Dial M for Manmohan

Dial M for Manmohan

Manmohan Singh has a lot to worry about— the economic slowdown, the elections that loom just over the horizon, terrorism. And silly questions about why Barack Obama has not yet called him.

Some see it as a deliberate snub to a man who hugged George Bush and told him that the people of India “deeply love you". What’s more, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has already got a call from the man who will be the 44th president of the US. That is being held up as an example of changing geopolitcal equations, despite the fact that Obama has been tough on Pakistan during the campaign. But China got a call only after Pakistan did. Does it really mean anything?

Too much is being read into all this. But the missed call is part of a bigger drama being played out around the world, with leaders bragging about their record in the battle for Obama’s ears. France swells with pride that its leader had a 30-minute telephone chat with Obama while Britain’s Gordon Brown got only 10.

So what?