SHRI Prabhat Shukla, a former IFS officer, who has served as the Indian High Commissioner to Singapore and Australia, recently presided over a conference on ‘Transition in China and the US and implications for India”. As former Prime Minister Atal ji’s PMO, he has had occasion to study these changes from close range. He touched on the topic of the recent elections in the United States, and gave some insightful statistics; for instance, most of the youth voted overwhelmingly for Obama whereas the older ones went for Romney. Of the voters, 47 per cent were male whereas 53 per cent were female. He said that almost all the investment banks supported Romney, which served to highlight the fact that Romney was a darling of the big business houses. He mentioned that it was a matter of pride that Tulsi Gabbard has become the first Hindu-American in the US House of Representatives.
Turning to China, he felt the Chinese economy was very robust and set to grow at a fast pace but the Dragon was beset with internal dissent; for instance, there were 180,000 incidents of major unrest in the country in 2001, something that could have ominous implications for the future. But he expressed happiness that India’s trade was growing with China and he was looking forward to a new chapter in Indo-Chinese co-operation.