India — not mattering much

At a function yesterday evening to release the ‘Oxford Handbook on Indian Foreign Policy’ edited by, among others, my CPR colleague Srinath Raghvan, we were astounded to hear an imported economic adviser in the Modi government, Arvind Subramaniam, say, in the context of multilateral negotiations on climate, trade, etc., that “India matters, but not much”! He further wondered if the Indian government can adopt this “√§ttitude” for apparently best results. Really! Is this what he is advising the Finance Ministry and GOI to do? Doesn’t his outlook and approach amount to asking India to compromise its national interests? We should not be surprised with this kind of counsel from a person who last served in the Peterson Institute in Washington, DC. So, whose interests is Subramaniam looking out for exactly? Certainly, not India’s. Then again, Subramaniam’s advice falls in squarely with the policy orientation of the Manmohan Singh regime and, to-date, the BJP government’s as well in the foreign, military, national security policy sphere generally — that India does not matter all that much.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in Asian geopolitics, Culture, domestic politics, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, Indian democracy, Indian ecobomic situation, society, South Asia. Bookmark the permalink.

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