For much of the last decade, New Delhi sold itself as "India Rising." Barack Obama's trip here delivered a new message: India has risen.
During his three day visit that ended Tuesday, the U.S. president delivered nearly everything on India's wish list, affirming the country's growing importance.
He endorsed India's role in nearby Afghanistan, even though such a statement was sure to annoy India's regional rival Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the Afghan war. He chided Pakistan for not cracking down heavily enough on anti-India militant groups operating there. He lifted export controls, allowing India to buy high-tech weaponry from the U.S., and he gave spirited support to Indian industry, maintaining it wasn't stealing American jobs, but helping create new ones.
Most importantly for India, he backed its bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, a mostly symbolic move that affirmed its place as a new global power.
"In Asia and around the world, India is not simply emerging; India has already emerged," Obama told the Indian parliament Monday night.
Indian commentators saw the statement as a milestone in the nation's global image; No longer was it seen as an economic basket case, a potential dictatorship or an unstable collection of warring ethnic groups.