Fareed speaks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about U.S. ties with India. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
There are many people in the United States, and some in India, who wish that the United States and India were much closer allies – the world’s oldest democracy, the world’s biggest democracy. But somehow that has never happened, and there have always been these frictions and difficulties. Do you think it’s possible for the United States and India to develop a genuinely strategic alliance?
I have a one word answer: Yes. And with great confidence I say yes. Let me explain. There are many similarities between India and America. If you look at the last few centuries, two things come to light. America has absorbed people from around the world…and there is an Indian in every part of the world. This characterizes both the societies. Indians and Americans have coexistence in their natural temperament.
Now, yes, for sure, there have been ups and downs in our relationship in the last century. But from the end of the 20th century to the first decade of the 21st century, there has been a big change. Our ties have deepened. India and the United States of America are bound together, by history and by culture. These ties will deepen further.
So far in your contacts with the Obama administration – you have had several cabinet ministers come here – do you feel that there is a genuine desire from Washington to try to upgrade the relationship with India substantially?
Relations between India and America should not be seen within the limits of just Delhi and Washington. It’s a much larger sphere. The good thing is that the mood of both Delhi and Washington is in harmony with this understanding. Both sides have played a role in this.