First it was corruption of staggering proportions, then an ill-conceived tax to claw back capital gains from foreign companies; that was followed by slowing growth and a swooning rupee. Now a power blackout in India has left 700 million people without electricity.
India has fallen a long way from 2009 when Hillary Clinton, on a visit to New Delhi, declared unequivocally that “India is not just a regional power, but a global power.”
India’s policymakers have been fixated with pursuing major strategic ambitions with the hopes of one day becoming a superpower. The country has tripled its defense expenditure over the last decade to become one of the top-ten military spenders . It has been lobbying for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and it has been trying to raise its profile globally through public diplomacy and events such as the Commonwealth Games.
In 2010, the London School of Economics argued in a report that despite India’s impressive rise, the country shouldn’t get carried away and pursue global ambitions, rather it should focus on solving its deep socio-economic problems.
“The bright lights of great power diplomacy may serve only to distract from the pressing requirements of India’s domestic development, which to date has neither locked in its successes nor laid out a sustainable path for the future,” the report said.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page