Friday, 19 December 2008

The Geopolitics of India

Of all the articles and opinion pieces about India and Pakistan that I have been devouring in recent times, this one from Stratfor is the most fascinating. It provides a strategic geopolitical basis for understanding the nature of India, its fundamental drivers and its relationship with its neighbours.

I've come away with a deeper insight in one or two areas. One, I have always believed that Pakistan has nothing to fear from India, but according to this article, it appears that notwithstanding the benign worldview of the Indian government of the day, there are fundamental geopolitical reasons why India poses an existential threat to Pakistan. (According to another Stratfor article supporting this view, "geography dictates that Pakistan either be absorbed into India or fight a losing battle against Indian influence.")

Another interesting insight is that in spite of the fact that Indians often speak of the Chinese threat as being potentially greater than the one from Pakistan, the article asserts that India and China are virtually on different planets and pose no geostrategic threats to each other.

In all other respects, it confirms the commonly held Indian view that "we threaten no one and are not interested in anyone else's affairs, nor are we fundamentally affected by others".

It's a pretty compelling line of reasoning and a highly recommended read.

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