NEW DEHLI, India — The role of India is becoming more important in our increasingly interconnected society. While India is a massive democratic power in the region, its status as a prominent middle power reveals the changing power structures of the international community.
The role of India within the international system has increasingly shifted from one of colonial oppression to a significant regional power. The rise of middle powers is significantly altering the current liberal global order, specifically for powers outside of the dominant West. According to The National Interest, “Crafting ‘middle-power coalitions,’ as a complement to engaging China and deepening strategic partnership with America, would enjoy domestic political support, while creating the basis for expanding India’s role in Asian security.”
The rise of middle powers alleviates the tension of responsibility for the current dominant powers of the United States, Russia and China. The rise of India as a middle power has positive implications for development, education and diversity.
India is dedicated to domestic development. This focus on development has implications for a prosperous India, region, and a strengthened international community.
The rhetoric of the new elites does not focus on the prosperity of the dominant West, but includes rhetoric catered toward the poor and oppressed. The middle powers have the capacity to change global norms. The rise and growth of powers outside of the Western sphere reveal a great deal about the present and future of the global system. While one may gain a materialist perspective through speculation into the rise of the sovereign state, it is the impact of these Western-led ideas on powers outside of the liberal West that illuminate truths about middle powers and regional dynamics.
While attempting to be pure of heterogeneity in attempts to be legitimized by the international system, certain groups in India further create domestic unrest as the country pursues purification of non-Hindus, such as the V.S.S and discourse from the BJP. The implementation of the non-corrupt party in India has interesting implications for the future of India’s international presence, as it may lead to India embracing their ethnic and religious diversity rather than pursue polarization.
India’s role as a periphery, yet regionally dominant, power specifically allows it to foment new ideas that are applicable to the center, due to India’s regional liberal dominance. Prime Minister Modi is the symbol for institutional, social and economic change in India.
The “Modi Wave” represents an era of change, prosperity and development. Modi believes the key to reviving India’s ancient glory and civilization-leading role lies within the strengthening of their domestic sphere. In order to shift global power toward Asia, Modi is reorienting India’s foreign policy to accommodate changing geo-political and geo-economic realities. The flow toward democracy, therefore encompassing human rights, is a part of the effort to extend the global power of India. “India first” is Modi’s quintessential slogan for progression in the economy, government and global power.
Following economics, Modi’s dedication toward democracy is critical to achieving his goals. As a means to gain power and respect in the international system, Modi utilizes democracy. The role of middle powers and democracy is critical for the growth and development of India, for India is able to act as a regional superpower. Democracy allows India to expand its power against China and alter the geo-politics of Asia through pro-democracy platforms that include Australia, Japan and the United States. Modi is pursuing his goals through economic expansion and democracy. Regional and international ties remain significant; however, participation in international organizations and democratic processes is not enough to promote India as a global power.
– Neti Gupta
Photo: NBC News