Big Brother

New Delhi’s approach to its neighbors has increasingly been marked by muscularity, evident in its recent attempts to browbeat Nepal into carrying out amendments to its Constitution.

A brash neighborhood policy will not only help drive neighbors into Chinese fold, but also provide traction to Pakistan’s campaign against an “Indian Domination”
South Asia needs is a friendly India, not a powerful big brother India
    • New Delhi’s efforts at influencing the Nepali political elite to effect constitutional amendments – “Back off India” Campaign
    • The petroleum products crisis in Bhutan and the way it effected a regime change
    • Myanmar ‘hot pursuit’ of rebels
India need to follow some basic principles in dealing with its South Asian neighbors:
    • Good intentions are not enough –> need is to translate declarations into concrete results
    • Sustained political attention at highest level
    • Uninterrupted dialogue
    • Strategic choice is not between intervention and non-intervention rather when and how to intervene – it should be based on careful political judgement
    • India cant compel its neighbors to act in a particular manner. Like US, Russia, China it must learn to live with the limits to its power in the region –> use of blunt instruments makes the attempt of persuading neighboring states much more difficult
    • Margin of error in India’s regional diplomacy is shrinking thanks to the rise of China. Therefore India needs to be cautious in her thinking and action in neighborhood



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