India and The World

India and the World : Editorial Review

Since the end of the Cold War, India has deliberately taken a low profile in the international arena.
Reasons :

  • India’s foreign policy after the demise of Soviet Union and  end of Cold War.
  • Shambolic state of Indian economy after 1990 economic crisis .
  • Limited focus on narrowly defined self-interest
  • Continuing defensiveness on economic globalization.
  • Delhi was following advice that Deng Xiaoping gave China as it entered the era of reform and opening up at the end of 1970s to “keep a cool head, maintain a low profile and avoid taking the lead”.

Why should Delhi be more proactive?

  • India is today the seventh largest economy in nominal terms and the third in purchasing power parity . 40% of India’s GDP is linked to global trade.
  • Expectation that  we will take larger responsibilities to facilitate global economic revival and strengthen regional economic integration being world’s fastest growing economy,
  • Growing Demand That we Make More Contributions To The Maintenance Of Regional Order In Asia.
  • The traditional balance of power in the Eurasian landmass is being shaken by the assertiveness of Russia, the rise of China, the emerging American temptation for retrenchment, the chaos in Europe and the turmoil in the Middle East.

What lessons have been learnt from China?

Almost four decades after Deng’s reforms, China no longer maintains a low profile & is taking the lead in building new regional institutions and pressing for a reform of the global power structure. The idea of India as a leading power is probably the beginning of a similar phase in India’s international evolution.

What advantages does India have?

Unlike China’s assertiveness, the rise of a democratic India, with internal checks and balances, is viewed as a benign development

What have we been upto?

  • PM Modi’s central contribution to the conduct of the nation’s external relations has been the imagination of India as a “leading power” in the international system.
  • More proactive approach on global issues.
  • India moving away from being a reactive power to one that shapes regional and international outcomes. .

Practical outcome :

India’s efforts in the climate change summit at Paris last December and promote regional cooperation in the subcontinent.

The Way forward :

  • India must revert to ambitious foreign policy principles.
  • Modernizing its internal political and economic structures
  • International leadership is vital for India to accelerate its internal economic development and improve its national security environment.
  • Responding to the interconnected policy imperatives at home and abroad.

Hence, Delhi no longer has the luxury of thumbing its nose at the world. It must necessarily shape the world around it.
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