Monday, April 1, 2013

Geopolitics of India and Greater India

Geopolitics of India and Greater India
      Written in 1943, "Geopolitics of India and Greater India" is a study in pre and post war Indian geopolitics. To be seen against the context of the second world war, this may seem at first glance a bit idealistic in it's thought process and ambitions herein espoused. However, the nationalistic fervour  that had swept across much of Europe and Asia and that which was at the heart of the second world war lends sense to the tone of the writing. 

         Dr S.Srikanta Sastri,
Dr S.Srikanta Sastri
while discussing then prevailing conditions in what was pre-independence India none the less foresees the inevitable need decades down the line, for a consortium of nations sharing a common geopolitical sphere of cultural, economic and military sphere of Influence. This realised in the 1980s in the form of SAARC  was indeed a true testament to his prophetic words penned nearly 40 years earlier in this book.  While SAARC was essentially an Asian phenomenon, NATO and the now defunct Warsaw pact  were early forerunners to such geopolitical ambitions. The contemporaneous origins and subsequent evolution of BRICS of late is yet another substantiation of his ideas. India cannot continue to function in isolation. She has not done so historically over the last three millenia and will not be able to do so in the coming centuries. Neither is there any need to isolate herself. India's cultural, religious and economic influence since times immemorial has stretched from Afghanistan in the West to Cambodia in the East. Although, religious and political changes have set in these regions, her sphere of influence is today growing ever so rapidly thanks to another interest - Economics. Among the fastest growing economies in the world, India's role is undeniable in the Asian setting. 

             Her Navy today
Indian Navy patrolling the Indian Ocean
patrols almost the entire length and breadth of the Indian Ocean, not so much to project force but instead to protect her maritime economic interests. This force projection calls for some assertive diplomacy and tactful maneuvering at the international level. As each nation comes of age, it is inevitable that it seeks to realise and assert it's rightful geopolitical influence in it's immediate geographical vicinity. Indian ambitions while not malignant need to be channeled properly for their ultimate realisation. While, some of the statistics in the book may seem outdated today, they ought to be seen in the context of the early 1940s. But all the same, the ideas, the plans laid out and the far reaching vision of Dr S.Srikanta Sastri make this book a worth while read. 

To read complete book, click here.