Unlike China, wariness marks India's ascent

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by ajtr, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Unlike China, wariness marks India's ascent



    PARIS — Some countries are naturally at ease with the concept and the reality of strategic power. Such was clearly the case of France under Louis XIV, the Sun King in the 17th century, and such is the case today of China, whose leadership is comfortable with the balance-of-power games of classical EuropeIndia is clearly in a different category. In economic terms, India's confidence has been boosted by the way the Western world now looks at it with a mixture of respect and greed: "What kind of deals can I strike with such an emerging market, whose population will soon be the largest of any country in the world?"

    Yet, in order to understand India's political and diplomatic relationship with the outside world, the most enlightening comparison is with America in 1920. Like the United States after World War I, India is realizing that its status and role in the world have been deeply transformed in the last two decades. And, like America then, India is not naturally at ease with the notion of exercising global power.

    India's history and culture, from Asoka, its mythical emperor in the third century B.C., to Gandhi, push it to emphasize ethics and to consider itself an "exceptional" nation in its relationship with the world. Contrary to China, India finds it difficult to adapt to its status as an emerging "Great Power." It would be a gross exaggeration, of course, to speak of an Indian "inferiority complex." And yet India constantly measures itself against China, remains obsessed with Pakistan, and has recently begun to look more critically at its relationship with the U.S.

    It is natural for India to proclaim its "democratic" superiority to China while recognizing that on all strategic fronts it is not in the same league. But is it even possible to draw a comparison between what one Indian academic has called the "robotized Chinese man" and the vast human diversity of India?

    India seems to worry more than ever about China's evolution. China's key role within the G20, together with the relative if not absolute decline of the Western powers, seems to have reinforced the hardliners in Beijing and the nationalism of a China that seems less ready than ever to accept any criticism of its human rights record. Viewed from New Delhi, the vision of a reasonable, prudent and ultimately satisfied China — a vision "sold" to the world by the minister mentor of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew — appears less than obvious.

    When it comes to Pakistan, too, India seems to lack confidence. On all fronts — demographic, economic, military and political — India is far above Pakistan. But India does not seem to know how to deal with its northwestern neighbor, and even less whom to deal with in its government.

    The largest democracy in the world cannot say openly that it almost preferred the military dictatorship of Gen. Pervez Musharraf to the chaos of the current situation. In reality, what prevails in India is a deep sense of frustration with Pakistan. India's overtures to Pakistan's government have largely remained unanswered, and when Indian officials express their unease, the U.S., if not the international community, accuses them of behaving irresponsibly.

    If India seems not to believe that America and its allies can really "succeed" in Afghanistan, nor is it willing to resign itself to a return of the Taliban to power, which could in turn lead to Talibanization of Pakistan. Yet India seems to behave in a very "European" way in Afghanistan; it is ready to send money and experts, but not troops.

    India's worries and frustrations in Afghanistan and Pakistan translate into a mixture of disillusion and irritation with an America that, seen from New Delhi, allows itself to be manipulated by Pakistani officials. Indians cannot quite decide whether the Americans are simply "naive" or duplicitous; either way, they are not reassured.

    Whatever the case, the current warming of relations between India and Russia, symbolized by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's recent visit, does not translate into a grand reversal of alliances, as India's break with Russia in the 1990s did. India's exchanges with Russia are only one-fifth of what they are with China. What prevails nowadays in New Delhi and Moscow is simple pragmatism.

    While there is room for Europe in India's view of the world, for India (as for China) Europe is above all an economic rather than a political reality. When it comes to politics, bilateral relations prevail, and from that standpoint France and Germany seem more important than Great Britain. The Raj era may be visible in the buildings of New Delhi and in the uniforms of the Indian Army, but Britain has lost any competitive edge that it once had in India. The past is truly passed.

    India's unease about strategic power, and its resemblance to a gigantic European Union united only by the English language, reflects its ongoing search for a new international identity. In this quest, India is impaired by its lack of practice in the exercise of power on a grand scale. India is not about to become a second China — it lacks both the means and the ambition. That is a further reason for the West to engage and invest in India.
     
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  3. lodaxstax

    lodaxstax Regular Member

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    King Ashoka is mythological??? does this article warrant a reading beyond that??
     
  4. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    Clicking the link given on post # 1, the article surfaces. The last line of the article says "Dominique Moisi is a visiting professor at Harvard University and author of "The Geopolitics of Emotion." © Project Syndicate 2010."

    A visiting professor at Harvard, and yet he calls King Ashoka mythological. His credentials should be checked, and re-checked.
     
  5. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    King Ashoka is very much a historical guy
     
  6. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    Yes, but that is not what the author mentioned. Btw, what did you mean by your statement? Everyone excluding the author of the article knows Ashoka is a historical guy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  7. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    yep there is .His existence can be collaborated through archaelogical and literary sources and foreign annals esp the chinese chronicles and ceylon chronicles
     
  8. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    What he fails to mention is India plays a waiting game not that we don't excercise power.What india is waiting is for opprotunities and is focussing on its economy.The GDP grows by another trillion dollars and pakistan will be at the recieving end of indias wrath .They pissed us long enough.IMHO cooking stats and making the GDP look to bloated thats a bad thing.Well lets wait a decade and kick the nuisance in the immediate neighbourhood
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The wariness comes from the fact that China's growth came from being a low cost manufacturer for USA and getting MFN trade status from USA and special trade privileges. India's growth is not tied to USA in this way so it makes people wary they have no leverage against India.
     
  10. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    LF he is saying we are wary to excercise power
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    what he is really saying is India is neutral on many issues and should bend more towards USA's view.
     
    Dovah likes this.
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    on many points the prof. is right if we keep aside his Asoka being myth argument as being is lack of G.K. India is a country which always had and still has the potential to be a power to reckon with.but its leadership always lacked the strategic vision and it never realises its true potential like hanuman(he needed the jamwant to remind him about his tremendous powers).Secondly indian leadership for some reason was always hesitate to use its military power offensively.
     
  13. VayuSena1

    VayuSena1 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Westerners have a habit of making everything Indian as Mythological; from Mahabharata to Ramayana to emperor Ashoka. Whereas they seem to take every single silly Chinese superstition as God's word. Now that their mechanism of imperialist economy is failing, perhaps they need to tone down their ego a bit when dealing with emerging powers.
     
  14. bigtiger

    bigtiger Regular Member

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    Please educate me: Are there archaeological evidences of Mahabharata, Ramayana and Emperor Ashoka?
     
  15. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    archaeological evidences About emperor Ashoka ,come and see in Orrisa.
     
  16. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    I stopped reading after the article called Emperor Ashok mythical.

    Edit: but curiosity had the better of me.

    Most of the assessment is spot on. India simply isn't able to make effective use of the influence and realpolitik it earned on the global stage.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2010
  17. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    This nothing to do with asoka but then sure you can find the archeological evidences of Asoka right from afghanistan pakistan throught india till mayanmar srilanka and most of the south asian nations like indonesia thailand etc.just you have to do is type asoka in google and see how many links and evidences you get.Asoka is not something like CCP created history and myth of its suzerainty over Tibet in past history.
     
  18. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Yes, there are his palaces, monuments and inscriptions present to date. Ashok isn't any less historical than Alexander, Tutankhamun, or Genghis Khan.
     
  19. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Come on. Even me knows Asoka that emperor who was said to have conquered most parts of the subcontinent and promote Buddhism after ruthless wars.

    But why was it related to CCP or Suzernaity or Tibet ?? Does your distortion of another history enhance your point? u were sounding derailing!!

    Let me enlighten u, Tibet - whoever rules China CCP or KMT or Qing Dynasty - was and is part of China. It was not started from CCP but it was CCP who liberated Tibet from theocracy and slavery. And Suzernaity - good word! Were those ancient nations who fell under Asoka in suznernaity?? u revisionism of another country's history is funny but hardly serves your viewpoint
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010

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