India and the CHOGM in Sri Lanka: Well Played, Actually

Published as जबिन टी. जैकब, ‘श्रीलंका पर सही फैसला’, Dainik Jagran, 12 November 2013.

Original text in English follows below

प्रधानमंत्री मनमोहन सिंह इस सप्ताह श्रीलंका में राष्ट्रमंडल देशों के शासनाध्यक्षों के सम्मेलन (चोगम) में भाग लेने नहीं जा रहे हैं। प्रधानमंत्री का यह फैसला एक राजनेता के साथ ही सरकार के मुखिया की हैसियत से लिया गया एक सुलझा हुआ निर्णय है। मीडिया के एक वर्ग द्वारा चोगम में प्रधानमंत्री के भाग न लेने को अनुचित ठहराना और इसे राजनीतिक दबाव में राष्ट्रीय हितों की बलि करार देना बिल्कुल गलत है। प्रधानमंत्री से सबसे पहली और महत्वपूर्ण अपेक्षा देश को चलाने की होती है और देश चलाते हुए उन्हें निर्वाचन प्रक्रिया से अपनी पार्टी को मिले जनादेश पर बराबर ध्यान रखना पड़ता है। निर्वाचन प्रक्त्रिया ही केंद्र में सरकार का स्वरूप निर्धारित करती है। ऐसे में सरकार पर गठबंधन के सहयोगी विभिन्न क्षेत्रीय दलों का प्रभाव स्वाभाविक ही है।

विदेश में भारत के राष्ट्रीय हितों और घरेलू राजनीतिक दबाव में अंतर्विरोध जरूरी नहीं है। Continue reading India and the CHOGM in Sri Lanka: Well Played, Actually

The States in Indian Foreign Policy

Original Presentation: “The States in India and Foreign Policy: Interests, Influence and Implications,” L’équipe  Politiques comparées et études européennes, SPIRIT, Sciences Po, Bordeaux, 9 April 2010.

Summary: This presentation focuses on an important political dynamic that while in play for some time now, has begun to have visible impact only in recent years. I am referring to the growing power and influence of the provinces/states in India with respect to national decisions, including foreign policy. The presentation actually begins with a short examination of the same phenomenon in China because it has in a sense been going on in that country for much longer.

And I hope that what I say will sort of ring a bell or remind you of some experiences that you know of in your own countries, while remembering the differences in context and historical development, when things sound either very obvious or very different. In India, meanwhile, there is increasing work being carried out on centre-province relations in India in the post-1990 or post-liberalization/economic reforms phase but a lot of this work is related to fiscal transfers and the like and much of the attention is also focused on matters such as countering terrorism and left-wing extremism (because law and order is actually, a provincial or state subject) and more recently on education (Right to Education legislation; education too, is a state subject).

This presentation however, focuses on only one aspect of the centre-province relations in India and that is the nature of influence that provinces exercise on national foreign policymaking.

See the full presentation at:

JabinJacob-2010Apr9-ScPoBordeaux-States in India-FP

Provincial Interests and Foreign Policy

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.

Continue reading Provincial Interests and Foreign Policy