The distance from hubris to delusion is short and the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is bent on covering it in a sprint in its India policy. A healthy and long-lasting bilateral relationship rests on a history of shared interests and values that embody common expectations, reciprocity and equivalence of benefits across different domains, rather than equal benefits in every single sector individually.

Conversely, absent a solid body of shared histories and memories to provide ballast, minor irritants can derail a relationship. The bilateral relationship between the United States and India, since the latter’s independence in 1947, had more downs than ups during the Cold War but has since been on a gradual upswing. It was put on a steeply upward trajectory with the signing of the bilateral civil nuclear cooperation deal in 2005.

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