India’s Next Foreign Policy

After an election campaign dominated by economic issues, the question of what foreign policy India's next government should pursue remains unanswered. Whatever the specifics, one imperative is clear: India should move beyond its allegiance to the Non-Aligned Movement and assume an active role in enhancing regional peace.

NEW DELHI – Next month, India will complete its marathon election. A new government is expected to assume power at the end of May, and, if the polls prove correct, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has named Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate, will lead that government.

With India’s sluggish economic performance having rightly dominated the campaign, the question of what foreign policy the new government should pursue remains unanswered. Whatever the specifics, one imperative is clear: India must move beyond its allegiance to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

The muddle that NAM diplomacy causes is perhaps best reflected in the Congress-led Indian government’s recent quasi-endorsement of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his government appear to have overlooked that China covets Indian territory and may thus be pleased that Russia has set a precedent for a powerful country to thumb its nose at international law and seize part of a neighboring country. It is as if Indian foreign policy has been on autopilot since the 1980’s, when the government almost always adopted a pro-Russia stance.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To continue reading, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/lnV9Xmp;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.