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India Back On The World Map With A Bang

Monday, May 26, 2014
By Shanmukh Singh

India's elections and their results are a lot more than a 5 week national festival. The world watches as the worlds largest democracy elects at the national level. This is because India's strategic importance still remains vital to the world. With the BJP-led NDA winning the elections, Modi is set to become the Prime Minister. This does not only point to the optimistic future of India but also has a number of significant geopolitical implications.

Modi's past maybe hasn’t ever haunted him, but surely is haunting governments across the world. He has a history of being accused of a role in the Gujarat riots, for which he was banned from entering the United States of America and many EU countries. But since that happened a decade ago, he has been the chief minister of Gujarat for more than a decade and now would become the Head of State for India. This sure is a dent on the ego's of many foreign governments who would have to revoke the ban on him, if they at all wish for a prosperous relationship with India. The first step has already been taken by the American President Obama, by cordially giving Modi a call to congratulate him and invite him to the United States in the first year of his tenure.

It has not only been the countries that have had troubled relationship with Modi as an individual but India's neighbours who had been straining ties with the country, Pakistan and China, have also got a signal of whats to come. BJP promises in his manifesto that any violations on the LOC wont be tolerated. This goes in his manifesto as his priority to make India a strong state, which is willing to work cooperatively with foreign governments but on level playing fields. This clearly shows Pakistan's ceasefire violations and brutalities on the LOC, as well as China's intrusions into Arunanchal Pradesh haven’t gone unnoticed in the BJP manifesto. Pakistan has realized this and has called for cooperation amongst the two nations on fronts like terrorism, border disputes and economy. On the other hand China being one of the few pro-Modi countries is sure to benefit from these results.

Amidst all these strong faces Modi's India presents, his image of a communalist leader, could tense India's ties with the Islamic world. India needs the middle-east as one of its major strategic partners for a simple reason that they are mainly oil and gas producing regions and India needs both to cater to its demand. India needs to forge alliances with new partners and strengthen those already there. Rakesh Singh, distinguished professor of  economics at Great Lakes Institute of Management, says “Modi has already taken the first step by inviting heads of all the South Asian countries. The idea of cooperation with neighbours is better than a war with them. This wont only foster further partnerships, but widen  India's regional dominance. Also an Invitation from Japan  indicates India's importance in the Asian region to counter China, as it becomes aggressive to dominate the South China sea."

India, as Kishore Mahbubani, Professor in the Practice of Public Policy of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore  says, “has hit a geopolitical sweet-spot” where India becomes strategically important for many nations and thus they are ready to cooperate on many distinct levels. This is a situation where a country makes most of its geopolitical stronghold, and has opportunities to grow, prosper and develop with global cooperation. He also says that “situations like policy paralysis are not only wastage of this friendly environment, which acts as a catalyst to national economics, but also cuts down their duration.” This is what the outgoing government failed to realise, but with Modi's image the geopolitical sweet-spot has returned to India.  All this said, It would be on Modi and his government how he plays the political games globally. Its time for him to keep personal grudges and the Hindutva ideology aside and foster a partnership with any country that seems benefiting.

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