India’s Shrinking Influence

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by laxman, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. laxman

    laxman New Member

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    Despite India’s pretensions of an emerging great power, its influence is shrinking -both, internally as well as on its external periphery. Internally, Naxalites and insurgent outfits control more than forty percent of the Indian Territory. Similarly, its borders are volatile with neighbours nibbling into its territory as well influence. Arrival of militaries of great powers to battle terrorism and secure energy resources has led to rivalry to dominate India’s surroundings creating additional complications. Besides, inability to work out a viable initiative to enhance its geo-political influence in its immediate vicinity, and seize the initiative internally from the disruptive forces by the instrument of good governance, could lead to unraveling of the great Indian dream by 2030, if not earlier.
    These negative and divisive trends tearing the Indian state from within need to be firmly arrested and reversed immediately. At the same time, viable strategy to enhance its strategic footprints in the vicinity must be initiated; otherwise India may face the prospect of reverting to its pre-independence status (or more appropriately pre-British) of splintered territories, principalities and fiefdoms ruled by feudals and their private militias who may well seek outside military support to subjugate their kith-turned-adversaries.
    The external strength and posture of a nation are dependent on internal cohesion. Are we moving towards a cohesive society and nation? The answer is ‘no’ – the scenario is increasingly looking dismal. Regionalism, linguistic differences, religion and caste differences are being exacerbated for purposes of vote bank politics. The trend is certainly not towards integration and consolidation of the nation – state. The psychological fragmentation and regionalism primarily due to vote bank politics has resulted in overwhelming regional pressures in determining our foreign policy.
    The primary objective of sound foreign policy is to enhance security and economic prosperity of the country in which every citizen has critical and equal stakes. Looking at Israel solely through the prism of Muslim population – Sri Lanka through Tamil prism – or Bangladesh (illegal migration problem) through political prism, are self imposed constraints that inhibit India’s growth and influence.
    If China remains strong and India becomes weak, China will overwhelm India. The reverse will not happen if India is strong and China is weak. This bottom line must always be kept in mind by New Delhi.
    The writ of the state governments are being rolled back towards their respective state capitals by Naxalites, insurgents, and crime mafia. The Union’s external influence is shrinking due to shortsighted policies and self-inflicted wounds. India has become net importer of negative influences instead of acquiring power projection capabilities to achieve dominance in its vicinity. A State or a Union whose writ on its own territory and geo-political influence in the vicinity is shrinking, cannot ever measure up to requirements of a great power unless it reverses course!

    Case East
    The stated Indian population of 1.3 billion today reportedly consists of 30 million people from Bangladesh. Demographic patterns stand subverted and changed in Assam, West Bengal, and the lowly populated states of the Northeast. Dhaka’s influence (and Islamic fundamentalism) extends into large Indian chunks of territory diluting New Delhi’s hold.
    However, the amazing part is that it is a self-inflicted wound by New Delhi that enacted IMDT for vote bank politics totally disregarding agitation by its local citizenry.
    The damage was done by the time Supreme Court struck down this unfair act 22 years later. Indians were expelled from Burma a long time back and New Delhi practically did nothing. Later, Myanmar, a land bridge to the ASEAN in our neighbourhood stood isolated by New Delhi. While India perched itself on false high ground moralizing on democratic norms, China indulged in realpolitik and made huge inroads at our cost. Our recent attempts to engage Myanmar while laudable are yet to pay dividends. Very recently despite ONGC’s investments in the oilfield there, the military junta under Beijing’s pressure has allotted the entire produce to China. The Foreign Office, in this shrinking influence syndrome will require running many extra miles to merely remain in the competition.
    The difference between China and India is that the former builds roads beyond its borders and the latter’s roads stop short of reaching its own borders. Practicing realpolitik the Chinese spread their influence by building bridges across Asia. Indian policy makers coin words like defensive-defence and disallow even roads to run up to their own borders, lest the adversary use it to travel inland. Chinese also appear to have an unwritten law that restrains its vassal states under its influence to share oil and gas wealth with India unless its own demands are met. Whereas we, with our appeasement policy do not tire of proposing that China and India should jointly exploit and share the energy resources. On the energy front India is being successfully muscled out from Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Central Asia – as a result of insecure, tentative and inward looking policies, premised on ‘carrot’ and ‘appeasement’.

    Case West
    Pakistan first expelled or subjugated its own minorities. Its agents then extended their reach by conducting ethnic cleansing in the Valley to obtain and secure a launch pad to seize the writ from the Indian state and subsequently threaten the Indian heartland. The ill-conceived demand for demilitarization can only boost the expanding designs of the terrorist state across the border. Many in India are seduced by the belief that Islamabad finally wants to talk peace with New Delhi – which is absolutely flawed.
    Unfortunately for Pakistan, its policy of jihad and export of terror worldwide after 9/11 have come home to roost. Internally Pakistan’s Army is overstretched between Afghanistan-Pakistan border and internal security duties. With clear multiple vertical divides within Pakistan’s populace and society, the jihadi factory, and different echelons of the Army – it is in some difficulty in keeping the Indian borders on the boil as hither-to-fore.

    The difference between China and India is that the former builds roads beyond its borders and the latter’s roads stop short of reaching its own borders.
    If one monitors the jehadi chatter with a discerning ear, the message coming out is clear i.e. to defeat the Western forces led by America. This for the time being has acquired primacy over the anti – India agenda. India, they seem to be confident, being an utterly soft state can be dealt with subsequently. However, the anti – India cause they reckon must be kept alive through their lobbies and sleeper agents, lest New Delhi becomes too comfortable! It’s a well thought out tactical ploy as it struggles on multi-fronts.
    India has extended major aid to Afghanistan in its reconstruction programme. Millions of dollars of the taxpayer’s money along with manpower is being poured into Kabul as a sensible strategy. However, with resurgence of Taliban in Afghanistan with the backing of Islamabad, this taxpayer’s money may well go down the drain. The problem with New Delhi’s policy in its geopolitical arena is characterized by strange self-doubt. The policy invariably consists of only the ‘carrot’ and omits the ‘stick’ which is vital for success in exercise of international relations. If New Delhi is not willing to flex its military, intelligence, and diplomatic sinews, jointly with Western forces or individually, to defend the gigantic re-construction work it has undertaken, it will be muscled out once again.

    Case North
    Nepal culturally is a mirror image of India and faces virtually similar problems. Maoists, notwithstanding their participation in the interim government continue to control and run parallel government. Kathmandu’s writ does not run in major chunk of Nepal’s territory, particularly the hill districts.By humiliating its national army and making them surrender their weapons, the Koirala government has opened itself to Maoist blackmail. It is merely a matter of time before the gun-wielding Maoists throw Koirala and the rag-tag liberal political parties out of power. With 38 Gorkha Battalions in the Indian Army, and large number of Gorkha personnel in police and para-military forces, it poses grave danger to India. And the sole beneficiary of this churning will be China. In terms of India’s foreign policy, it is blunder of epic proportions. The stark question is, if New Delhi cannot handle Nepal then what exactly can it?

    If one monitors the jehadi chatter with a discerning ear, the message coming out is clear i.e. to defeat the Western forces led by America. This for the time being has acquired primacy over the anti – India agenda.
    Our northern neighour China more or less has arrived as the new super power. While New Delhi’s influence continues to shrink due to divisive policies and indulgence in vote bank politics, Beijing with its calibrated and well thought out approach is extending its influence in Asia and consolidating it in South Asia. In Asia-Pacific, most of the economies including Japan’s are performing well due to the China factor. China’s proxy Pakistan has kept India on its toes.
    Bangladesh and Nepal are likely to end up as China’s new vassal states. Saudi Arabia and other Islamic states are now tilting towards China and moving away from the West. The same is true for many countries in South East Asia, West Asia, Central Asia, and Africa. China’s naval reach stands enhanced, through ports like Sitwe in Myanmar, Gwadar in Pakistan and Hambantota in Sri Lanka that provide new maneuvering space into Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean lowering India’s maritime pre-eminence. If China remains strong and India becomes weak, China will overwhelm India. The reverse will not happen if India is strong and China is weak. This bottom line must always be kept in mind by New Delhi.

    Case South
    America is “in” and can use the port facilities in Sri Lanka, to enhance its Indian Ocean presence. China in a mutually beneficial move also is tying up with Colombo. It appears that here too India is being muscled out from its backyard. What surprises one is that the Indian Navy that wants to be the pre-eminent force in the Indian Ocean and the Indian Air Force that wants a transoceanic and aerospace capabilities could not monitor the LTTE rag tag air force taking off on the next door island, hitting out at the SLAF and retreating to their hide out without detection! It is time India steps in to ensure that the Sinhalese and the LTTE are brought to the negotiating table. This is primarily India’s responsibility and is a litmus test for the mandarins of South Block, as break up of Sri Lanka is not in India’s interest.


    This analysis made by Bharat Verma, a former Cavalry Officer is Editor, Indian Defence Review.

    So guys what does you think??
     
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  3. jayadev

    jayadev Founding Member

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    we should be very carefull about increasing our inluence in the asia pafcic region. I think it is better to increase the ties wth the small countris in asia pacific rather than to attract the biggies
     
  4. laxman

    laxman New Member

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    The small country like BD, Srilanka fell jealousy for our economical growth/naturally they fear us and which leads to disbelief.Its the of our leader,after so many year they cant make d relation easier.Now a days they dont want trust,good relation, they want money only and to get this they r playing china card.It is difficult for them to afford us as a friend.We cant blame the leader completely,it is also fault of RAW.

    Besides the big so called devoloped country usually use us as a trum card or as a market.Although it is another way to make friend in short term.
     
  5. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    One of the major reasons why India's Influence is shrinking because we have a PM who is more of a economist. When was the last time an India PM has publicly lambasted a hostile country ??

    The current establishment's inability to take action during hostile crisis like 26/11, Chinese intrusions, Maoist terrorism and Kashmiri protests clearly reduces India's influence.
     
  6. laxman

    laxman New Member

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    agree,
    due to this reason i like to prefer BJP, once they claimed that Tibbet is under India. Today cong. is failed to take such decision, they approved anything china claimed and gradually their demand increases.
     
  7. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I would accept Bharat Verma's analysis with a pinch of salt.
    (1) 30 million Bangladeshis is not a small number. Even at the peak of the '71 war 20 million refugees where in India. Illegal immigration is more to do with economic reasons and to fix that a range of issues has to be taken into account regarding fencing of borders, better legal migration /work permits facilities and imprving the economic situation in Bangladesh itself so that people don't migrate into India.
    AT present we have better relations with Bangladesh than any other neighbour. That is probably a big foreign policy coup that Vermahas not given GoI credit for.

    (2) He is unclear about the "Jehadi" chatter and the involvement of arab countries. LeavingPakistani backed militants aside, the internationlists groups are clearly anti-Israeli and anti-west. Hence not a single AQ specfic attack has been targeted against India. Nor has any arab based extremist group independantly called for and been involved in attacks against India. The only time when foreigners (i.e. those outside the subcontinent) are involved is when Pakistani based groups push them into such a situation such as LeT sending arab fighters to Kashmir for e.g. The only "Jehadi chatter" that targets India is the Paksitani based ones. Ofcourse they will try their best to get the Arabs involved against India but until now they have been unsucessful in getting mass support.
    The other FP coup was Manmohan Singh bringing a huge improvement in GCC and Saudi relations but keeping Israeli relations on track as well. Just a PM visit from India to Saudi Arabia was enough to scare the pants of many Pakistani analysts. At present the Arab and GCC block is the biggest trade partner for India and they have bigger trade relations with India than China. As I have mentioned earlier, the large muslim population and freedom of religion in India means that the GCC countries will naturally be more comfortable at a people to people level with Indians than Chinese. But that also depends on GoI actively pursuing at a government level the same ties to counter China

    (3) Sri Lanka and Nepal have been blunders, Nepal in particular which shows that following a FP through religious prisms instead of real politik is fraughtwith problems. The Nepal issue is because of too much interference from India rather than too less. The overbearing role of India has resulted in a backlash among the common people against Indian government. Sri Lanka is improving slowly but until a politcal settlement can be reached with the Tamils there, it will be fraught with issues.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  8. laxman

    laxman New Member

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    At the situation(70's) our economic condition was not so good that we can help a country with 2 bil. usd, and the process of advancement is not so quick. The decision taken at this time was right. we never made any decision that can offend them, they offended due to some religious freak, are misguiding them.
    I thyink it was 1 type of fault of our leader,they should take some step so that the so called religious leaders are remain under control.

    And today the relation improving only bet Hassina and our govt. You will see it in next election in BD.
     
  9. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    If we're facing flak from certain envious and belligerent neighbours who rest on China-supplied crutches, then we should ignore such aggressive countries that have no use to us, rather than further appeasing them and making their case stronger than our own, as it has been going on all these recent years since the last 15 years. We should focus on Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Seychelles, Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Nauru, Tuvalu and other countries that are in Southeast as well as IOR.

    We have to make Southeast, Himalayas and IOR as the 3 pillars of our military strategic strength as these 3 extensively define our strategic reach, geographic shape and interests.
     
  10. keshtopatel

    keshtopatel Regular Member

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    He follows Madam Sonia with - Ji madam, Ha madam, scores in Pak want to own him!
    The guy never confronts Sonia on any issue.
     
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Urgently needed, a strategic perspective

    September 16, 2010 6:41:36 PM

    Hiranmay Karlekar

    National security demands a strategic perspective and unflinching action. Any move facilitating grant of autonomy to Jammu & Kashmir would cost India its natural border and its Army its military advantage

    It is outrageous that missing from most deliberations on the current violence in Kashmir is a national strategic perspective. The State of Jammu & Kashmir is a part of India and, given its common borders with Pakistan and China, of critical strategic importance to the country. Pakistan’s attempt to push Islamist terrorists across the Line of Control and international border in Jammu & Kashmir is well known, as is the fact that the Balkanization of India through cross-border terrorism and the stoking of insurgency is a central component of its Army’s strategic doctrine.

    Then there is China. Defence Minister AK Antony said at the Combined Commander’s Conference, attended by top brass of the Army, the Air Force and the Navy, in Delhi on Monday, that India could not ignore Beijing’s fast-improving civil and military infrastructure along the border. Noting that “there has been an increased assertiveness on the part of China”, he added that India needed to keep abreast of military modernisation drives in the neighbourhood to maintain a military edge.

    As important as military hardware and infrastructure like roads, is a border that is easy to defend. Traditionally, the Himalaya has provided that in the north. Even in 1962, the Chinese, who had inflicted a humiliating defeat on us, declared a unilateral ceasefire and returned from Bomdila and elsewhere from what was then North-East Frontier Agency because their supply lines were becoming too stretched, and their forces were in danger of becoming vulnerable to an Indian counter-offensive facilitated by a short supply line.

    Throughout history, most invaders came to India from the north-west crossing, or originating in, Afghanistan, and descended into the plains of Punjab. Since Independence, invaders and cross-border terrorists have also been coming across the LoC and the international border with Pakistan in Jammu & Kashmir. We had captured the Haji Pir Pass from Pakistan during the 1965 and 1971 wars, but returned it at following the Tashkent and Shimla agreements in 1966 and 1972 respectively. Today, the Haji Pir Pass and the area around it constitute one of the principal routes of infiltration by terrorists from Pakistan.

    One has to remember this, as well as possible future developments in Central and South Asia when considering a policy for Jammu & Kashmir. An important year will be 2014 when, as Afghanistan’s President, Mr Hamid Karzai, has said, Afghans would take over the defence of their country. That year is also expected to see the completion of the withdrawal of American forces, which is to begin in July next year, from Afghanistan. As things are, there is no guarantee that the withdrawal will follow the destruction of the Taliban and the Al Qaeda. Rather, it may well follow a face-saving settlement paving the way for both organisations taking over Afghanistan in a couple of years.

    The consequences? The withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, completed on February 15, 1989, was followed by a massive influx of Islamist terrorists, veterans of the Afghan jihad, into Jammu & Kashmir from Pakistan and a sharp increase in insurgent and terrorist violence. Judging by present trends, it will be worse in 2014. Supporting the infiltrators/invaders will be the Pakistani Army whose strength will be considerably enhanced by the massive economic and military aid it is receiving from the US and which it is using to build up its military muscles vis-à-vis India. There will also be nuclear blackmail.

    India is also scheduled to have a parliamentary election that year. There will be trouble if it brings to power in Delhi a knock-kneed coalition forced to constantly compromise on national security. The trouble will be compounded if the parliamentary elections in Bangladesh, to be held early in 2014, bring Begum Khaleda Zia and the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, both pathologically anti-Indian, to power, and if Nepal is in turmoil. It will be disastrous if our effective border with Pakistan then does not run along the mountains of Jammu & Kashmir but the plains of Punjab following the grant of autonomy to the State or a settlement reducing the Centre’s military presence there. Any sign of weakness-such as dilution of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act — will push events in that direction by encouraging further violence which will be seen as capable of wresting further concessions.
     

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