India in the New World Order as Regional Power
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1. Dramatic changes at the global level have initiated a process of reorientation of the power distribution in international politics. The changes initiated with the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR ), the unification of Europe in pursuit of an identity of its own ,a sharp decline of communism has set in a process of transition in world affairs, the sudden rise of asian countries mainly China, India & ASEAN Bloc, emergence of resurgent Russia and establishment of new economic power blocs like the G20,BRIC & RIC. The emergence of USA as the sole super power and its global war on terror have changed the security scenario for all and sundry. The existing obscurity has given rise to new opportunities, new speculations and new considerations regarding power distribution. A gradual shift from a geo-political world order to a geo-economical world order has come to stay. There is no doubt that any future order would have the considerations such as comprehensive national power to incl 'Economy' and the power it wields albeit indirectly, at the centre of any international power game.
2. Global shifts happen rarely and are even less often peaceful. The transfer of power from west to east will dramatically change the context of dealing with international challenges. In the early 20th century the imperial order and the aspiring states of Germany and Japan failed to adjust to each other. That led to wars which devastated the better part of the world. The coming shift in power will have a greater impact globally and will require assimilation of diverse political and cultural systems. Today's rising powers seek redress of past grievances, are proudly nationalistic and want to claim their rightful place in the comity of nations. Asian rise in economic terms will translate into greater political and military power, thus increasing the potential damage from conflicts. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has noted that "In the next two decades China and India will undergo industrialisation four times the size of the United States and at five times the speed...For the first time in many centuries, power is moving East." Blair added that "In this new world, we must clear a path to partnership, not stand off against each other competing for power. The world...cannot afford a return to the 20th century struggles for hegemony."
3. India being a part of this evolutionary and revolutionary economic process needs to apprise herself of these changes and redefine: if required, her goals and objectives to emerge as a ' reckonable force ' from the present mesh of contradictions and complexities. The term reckonable force can be redefined as ' regional power ' when one views India's prospects vis-à-vis her size, geo-strategic location, abundant natural resources, size of economy and military capability. The Indian nation is not just a nation, but a subcontinent. Being a subcontinent not only in size, but by its population which is in excess of One Billion, sets it apart in a World with a total population of a little above Five Billion means that in every Five Human being on Earth one is an Indian. It is on record that the Indian Armed Forces is the Fourth Largest in the World. India has since the past Twenty Eight years been exerting her influence in the South Asia sub-region. Thus India has functioned for over half her period of independence as a regional power. It is instructive that given the New World Order in which the US is about the only Super power, it is pertinent that in order to maintain the Balance of Power, that Nations like India with a long period of History devoid of expansionist propensity, should emerge as a Super power to enhance the balance of power in the South Asian sub-region, and the World in general.
4. The Indo-Pak conflict of 1971 leading to the emergence of Bangladesh, peace keeping operations in Srilanka, quick repression of an attempted coup in Maldives, deployment of Indian navy in Gulf of Aden and involvement of India in various fora both on strategic & geopolitical stage provide ample evidence that India possesses many of the attributes of a regional power. The emergence as a knowledge economy and as a Human resource powerhouse, make India a force to reckon with today and strong & vibrant economy in future. In the recent past, India enhanced role in plethora of world fora and the Indo-US Nuclear deal and subsequent ratification by Nuclear Suppliers Group & IAEA. However, in some areas like all round economic development, poverty, population explosion, literacy rates and foreign policy to some extent, India is lacking at the moment. For India to emerge as a regional power, these unfavourable areas need critical attention and reappraisal. "The Indian economy is growing at an average rate of 8 per cent a year. Most Indian and foreign observers are confident that India will sustain this tempo of growth in the near future, and will go on to become one of the world's leading economies and a global political power in 2020. A few voices draw attention to the tremendous economic, political and social challenges facing India that the country must overcome before it can lay claim to being a world power ".
Statement of the Argument
5. A country's role in the international system is not a random occurrence or a result of an accident ; but is basically a function of its power position in the international hierarchy. To have a 'Subject Role' in international politics is to be a part of the power structure that makes vital decisions about the fate and destiny of the international system and the nations within it. The 'Object Role' nations are at the receiving end of the decisions made by the subject role nations. A third in-between category is that of an independent centre of power. These nations do not have the leverage to influence the course of the international system as a whole, but do possess enough capability to have, within a given configuration of power, a considerable degree of autonomy and the capability to resist the application of unwelcome decisions. While subject nations have global influence, independent centres of power are often dominant or pre-eminent in a certain region. They may, therefore may also be referred to as 'Regional Powers '. Typically a subject nation resists the emergence of a regional power; for to accommodate others to a similar role is to diminish one's own power. The tendency is to extend one's own power and exercise domination over others so as to reduce the emerging regional powers to the status of a mere object nation.
6. India gained pre-eminence in South Asia in the aftermath of the Indo-Pak war of 1971 but more recently with the steady economic growth and growing international stature have made it a power centre in South Asia. With the recent changes in the world politics and diffusion of power, countries with regional prominence have come to possess a great capacity for asserting their regional pre-eminence. In this context, India has the capability and the potential to be elevated to the status of a regional power. An analysis of various factors in the light of international power structure would facilitate the prognosis of the status India is likely to achieve by 2020 AD.
7. To assess India's potential in the new world order so as to forecast the prospects of India emerging as a regional power in South Asia by 2020 AD.
Justification for the Study
8. Ever since gaining independence in 1947, India has moved slowly but steadily towards its role as a regional power . Historically India has been the seat of famous ancient civilisations. It invokes memories of past greatness, though episodic; and of epochs of creativity, not only in Philosophy and Literature but also in Science and Mathematics. The fact that the last several centuries saw India under alien rule only makes aspirations in the restoration of greatness all the more deeply felt. India's influence in South Asia in particular and the world in general, is beginning to emerge. A study of various factors that would aid India's emergence, as well as various impediments that retard this process merit analysis. India is a fast & steadily developing country and stands among the top few industrial nations in the world and has a rapidly growing industrial sector. Although poverty, illiteracy and health deficiencies are some of the vexing problems, yet only few nations have larger pools of trained professionals, scientific, technological and executive talents than that in India.
9. India, as a nation is about over half a century old. In this period of her independence, she has exhibited character and pedigree. She was instrumental to the creation of the Non Aligned Movement in the cold war era. She has on the issue of Nuclear Non proliferation taken a consistent stance even though this posture has met with the ire of the developed world has not deterred her. This attitude was demonstrated by her refusal to sign the CTBT. It is on record that it took her more than a quarter of a century to carry out a follow up nuclear test. This could be placed at the doorstep of the fact that her good neighbours China and Pakistan have continued to arm themselves with these offensive weapons. India in her nuclear policy states that she would abide with the principles of no-first strike, nuclear deterrence as the cornerstone of that policy. And to continue to advocate for a ban on nuclear weapons like the type achieved on Chemical and Biological warfare weapons and the ban on use of land mines. These stated positions have recently been understood and appreciated by the entire world polity and the Indo-US Nuclear deal and its subsequent ratification at Nuclear Supplier Group & International Atomic Energy Asssociation have largely vindicated Indian stance on these issues. The engagement & involvement of India in G8, BRIC, RIC, ASEAN, IBSA in the geopolitical arena. The positions on WTO & Climate change are also a case in point for growing stature of India on world stage.
10. The Information Technology - IT propels the world of technology. In this field India has demonstrated outstanding abilities. In the Silicon Valley of American, it is reported that 60,000 Indians operating there could collectively boast of assets worth more five hundred billion dollars. This is no mean achievement. Its effect on India is the collateral development of the Asian Silicon Valley in Bangalore, Karnataka. In the field of IT, the Indian nation has arrived. For this simple reasons her Engineers and Technologists are being sought across the globe. This is not to talk of the influence of Indian businessmen, in other continents like Africa, where they command an imposing stature in the fields of Textile technology and Pharmaceuticals. India's stature as an IT & Knowledge base powerhouse is a major factor in its rise at the world stage. India is a single democratic political entity, though slightly marred by development problems and religious & regional strife's varying from state to state. In view of the existing fluidity in the Asian region following the global paradigm, shift in the power distribution and the present status of India, an attempt to foresee India's evolution as a regional power in South Asia by 2020 would be relevant.
11. The scope of this paper would be limited to analysing various factors governing the emergence of India as a regional power in South Asia by 2020 AD. India's performance as an independent state would be given a brief overview along with her present status in the region.
12. To analyse the future, it is essential to critically evaluate India's power potential as well as the impediments enroute. India has inherited a volatile, ethnic, religious and social mix that generates strong cross-currents of tension between the states of the region. Added to this are the domestic under-currents of religious fundamentalism, communal tensions, demand for autonomous/ independent states and inherent problems of a multi-lingual and multi-racial society.
13. India's quest for the regional power status in this turbulent environment is underwritten by an increasingly open and vibrant economy and a 'Military - Industrial' complex that stretches deep into the bureaucratic structure of the nation. However, India's attention has been focused more on the problems associated with it's immediate neighbourhood and on nation building, than on the Indian Ocean region, let alone the world. Its ironic that while on one hand it is the problems of the neighbourhood that have largely driven India's military build up, on the other hand it is these very problems that continue to limit its strategic reach. It is this combination of a drive for a great power status and intensifying regional and national problems that pose a number of questions about India's future. This paper endeavours to answer some of these questions.
Source of the Data
14. The source of the data are the various books in the college library, various magazines and articles written by various people from time to time. Internet was also used for collection of data and articles. Bibliography is attached at Appx A.
15. The colonial powers that ruled India for centuries, apparently visualised her potential and attempted to undermine it through a process of gradual disintegration. Formation of Pakistan is one vivid example of such designs. After independence, the citizens of India have displayed remarkable resilience to destructive forces. Despite impediments like poverty, corruption, ailing bureaucracy and population explosion, India has made significant progress in various fields to incl education, manufacturing, knowledge based industry, IT, space technology, pharmaceutical industry. Today India ranks among fastest growing economies of the world and IT & Knowledge based industry powerhouse.
16. In the past sixty years after independence, India has acquired great maturity and realism in the management of its strategic environment albeit with considerable pain and sacrifice. India's posture has been based on a realistic assessment of its capabilities. It projects a defensive, progress oriented stance rather than an expansionist or a hegemonistic stance. India has continued to follow and propagate the ideology of non-alignment and is now on the threshold of coming out of its shell to play an important role at the world stage as a Global player if not as atleast as a regional player. The nuclear agreement, which followed three weeks later, calling for the separation of India's nuclear facilities into civilian and military, and bringing India's civilian facilities under international safeguards in exchange for nuclear energy cooperation, demonstrated the growing strategic convergence between the US & India. Domestic political considerations have come in the way of the Indian government operationalising the nuclear deal. That notwithstanding, the deal was widely welcomed in India because it opened the doors for India to participate in civilian nuclear commerce with members of the NSG while allowing it to retain its nuclear weapons programme despite being outside the NPT.
17. Contemporarily, India enjoys a leading status in South Asia. Militarily, she has displayed her potential either in a direct conflict, coercion or allaying any belligerence by its potential adversaries. Birth of Bangladesh, intervention in Sri Lanka & Maldives, Indian Naval involvement in Gulf of Aden are a few indicators that India has acquired a great measure of regional hegemony.
18. Power status takes into account an ideological or political role and above all the economic health of a nation. Regional hegemony or dominance implies the existence of local military pre-ponderance and the availability of non-military instruments of pressure, including economic coercion. Studies of strategic power in the world politics commonly assign to India the status of a middle power of some regional significance, but little more. A state such as India, by virtue of its size, resources and geographical location, finds herself a power in regional terms whether or not it seeks the label and despite the fact that all
it's capabilities for regional dominance are not yet fully exploited. India's current pre-eminence over its neighbours, however, is so substantial that its position has been recognised by the entire world, and implicitly so by all South Asian states as well.
19. Recent years have witnessed a steady growth in India's power, based upon a strong economic performance. According to the World Bank, India's per capita income is now higher than China's and some reports put its rate of economic growth above China's in real terms.
20. Furthermore, with the prospect of a declining role for the superpowers in the region, India's growth in military capability is likely to leave it stronger in relative as well as absolute terms. The erstwhile Soviet Union is no longer a major factor in the Indian Ocean and the ' peace dividend ' in the world politics may eventually lead to a reduced presence on the part of the United States .
21. While India's emerging role is well acknowledged in the world, there are clear limitations both upon the current extent of India's power and upon the rate at which that power will accrue. With India, it has been very much the question of " WATCH THIS SPACE " .
INDIA ' S POWER POTENTIAL
22. India shares its borders with China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. It has close proximity to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Therefore, in South Asia, it has to directly interact with many neighbours. Strategically, India lies astride the Indian ocean, flanking the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Malacca. It lies across the routes from West Asia to South-East and East Asia. Therefore, the dominating position of India and its island territories would enable it to control the sea lines of communication between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.
23. India has abundant natural resources. Its soil varies greatly from region to region. It is alluvial in the northern plains, sandy in the western desert, black in the Deccan Plateau and coarse in the hilly terrain. Each type is suitable for a particular group of crops. There are areas where trees grow on their own. They form the source of timber, pulp, resin, lac, gum and cane.
24. India's hydro-electric and coal reserves are massive. Oil exploration is limited but off shore
potentials suggest a great amount of self reliance. India's Thorium reserves are large. It's known reserves of Iron ore, which represent 10% of the world's total and those of a wide range of other minerals suggest that India has the potential for a relatively independent economy.
25. Human resources are of paramount importance in any economy. A human being comes not only with a mouth and a belly for consumption, but also with two hands to work. The adverse effects of unchecked population growth cannot be ignored; however, given the right direction and awakening, the population can be utilised constructively. A large young population helps to boost demand by providing an extensive and growing market for industrial products. It can lower wages, increase profits and output, encourage industrial development and open employment avenues. This is borne out by the fact that numerous MNC's are investing huge sums of money to tap the cheap Indian labour and the immense ready market.
26. Till recently, multiple restrictions on private business co-operation and the goal of achieving economic self reliance had shackled the Indian economy by hindering unprejudiced co-operation from industrial nations. With the adoption of a liberalised economic policy, an extensive economic relation is now growing. The new economic policy lays greater emphasis on private enterprise and intensified competition for dynamic industrial progress and mordenisation. Prospects for a substantial upswing of economic growth seem to be favourable now.
27. India has huge reserves of important raw material and a large domestic market. It also has a large group of entrepenures and managers experienced in organising and managing industrial enterprises under difficult circumstances. Given the improved setting for entrepreneurial activities, the large number of scientists and engineers, some of them highly qualified professionals, trained overseas or with practical foreign experience, could be of immense benefit to the country.
28. The expectations of economic development are based on an economic policy that is yet in its infancy. For long term stability the creation of a congenial atmosphere for foreign investment is necessary. Our focus would have to shift from development of industrial sector to the improvement of institutional framework for long term development. Greater efforts to improve social security are needed to cushion the effects of intensified industrial competition and to open up new possibilities for the impoverished classes to take a share in the economic development.
Science and Technology.
29. India began to develop its capabilities in science and technology soon after independence. However, the overall programme while impressive compared to that of other poor countries is inadequate and poorly organised in relation to the country's potential and requirements. Of the total research and development in the country, only 25% is used to promote innovation in industry and agriculture, while the major chunk contributes to development in areas like atomic energy, space programme and defence equipment.
30. The latest thrust to uplift the economy has renewed the vigour in the sphere of science and technology also. The private sector has shown great promise to measure upto the national requirements and a healthy competition with other nations can be seen specially in areas like computer software and electronics. Numerous institutions are doing some original and promising research in various fields.
31. India's political system was initially dominated by the small urban elite comprising leaders of the nationalist movement and an elitist civil service. At the state level, elected representatives wielded impressive influence in directing benefits to their constituencies and acting as channels of complaint and pressure within the bureaucracy. The system moved rapidly to broaden its base of support by bringing the bulk of peasantry into the system and also by including small business and trading interests. The evolution of such a system from the authoritarian colonial rule was accompanied by tension and uneven progress.
32. India had managed to operate a complex ; constitutional, federal, parliamentary and party dominated political system with remarkable effectiveness. India's manifold diversity and communal problems often raise the spectre of disintegration; these are common to a nation - state building process that the developed countries experienced a century ago. In the Indian democratic set-up, its people have displayed a great amount of maturity in preserving their rights. Any display of authoritarianism by a democratically elected government has met with stiff opposition. A vivid example is the imposition of emergency in 1975 by Mrs Gandhi and her subsequent electoral defeat in 1977. The emergency and the general elections of 1977 were a test of democracy, equivalent in significance to a social revolution.
33. A seemingly large section of illiterate electorate is well aware of it's might and is critical of the people who represent them in higher offices. India has managed to solve or at least contain major disputes on language policy and regional autonomy. At the same time religious, caste based and even communist organisations have been brought in and operate in a largely peaceful democratic institution. India's political leaders have shown a firm resolution in making of both foreign and defence policies. The military also operates under political direction. Inherent stability is provided to the system by the presence of well established institutions like judiciary, banking and stock exchange.
34. Future political crisis no doubt loom large, but this can only be expected considering the country's social and economic metamorphosis. The durability and resilience of the Indian democratic system indicates that not only would it continue in the coming years but would also gain more strength and experience.
35. Since their debacle in the 1962 Sino- Indian conflict, the Indian Armed Forces have come a long way. Today India possesses adequate defence capability to look after her interests. India is able to produce diverse military items such as small arms, field and anti-aircraft recoilless guns, howitzers, support electronic items, anti-tank, anti-aircraft and naval missiles, armoured vehicles, supersonic aircraft, helicopters, anti-submarine frigates, fast patrol boats and missile boats. It has also demonstrated Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) technology. In space science, India is amongst the world leaders. All this has been achieved at a moderate expenditure of 3% of GNP per annum.
36. Having successfully exploded its first nuclear device on 18 May 1974; India has continued to maintain a stance of using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes alone. However, the potential of India to develop a nuclear bomb cannot be denied. India's nuclear structure is quite diversified. Beginning with the construction of Asia's (outside erstwhile USSR ) first nuclear reactor in 1956, India has acquired the following major facilities:-
(a) Half a dozen nuclear research reactors, all but one built without foreign assistance or participation.
(b) The ability to design and construct from equipment manufactured indigenously one 500 MW nuclear power station every second year.
(c) The competence to fabricate all sensitive nuclear instruments, fuelling assemblies, special alloys and materials, fissile plutonium and thorium from its own processes and plants.
(d) Asia's first indigenously constructed variable energy cyclotron.
(e) Numerous other nuclear activities and support facilities, isotope production, mines, medicines, seismic arrays, fissile U-223, extraction processes, fusion, uranium enrichment research and so on.
Openness and Resilience.
37. Except for the brief period of emergency, India has had an open society with an active press and an intellectual community. Indian political and economic affairs are subject to constant criticism. Critics find information on India more readily available than for China, Pakistan and several developing countries. In addition, there is a constant flow of constructive criticism from internal sources. Viewed and used correctly, this criticism provides important inputs for betterment. Indian resilience is a widely recognised phenomenon. Many hostile designs to covertly disintegrate India became ineffective owing to the conciliatory approach of the polity. Factional and religio - ethnic conflicts can only be expected in a country comprising of people with widely diversified religious faith. The phenomenon of sporadic flare ups is likely to continue in the coming decades too. At the same time, India would be able to absorb such irritants and continue its march forward into the 21st century.
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES
South Asian Strategic Environment.
38. The strategic environment in South Asia has been remarkably conflict laden; characterised by wars or hostile relations between neighbours, especially between India and her neighbours. Despite this history of war, nations do engage each other in peaceful competition as well as in a large amount of outright co-operation. " The changes in the Indian foreign and security policy since the end of the Cold War have been rapid and radical. They have taken place as a reaction to the perceived rather far reaching changes in the global and regional security environments. The growing problem with terrorism, in terms of domestic, Kashmiri and international terrorism, manifested itself in attacks in major Indian cities, the hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight and the attack against the Indian parliament. Moreover, the exponentially growing power of China, its strategic assistance to Pakistan and the sudden disappearance of the Soviet backing to balance China's growing global and regional power resulted in a feeling of encirclement and relative isolation. India felt it had to become a 'normal' nation by placing considerations of national security above its traditional focus on liberal internationalism and the nonalignment/ third world cause. India's regional policy has been in clear contrast to its global preference of multilateralism and rejection of the ideas of balance of power and exclusive spheres of influence. In the region, India has preferred to handle unresolved issues with neighbours bilaterally and uphold regional security on the premise of its own hegemony and by keeping great powers out of the region. In terms of European security interests in South Asia, the opportunities for EU security policy are limited to soft measures aimed at promoting peace and stability in the region, and in Kashmir in particular. Hence, in order to promote a lasting peace in the region, the EU should utilize preventive diplomacy aimed at promoting a peaceful solution in Kashmir through all available venues and prepare to provide technical and financial assistance if a peace agreement is reached. Whilst the EU should actively promote the peaceful resolution of Kashmir, its own experiences show that economic interdependence can have significant positive effects in creating facilitating conditions for peace and stability. Hence, EU policies towards India and Pakistan, as well as South Asia in general, should be aimed at advocating and supporting increasing regional economic interdependence and cooperation. The EU should also nurture and further develop its strategic partnership with India, but without neglecting Pakistan."
39. Those enable regional powers to influence their neighbors and to protect themselves from disagreeable outside interference (Waltz 1979: 191/192). In contrast to this, liberal institutional approaches have emphasized soft power aspects with cultural attraction, ideology, and international institutions as the main
resources (Nye 1990: 167). Neo-realism and liberal-institutionalism have different understandings of the concept of power. Neo-realism emphasises the capacity of states to influence others to behave as it wants them to behave whereas the cooptive power of liberal-institutionalism aims at "getting others to want what
you want" (ibid.).Concepts of hard and soft power can be regarded as two poles on a continuum of power. They also imply different ideas, interactions and institutions for foreign policy when looking at the fields of politics, security, and economy. Ideally hard power strategies focus on military intervention, coercive diplomacy, and economic sanctions in order to enforce national interests resulting in confrontational policies vis-à-vis neighbouring countries. In contrast to this soft power strategies emphasise common political values, peaceful means for conflict management, and economic co-operation in order to achieve common solutions".
40. " A reassessment of changed of the changed geopolitical and geostrategic realities of South Asia, has to be undertaken by India. If it wishes to enlarge its option in the global & regional pulls and pushes it has to tread a course which enables it to safeguard its national interests without treading on controversy." India relations with its neighbours will be the most important factor in emergence of India as a regional power in the near future.
India and Pakistan .
41. India and Pakistan form the basic axis of conflict in South Asia. Before the British empire, much of India was dominated by regional Islamic imperial systems. This rule was accompanied by conversion from Hinduism and other religions to Islam. This legacy of former Islamic dominance is recalled with mixed emotions both by Hindus and Muslims alike. Pakistan was formed as a home for the Muslims of South Asia, yet many live in secular India. Conversely a large number of Hindus remained in East Bengal ( now Bangla Desh ) after partition. In a sense, the minority communities in Pakistan and India were hostages to each other
42. " The Indian policy should therefore aim at complete isolation of Pakistan. The relations with Pakistan should be based on strict reciprocity. The accord in respect of inviolability of nuclear installations in the two countries should be terminated, and in matters of trade and travel there should be insistence on absolute reciprocity. The border on Punjab side should be sealed and militant camps in occupied Kashmir bombarded. The infiltration alongside the border specially in the Kutch should be stopped forcibly.
43. It should be the task of Indian diplomacy to persuade the western powers to use their good offices with Pakistan in agreeing to a settlement along line of actual control. This would remove one threat to India's security. It would mean loss of occupied Kashmir but this would be no more than formal recognition of existing reality. This is the only practicable, feasible, agreeable solution of the Kashmir problem and it should be pressed forward. "
44. Strategic Perspective.
The partition of Pakistan from India was carried out largely along communal and religious lines, with little regard to the future defence of the states. Pakistan is geographically elongated in the North-South direction and lacks depth. Its major cities and key lines of communication are within easy reach of the Indian border thus making it vulnerable to military threat. Mutual distrust and animosity have often checkmated any attempts made at negotiations to iron out differences and have led to an arms race in which India has developed a definite edge in terms of military capability. This has resulted in Pakistan raising the hoax of " Big Brother Syndrome " and potential dominance by an expansionist India. In 1987, both countries came to the brink of war but diplomatic dialogue was able to diffuse the tension at a point when war looked inevitable.
45. Kashmir Issue.
The Kashmir issue is one of the major irritants in Indo-Pak relations. Pakistan has resorted to subversive and terrorist activities in Kashmir and has involved India in a Low Intensity Conflict. The sole aim for Pakistan seems to be that of keeping India involved militarily in Kashmir without declaring an all out war. Neither side is really prepared for a prolonged conflict, nor is any side likely to attack heavily populated areas or cities. What emerges then is an inconclusive stalemate between two states with deep historical antagonism and yet with much to gain from co-operation.
46. In terms of its relations with Pakistan, the minimum test of India's emergence as a great power would seem to be constituted by the following :-
(a) To maintain its military domination over Pakistan, but with an increasing reliance
upon the Indian technology and resource base.
(b) Successfully deter or prevent external powers from building up Pakistan's
military machine to a point where it could attack India with confidence.
(c) To accommodate the genuine fears and concerns of Pakistan, thus reducing Pakistan's motivation for opposing India.
47. Lastly, in the words of Mr J N Dixit, former foreign secretary of India " India should think on a much higher plane ; concentrate on economic growth and nation building, which will automatically mean insignificance of Pakistan to India rather than getting involved in petty diplomatic and political controversies".
48. India has to use its diplomatic acumen with it (Pakistan) to ensure that Loc is accepted as an international border. India has to project its Kashmir policy as a national policy and not that of BJP or Congress, when it is power. A national consensus is a must. 
India and China
49. The Peoples Republic of China represents a direct threat to Indian dominance of South Asia by virtue of its position in the Himalayas, it's growing potential, and also an indirect threat by its support to regional states, specially Pakistan. There has been a tacit alliance between Pakistan and China directed against India since 1960s. China's interests in the South Asian sub continent are no longer limited and conflicting with Indian interest. With the disintegration of the erstwhile USSR, China does not have to deal with a super power in its close proximity any more. It seeks to protect its own flank in Tibet from Southern probes. India is a channel through which Chinese territorial integrity can be harmed via a threat to its lines of communication through Tibet to Sinkiang by support of a Tibetan Liberation Movement.
50. Both India and China apparently realise the futility of a conflict. In this age of inter-dependence ; co-operation rather than conflict is the most acceptable course of action. The critical issue for both China and India is economic development and thus it was mutually decided by both to ensure the conflict does not effect there mutually linked economic & development related progress . Both nations have recently opened their markets to foreign investment and progressing leaps and bounds with competition amongst themselves as the fastest growing economies in the world with growth of 10 & 7 % respectively for the past decade. The two countries have reached such levels of development that they are now the two fastest growing economies of the world and they are largest trading partners and mutually interdependent. The state today is that the both are cooperating with each other to achieve their rightful place in world polity, however in years these interests are bound to clash and the competition will take over present day cooperation, Considering the present state of the process of nation building, a military conflict is not envisaged between India and China.
India and Bangla Desh
51. In its initial period of independence, Bangla Desh expressed a strong feeling of gratitude for India's aid. However, this feeling dissipated quickly, despite the twenty five year treaty signed in March 1972. Building of the Farakkha Barrage aroused strong anger towards India, while relations and trade between Pakistan and Bangla Desh increased substantially.
52. The transition towards democracy in 1991 eased the bilateral relations with India, especially after the AL took power in 1996. In the same year both countries signed an agreement on the Farraka dam that reflected the principle of non-reciprocity of India's Gujral doctrine. The bilateral relations remained dependent on domestic constellations with the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) being more critical of
India than the AL. At present bilateral relations are marred by border disputes and clashes between the
border security forces, illegal migration and heated debates over militant groups seeking shelter in the neighbouring country. But looking at the 32 year period between 1972 and 2004 it was only during the first three years that India could really be regarded as a hegemonic power in Bangladesh. After 1975 successive regimes in Dhaka were able to retain their independence so that India was not able to settle bilateral disputes unilaterally.
53. Bangla Desh has been switching from authoritarian rule to democracy & vice versa. Poverty, acute under development, inherent weakness in economy and internal political strife are problems that Bangla Desh has to address. India is not likely to adopt an aggressive posture towards a substantially weak country like Bangla Desh. However, the suspicious attitude and big brother syndrome being propagated by Pakistan have always cast a shadow on improvement in relations between both countries. The growing religious fundamentalism, harbouring of anti india groups and an overpowering military setup are most significant irritants enroute.
India and Nepal
54. The land locked kingdom of Nepal is sandwiched between India and China. Even though it was never occupied by the British , it was rarely in a position to assert its complete independence. After 1947 Nepal emerged from its seclusion and became active in regional politics.
55. Nepal's relations with India are oriented towards trade and transit. The border between China and Nepal is such that commerce is severely restricted due topographical factors. Therefore, Nepal traditionally trades with India. Any disruption in the flow of trade, severely effects normal life in Nepal. Healthy relations between the two are highlighted by the fact that India has permitted a transit agreement with Bangla Desh that permits limited use of Chittagong and Chalna as ports from Bangla Desh to Nepal. The Maoist struggle and demise of monarchy have changed the political setup and hierarchy. The ever increasing influence of China and opening of trade routes between China & Nepal are major cause of concern for India.
I ndia and Bhutan
56. Bhutan is another Himalayan Kingdom that escaped direct British rule before India became independent. It has strong cultural and religious ties with Tibet. Both India and Bhutan faced with a common threat of China, recognised each other's need. Bhutanese rulers envisaged a better chance of survival as an independent nation by aligning with India. They also concluded that by not undermining India's security and by not seeking to assert their independence, they would gradually be able to expand their relations with the outside world. The advent of democracy in Bhutan and peaceful transfer of power to democratic govt and India's role in the whole process has brought the two nations together and closer. The Indian involvement in development process in Bhutan and its active engagement have instilled confidence in the smaller nation. The relations in the past decades have been favourable towards Bhutan and no major changes are envisaged in the relationship.
India and Sri Lanka
57. After independence, Sri Lanka maintained close ties with the West. Later its attention shifted to the East, including several close ties with Pakistan, China and Israel, this led to a cautious stance of Indian diplomacy. The year 1987 opened a new chapter in Indo-Sri Lanka relations when an accord was signed for solving the ethnic issue of Tamil-Sinhalese groups. Colombo was also obliged not to give any bases or special privileges to any foreign power or agency including the Voice of America and implied the withdrawal of the Israeli intelligence group, Mossad. India sent it's Peace Keeping Forces to restore normalcy in Sri Lanka. To what extent it assisted in resolving the issue, remains a debatable point. The recent engagement of Sri Lanka by China and economic & development assistance has awakened Indian diplomacy and consequent active engagement. The rout of LTTE and the end of strife in Sri Lanka was possible with material support from India and Sri Lanka's acknowledgement of Indian assistance is a case in point and India's pre dominance in the region was well projected.
India and Maldives
58. Another country that helped in boosting India's regional predominance is Maldives. It is located in the Indian Ocean; Sri Lanka and India are its closest neighbours. A majority of its people are of Sinhalese or Tamil origin. The current President, Manmoon Abdul Gayoon sought India's assistance in averting an attempted coup. Indian reaction was quick and its task force averted the coup attempt. The fact that Maldives sought Indian assistance and that India successfully met its objective, reinforces India's pre-eminence in South Asia.
59. The major impediment to increase in economic growth is limited efficiency material infrastructure, in particular the supply and distribution of electricity and of the system of transport and communication. Frequently the shortcomings in these sub-sectors confirm and intensify the adverse trends in economy. A further problem arises out of the Indian industry's continuing dependence on technology imports. The government has adopted an approach for accelerating the process of industrialisation and consolidation of the country's economic, military and political independence. With the market opening up and the government providing opportunities for foreign investment and with Indian entrepreneurs seeking global access by meeting international standards the economy is bound to take off, albeit slower than desirable.
60. The Indian population is growing at an alarming rate. Though it offers a great potential for human resources, it also puts tremendous pressure on the economy. With more than half the population bordering on illiteracy ; all measures taken by the government for population control in terms of awareness drive, fall on deaf ears. Therefore, at the moment, it appears that India has to live with this problem.
Employment Generation & Related Issues
61. It is difficult to find work outside agriculture. Decades of investment in heavy industry combined with rigid labour laws created relatively few jobs in the manufacturing industry and surplus workers migrated from agriculture to the service sector. With 49 per cent in the financial year 2001-02, this sector accounted for almost half the GDP while the industry sector for only a quarter. In fact surging economic growth has added to the importance of the service sector in India. While the industry's share between 1996-97 and 2005-06 rose only moderately from 24.9 per cent to 26.4 per cent, that of the service sector rose from 43.6 per cent to 55.1 per cent. The overwhelming majority of jobs in the service sector are simple and poorly paid. In comparison, the one million people employed in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector (accounting, text processing, credit card management, call centres, etc.) and software production in 2005 and around whom the India hype essentially revolves are hardly of consequence. In total, only 35 million people or 7 per cent of the workforce were employed in the formal sector and here too mainly in public service. The Indian economy is dominated by precarious employment conditions. In 2005, 435 million people or 93 percent of the workforce were employed in what is known as the informal sector, characterized by an almost complete lack of legal and job security.
62. The Federation of Chambers of Indian Industry and Commerce draws attention to the "huge gap" between the rapidly growing need among businesses for qualified workers and the actual number of well-educated young people. In the biotechnology sector, the additional need for scientists holding doctorates is 80 per cent; it is anticipated that in 2010 there will not be enough qualified people around to fill the 500,000-odd vacant posts in the technology sector. The companies fear that the lack of a qualified workforce will cause even greater fluctuation in the modern service companies (already between 40 per cent and 60 per cent) and will push the annual salary increments beyond 10 per cent to 20 per cent, currently the norm for the sector. It is only a question of time before India loses its comparative employment advantage due to a lack of workers and rising wages and before Indian and foreign companies begin the search for suitable locations outside India.
Communal Rift and Ethnic Unrest
63. The process of modernisation has eroded traditional values, religious identities and mutual tolerance of these identities, resulting in increased religious hostility amongst different communal groups. Eruption of violence and religion based riots are often incited by not so friendly nations with a vested interest. These disturbances affect the normal growth of the country and tarnish the secular image of the polity.
64. Ethnic unrest has resulted from the mobilisation of small ethnic or tribal groups. Until recently, such groups were only marginally relevant to national politics, but now they are beginning to develop alliances with small neighbouring countries to gain political mileage and negotiating power. This diverts a significant amount of administrative attention that could be better utilised for enhancing national growth.
State Sponsored Terrorism
65. Pakistan's involvement in aiding and abetting terrorism in Punjab and Kashmir is well documented. Myanmar's involvement with the United Liberation Front of Assam and other similar organisations in the North East is also similar. Besides creating unrest, this has adversely affected the country's economy by disrupting the tourism industry, agriculture and normal life for about a decade now. It would take some time for the natives of the affected areas to return to a normal way of life ; but the overall growth would be retarded during the process.
66. A large number of Indian politicians lack vision and wisdom. There are many who oppose for the sake of opposition without analysing whether an issue merits opposition or not. The introduction of criminal elements into politics has given rise to a new breed of politicians. Unlike the gentlemen politicians of yester years, they know that the difference between being and not being in power is vital in their lives irrespective of whether the country progresses or not. India sees itself as a secular democracy in which all citizens are equal before the law, regardless of sex, religion, caste and ethnicity. Nevertheless, the primary focus of the political debate is on granting privileges such as subsidies, quotas or benefits for vote banks and advocacy groups belonging to particular castes, religions, tribal groups or regions. Clientele-based subsidies for housing, electricity, water, fuel, fertiliser and basic food supplies that now account for a quarter of government expenditure are more or less sacrosanct and always result in people asking for more, despite doubts about whether these subsidies actually benefit the genuinely needy. Quotas that enable Dalits, membersof the lower castes and tribal groups to obtain admission to universities or to obtain government jobs have caused conflicts between parties and between members of "underprivileged" sections of society. Parties that know how to capitalise on what the people covet most and can mobilise the respective vote banks go on to win elections. In contrast, political ideologies, election programmes or economic policy concepts are of no importance when forming a party, when campaigning for elections or when forging government alliances.
67. Sluggishness and corruption are also hallmarks of the Indian legal system. Laws are not enforced, countless posts for judges have been vacant for years and the number of pending legal cases that have yet to be opened has swelled to 27 million. The waiting lists include cases of murder and corruption, theft and kidnapping, rape, dowry deaths and human trafficking. It is estimated that at the current rate of disposal the Indian judiciary would require about 350 years just to settle pending cases. According to Transparency International, the estimated amount paid in bribes to district and trial courts in just 12 months was 580 million dollars. In other words, there is no guarantee of legal security - neither for Indian citizens nor for foreign investors.
Posture of Developed Countries
68. Many countries have the potential to make an impact on the power structure of today's Geo-Economic world. India too possesses this potential, thus, making it a target for actions that would weaken it, or keep it weak, by those powers whose own status would be adversely affected by Indian ascendancy. Till such time India does not develop any expansionist policy and maintains its doctrine of peaceful coexistence, it is unlikely to interfere with the interests of any powerful or developed nation. India has the opportunity to increase its pace of development without excessively worrying about extra-regional influence, which may at best act as a mild retarder in India's impending development.
Non Permanent Member of Security Council
69. In the emerging world order, the only way to have any say in global matters is through the United Nations ( UN ). The seat of power in UN is the Security Council, whose permanent members have remained unchanged since inception, irrespective of the role, power or potential of the non-permanent members. An economic giant like Japan and a reckonable Unified Germany along with India are notable absentees. Although the world opinion is building up and India is increasingly becoming active in UN Peace Keeping and other initiatives , it still does not have a say in deciding the modalities and principles of employment of such forces. A dominant and determined nation can carve an independent path for itself, but being a permanent member of the Security Council will have more universal acceptance of the dominance or the potential.
THE NEW WORLD ORDER
69. A system or order is anything that is not chaos; therefore, it must be perceived and understood. It is said to be stable if it has equilibrium, which means that it is predictable. A stable system could also be termed as an " Equilibrium System " . However, an equilibrium system may fail to predict in a situation where there is a sudden change caused by death, bankruptcy or conquest . Such a system is then called a " Dis-Equilibrium System ". Collapse of communism and the First World War are examples of this system.
70. The forces that organise a system may be termed as organisers and Boulding prefers to call them "something like a social gene ". Three major organisers of a system are " exchange or political relations ", " threat or power relations " and " integrative responses ". Integrative response is a result of the realisation on the part of any two conflicting parties that they might lose in the event of a conflict while they might gain through co-operation. Any system would contain all the three elements in varying degrees.
71. The international system is simply a system of interacting nations and the behavioural relationships between them. Exchange and power relationships together determine the fundamental equilibrium in the international system to ensure peace and international public good. The international system over the years has undergone various changes ; however, the most significant is probably the collapse of the Socialist System in the erstwhile Soviet and the East European Bloc. On one hand it marks the end of the BI- Polar world that characterised the previous international system and on the other it points to an unparalleled ideological and intellectual vacuum. The epidemic loss of faith in socialism as a practicable ideology consistent with certain universal human values as individual liberty and freedom, economic progress and a sense of democratic participation is highly demoralising. The disintegration of the Soviet Union into many independent states and the integration of the West European countries into a unified bloc are changes of not only diametrically opposite kind but also of such proportion as to be beyond our imagination till yesterday. The decline of the old and the rise of new centres of power has caused instability in the international system.
72. The universalization process that began with the end of World War II has been reversed and moved towards the formation of smaller regional worlds. Nationalism rules over Internationalism and beggar-thy-neighbour policies have become the role motto of national objectives and achievements. The international system is in a mess and what system eventually emerges is anybody's guess. Some argue that it would be a multi-polar system that would be more stable than the bi-polar system. But then the multi-polar system may degenerate into a bi-polar or a uni-polar system in future if national advantage to bring about technological revolution is asymmetrically distributed across states. If all nations pursue maximisation of economic or political interests, conflict situations are bound to increase. The solution for a long term stable system lies in an integrative matrix governed by certain common values and mutual interests. It is this integrative matrix, of which India must become a part so as to emerge as a dominant nation in South Asia with its rightful place on the top.
INDIAS PROSPECTS IN 202 0 AD
73. The host of intangibles involved in shaping the future of a country; ranging from external state of transient dis-equilibrium to internal strife's, makes it difficult to produce any mathematical model for accurate assessment. The chance of India emerging as a regional power depends not only on its potential but also on its foreign policy specially with its neighbours and its relationship with powerful countries who may have an influence on India's development. Realising the unpredictability of various factors, projection about India's role and posture in 2020 AD would largely depend on development of three major variables, namely India's power profile, regional environment and influence of extra regional powers.
India's Power Profile
74. Political Stability
The stability and strength of India's political system has been tested by the peaceful transition of power not only from one leader to another, but also from one political party to another. At the moment, politics in India is passing through a testing period with petty rivalries, mad race for power, scams, scandals like kickbacks, etc. running their course. But the proven resilience of the system would ensure that not only would it survive but emerge much stronger by 2020 AD.
75. Economic Performance
India's planned economic development has been directed towards achieving a high economic growth rate, building the country's industrial and technological base, creating employment and achieving social justice by removing gross inequalities existing within the society.
76. In the emerging global power configuration, countries with the potential of regional power have a distinct role in transforming the seemingly uni-polar world into a multi-polar system. It is well recognised that in the present context; the power hierarchy will be determined by the economic strength of a country. India can play the role of a South Asian regional power provided its economy grows at a fast pace and the growth contributes in strengthening the resilience of the domestic system. While India needs high technology, foreign investment and management skills for better utilisation of its resources, it should not make the country dependent on external supplies. A dependent economy cannot be a regional power. India has to have self reliance in basic critical sectors of the economy. The high rate of industrial growth in the current year is a positive sign in the desired direction.
77. Military Capability
India is surrounded by a volatile Middle East, hostile Pakistan, unpredictable China and the Indian Ocean full of foreign power presence. This requires her to maintain a potent military capability to deter any intrusions or conflicts. Initially India had a " Minimalist " strategic policy based on traditional Sino-Pakistani threat perception. Of late India has started striving for a " Maximilist " strategic policy based on an extended perspective that would encompass the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia. The earlier strategy entailed sufficient capacity to fight a full scale war with Pakistan and a border holding operation against China until superpower diplomatic or military intervention could be obtained. In contrast the newer Maximalist strategy indicates the need for " three full and three half wars " that would make India an Asian, if not a global military power.
78. On the nuclear scenario, enough can be surmised indirectly from the unofficial-official information available on the subject. The situation that prevailed in the 1980's is likely to continue through the 90's and may be termed as a case of " Mutual Nuclear Brinkmanship " between India and Pakistan. In the years to come this may lead to - if it has not already happened - the situation of " Mutual Bombs in the Basement ". To summarise, it would suffice to say that Indian military capabilities have been expanding so that India may eventually be able to adopt an Asian or even a Global great power posture by 2020 AD.
79. With the end of cold war, the global concentration of economic activity is shifting towards the Asia-Pacific region. Most of the world's developing countries are situated in this region. As these nascent nations struggle towards consolidation they are buffeted by enormous internal turbulence, resulting from both economic and other sectarian issues such as religious, ethnic, linguistic, and tribal conflicts. Uneven economic development results in these diverse conflicts, which spill across borders creating regional conflagrations that invite foreign intervention. Besides these wide spread and so called low intensity conflicts all over the region, the most important regional conflicts with active big-power support are located in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific region.
80. As far as benefits accruing to India out of this regional environment are concerned , it can be stated that India stands to gain. Although Pakistan's belligerence is unabated, it may not engage in a full fledged war for fear of losing. China at the moment is too busy in its internal problems and other nations in the region are too insignificant or weak to threaten India. While concentrating on its economic development India is not likely to adopt any expansionist policy. In such a scenario all nations in South Asian region would get greater freedom for their development. In terms of intra regional co-operation India could benefit the other nations in their development. Given its potential, India would emerge not only as a regional power but a model of the largest democratic might in the third world. Thus, during the period under discussion, if India continues its present policies to exploit her potential it would claim its " rightful place under the sun " as a major Asian power.
Influence of Extra Regional Powers
81. The international environment is likely to become increasingly favourable towards India. The United States of America realises India's potential and would look forward to greater co-operation with it. However, India's drift towards the west is likely to be slow and cautious. Reduced hostility in the receding tide of the cold war is likely to offer a favourable situation for India to concentrate on development without noticeable threat from extra regional powers. The global trend is now towards economic dominance. For the economic powers of the world, India is a large country with a huge market to attract foreign investment. Closer ties with developed countries would give India enhanced opportunities to emerge as a leader of the developing nations.
82. The end of cold war, decline of communism and formation of many new nations has placed the international system in a state of transitional flux. In addition to military capability, economic strength has also emerged as a measure of a country's might. Considering its potential, India deserves to aspire for playing the role of a regional power in South Asia. Since independence, India has made substantial progress in establishing its pre-eminence in the region. Its involvement in the liberation of Bangla Desh, peace keeping operations in Sri Lanka and suppression of the coup in Maldives are some examples of its superior power status
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