India - Hungry for Hegemony?


Seminar Paper, 2001
25 Pages, Grade: very good

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Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. The Legacy of the British Raj

3. Nehru - Gandhi Era (1947 - 1989)

4. External and Internal Conflicts
4.1. India - Pakistan Relationship
4.2. Relationship with China
4.3. Relationship with the rest of the Neighbourhoods
4.4. Relationship with USA and USSR since Cold-War Era

5. Hegemony’s Theories and India

6. The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), Security Politic and Nuclear Weapons policies in India

7. Concluding remark

8. Bibliography

1. Introduction

When the edifice of the Cold War collapsed, the post-cold war era began to crystallise. The end of bipolarity did not actually result in unipolarity of the world. On the contrary, there was an evolving multipolarity in which the United States figured significantly but not exclusively.1

This multipolarity expressed itself in various ways. While, on the one hand, its unit of expression was national, as in the case of China and Japan, on the other hand, its articulation became essentially regional, as in the cases of the European Union, the ASEAN, and the OPEC. There was a serious international concern over certain problems such as those of the nuclearisation of India, Pakistan and North Korea.2

Since the dismemberment of the Soviet Union a new geostrategic centre of gravity has emerged encompassing the region, extending through the Middle East and Central Asia. There is also a growing realisation in many Third World regions that the end of the Cold War has resulted in the domination of the world by the developed world in the name of a ‘new world order’.3

Two years (1998) after nuclear tests in South Asia, the political isolation of India has changed. The security questions for the risks and so forth in that area which were neglected before - are now taken seriously.

For one thing, New Delhi can claim to need a deterrent against potentially belligerent neighbours, namely Pakistan, a long-time rival, and China, with which it had, until recently, been enjoying a bit of a rapprochement.4

Bill Clinton visited India in March 2000 (first American President to visit India in 22 years) and said that it was the “most dangerous place of the world today - therefore India should be a partner in peace, and the US wants a closer and qualitatively new relationship and to close the chapter of strategic stability in Asia and beyond”. German Foreign Minister Fischer visited India in May 2000 - with a concept of a new politic (GASP - Geminsame Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik).5 India was until then the one of the least mentioned countries, although it is the forth biggest country geographically and the second most populated country in the world. Following the sudden popularity of India creates the new political orders in the world politics.

This study-paper will analysis two questions; if India is a regional power and will remain as an industrial country for the sake of conviction which means benefit of international peace and stability in the 21st century rather than expediency, and if India is on the way to becoming a world hegemone.

2. The Legacy of the British Raj

One can also look at India’s security problems from the perspective of the glories of the British Raj which often made its own policies and was the dominant power in Asia and the Indian Ocean.6 It is not possible to recount the story of the British conquest of India with a few precise dates. It was a process which took over two hundred years. Bengal was the first British province in India, and Calcutta remained the capital of the Raj for the greater part of the colonial rule.

Ancient Hindu thought and practice was deeply involved in social and political life. Hindu and Muslim - or India and Pakistan, could be easily manipulated by neo-colonial powers who wished to divide South Asia.

Control of India gave Britain prestige and material power on a world scale. A multiplicity of motives underlay the British penetration into India: commerce, security, and a purported moral uplift of the people.

To protect India from Russia and China, the British constructed a system of “ring fences” comprising an “inner ring” of Himalayan kingdoms and the tribal areas of north-eastern India which would be defended by military power, and an “outer ring” of the Persian Gulf, Iran, Afghanistan, and Thailand which would be protected by diplomacy and force.7 Up to the 1930s Burma was under the rule of “British India Coat of Arms”.

The present-day legal systems, administrative and political structures of each still exhibit striking similarities to those of the British colonial period.8

In the realm of industrialisation, British colonial rule in South Asia made a major impact. Several observers have remarked that colonial India (of which Pakistan and Bangladesh were part) was one of the pioneers of the Third World industrialisation.9

Subrahmanyam wrote in one of his articles that; “Yet because of the conditioning of 100 years of the British in India, for many Westerners and some Indians the security perimeters for modern India are the boundaries of the former Raj (including Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives). Hence it is asserted that the nuclear issue is one to be settled between India and Pakistan.”10

3. Nehru - Gandhi Era (1947 - 1989)

In India, political and intellectual leadership often coincided. Moreover, there had been an uninterrupted stream of able leaders from the last years of the nineteenth century until independence. This provided a cohesive framework within which social and political movements could experiment and mature.11

The ideology of Mahatma Gandhi was the guiding force of Indian nationalist movements in the 1920s. On January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a fanatic Hindu.

‘The link between ideas and action was a theme which featured large in the life of Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru was obviously one of the small minority, a man so thoroughly intellectual in his approach to life that he learnt to accept his own anomalous cultural identity with equanimity’12. Both men seemed to represent different but harmonious aspects of India and to complement one with the other.

India has had a Westminster style of government since independence under which the India Congress party (the party which brought independence from Britain) has ruled for all but about five years. Out of Congress’s more than forty years in government, Nehru, his daughter (Indira Gandhi) or his grandson (Rajiv Gandhi) have ruled the country as Prime Minister for more than thirty five years.13

Jawaharlal Nehru ruled India from 1947 until his death in 1964. After this period Lal Bahadur Shastri was elected to power and after his sudden death in 1965 Indira Gandhi was put in power. She lost the 1977 elections owing to her imposition of emergency rule between 1975 and 1977. Gandhi regained power in 1980, but was killed by her Sikh bodyguard on 31 October 1984 to avenge the army’s storming of the Sikh’s Golden Temple in Amritsar during a battle against Sikh separatists. Her son Rajiv Gandhi succeeded her in the 1984 elections and became Prime Minister. Rajiv Gandhi, however, failed to keep his position in the 1989 election and was assassinated on 21 May 1991 during the election campaign by a member of the suicide squad of the Tamil separatist movement in Sri Lank.14

4. External and Internal Conflicts

India’s security and military policy is based on - continuos internal and external problems. Its internal problems include Kashmir, Punjab and Manipura, and its external problems include continuos conflicts with China, the United States, and Pakistan (India has gone to war three times with Pakistan and once with China. It has consistently accused Beijing of transferring nuclear and missile technology to Islamabad).

India tried, by treaty, alliance, or threats of force or economic embargo, to overturn any move by its neighbours that it deemed inimical to its own security interests. Only Pakistan and China could resist. The Indian elite regarded their country as a regional peacekeeper (entirely defensive), rather than as a regional enforcer who imposed onerous conditions on its neighbours by virtue of its size and military might.

India opposed any attempts by powers external to the region, whether by invitation of New Delhi's neighbours or not, to involve themselves or to establish a presence in the region, because it threatened Indian security and India's position as the predominant country in the region. India was, therefore, critical of Pakistan's alliance with China, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the United States naval presence in the central Indian Ocean and its military relations with Pakistan.

India’s program to expand the military in order to defend its territory and security interests became intertwined with its foreign policy. Building nuclear weapons particularly affected the relations with Pakistan, China, and the United States. On the other hand, since independence India has had to live with continuos internal problems which are the result of the former colonial rulers.

The widespread food shortages, and the violent anti-Hindi demonstrations in the state of Madras that were quelled by the army -were the two major crises out of three when Lal Bahadur Shastri was briefly in power.

The period of Indira Gandhi also had major internal problems such as: the Mizzo tribal uprisings in the north-east; Labour unrest, misery among the poor in the wake of Rupee devaluation; and agitation in Punjab for linguistic and religious separatism.

In addition, minor operations had to be undertaken for integration of princely states and colonial territories ( Junagadh in 1947, Hyderabad in 1948 and Goa in 1961). Other counter-insurgency operations had to be launched in Punjab (Operation Blue Star and Operation Woodrose in 1984), against the Tripura National Volunteers and the Gurkha National Liberation Front.15

4.1. India - Pakistan Relationship

Without mentioning Pakistan, India’s Security Politic would not be completed. The withdrawal of the British and partition in 1947 created India and Pakistan. A slice of eastern India and the westernmost part of India became the East Wing and West Wing of Pakistan respectively, and in 1971 the East Wing became Bangladesh.

When dealing with Pakistan, Nehru failed to formulate a consistent policy and was critical of the improving ties between Pakistan and the United States; mutual hostility and suspicion persisted as a result.

The first India-Pakistan war was in 1947-48 (Kashmir secession). In 1965 Pakistan infiltrated into Kashmir escalating in to a full-scale the second war. India's decisive victory over Pakistan in the third war over Kashmir in December 1971 generated a national surge in Indira Gandhi’s popularity. But neither her consolidation of power, nor her imperious style of administration and her radical reforms were enough to meet the deepening economic crisis by the enormous cost of the 1971 war.

After the Bangladesh war in 1971, Indira and Ali Bhutto agreed in the SimlaAgreement to deal peacefully with their disputes, including Kashmir (“long peace” of 1972 -89). Kashmir had become the critical issue in Indo-Pakistani relations. From the 70s onward a discourse based on the term “security” increased. By early the 80s India was militarily confident.

Tensions increased with Pakistan whose potential nuclear-weapons capacity escalated concerns in the region. Both nations signed an agreement in 1986 promising that neither would launch a first strike at the other's nuclear facilities, however, conflicts persisted along the cease-fire line in Kashmir.

As for Pakistan, in the background there is always the Army,. The Army remains one of Pakistan’s “three As” - Allah, the Army and America - the three powers which, according to many Pakistanis, determine whatever happens of any importance in their country.16

The outlook for improved relations between Pakistan and India was looking considerably better by mid-1989 when Rajiv Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto were in power. During her visits to the USA and Britain in summer 1989, Benazir Bhutto made plain Pakistan’s apprehensions over India’s rapidly growing military power, giving it regional superpower status in the South Asia region. Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to Pakistan in July 1989 marked the first bilateral visit to Pakistan by an India Prime Minister in almost 30 years. In their speeches the two leaders talked of “an end to fear between their countries” and agreements on arms control and nuclear non-proliferation.17

By the beginning of 1990, when Rajiv Gandhi had been replaced by V. P. Singh, the process of overcoming the longstanding and ingrained distrust between the two countries had been set back once more.

The Kashmir dispute; nationalism and religion, strong domestic support for their nuclear programmes and its prestige have always been a strong incentive for nuclearisation. The Gulf War, by demonstrating the efficacy of technology in modern warfare, has made both countries aware that they should learn from Iraq’s experience.18

However, the military nuclear programmes of India and Pakistan is still shrouded in mystery for the western world.

4.2. Relationship with China

In the early years the Chinese communists supported sections of Indian Communists in their insurgency. Nehru tried to assuage the Chinese hostility by prompt recognition of the new Beijing government and by pleading for its recognition by the international community. He also accepted Chinese sovereignty over Tibet but urged the Chinese to respect Tibetan autonomy. At the same time India concluded an agreement with China on regulation of border trade across the Indo-Tibetan border.19

The United States supplied enormous quantities of arms to Chian Kai-shek which fell into the hands of Chinese Communists that enabled them to overrun Xijiang and Tibet. At the same time, India was facing the hostility of western powers in the Security Council. The Sino-Soviet ideological conflict worsened.20 In 1962 China won the war against India, and India lost Aksai Chin. The purpose of the Chinese attack is still shrouded in mystery. One can perhaps explain rationally as follows: firstly, China’s internal power struggle and an attempt to boost the People Liberation Army’s prestige which Mao was to use to strike at the Chinese Communist Party; secondly, to humiliate India, in the process unleashing forces of disintegration; and, thirdly, to force India to ally itself with West, thereby proving Khruschchev wrong in the ideological debate. China may have succeeded fully in the first objective, partially in the second but not at all in the third. However, India was taught a lesson, that a country, though non-aligned, needs to be defended against great powers. India is not likely to forget this lesson for many decades to come.21

China has also learnt a few lessons from Vietnam in 1979, so it is unlikely that China would attempt a military confrontation with India. The fact remains, however, that the Chinese have not been willing to negotiate over the line of control with India.22 Despite the visit of Li Peng and Jiang Zemin in 1991 and 1993, and China’s acknowledgement of India as a Nuclear Weapon and Industrial country, China still remains a key target for India to launch Nuclear-Weapons against.

4.3. Relationship with the rest of the Neighbourhood

None of India’s neighbouring countries are democracies which makes India’s political security unease. While Nepal and Bhutan are monarchies, Burma, Bangladesh and Tibet are all directly ruled by a military regime.

Bangladesh has four disputes with India. The first one concerns the transfer of a tiny strip of land called Tin Bigha. The second concerns the maritime boundary demarcation, which is complicated by the formation of a small sand bank island at the mouth of the Haribanga river on which there are rival claims by both India and Bangladesh. The third and the most emotional issue concerns the waters of the Ganges. Until 1947 its history was part of Indian history, national identity is the real problem for Bangladesh.23

Tibet is struggling for autonomy and is being suppressed. By hosting the opposition leader Dalai Lama in India created more complications in Indo-China relationship.

The disturbances in Burma are a sign of the continued failure of the Burmese to solve their problems of ethnic autonomy and representational government. Rajiv Gandhi’s open support of the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi unbalanced the Indo-Burma relationship. Beijing’s improving relationship with Burma also became a fear of India. Problems of Chinese controls in Burma remain unsolved, although since the 80s, negotiations continue.

Nehru renewed the treaty which the British Raj had had with Bhutan with the underlying objective of piloting Bhutan towards UN membership, therefore the relationship with Bhutan is cordial.24

In 1988 New Delhi ordered a mission to Malediv against President Gayoon. India helped in restoring to the Neplai monarch his full powers, thereby abolishing the Shogunate of the Rana family.25 Relations between India and Nepal are close yet fraught with difficulties stemming from geography, economics, the problems inherent in strong power-weak power relations, and common ethnic and linguistic identities that overlap the two countries' borders.

The Nepal-India relationship has very little risk of getting out of control because of Nepal’s dependence on India in a number of ways.26

The two major factors influencing India's relations with Sri Lanka have been security and the shared ethnicity of Tamils living in southern India and in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. Relations with Sri Lanka degenerated because of unresolved Tamil militants, under the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil. From 1987. India has attempted to disarm the Tigers through intervention of the Indian Peace Keeping Force.

India has joined SAARC - South Asia Association for Regional Co-operation, APEC - Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation, ARF - ASEAN Regional Forum, SAPTA - Preferential Tariff Arrangement.

Indian-ASEAN (The Association of South East Asian Nations) relations improved in the 1990s. ASEAN declared itself a nuclear weapons free zone in 2001 and Nuclear power India has said it respects Southeast Asia's nuclear-weapons-free status and pledges to support any move to formalise the bloc's security position.

4.4. Relationship with USA and USSR since cold-war Era

The guiding principles of Nehru were nationalism, anti-colonialism, internationalism, and nonalignment. Following independence, despite British pressures, India refused to enter into alliances. British and US sympathy toward the Pakistan case during the first war (October 1947 - December 1948) did not cause India to join the Soviet Union. Furthermore, New Delhi criticised Moscow for the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956.

In 1969 New Delhi refused to join Moscow’s “Anti-China - Asia CollectiveSecurity System”, although the Soviet Union was India’s major arms supplier and also a major economic partner.

In August 1971, despite its non-alignment policy India concluded an Indo-Soviet Peace and Friendship Treaty. The reason for doing so, late Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto concluded that:

“In 1971 - Yahya Khan’ regime made arrangements for Dr. Kissinger to fly through Pakistan on his secret mission to Peking. The event itself, the inception of direct dialogue between China and the United States, could not have been more felicitous for Pakistan. From Pakistan’s side, the development fell into a context - the civil war in East Pakistan and tensions on the border with India - which provoked the kind of speculation that could easily have been avoided if parallel approaches had been made to reassure the Soviet Union. In the actual setting, the immediate sequel to Dr. Kissinger’s journey through Rawalpindi to Peking was the coup de grace dealt by the singing of the Indo-Soviet Treaty, the draft of which had remained under consideration for three years. Nothing but this treaty enabled India to launch its armed invasion of East Pakistan in November 1971.”27

On the other hand one can also say that this treaty, unlike treaties signed by the USSR with other countries, contained no military clause and the Soviet Union has had no interest in converting India to Communism. The real purpose of the treaty was to create a certain sense of deterrence through uncertainty in the minds of Chinese and American leadership28. Dr. Kissinger later admitted in his book TheWhite House Year that the treaty achieved this purpose.29 Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolence ideology confused the British and Nehru’s non-alignment policy as well as confusing the United States and western alliances.

It is not that the Indo-Soviet relationship has been without its periods of strain. In spite of refraining from publicly condemning the USSR for its intervention in Afghanistan, the Indian government made no secret of its diapproval30.

The US concern with the horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons dates back to the 1960s when it culminated with the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968. The NPT is the US strategy to prevent the proliferation of missiles on a global scale.31 The United States reacted against India’s Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE) in 1974, and culminated in the enactment of the US Nuclear non-proliferation Act (NNPA) of 1978 which was to effect India directly.

In 1991, the United States imposed sanctions on both China and Pakistan because of their transfer of missile-related technology. Japan, which emerged as the biggest aid-giving country in the world in 1992 by surpassing the US, has been considering for the last few years whether to attach a condition that all its aidrecipient states must sign the NPT and stop exporting weapons. India and Pakistan together with China would be the first countries to be affected.32

As for foreign relations, India is a member of United Nations (UN), South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC), and numerous other international organisations. It has relations with all major nations based on the principles of nonalignment. India also became part of a 14 member group - India Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation (IOR-ARC) to make the ocean secure and in the mean time it has improved India’s relationship with the United States and the European Union since Rajiv Gandhi came to power.

President Clinton inherited from the George Bush Senior administration the Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative, which targets missile proliferation on a global scale.33 Washington imposed sanctions against India and Pakistan after the countries conducted tit-for-tat nuclear weapon tests more than three years ago.

Despite international pressure, India and Pakistan have yet to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty or a nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

The sanctions were eventually eased by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, but tensions flared up again in 1999 during World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Seattle, Washington, when the United States and New Delhi clashed over a U.S.backed initiative to boost labour standards. Since the Seattle talks, U.S.-India trade relations have improved. In January of 2000, India agreed to eliminate trade barriers for U.S. farm goods, textiles and a wide range of other products. The following March, Clinton made a groundbreaking visit to India. It was the first such trip by a U.S. president since 1978.

Today, however, the administration of Bush Junior plans to begin consultations with Congress aimed at lifting sanctions against India which have been in place since May 1998, for India’s testing of nuclear weapons. Before lifting the, issues such as U.S. satellites and advanced military technology need to be considered. The 1998 sanctions forced a halt to civilian and military sales to India from the U.S. munitions list which include items such as rifles, artillery, and mobile army surgical hospitals.

India recently welcomed U.S. President George W. Bush's new vision of nuclear disarmament, but stopped short of openly endorsing his controversial plan to build an anti-missile shield.

During Cold War India had closer ties with the Soviet Union, but since the end of Cold War Indo-US relationship has improved.

The quadrilateral interaction of the US, Japan, China and the USSR is likely to prove highly complex. Consequently while India closely watches the developments in Sino-Soviet relationships, more Indians feel confident that the Soviet Union will not make a deal with China at India’s expense for the simple reason that it just cannot afford to do so. After all, options for such manoeuvrability is the very essence of non-alignment.34

5. Hegemony’s Theories and India

Hegemony refers to the influence that a great power is able to establish on other states in the system; its extent of influence ranges from leadership to dominance.35

Koehane mentioned in his article that there are two central positions of the theory of hegemonic stability: 1) Order in world politics is typically created by a single dominant power and 2) The maintenance of order requires continued hegemony. The theory of hegemonic stability defines hegemony as preponderance of material resources, i.e., control over raw materials, sources of capital, markets and competitive advantages in the production of highly valued goods. Another point is that an hegemonic state must possess enough military power to protect the international political economy, especially its major areas of economic activity, from incursion by hostile adversaries.36 Military power in this case can also be interpreted as possessing Nuclear Weapons to become a great power.

Keohane shares the view of Marxist Kautsky who states (in contrast to Lenin) that common interest of the leading capitalist states are strong enough to make sustained co-operation possible, though not inevitable. Marxian notion of hegemony is that the world political economy is fundamentally affected by the forces of class struggle and uneven development. Lenin assumed that contradictions among capitalist states were fundamental and could not be resolved. An erosion of hegemony also means a crisis of capitalism.37

In the case of India: in the nineteenth century, India has been described as a country ‘afflicted with the diseases of discord, disunity, lethargy, infidelity, scepticism, irreligion and false religion, pedantism, slavishness, introversion, rigidity and man’s inhumanity to man’38 There was, however, a time when prominent economists predicted that India would be the economic success story of the post-Second World War era.39 India has maintained an average growth rate of 6% annually since 1991.40

The tradition of economic growth, entrepreneurship, and industrialisation, which modern India inherited, was quite impressive by contemporary standards, and this tradition certainly made the task of Indian planners considerably easier, enabling them to start building on a base of a ‘semi-industrialised system already endowed with entrepreneurial activity.41

Unlike the industrialised world which has been at peace for over four decades and where the arms race is only a reflection of power rivalry, the Indian security perspective arises our of a series of inter- and intra-state wars most of which were either on Indian territory or involved vital national interests (10 million refugees on India soil) or were undertaken in pursuance of the requests of immediate neighbours whose security was threatened.

Violence in India takes place in many forms due to its internal religious and ethnic conflicts. The use of violence by the state is obviously political in seeking to impose its authority by force. Violence is thus woven into politics and will strike at a democratic society where it is most vulnerable.42

Koehane also mentioned that Hegemony demanded deference of subordinate states in order to construct a structure of world capitalist order with no obligation of force. Hegemony rests on the subjective perception of elites in subordinate states that their states will benefit of this relationship.43

Waltz also concludes that the pursuit of individual state interests produces often unwanted collective results. If international interest is to be served, national interest has to be subordinated to it. Solutions to global problems need to be found in national policies due to the lack of a global agency. States cannot entrust sovereign powers to a central agency unless that agency is able to protect its client states. The more powerful the clients are, the greater the power lodged in the central agency has to be to cope with its clients. The more influential the agency, the stronger the desire to control it becomes.44

In the case of India, domestic politics have always strongly influenced its international politics since its independence. For example a nuclear test makes good domestic politics although a poor foreign policy.

On the whole, non-alignment has been a balancing force, however, non-alignment suffers a distortion and does not reflect the strength which the very number and sincerity of most of its adherents would have imparted to it. Divested of its original meaning and purpose, it can become an instrument of national aggrandisement, a subtle weapons for the promotion of a political hegemony by certain powers and the elimination of rivals within their sphere.45

6. The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), Security Politic and Nuclear Weapons policy in India

From 1947 until the late 80s Indian politics was dominated by Indian National Congress and its factions. It has been occasionally ruled by minority-party and coalition governments; such as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), communist parties, and several regional parties which were also important.

In 1968 Indira Gandhi refused to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons which was clearly discriminating. In 1974 India made a Peaceful Nuclear Explosion.

The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) was formed in April 1980 under the leadership of Atal Behari Vajpayee. The BJP led Government came to office in March 1998 as the head of a coalition consisting of 14 parties. The BJP is less well understood in the west than the other leading parties of India and is frequently described as “Hindu Nationalist”.46 The BJP is unique among India's political parties in that neither it nor its political predecessors were ever associated with the Congress.

During the 1980s, India’s Nuclear Program was put ahead of the Hindu- Nationalists who were based on profound religious ideas and conflicts. Clearly the Indian leadership headed by Prime Minister Vajpayee had already decided that the potential benefits of the nuclear tests justified any resulting risks. Their aims were for India to have a new, nationalist character of self-confidence and to become a decision maker in the global system. In the late nineties, India demanded to be taken seriously as an international great power by the UN-Veto 5, G 8 and the European Union.

During the first round of bomb tests, Vajpayee ordered three devices to be exploded. One was a low-intensity bomb designed for strategic, battlefield use, intended to wipe out an advancing tank column. The second was a testing device that would give scientists valuable information on the fission material used. It was not a practical weapon. The third bomb, a so-called city-killer, was about the same size (12.5 kilotons, roughly equivalent to 12,500 tons of TNT) as the warhead dropped by the U.S. on Hiroshima toward the end of World War II. The second round featured relatively smaller sub-kiloton devices.47

Domestic reaction was as positive as the BJP could have hoped. The Pioneer Daily in New Delhi called the test "an explosion of self-esteem." Another newspaper in the capital city declared in an editorial that India had begun to walk "the road to resurgence."48

During the 1970s and 1980s, the U.S. and USSR engaged in an arms escalation that eventually proved ruinous to the Soviet Union. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which had to be ratified by 44 countries by September of 1999 to take effect - so far, only 13 have done so - was supposed to put an end to nuclear oneup-manship once and for all.

Up to now, both India and Pakistan have criticised the treaty as discriminatory because it essentially enshrines existing nuclear powers in advantageous positions - they, after all, have the bombs. If India were a signatory, Pakistan could still make the same charge, or Pakistan could stop making statements and start making bombs.49

With two demonstrations of nuclear might behind it, India promised there would not be a third. If that is the case, India might just sign the test ban treaty, but only if it will help the BJP government continue to have high rating in those allimportant opinion polls - and to stay in power.50

New aspects of Indian politic based on the characteristics of security politic discoursed in India, which can be divided into major thesis as follow.

- Taboo: It is considered unpatriotic to talk or criticise the security politics and Nuclear weapons policy in India.
- Strategy: Strategic thinking is not the tradition of India. One can see this from its history. Modern strategies were engaged by Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Those normally formulated their theories in general terms, supported by their own view of the external world and led from its non-standard preferences.51

Today India has gained acceptance from different societies, which do not belong to their basic ideological and national associations and represents the new political orders, which identify its’ ascending-wishes, although India has never been mentioned as one of the elite global-power. It has more than renewed its sense of national pride and self-confidence, but also express its unfinished discussion with the UN Security-Council.

Advocates of a nuclear strategy in this case, do not now emphasise the disparity in mobilisation between the Communist block and the free world as Kissinger mentioned during the Cold War era.52

7. Concluding Remark

In conclusion, I would say that India has established itself as a regional power in South Asia since the colonial period, and one can hardly say that India is one of the regional powers in the Asia Pacific according to the historical and political facts that I have already mentioned.

The administrative divisions of 25 states with 476 districts, and one national capital territory and six union territories make India the “world’s largest democracy” and ‘though a poor state in terms of per capita GNP, India on the other hand in macro terms is one of the world’s largest economic and military powers.’53

If India will remains as an industrial country for the sake of conviction (benefit of international peace and stability in the 21st century) rather than expediency - it will be rather complicated.

This is because ‘the issue of the South Asia nuclear question cannot be grasped unless it is put against the background of itself as a nation.’54

Nehru made an historic contribution to the evolution of world affair by articulating the principle of non-alignment. By virtue of India’s size, importance and intellect, this contribution would have been an enduring service to peace if he had not also sought to graft on the movement the tendency to hammer away at other Third World countries that had chosen, for compelling reasons, to be aligned with one or the other of the great powers.55

On the other hand, Waltz as a ‘proliferation optimists’ argued that Nuclear weapons have spread rather than proliferated because these weapons have proliferated only vertically as the Nuclear Weapon States have increased their arsenals. The likelihood of war decreases as deterrent and defensive capabilities increase and that nuclear weapons, responsibly used, make wars hard to start.56

Until now, the world has recognised five declared nuclear powers - the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China - and three undeclared ones, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. The potential for nuclear flashpoint in South Asia has become a reality. India now has a fairly sophisticated missile programme which is largely in response to that of China.

India’s GDP, however is a little over $ 400 billion, or about half that of the larger European economies. According to IMF estimates, based on Purchasing Power Parity, the Indian economy ranks fifth in the world today.57

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, however claims South Asia is on the verge of an arms race that will further impoverish the poor people of the region.

India indeed is hungry for Hegemony, but there might still be quite a way to go in order to become a world Hegemone. This is, because of its current interdependences which are complex on the other events such as: the rise and fall of super-powers (US and USSR) in the region, the action and reactions of the hesitant super power (Japan), China’s rise with its power struggle today with US, as well as the rising power and influences of the regional co-operations such as ASEAN, EU and OPEC. p. s. Especially the events of recent days in New York and Washington have changed the political orders in South Asia region in particular, and in the World Politics in general. It creates India’s new position in the region, as well as in the World.

8. Bibliography

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4. Bishop, Donald (ed.) (1982): Thinkers of the Indian Renaissance. New Delhi.
5. Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali (1977): ‘Bilateralism’; The Third World: New Directions. London.
6. Dunne, Timothy: ‘Realism; Smith’; Steve and Baylis, John (1997): The Globalisation of World Politics. Oxford.
7. Ghosch, Partha S. (1994): ‘Nuclear Rivalry in South Asia: Strategic Imperatives and National Pride’; Ghosch S. Partha (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London.
8. Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London.
9. Healy, Tim (1998): A Man with A Bomb; Asia Week (The Week of May 22, 1998).
10. Hossain, Moazzem; Islam, Iyanatul and Kibria, Reza (1999) : South Asian Economic Development.
11. Howlett Darryl: ‘Nuclear Proliferation’; Steve and Baylis, John (1997): The Globalisation of World Politic. Oxford.
12. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html: A country study - India
13. Hyman, Anthony (1990): ‘Pakistan: Towards a Modern Muslim State?’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London.
14. Kissinger, Henry (1962): The Necessity for Choice; Prospects of American Foreign Policy. New York.
15. Kissinger, Henry (1979): The White House Years.
16. Keohane, Robert O (1984): After Hegemony - Co-operation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Oxford.
17. Mishra, Brajesh: ‘Economic and Security Perspectives’ - Development of the Asia-Pacific Region - Requirements for Future Stability; Teltschik, Horst (ed.) (1999): Global Security on the Threshold to the Next Millennium. Berlin.
18. Subrahmanyam, K.(1988) : ‘India’s Security - The North and North East Dimension’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London.
19. SWP-Berlin (April 2001): Indiens Sicherheitskonzeption.
20. Waltz, Kenneth N. (1979): Theory of International Politics. New York.

[...]


1 Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia, Introduction. London., P. vii

2 Ibid., P. vii

3 Ghosch, Partha S. (1994): ‘Nuclear Rivalry in South Asia: Strategic Imperatives and National Pride’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P. 281-282

4 Healy, Tim (1998): A Man with A Bomb; Asia Week (The Week of May 22, 1998).

5 SWP-Berlin (April 2001): Indiens Sicherheitskonzeption

6 Subrahmanyam, K.: ‘India’s Security - The North and North East Dimension’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P. 2

7 Bajpai, Kanti: ‘India - Modified Structuralism’; Muthiah Alagappa (ed.) (1998): Asian Security Practice. Stanford., P.159

8 Hossain, Moazzem, Islam, Iyanatul and Kibria, Reza (1999): South Asian Economic Development., P.6

9 Ibid., P.8

10 Subrahmanyam, K.: ‘India’s Security - The North and North East Dimension’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London, P. 3

11 Aung San Suu Kyi (1990): ‘Intellectual Life in Burma and India under Colonialism’. New Delhi; Freedom from Fear (1991). , P. 128.

12 Ibid., P. 107.

13 Hossain, Moazzem; Islam, Iyanatul and Kibria, Reza (1999): South Asian Economic Development., P.23

14 Hossain, Moazzem; Islam, Iyanatul and Kibria, Reza (1999): South Asian Economic Development., P.23

15 Subrahmanyam, K.: ‘India’s Security - The North and North East Dimension’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.4

16 Hyman, Anthony (1990): ‘Pakistan: Towards a Modern Muslim State?’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.59

17 Hyman, Anthony (1990): ‘Pakistan: Towards a Modern Muslim State?’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.77

18 Ghosch, Partha S. (1994): ‘Nuclear Rivalry in South Asia: Strategic Imperatives and National Pride’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P. 281-282

19 Subrahmanyam, K.: ‘India’s Security - The North and North East Dimension’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.8

20 Subrahmanyam, K.: ‘India’s Security - The North and North East Dimension’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.8

21 Ibid., P.10

22 Ibid., P.20-21

23 Subrahmanyam, K.: ‘India’s Security - The North and North East Dimension’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.14-15

24 Ibid., P.8

25 Ibid., P.8

26 Subrahmanyam, K.: ‘India’s Security - The North and North East Dimension’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.17

27 Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali (1977): ‘Bilateralism’; The Third World: New Directions., P.50

28 Subrahmanyam, K.: ‘India’s Security - The North and North East Dimension’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.7

29 Kissinger, Henry (1979): The White House Years.

30 Subrahmanyam, K.: ‘India’s Security - The North and North East Dimension’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.5-6-7

31 Ghosch, Partha S. (1994): ‘Nuclear Rivalry in South Asia: Strategic Imperatives and National Pride’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.289

32 Ibid., P.286-8

33 Ibid., P.289

34 Subrahmanyam, K.: ‘India’s Security - The North and North East Dimension’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.8

35 Dunne, Timothy: ‘Realism; Smith’; Steve and Baylis, John (1997): The Globalisation of World Politic. Oxford. P.122

36 Keohane, Robert O (1984): After Hegemony - Co-operation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Oxford.

37 Ibid.

38 Bishop, Donald (ed.) (1982): Thinkers of the Indian Renaissance, New Delhi., P. 4.

39 Hossain, Moazzem, Islam, Iyanatul and Kibria, Reza (1999): South Asian Economic Development., P.3

40 Mishra, Brajesh: ‘Economic and Security Perspectives’ - Development of the Asia-Pacific Region - Requirements for Future Stability; Teltschik, Horst (ed.) (1999): Global Security on the Threshold to the Next Millennium. Berlin., P.85

41 Hossain, Moazzem; Islam, Iyanatul and Kibria, Reza (1999): South Asian Economic Development., P.20

42 Austin, Dennis and Gupta, Anirudha (1990): ‘The Politics of Violence in India and South Asia: Is Democracy an Endangered Species?’; Ghosch, Partha S. (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.114

43 Keohane, Robert O (1984): After Hegemony - Co-operation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Oxford.

44 Waltz, Kenneth N. (1979): Theory of International Politics. New York.

45 Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali (1977): ‘Bilateralism’; The Third World: New Directions. London.

46 Mishra, Brajesh: ‘Economic and Security Perspectives’ - Development of the Asia-Pacific Region - Requirements for Future Stability; Teltschik, Horst (ed.) (1999): Global Security on the Threshold to the Next Millennium. Berlin., P.85

47 Healy, Tim (1998): A Man with A Bomb; Asia Week (The Week of May 22, 1998).

48 Healy, Tim (1998): A Man with A Bomb; Asia Week (The Week of May 22, 1998).

49 Ibid.

50 Ibid.

51 SWP-Berlin (April 2001): Indiens Sicherheitskonzeption

52 Kissinger, Henry (1962): The Necessity for Choice; Prospects of American Foreign Policy., P.78

53 Ghosch, Partha S. (1994): ‘Nuclear Rivalry in South Asia: Strategic Imperatives and National Pride’; Ghosch S. Partha (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.17

54 Ghosch, Partha S. (1994): ‘Nuclear Rivalry in South Asia: Strategic Imperatives and National Pride’; Ghosch S. Partha (ed.) - Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (1997): Rivalry and Revolution in South and East Asia. London., P.17

55 Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali (1977): ‘Bilateralism’; The Third World: New Directions. London.

56 Howlett Darryl: ‘Nuclear Proliferation’; Steve and Baylis, John (1997): The Globalisation of World Politic. Oxford. P.349

57 Mishra, Brajesh: ‘Economic and Security Perspectives’ - Development of the Asia-Pacific Region - Requirements for Future Stability; Teltschik, Horst (ed.) (1999): Global Security on the Threshold to the Next Millennium. Berlin., P.87

25 of 25 pages

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Title
India - Hungry for Hegemony?
College
University of Münster
Course
Pacific Asia and the Great Power
Grade
very good
Author
Year
2001
Pages
25
Catalog Number
V105400
File size
471 KB
Language
English
Tags
India, Hungry, Hegemony, Pacific, Asia, Great, Power
Quote paper
Sandy Saw Myat (Author), 2001, India - Hungry for Hegemony?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/105400

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