Entering a new Era

The Era of Asian Politics

On 26th of January,1950 India formerly announced to go for a sojourn. A journey which was yet to be seen, but the inception of what the nation felt during years of struggle for Freedom, Independence, Self-Governance or Swaraj, Equality, Justice, Progress, Security and above all a Pride, pride to call our soil OUR’s.

We the people of India, today stand confronting a doorway leading to a new era. As we are on the verge of entering this new era, we shall re-conform the inception sown by the founding fathers of the Nation. The fathers who saw the nation to become a global power, not a superpower. As our cultural values teach us to live in peace, in constant flux of improvising ourselves and help those who are in dire need. Many people argue that India, with present conditions, can never be a Superpower. I want to re-align them and counter-state that we never aim to be one. India, as always, wants to live in harmony along with other states. Though, India has acquired, over the period, certain exceptional abilities which is hard to find with our cohorts. India is home to multi-cultures, multi-lingual, multi-religious, values and people from various civilisations are living together, which clearly makes her unique. India has tremendous affinity to absorb and share with the world. It is clear from the fact that India is land of one of the most accepted religions, thoughts of which are still reforming the world.

Since establishing our republic, we have been crossing lot of impediments. From the Wars with Pakistan, China, and internal instability, today we stand as the most reliable and unanimously accepted Republic Democracy. Today even the oldest Democracies are leaning to us, to learn the ability of reflecting Values and Virtues of different Races, Religions, Sex, Castes, and ethnicities. After the 2014 General Election, the New Prime Minister is constantly re-affirming the people’s, of the nation and also the world, faith in the country’s ideals. The years have been turbulent since 1947, we face new challenges today some of which could be traced back to the reluctance of the past. Now we have learnt to flow with the world, we learnt to reassess ourselves and walk the way all does. With the Pragmatic vision of the PM Modi, India is claiming its place. A place of future global power.

“Rome’s eyes were opened by the world it encountered in the East. Asia had already acquired a reputation for lazy luxury and fine living which was indescribably wealthy” – Cicero

India can’t neglect its strategic location which connects West with the East. East, as per archaeological sources, have always been ahead during the historic times. From the great civilisations of Indus Valley to great Mauryan and Gupta Empire, this sub-continent was always well connected with west through trade exchanges. The Asian wealth was so enormous that once Cicero wrote,”Rome’s eyes were opened by the world it encountered in the East. Asia had already acquired a reputation for lazy luxury and fine living which was indescribably wealthy” . It was Asia that taught the Romans and the Persians what luxury actually means. Similarly, today again the West is looking onto Asia, thats why they call Twenty First century-The Asian Century”. 

The whole world is in flux of change, this change is not natural but created out of the world order made by the Liberals or Capitalism. After the fall of the USSR and end of the cold war, US came up as the sole leader. Over the years, US tried to maintain its hegemony. Its ideals of Equality, Justice and Pursuit of Happiness roared all around and established the triumph of liberal ideology. But now looking at the future US trajectory, after the Inauguration and Sworn in of President Donald J. Trump, the vagueness of the liberal achievements in maintaining the world order have once again arrived. From putting in the Protectionist measures, building wall on Mexican border leading and furthering on to “Making America Great Again”, the uncertainties are back again. What would be the US policies towards the “War against Terrorism”, towards Afghanistan, Syria, and towards one and only Deep State- Pakistan. Though many experts are expecting that President Trump would continue to deepen Strategic ties with India, but what if US shifts its policy? What if Trump binds a deal with China? ( as he , challenging the “One China Policy”, calling China a Currency manipulator and so on, looking forth to negotiate with China once again). On the other hand, Pakistan is aligning with China and Russia to get into a new rapprochement with Taliban. Recent development of cordial relations between the Troika, Russia-China-Pakistan, raised many eyebrows in New Delhi. Afghanistan is strategically important, as it is the ISI’s and JuD (Jamaat-ud-Dawa) as well as JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad) factory of Terrorist. The region is again facing waves of extremism and an unstable Afghanistan is a threat to Northern Indian States (esp. J&K). Furthermore, our close partner Russia have given up the arms embargo over Pakistan and will be supplying Mi-35M Helicopters too. This sudden change in President Putin’s Policies are creating suspicion to New Delhi. The re-entry of Russia in Afghanistan replays the past memories of cold war era. In contrast to this, Ukraine’s Deputy PM Stepan Kubiv joined India’s republic day celebrations. Ukraine’s ambassador to India have told that there will going to be Bilateral discussions. It is quite clear that India too is re-aligning itself and deepening ties with Ukraine, as Russia continuous to get close with Pakistan. A note for those who are not aware that Russia and Ukraine are going through disturbed relation owing to the Russia’s annexation of Crimea. 

President Trump have shown affinity to re-settle US-Russia relation, which were on a downward trajectory since the Crimean issue, Russian role in Syria, and most importantly hacking of the Hillary Clinton’s mails that benefited President Trump. Furthermore, there is no need to tell more about the Trump’s rage with China, if all remains as it is India is set to gain. But being pragmatic, it is really of concern if something went the other way. President Xi’s policies are putting Chinese economy back on track. China has achieved a lot with decades of double digit growth and all it requires is to maintain more than average growth to avoid slug in the way. Xi’s policy have already put Obama administration under the pressure. It was President Obama’s policies of mellowing up with China (2005 onwards) gave it opportunity to underwrite US dominance. Later when Obama realised the Chinese increasing aggressiveness in the region, went with the “ Asia Pivot “ and furthering engagement with India.

” What is clearer is that a quarter century later, we are transitioning to more unpredictable times. It is neither the age of global hegemons nor the age of multipolarity, but rather the age of regional powers…” – Rakesh Sood

In recent article Rakesh Sood wrote,” (now) What is clearer is that a quarter century later, we are transitioning to more unpredictable times. It is neither the age of global hegemons nor the age of multipolarity, but rather the age of regional powers…”. During the Rise of Roman empire, it was in constant struggle with the Sassanid Dynasty (Persian Empire). They were in struggle to acquire and become a regional hegemon. Came the day when there was a period of climate change which led to the tribal people living in the North to travel South in search of food. The tribes, as history speaks, Huns, Avars, and others were in constant revolt with these empires. The tribal people were so strong that it brought Roman Empire to the brink of collapse, as they took control of the Mediterranean regions which was the breadbasket. These tribes later were driven back when the Emperor (Roman King) and Shah (Perisan King) joined hands. What fascinates me here that many believes History repeats itself, going with this Asian-European historical relationship, is it possible for US and Russia to set out a deal or US and China? If so happened will we enter again back into Bi-polar world. What would be the implications of it? How India will manage its future aspirations?

A high-time for diplomacy is coming in the future ahead, be it India or US or China and Russia or any other. Asia, as in the past, is golden basket which every empire wants to cherish. It would be bit early to decide the future but what we have at present is set of strategies to follow. India can’t rely on US or Russia to counter the Rising China and its influence. As old saying goes, ‘ Never use someone’s shoulder to Fire’, India should and must design its own strategy and pave its path.

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Is it Time For India to Recalculate Geo-Strategic Equation??

Right about The Winter is coming !

Year 2014 came with the dissuading winds far from the Centre and Left wing in Indian domestic Political System. The Government fell from UPA directly onto the lap of Gujarat’s Chief Minister led NDA. The Strategic mind-set of the Former Gujarat CM and new Prime Minister became the highlights of the news when, to be specific, he invited Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his Oath taking Ceremony.

Since 2015, the days have been quite turbulent, starting from the Operation Rahat (evacuation of Indian Citizens from the disturbed West Asian nation-state Yemen). Prime Minister Modi breaking his leg to get India a new pair of wheels and put it in the topmost gear of Economic boom, yet the road was blocked on many instances. PM Modi though tried his best to carrying out the Strategic steps, started by his predecessors Mr.Bajpai then Mr.Singh,  reinvigorating to the world view towards India. The internal politics, along with the International Politics, went through a number debates about the real intent of the policies declared from the steps of Red Fort on the eve of Independence Day from Look East to the recent references of the plight of Baluchis as well as the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. From the very first day in office he carried assessment studies of India’s stake in the global politics. May it be United Nations Security Counsel (UNSC) reforms or counterbalancing Communist China, most experts are impressed by his desired moves. But what are those stakes that India having worldwide? Where are those playgrounds? What are the plans laid down? Just to have a glimpse of those images i am laying out a short description which i will elaborate in my futures posts.

Before starting I would like to give a note of caution. I don’t claim to be a Person of high knowledge, or having a secret door to the Ministry of Home Affairs. All my posts will be based on my studies from different sources and with which i will be furthering my ‘Own Intellectual Assessment‘, and again i don’t claim to be an ultimate strategic analyst. Please don’t judge me ! Apart from that, i welcome you to counter my thoughts and elaborate your perception and ideas regarding the issues we will be discussing. You can comment below and i will catch up with you, also please mention your mail id while asking specific questions.

As it is the First post, I will just be laying down certain stakes that i think India holds region wise. I wont be going much deep into the Regions, unless it contains some importance.

Indian Stakes in the World Order

North America:

As we all know, with no doubts, the region is of utmost importance. Not only because the region has two Major powers I.e. United States and Canada. Stakes ranges from Economy, Security, Technology, Nuclear Security, Support for the UNSC claim and Diaspora.

United States which ,was an ardent sanction slapper, became dearest to the New Delhi. Though it major ally of the cold war times, i.e. Pakistan, was holding its ground until Al-Qaeda Chief was hunted down by the CIA and US marines in Abottabad. Since then, a major shift is being observed from the signing of Nuclear Pact, LEMOA and other economic and security cooperation.

With the new President coming in the White House, the prospectives of the continued relationship is bit early to say.

South America:

The Lower half of the American Continent have a close connection with India. Like India, South America had been under the severe domination of the imperialistic powers. We are closely linked with these nations economically through Bilateral as well as MERCOSUR (Economic Union of the South American Countries). Brazil is a strong contender of the UNSC seat but simultaneously supporting India’s candidature on reciprocity.

Indian industries, since last decade, have invested quite a significant amount in Latin America. Indian IT industries, as in India, are creating plenty of jobs. The region has vast fertile land with huge agricultural productivity.

Moreover, as Mexico is in North America but for the economy similarities with Southern half, will be dealt in this portion only.

Europe:

Europe is one of the key economic power. With almost 28 countries tying themselves together. But with the referendum result of Bre-Exit, and rising of the rightist forces to power in France, Italy and other countries. India’s interest are in Security, Economic Gains, Technology including Strategic Technology and support for India’s candidature in UNSC. Recently India is trying hard to get the membership of the NSG, Hence European countries are a strategically crucial region.

Africa:

One of the most underdeveloped regions of the world. Africa is continuously emerging as the Focal point. Being victims of the Imperialistic forces, also been the reason of the Great World Wars, have started to show development signs as the world’s investments are flowing in to the pot. The Northern part of the Continent has abundant oil which makes it strategically important. Also, the Horn of Africa is an important transit to the European market, thanks to the Suez Canal, however is also one of the most Piracy prone areas.

India has close relations with most of the coastal states like Mozambique, Kenya etc. The Indian Diaspora is also a leverage in the relationship. One of the aspect of the African continent’s importance lies with their support to India’s candidature in UNSC. African Union have 54 members which could have a huge influence in UNGA.

India’s engagement with the African countries will be taken separately.

Asia:

Coming on to our own Region, which is quite vast in fact, will better to break up it in different sub-regions.

West Asia:

There’s no doubt that West Asia is the power house of the world. Supplying enormous amount of oil over the world. The economic prosperity of the region is obvious, but the region is in fact one of the most unstable in the world. The recent rise of the ISIS/ ISIL have dented the image of region even further and is now looked upon as supplier of extremism. West Asia housed many great civilisations like Roman Empire, Persian Empire (Sassanid Dynasty), Ottoman Empire etc. But the the region is facing new perils of extremism.

It is also the home of Indian diaspora which nearly crosses to about 7 million. Indian remittances tops the world list with more than USD 70 Billion. Recently, India took initiative to provide more amenities to the diaspora living in the region with plenty of other services.

Central Asia:

A part of the former USSR bloc is one of the least explored regions owing to the remoteness and the cold war era. The region is coming into the limelight due to the Oil and Gas vastness and bordering with the European Union. China is trying to influence the region, which it can with its capabilities to invest, but the region has more historic relations and is comfortable with India. The Ladakh region of India houses decedents of the people from the Central Asia. India is continuously trying to harness the region by creating Win-Win conditions unlike the Chinese’s Zero-sum games.

South – East Asia:

Countries lying in the Indian Ocean and connecting with the Pacific Ocean have historic Religious and Cultural affinity with India. The Region is strategically important owing to the Chinese regional ambitions. These Countries are quite economically bind with Chinese Economy and now facing the garb of aggressive and assertive China over not just economics but even internal politics.

With the coming of the India’s Act East policy and now Look East policy, India is trying to take the leadership role in the region. Moreover the uncertainties surrounding the new US government change, China will try to increase their influence over the region which in fact would be threat to India’s security.

East Asia:

The recent developments in the South- China sea and East Sea have created new tensions in the region. The issue of China’s assertiveness over the possessions of the Spartly islands and others have many times brought the region close to skirmishes.

South Asia:

The region is the home of Three nuclear neighbours ( I am including China in the Region, though China is the centrepiece issue for India thats why I will be taking it up more in South Asia) i.e. India, China and Pakistan. China is way too ahead of India economically and India considers China more threatening than Pakistan owing to the reason that Pakistan’s Nuclear programme is supported by one and only China.

India had been into wars with the neighbours, once with China and plenty of times with Pakistan. Handling these two countries along with the widespread instability in Afghanistan has been real policy challenge for India. With recent Strategic change seen, as US is trying to leave region, China-Pakistan- Russia are forming axis to stabilise the region (India is currently in Wait and Watch situation).

Apart form this, Myanmar after many years got the democratic government but the issue of Rakhine State is still hanging over the neighbours. The only joyous relation is with the Bangladesh (from past 2-3 years) and we are deepening our bonds with it.

South Asia, with no doubt, is going to be the centre piece of my study and analysis as it will decide whether India emerges as a leader or not in this Millennium.

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