NEW DELHI -- China's ambitions in the South China Sea have extended well into the Indian Ocean, and the prospect of an emerging superpower casting its shadow has roused anxiety in a number of littoral states, which look to India as an alternative security provider.
In Part 2 of an interview with the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Dasgupta shares his view of the contradictions and tensions of India's economic and political scenes. How does India's warlike capitalism co-exist with its deeply democratic spirit?
It will take time for India to enact major reforms, but the Indian people are intelligent, resourceful and determined, and they have progressive leadership. Every U.S. corporation that aspires to a world footprint must have a presence in India.
Among a slew of critical issues in India, secularism is what must be preserved above all. It is at the very core of India's multi faith based society.
So India can have its Swach Shakti moment, its gigawatts of solar and wind, its high performance urban development, its inclusive, low-carbon growth. But there are two major threats.
This essay is not about Narendra Modi's silences, real or perceived. It is not about allegations of silence made and repeated in the echo-chamber of unimaginative media discourses. No. It is about a real silence that no one in the media bothers calling out.
The global Hindu community, while inextricably rooted in the peoples and soil of India and their diaspora, can't be superficially contained or constrained by boundary or ideology, or any kind of classification of race, gender, sexuality, or caste.
India can only be governed and kept together by the persuasive use of authority and not by force. Both the BJP and the AAP need to keep this in mind: It's dangerous to play with history; it's still more dangerous not to learn from it. Only a system that seeks to reconcile the often competing demands and aspirations of its millions can work.
The more difficult question to think about is that President Obama did not say anything that decent people anywhere in the world or of any faith would disagree with. And yet, something about his comments has upset Hindus very much.
The fact is that the only reason the Vice President has been targeted is because he is Muslim. Sushma Swaraj, minister of external affairs, and Rajnath Singh, the home minister, were both also present during the ceremony and neither saluted the flag.
IMF calls for end to fossil fuel subsidies; PLUS: Some good news: fracking banned in Scotland, and great 'Fox News' for a change!... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
What about "shared values" that Obama and Modi have flaunted? They help in dealing with a shabby world but only up to a point. The pragmatist in Modi knows that since India is China's neighbor, it is imperative to calm a neighbor's angst -- and the angst of distant neighbors -- rather than to merely revel in the effusive cordiality of a country located beyond the seven seas. The basic instincts of the two ancient civilizations might yet astound the world.
However neatly wrapped, self-interest is the underlying theme of foreign policy. India will have to tread with extreme caution on this path of a joint strategic vision for the Asia-Pacific. The U.S. will only walk on this path up to a point. Australia and Japan have not exhibited consistency in their China policy.
Both Obama and Narendra Modi (NaMo) have waxed eloquent on stronger economic ties and friendly cultural relations, but their statements on climate change need to go beyond platitudes and into action.
Given the difficulty in achieving a breakthrough in any of the major problem areas, why is Obama going to India? What does he hope to achieve? I think the primary objective is to reinforce the strategic nature of the relationship by finding ways to enlarge the scope for joint action that are not dependent on what happens at the transactional end.
In the backdrop of U.S. President Barack Obama's historic visit to India, Samarth Pathak gets you fresh perspectives on bilateral ties in a candid interaction with three of India's leading strategic thinkers.