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India as a Middle power

Mains- GS-2-International Relations

1. The current global scenario provides greater maneuverability for a ‘middle power’ like India.

2. As the US is not as assertive as it was in the past, many countries also started acting autonomously.

Critical Analysis

1. As India was never a part of an alliance system, India maintained its strategic autonomy even in the post cold war era.

2. So, India is expected to take a more proactive stance on issues like terrorism, maritime security, connectivity and climate change.

3. India cannot be fully autonomous unless it becomes a self-sustaining economic power, not dependent on FDI and military supplies from other powers.

4. In the cold war era, India focussed more on the nation’s security and political interests damaging relations with the US and other powers.

5. But India moved closer to the US in the post-Cold War era due to large-scale privatization and globalization.

6. India should also be open to the inclusion of the European Indian ocean powers like France to be a part of the Quadrilateral dialogue.

7. To maintain its strategic autonomy, India needs to engage independently with West Asia, Europe, Africa and Russia.

8. India maintains robust defence relations with Russia. Still, in terms of defence production, India is much behind its BRICS partners

9.  India’s strength is its very presence and the markets it offers for products and investments.

10. India will become a true middle power if it becomes self-sufficient economically and reduces dependence on arms imports especially with neighbours like China and Pakistan.

Source: The New Indian Express.