 2022, in a poll of 137 countries by Gallup, which polled the world on the leadership of the US, Germany, Russia, and China.
India was among 11 of the countries where the Biden administration saw an approval boost. The others included Poland (up by 30 points), Ukraine (by 29 points), and Israel (15 points up).
The administration polled poorly in closely allied countries such as Greece (down by 31 points), Brazil (by 22 points), Canada (by 22 points), and the Netherlands (21 points).
Biden’s growing popularity in India will surprise those who once saw Indians root for his predecessor, President Donald Trump. A Chennai man had taken to worshipping a statue of Trump and he is reported to have died of cardiac arrest when Trump was hospitalized with Covid-19.
And in a diplomatically hazardous move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for a second term for Trump at a rally the two leaders addressed jointly in Houston, TX. Modi had sought to insert himself into US politics and it was noted by Democrats, many of whom remember this and remain leery of the Indian leader.
Gallup offered very little by way of explanation for these numbers. The jump in the numbers in India, for instance, was attributed to the Biden administration’s efforts to draw India closer amid its growing tensions with Russia and China.
That’s only partly true if at all. US efforts to prize India away from its historical ties with Russia and, more importantly, dependence on Russian arms, had quite the opposite effect.
New Delhi reasserted its need for strategic autonomy and pundits bristled at the temerity of a country that had sent its navy against India in the 1971 war against Pakistan to ask India to abandon Russia (erstwhile Soviet Union) that had stood with India then.
The two sides, however, also insulated the rest of the relationship from these tensions and took significant strides on other fronts, both bilateral and multilateral.
India was also forced to notice the growing closeness of Putin with China.