CAN INDIA BECOME A SUPERPOWER
The end of the Cold War and the era of “unipolar” US dominance that followed has led many to wonder about the future of international power. Who will rival, or perhaps even replace, the US? At least one…At least one obvious candidate has emerged. Although it would be premature to categorise China as a global superpower, it is quickly developing into the US’s most plausible challenger. But in discussions of globally important matters - Syria, financial crisis, the NSA fallout and so on - one name is curiously absent: India 2.
Superpower in a broader sense means a stage which has the ability to influence events and project power worldwide and has immense potential to become one. The characteristics of superpowers are firstly, the state or nation should have sizable presence in terms of area and population. Secondly, the state should have high levels of domestic cohesion, a clear sense of national identify and stable administration based on strong legal and institutional arrangements. Thirdly, the state should be economically strong and should be endowed with natural resources, particularly energy resources, minerals and metals. Such a state should have a strong industrial base backed by technological knowledge and also have strong military capabilities, particularly nuclear and missile. The combination of all these ingredients and attributes of the state should be at for higher levels than those of the majority of states in the international community. It is only then that the state can acquire the status of a superpower and be acknowledged as such. In this context, if we examine India's position, then India's quest for an influential status in world affairs in many ways had nothing to do with the substantive criteria described above. Merely clinging to the utopic idea superpower hood will not make it happen. There are some major constraints which pose a challenge to this vision. Major constraints:
The one and major is the pervasive poverty that impedes India's progress in every sector .It is the root cause of many socio-economic problems including population explosion ,unemployment, child labor and rising graphs of crimes.
India has the largest proportions of people below the poverty line in the world with the problem being acute in villages .Given the massive challenge of domestic poverty and underdevelopment, India simply has not had the resources to enable the development of a modern military arsenal. As such, it has been unable to assert itself on the international stage. In international conflicts, India’s military has only been active in humanitarian assistance and ancillary non-combat roles. Although other countries, notably Russia and China, have been able to act as veto players on the international stage, India’s presence is of little consequence. For instance, few people would know or care to know what India’s position is on, say, the conflict in Syria. Clearly India is not at present a global power. The question that remains to be answered is whether India has the potential to become a one in the future. Once again, academic theory guides us to think about a country’s latent power, which is the state’s ability to translate assets of population and wealth into mobilisable power. Viewed in this way, India is also unlikely to gain a foothold as a major global player. To be sure, it has demonstrated an impressive ability to galvanize the information technology and business process outsourcing industries. However, these growth sectors are the exception, rather than the norm. In a largely agricultural country, there are huge internal wealth and income disparities across India. Given that India is a democratic state, the government has to be responsive to the demands of its citizens. As such, the existing pressure for the redistribution of wealth limits growth in military expenditure and consequently inhibits the ability of the state to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document