Why the World's Most Powerful Leaders Really Love India

AVERAGE INDIAN

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Some of the world's most important people are wooing India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi like teenage boys drooling over the homecoming queen.

Some of the world's most important people are wooing India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi like teenage boys drooling over the homecoming queen. Less than a month ago, Modi was feted in Japan on his five-day official visit, during which he even received an unexpected hug from usually stiff Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. This week, Modi is hosting China's President Xi Jinping, who upon his arrival in the country on Wednesday, proclaimed that Beijing wishes "to forge a closer development partnership and jointly realize our great dreams of building strong and prosperous nations."

Why has Modi become so popular? The reason can be found in how Asia is changing, politically and economically. Ever since China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping launched his country's remarkable economic miracle in the early 1980s, the old Cold War divisions in the region melted away amid increasing economic integration. According to the Asian Development Bank, trade between Asian countries accounted for 50% of their total trade in 2013, up from 30% in 1985. But with China flexing the political and military muscles it has acquired from growing wealth, Asia is becoming split into two camps once again – one centered on China, the other on the U.S. and its allies, including Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. Each side is looking to bolster its support in the region in order to gain leverage on the other. Tokyo, embroiled in a tense stand-off with Beijing over disputed islands in the East China Sea, is looking to build a network of allies to "contain" a rising China. Meanwhile, Beijing is aiming to create a power bloc of its own in the region to counteract U.S. influence.

India has become a key wild card in this new geopolitical power game. As a rising power in its own right, and a huge potential source of new business in everything from espressos to expressways, whichever side manages to lure New Delhi into its orbit will tilt the scales in its favor.

Both camps are making their best pitch. Japan's Abe took the unusual step of traveling from Tokyo to the historic city of Kyoto to personally welcome Modi to the country. Xi ventured all the way to Modi's home state of Gujarat on this visit, even donning an Indian-style vest. Abe sent off Modi with a promise of $33 billion of new investment. Xi is reportedly planning to top that during his India visit, dangling an even bigger package of $100 billion.

On purely economic grounds, you'd think Xi has an advantage in his quest for Modi's favor. Trade between the two has exploded, to nearly $66 billion in 2013 from a mere $1.2 billion in 1996. Their economic links will likely continue to strengthen as Chinese companies become more and more important global investors and Chinese consumers more and more important customers. The world's two most-populous nations would appear to have many economic interests in common as well. Their companies, accustomed to operating in an emerging economy and selling to emerging consumers, are attracted to the potential of each other's markets. China's Xiaomi, for instance, has successfully lured Indian customers to its cut-rate smartphones as it has in China. Wouldn't Modi be wise to hitch his country to the world's rising power, rather than Japan, a declining one? That would bring to life the economic power of what's been termed "Chindia."

But China-India relations are more complicated than that. After India's independence in 1947, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru thought his new nation would find a friend in newly communist China. The spirit of the times was captured in the phrase Hindi Chini bhai-bhai, or "Indians and Chinese are brothers." That hope was dashed, however. India has incensed China by allowing Tibet's Dalai Lama, who Beijing considers a dangerous separatist, to reside in exile in India. Modi, in fact, invited Tibet's prime minister-in-exile to his inauguration in May. Relations are also continually roiled by border disputes. In 1962, the two fought a nasty border war, and the causes of that conflict linger to this day. The two countries contest land along their border in India's far north in Ladakh, while China claims India's eastern province of Arunachal Pradesh. China perennially irritates India over these unresolved issues. Just last week, only days before Xi's much-heralded visit, India charged that Chinese troops are building a road in the contested territory in Ladakh. In talks with Xi on Thursday, Modi urged the Chinese President to finally resolve their border disagreements.

Such tensions are clearly weighing on Modi's mind. He has apparently embarked on a mission to upgrade India's military capabilities and relationships. Abe and Modi during their recent summit agreed to strengthen military ties, and in August, New Delhi and Washington pledged to do the same during U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's visit to India. One of the first economic reforms Modi announced after becoming Prime Minister was easing restrictions on foreign investment into India's defense sector, a move aimed at bolstering its technology and production capacities. It is an open secret who is the target of all these military moves. While in Japan, Modi took a swipe at an assertive China when he told business leaders in Tokyo that "everywhere around us, we see an 18th century expansionist mind-set: encroaching on another country, intruding in others' waters, invading other countries and capturing territory."

Modi, then, is attempting to have his halwa and eat it, too — playing off both sides to win as many goodies as he can. In his quest to restart India's economic miracle by building much-needed infrastructure and boosting manufacturing, Modi will need all the money he can get — from China, the U.S., Japan and anyone else who is offering. India has always been wary of trying itself too tightly into any one political camp — during the Cold War Nehru was the leading figure behind what was known as the "nonaligned movement." The question is how long Modi can play one side off the other. We may find out soon enough. Later this month, Modi will travel to Washington to meet with President Barack Obama. Let's see what goodies he picks up there.

India: China and Japan See New PM Narendra Modi as Offering Prosperity
 

Sylex21

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India is entering a geopolitical sweet spot. Japan will be good friend and ally but Mr. Modi's trip was nice, but not spectacular there. The Chinese trip was a bit of a failure. Now the upcoming US trip will be very interesting to watch, though I am not sure how likely it is for something substantial to come out of it. Lastly it will be an honor to host President Putin in India later in the year, though I am not sure if it will be any more than the continued and friendly, if somewhat limited in scope cooperation between India and Russia.
 

Ashutosh Lokhande

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Does anybody know what is going to be India's agenda for US and with Russia's high level meet?
 
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jouni

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Even if not all of you are the sharpest pencil in a pencil case, India IS the worlds biggest democracy. Something that deserves the admiration of the world.
 

roma

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And the world's largest Market :)
our strength is the family system ....that we dont have too many who remain single
but rather traditional family values , a solid culture of arranged marriage
and each bride and groom are doing their
part to strengthen the nation on and after their first night, mostly not unwillingly

a nation is made of individuals and families.
when the family is weak so is the nation too
and equally when the family is strong
 

Mad Indian

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our strength is the family system ....that we dont have too many who remain single
but rather traditional family values , a solid culture of arranged marriage
and each bride and groom are doing their
part to strengthen the nation on and after their first night, mostly not unwillingly

a nation is made of individuals and families.
when the family is weak so is the nation too
and equally when the family is strong
India has had family system for millennia. It dint earn us shit. All that matters in the world is $$ and power!
 

roma

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India has had family system for millennia. It dint earn us shit. All that matters in the world is $$ and power!
well i respect your right to opinion.

i think the family values (FV) kept us as a nation even through the most difficult times
when we went though the moghul and british eras plus other including today's cultural onslaught
my view is that without the FV - we would have splintered and today be basically non-existent
 

Mad Indian

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well i respect your right to opinion.

i think the family values (FV) kept us as a nation even through the most difficult times
when we went though the moghul and british eras plus other including today's cultural onslaught
my view is that without the FV - we would have splintered and today be basically non-existent
So your only point is that we have "existed" in the world due to FV. True. So does the other 250+ nations in the world. SO what is giving us the attention we are getting now? Two words- money and power
 

Dhairya Yadav

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our strength is the family system ....that we dont have too many who remain single
but rather traditional family values , a solid culture of arranged marriage
and each bride and groom are doing their
part to strengthen the nation on and after their first night, mostly not unwillingly

a nation is made of individuals and families.
when the family is weak so is the nation too
and equally when the family is strong
Sorry to say, but Im still trying to figure out how your post is relevant to mine ... :confused:
 

roma

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Sorry to say, but Im still trying to figure out how your post is relevant to mine ... :confused:
dont pretend ! :rofl:

my post was about FV yours was about largest market - you dont see the connection ?
maybe re-read my post ? regards, R
 

roma

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So your only point is that we have "existed" in the world due to FV. True. So does the other 250+ nations in the world. SO what is giving us the attention we are getting now? Two words- money and power
firstly they havent been as consistent as we have - weve benefited from geometric progression
( remember were one of only two with the numbers )

secondly how does the money come , if not from our human resources ?

as for power, have you hear of the term manpower ?
 

Dhairya Yadav

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dont pretend ! :rofl:

my post was about FV yours was about largest market - you dont see the connection ?
maybe re-read my post ? regards, R
Got It :)
I feel that Indian Family Values and size, albeit good, is growing uncontrollably in Poor sections of the society .
This will only slow the growth of the country, as poor people will tend to discriminate between male and female child , due to lack of resources.
Im not saying India should adopt that One child policy of China, but awareness is needed, which is being done, effectively.

Largest market image can be sustained without overly large families. What is needed is good distribution of resources (wage equality) and education for that,
which I believe is Solution to each and every problem in the world .
 

Dhairya Yadav

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Does anybody know what is going to be India's agenda for US and with Russia's high level meet?
With Both, I think Trade will dominate the talks. Some agreements of defence can also be signed . However, we must see reaction of Russia concerning with Indo-US meet, that will formulate our plan of how to deal with Russia in their meet.
 

Ashutosh Lokhande

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With Both, I think Trade will dominate the talks. Some agreements of defence can also be signed . However, we must see reaction of Russia concerning with Indo-US meet, that will formulate our plan of how to deal with Russia in their meet.
I feel the trips would be more of a defence related strategy and pacts. Especially considering the recent incursions by the chinnks.


Lets see what happens. Intresting times ahead.
 

jouni

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Regarding big families. How many people were in India when Brits colonized you, and how many Brits did it? Just curious, no hidden agenda.
 

Dhairya Yadav

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Regarding big families. How many people were in India when Brits colonized you, and how many Brits did it? Just curious, no hidden agenda.
I dont know about when they colonized , But at time of independence ,there were 350 million people approx.
campaign for nuclear families started in 1970s , and it has been very effective on that front.
 

Peter

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Regarding big families. How many people were in India when Brits colonized you, and how many Brits did it? Just curious, no hidden agenda.
There is no definite answer to this question. British officials were known to fudge up census numbers. India probably had a population of 300-350 million in 1947 as my friend Dhairya has mentioned. Indian population around the 1500`s was about 100 million as per some sources. Compared to India, entire Europe had a population of only 50 million in 1500`s.

Now to the question. During the 1700`s Britain had a population of 5 million while India had a population of 127 million. The British rule in India is said to have started after the Battle of Plassey where that evil Clive managed to bribe traitorous Mir Jafar and take de facto control of Bengal. One important thing we have to consider is that India was not united back then. India was a loose amalgam of a thousand princely states(a bit like the states of the Holy Roman Empire). The British only fought against many minor princes who only thought of their own cause. Unlike the Qing Empire of China or the Japanese Shogunate which had a sanding army of at-least 100,000-500,000 soldiers the Britishers only faced armies with a size of 30,000 soldiers(some of whom were irregulars)against the Indian princes. The Marathas did pose a challenge but they were defeated by Afghans in the third battle of Panipat and so the British managed to conquer the Indian princes or forced them to become puppet states under the East India Company. The British were masters of deceit and treachery so they used things like Doctrine of Lapse etc to take away kingdoms of the princes. Back then Indian nationalism or what is called as Westphalian/French nationalism was non-existent in India.

Coming to 1950`s India had 350 million and Europe had 550 million people.

Internet History Sourcebooks Project
INDIA: population growth of the whole country
http://www.geohive.com/earth/his_proj_europe.aspx
 
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