For a party that claims to be the best defender of India’s national security interests, it is strange that the Bharatiya Janata Party does not have a separate dedicated document on the subject of national security like the Congress does.
The BJP’s election manifesto, ‘Sankalp Patra’, mentions China all of once – while referring to the Russia-India-China trilateral framework for multilateral cooperation in the same breath as the Japan-America-India trilateral.
China, does, however, appear by implication in a number of instances Continue reading
National security, like other issues of national importance, is seldom determined by the actions of any one government administration alone. Both failures and successes trace their roots to strategies and policies developed and actions implemented over time by successive governments.
While national security deserves a place in the electoral discourse, in the present elections it has been reduced to simplistic binaries and an unhealthy focus on Pakistan. China has undoubtedly been a major beneficiary of this proclivity of Indian politicians and people to get carried away by emotion and prejudice.
It is only the Indian National Congress so far that has come out with a full-fledged ‘Plan on National Security’. Continue reading
The dust has not yet settled on the dismissal of Bo Xilai as Party Secretary of Chongqing, one of China’s four major city-level provinces (the equivalent of states in India). Bo’s fall was especially significant given he was a leading contender for membership of the all-powerful the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at its upcoming leadership transition in October.
What does this event say about the Chinese political system? And what reflections might we derive about the Indian political system? Continue reading
The Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrated the 90th anniversary of its founding in July this year. From being unambiguously communist in ideology and a party of the masses, the CPC today is an elitist organization that has under its canopy competing factions with differing economic philosophies united only by a common desire to preserve the Party in power.
To take a China-India comparison, one might ask – is the CPC evolving into the equivalent of India’s Congress (I)? Continue reading
Presentation: “Indian Public Opinion and Sino-Indian Relations: Causes and Consequences,” India-China Interface, Department of Foreign Languages – Chinese, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, 10 January 2011.
Summary: Former Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Yuxi’s statement reiterating the Chinese claim over Arunachal on the eve of his President, Hu Jintao’s visit to India in November 2006 might have been the unintentional starting point for a new phase in Sino-Indian relations. Unintentional, because the play that the Chinese envoy’s ordinary, entirely unsurprising statement received in the Indian media, marked the beginning of a heightened popular Indian awareness and engagement with China, that now has perhaps begun to contribute or inform to some extent to New Delhi’s engagement at the higher political level with Beijing. The impact of popular opinion on Sino-Indian relations is nothing new however. In the run-up to the Sino-Indian conflict of 1962 and subsequently, popular feelings played an important role constraining the government’s freedom of action and in encouraging political players to make rash statements and promises. There are of course several differences with the present and it is these differences – their reasons and their implications – that will be examined in greater detail.
- Public Opinion pre-1962
- Government Clampdown post-1962
- China’s Rise
- India’s Rise
- Rise of Indian Television Media and the Globetrotting Indian
Original Article: “Provincial Interests and Foreign Policy: Indian States’ Responses to the Malaysian and Kenyan Ethnic Crises,” in Amitabh Mattoo and Happymon Jacob (eds.), Shaping India’s Foreign Policy: People, Politics & Places (New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications Pvt. Ltd., 2010), pp. 141-171. (co-authored with Vibhanshu Shekhar).
Extract: It is now widely accepted that coalition politics in India is here to stay. While national parties such as the Congress (I) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will likely continue to be at the centre of any coalition for a while yet and there are parties such as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) that are beginning to advertise national ambitions by reaching out beyond their traditional provincial bastions, regional parties – parties that are primarily located and have their power bases in particular Indian provinces – will remain agenda-drivers in national governments at the centre. In addition, economic globalization and the processes it has set in motion have led to growing linkages between provincial and global entities, have provided actors at the subnational level further opportunities to involve themselves in global affairs. It is perhaps, natural therefore, to argue that regional parties will also increasingly, seek a say in the nation’s foreign policy.