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Who says India wants to be a superpower?

NeutralCitizen

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A recent report from the London School of Economics (LSE) titled “India: The Next Super Power?” — and, very surprisingly, given excessive mileage by various sections of the media — reflects a new obsession among certain global think tanks and research institutions of the need to remind India that it has a long way to go before it can join the “high table.”

The report posed the question in the context of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2009 visit to India when she said she considered India to be a global rather than a regional power. Do we really need to take cognisance of preachy sermons on how “India has miles to go before it can sleep,” or would we rather be driven by Rabindranath Tagore's dream of an India “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high … Into that heaven of freedom let my country awake?” I think most Indians would still prefer the latter. So let me try and explain why this argument of India aspiring to be a superpower is both historically and contextually a “no-brainer” argument.

A superpower's reach

A superpower, according to many international relations theorists, should have the ability to both exert influence and exercise power in its areas of interest, wherever that may be across the globe. Today, that area has extended into the realms of outer space. More importantly, modern neo-realists also believe that true superpower status is reflected in a willingness to engineer regime changes to protect your own way of life or interests, or even to pursue altruistic agendas of “keeping the world a safer place to live in.” No Indian in his right mind, leave alone policymakers and strategists, could ever dream of subscribing to such fanciful ambitions. I would even go to the extent of wagering my entire savings that even if all the fissures and cracks cited by the panel of LSE experts were to be filled up in a few decades, India could never get around to becoming a superpower of the likes of the U.S. of today or the yesteryear Soviet Union, or for that matter, an emerging China.

This argument of mine has historical backing. Unlike the Greeks, Romans, Mongolians, the participants of the Crusades, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union or the U.S. which had their own reasons for conquest or “expansive doctrines,” India, for centuries, was a “potpourri” of small nation states, satisfied within the boundaries of its geographical expanse, religious tolerance, cultural diversity and abundant natural/water resources. Modern India, ravaged for two centuries by colonial exploitation, is still a nation in the making, benignly looking outward in recent times, primarily to seek energy resources and develop its vast human capital. Nothing exemplifies this aspiration more than the consistent statements of the strategic establishment that all current national strategies including those relating to security would first revolve around India's progression from a developing to a fully developed nation — a tall order by any yardstick.

‘Compellance'

Let me now dwell a bit on “hard power” and see how it is factored into this whole business of fingerprinting a “superpower.” Capability is never equal to power unless it is backed by intent and willingness to use the power in pursuit of national interests. The development cycle of hard power in respect of superpowers or potential superpowers usually commences with a preponderance of deterrent capabilities, re-enforced as time passes with significant coercive or offensive capabilities, until a stage is reached when this coercive capability offers prospects of widespread “compellance.” Incidentally, compellance is a term propagated by the eminent political scientist, Thomas C. Schelling, during the Cold War and is still widely discussed in the global discourse on power equations. Going by these characteristics, where does India stand in this imaginary and premature quest for superpower status? India's development of force projection capability has always been governed by an overarching strategic direction of responsibility, restraint, resilience and respect for sovereignty. This has meant that deterrence has always occupied pole position, with coercive and expeditionary capabilities taking a back seat.

Our objectives too have been well calibrated with our own territorial sovereignty and regional stability being more important than influencing global affairs. Some commentators look at India's interest in the Indian Ocean Region as a logical manifestation of great power yearning; little realising that this interest is primarily driven by the need to provide a deterrent umbrella to our energy interests and the millions of expatriate Indian citizens who not only contribute to the economy of the region they reside in, but also to India's economy. In short, does our hard power support the prognosis of an emerging superpower? No way! And we should not be perturbed at all beyond the fact that maybe our deterrent capabilities need greater attention.

Finally, such reports may be nothing more than mere reality checks because a growing number of Indians are cognizant of the challenges that their country faces and are willing to make contributions in myriad ways.
 

breeze

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Only indians think they are a superpower. The rest of the world sees india what what it is, a monkey power, in other words a big joke. If india ever display any kind of aggressive/hostile behavior it will invite all of its neighbors to join hands to decapitate its head once and for all. No more indian threat.


 

Sergi

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Man OP has serious Hate for India .......
Ok let's agree India is not Super power least now. But it's not India in 62/91. India in 2000 definitely stronger in all aspects. 10/15 years from now it will be a superpower (or in 5 years if all corrupt leader and burocrates die toaday )
 
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Some clowns to satisfy their urge and desperation may create fake accounts of other countries and post the same article time and again ... but the mere fact you guys can't stop thinking about opening anti India threads every second means we are on our way to one ....

So, I am waiting for the next anti India thread... I will send some cents as well.
 

chitti

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I want a prosperous India, a regional power. However their genocidal tendencies are a major setback for them.
pakistan is genocidal, as also is china.. the only inclusive country is india where every refugee who fears for their lives come. india is truly a great dharmic land, the ultimate mother for all.
 

NeutralCitizen

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Some clowns to satisfy their urge and desperation may create fake accounts of other countries and post the same article time and again ... but the mere fact you guys can't stop thinking about opening anti India threads every second means we are on our way to one ....

So, I am waiting for the next anti India thread... I will send some cents as well.
Explain how am I a false flag ? I get these comments from Indians, Chinese, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshi's.
 

rcrmj

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Unlike china, Indian media is not Govt. controlled.


Here comes The chini Pansy troupe
your ruller made you naive people to believe so, poor thing

pakistan is genocidal, as also is china.. the only inclusive country is india where every refugee who fears for their lives come. india is truly a great dharmic land, the ultimate mother for all.
lol``a 'dynamic' land that millions are forced to starve to death, yet spending like rich boys on importing over inflated arms
 

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