Sobriety after the euphoria of the U.S. state visit


The euphoria stemming from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the United States in June is yet to subside. Those with long memories of U.S.-India relations in the past are, hence, left to wonder whether this is the same U.S. that had let India down in the past at crucial moments.


  • Two U.S. Presidents in particular, Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963 and Richard Nixon in 1971, are still remembered for their infamous roles in this respect.
  • Johnson for denying aid to India in the wake of China’s perfidious attack on India in 1962, and Nixon during the India-Pakistan conflict in 1971 for sending the U.S. Seventh Fleet steaming up the Bay of Bengal in a show of force intended to deter India from supporting the ‘liberation struggle’ in East Bengal, which ultimately led to the birth of a new nation, Bangladesh.
  • This time, there was no room, whatsoever, to doubt in which corner the U.S. stands in relation to India.
  • The promise of the transfer of technology in several areas, most conspicuously in terms of producing fighter jet engines for the Indian Air Force, and holding out the promise of the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) marks a remarkable turn in the American attitude.
  • All this, and with the many more agreements on critical technologies on the anvil, could lead to a quantum jump in India’s military and aerospace capabilities.

Indian visits then and now

  • A good visit to the U.S. by an Indian Prime Minister is generally viewed as one clear index of India’s standing in the comity of nations. It is, hence, tempting to compare Mr. Modi’s latest visit with that of other Indian Prime Ministers since Independence.
  • There were visits by Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri’s visit never happened in the end, while Indira Gandhi’s visit to Washington as Prime Minister was a disaster of sorts, with both India and the U.S. having their own versions of what transpired.
  • Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit was by all accounts deemed a success, breaking many previous shibboleths.
  • Admittedly, none of them matched the euphoria created by the visit of two latter day Prime Ministers, Manmohan Singh and Mr. Modi.

The civil nuclear deal marked a shift

  • Admittedly, the opening up of civil nuclear cooperation between India and the U.S. marked the beginning of a tectonic shift in global affairs at the start of the 21st century, unmatched before or since.
  • Securing a waiver under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and obtaining the approval of the U.S. Congress for the iconic 123 Agreement that paved the way for an India-specific Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • As a result, India today has the freedom to maintain a select number of reactors outside IAEA Safeguards, enabling it to utilise them for military purposes.
  • The freedom India currently enjoys for reprocessing and enrichment are other critical outcomes that stemmed from the visit.

Being cautious, looking at history

  • The United States of the 21st century is certainly different in many respects from the U.S. in the late 20th century.
  • In the euphoria that exists following Mr. Modi’s visit, it is, however, desirable for India to be cautious and heed the lessons of history.
  • India certainly is not, at least at this stage, the kind of ally that the U.S. seeks or demands.
  • Moreover, U.S. politics is currently in a state of flux — more so than at most times in the past.
  • The individual preferences of the U.S. President in office and the ‘swing factor’ in U.S. foreign policy are other aspects that foreign countries, India included, can seldom comprehend adequately.
  • India again is not unfamiliar with the way the U.S. changes its priorities, and friends.
  • Sober leaders on both sides must also understand that the current euphoria in relations notwithstanding, the situation has been dictated due to circumstance rather than conviction.
  • This must not be lost sight of by India in particular. For instance, India cannot possibly be part of an arrangement such as the AUKUS Pact that binds the U.S. with the United Kingdom and Australia.
  • The fundamentals underlying the Quad (India, Japan, Australia and the U.S.) and AUKUS are very different.

Way forward

India must, instead, use the outcome of the Prime Minister’s visit to skilfully function as a ‘bridge power’. It is eminently suited to play such a role, and should not be inveigled — through blandishments such as defence ties — to play the role of a subordinate to the U.S. in the politics of the Asia-Pacific.

Editorial 2 : As migraine treatment evolves, understanding too gets better


Headache is felt by nearly everybody and almost half of the world’s adults at any one time have recent personal experience of one or more headache disorders. According to an article on the subject ’each day, 15.8% of the world’s population has a headache’


  • Migraines, in particular, could have a debilitating effect on an individual.
  • Reports say that migraine is the second most prevalent neurological disorder worldwide and is responsible for more disability than all other neurological disorders combined.
  • On taking a closer look at the findings it was found that Migraine remains second among the world’s causes of disability, and first among young women.
  • Further No other disease, communicable or non-communicable, is responsible for more years of lost healthy life in young women, notwithstanding that migraine causes no premature mortality.

More common in women

  • Migraines were more common in women, and often seen in families.
  • Scientifically, migraines are called neurovascular headaches.
  • Sunlight, menstruation, crowded places such as marriages and some food items can aggravate migraines in women.
  • Migraines could have associated symptoms of nausea/vomiting and sensitivity to light.
  • Aura is a warning sign of a headache. There could be visual disturbances, pain in the eyes, seeing stars or flashes of light.
  • Lifestyle modifications, proper sleep habits, healthier eating habits, stress management and weight loss will help.


  • For  medical treatment of migraines, there are beta blockers, antidepressants and a few anticonvulsants that will also be useful in low dosage.
  • Botox injections are also an option for recurrent resistant headaches.
  • The various classes of drugs that are established to be useful in oral preventive treatment of migraine are antihypertensive agents, antidepressants and antiepileptics.
  • For mitigating Inflammation there are monoclonal antibodies against Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) as the  CGRP medications block CGRP by attaching to the protein or blocking receptor sites.
  • Blocking CGRP helps prevent inflammation in the membranes covering the brain, which can help manage migraines.
  • Trigger point injections such as Lignocaine injections are given to patients with headaches, facial pains, temporomandibular joint pains and migraines.


While the diagnosis and treatment of migraines have evolved over the years – targeted treatments and preventive therapies are here, this disabling headache disorder is being understood better including its impact on one’s working capacity resulting in lost workdays.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *