Opinion » Lead

Updated: June 19, 2012 18:40 IST

India is not a global power

Chinmaya R. Gharekhan
Comment (97)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Instead of chasing such titles, let us work harder to improve the lives of the poor

Power in inter-state relations is the capacity as well as the political will to use that capacity, of one country to make another country do something which, left to itself, it would not do or would not want to do. “Soft” power should not be considered a component of the concept of power since it is not relevant to modifying the behaviour of another country; it can and does serve as a model and indirectly — and over a period of time — to earn goodwill among sections of society of other countries for its culture. But it has no place in the discussion of power as a means to bring about a change in the attitude of another country. India has a genuine attraction for many in the Middle East because of its pluralism combined with a functioning democracy; however, it does not give any “power” to India to influence decision-making in those countries. When we talk of power, we are thinking of military, economic and diplomatic clout, not of Bollywood or yoga.

Spheres of influence

The 20th century offers many examples of the exercise of power by states mostly in neighbouring countries or countries regarded as forming a part of their spheres of influence. There were at least 10 cases of American intervention, starting with Cuba when the Platt amendment was adopted in the Senate which gave virtual control over Cuba to the U.S. as well as provided the framework for the lease of Guantánamo Bay. Other examples are Panama in 1903, Nicaragua in 1912, Haiti in 1915, the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961, Chile in 1973, etc. An example of the blatant exercise of power was the Anglo-French-Israeli joint attack on the Suez Canal zone in 1956. The Soviet Union used brute force to restore its domination of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. There was of course the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979 which had a lot to do with the eventual collapse of the Soviet empire.

The establishment of the United Nations in 1945 and the evolution of international law since then have completely changed the rules of the game of the exercise of power by the introduction of the concept of legitimacy. It is universally recognised that there are only two scenarios of the legitimate use of force: pursuant to the Security Council authorisation or in the exercise of the right of self-defence. The latter has been severely circumscribed by the Charter which lays down that the right of self-defence can be exercised only in response to an attack by another state, thus rejecting the “pre-emptive” right of self-defence. The one case of unilateral use of force in the 21st century was the American intervention in Iraq in 2003 which the international community refused to recognise as legitimate since it did not have the imprimatur of Security Council approval nor was it accepted as having been in the exercise of the right of self-defence. United States/NATO intervention in Afghanistan, on the other hand, was sanctioned by the U.N.

Of the three constituent elements of “power” — military, economic and diplomatic — the economic is crucial. This is self-evident and does not need elaboration. One important reason why the Soviet Union lost the Cold War was the mismatch between its bloated military and the inability of its economy to support and sustain it.

Is there a “superpower” in the contemporary world? The answer is clearly in the negative. America has global reach, and its military is no doubt the strongest in the world. But this does not confer on it the capability to impose its will on others. To be fair to it, the U.S. does not ask others to recognise it as a superpower, though it does not protest when the rest of the world describes it as one. The Americans would rather prefer to be recognised as the “exceptional” power. The capacity of its military as well as the will of its political leadership to deploy anywhere at any time without worrying about adverse political or diplomatic reaction remains, but it is severely hobbled by its increasing economic weakness. To that extent, it is a global power. But it lacks in other attributes of power. The most embarrassing moment for American diplomacy was in March 2003 when it failed to persuade enough members of the Security Council, including some of its close allies, to support the “second resolution” on Iraq which would have legitimised its intervention in Iraq; only four countries promised support. More and more members in the U.N. vote in favour of the resolution criticising American sanctions against Cuba. The U.S. has not had much success in getting countries such as India to fall in line with its Iran policy. Getting its nominee elected president of the World Bank has less to do with its diplomatic strength and more to do with the voting advantage that it and its allies enjoy as also to the lack of unity among the challengers for the job.

America is without doubt a super “soft” power. Its movies, television series, popular music, and, most of all, its espousal of democratic values have immense resonance among the youth of the world, especially in the Arab and Muslim world. But these do not translate into “power.”

About China

China is portrayed as a legitimate claimant for the title of global power. China's economy has been the principal engine of growth of the world economy but is now slowing down and facing the prospect of a reality bubble, political instability and huge corruption scandals. It is now not clear when, if ever, it will become the biggest economy in the world. Its military capability is nowhere close to America's. In R&D and labour productivity, it is way behind the U.S. China has increased its military profile, especially its navy. But the neighbours, while distrustful, are not afraid of China because of the American “pivot” or other factors. Much weaker countries, such as the Philippines, refuse to be intimidated by Chinese threats.

If the U.S. and China can be eliminated as candidates for “superpower” status, there is no need to consider any other state for the position.

India's case

Is India at least a “regional” power? The most conspicuous example of the exercise of power by India was the operation in 1971 in former East Pakistan. India's intervention was not authorised by the U.N.; India justified it on the ground of self-defence since Pakistan had earlier attacked several Indian Air Force bases as also on the one that Pakistan had in fact invaded India in the form of 10 million refugees. There is also the case of the intervention in the Seychelles in 1986, and one case of ill-advised military intervention, in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s which had disastrous consequences for India. There was talk of India sending a brigade to Iraq in 2003, but wiser counsel prevailed. As a general rule, Indian participation in military operations has been as a part of U.N.-mandated peace-keeping operations, with the exceptions mentioned.

The global powers of yesteryear became such for concrete reasons: control over sources of raw materials including oil and gas and protection of the interests of their corporations, e.g. the case of the United Fruit Company in Guatemala in the 1950s, an American company in which the then CIA director was a shareholder.

Why do some analysts in India feel enamoured of the prospect of India being called a global or a regional power? Is it because of the sense of self-importance or prestige? Will such a “title” give India a place at the high table in international diplomacy? Others sometimes use this adjective for us for one or both of these reasons: to flatter us — and we are the most flattery-prone people in the world — and/or to make us take foreign policy steps which would serve the objectives of those flattering us. Will the label of regional power help ameliorate the lives of the poor in our country, which is and should continue to be the guiding principle of our domestic as well as external policy? Further, while we have soft power of doubtful practical utility, we definitely are or have become or are becoming a super “soft state.” India's neighbours have the full measure of its will, or lack thereof, to use whatever hard power it has. One criterion of military power ought to be, not the unlimited capacity to pay for imports of hardware, but how much of it is the country able to manufacture domestically; India fares poorly in this respect. The possession of nuclear weapons does not change anything. Pakistan too has them. And, our nuclear weapons did not deter Pakistan from indulging in the Kargil adventure, but Pakistan's nuclear weapons apparently deterred us from crossing the Line of Control (LoC) at that time, and restrained us after 26/11. The boom years of India's economy seem to be over at least for the short term. Our forex reserves have ceased to grow and are likely to dwindle, with the rising energy bill and diminished exports. A reduction in interest rates might at some stage induce NRIs to start pulling out their deposits as it happened in 1990-91. A declining economy makes for a poor case for acceptance as a “power” of any kind.

In today's world, the concepts of super or global or even regional power do not make sense. We should not waste our time or energy over this non-issue. Fortunately, the Indian government does not seem to be much preoccupied about such recognition.

(Chinmaya R. Gharekhan, former Indian Ambassador to the United Nations, was until recently Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Special Envoy for West Asia.)


India remembers Kargil heroesJuly 26, 2012

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Soft capabilities certainly helps power (military, economic and diplomatic clout) and its use. Though the Republic of India (RoI) government is not formally inclined for a global or regional power status, attitude and behavior of its leaders have never been compatible with the formal policy. This lends the RoI government a split-personality.

from:  Upendra Gautam
Posted on: Jun 16, 2012 at 09:02 IST

Oh Puleeze! Global power? does not even know how to play the regional politics - case in point - abetting Tamil genocide in SriLanka, not raising a voice about Myanmar Junta, enabling Chinese to ring around India (SriLanka, Pak, Nepal, Tibet......). We all wish Mother India well but the politicians of today are too corrupt and short-sighted to see th ebig picture. I agree with many posters here - improve the living conditions of our brothers and sisters across India; we do not need elaborate ceremonies to dance to the reckless politicians. People need clean water, toilet/medical facilities and a roof over their head. India can achieve this easily ONLY if politicians stop misappropriating citizens' hard earned money. Until then, please stop salivating on being a super power or even a regional power. India has lost is value because of wrong foreign policy and corruption.

from:  Rajah
Posted on: Jun 15, 2012 at 07:52 IST

Before we even go near declaring that we are the super power, we need to achieve certain fundamental needs. In this same newspaper there is an article - India is drowning in its own excreta. There are many such basic fundamentals that need urgent attention.

from:  Raj S Ram Dublin CA
Posted on: Jun 14, 2012 at 22:57 IST

We are here talking about becoming a work power and ignoring the fact that we are fighting with each other inside the country. Upper caste people killing dalits everyday and you say India has got freedom and is unite. People are commenting and blaming the communities for the terrorism and hating each other. This is not the country which out freedom fighters have thought of.

from:  Nitesh
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 19:15 IST

I agree with Mr Sathyamurty on most of the points, the faster we stop deluding ourselves regarding our capabilities and position in this world, the better it will be for us.
However, I do have hopes for us as the young generation which has witnessed the freedom and fair play is not willing to be short changed, much to the chagrin of netas.
We are beginning to question the status quo and looking inwards to see the rot inside. We must not forget that the free fall of our nation has been in motion since the Independence, the self serving ways of our politicians and administration and the apathy of general public has rapidly grown and choked our glorious nation.
And that's why I feel our real tryst with destiny is now - to stem the rot within us, our families, society and nation at large. Its easy to quit and abandon the sinking ship but difficult to have hope and do our bit.

from:  Sumit Vijayan
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 16:00 IST

Indians most Flattery prone....Great Article sir, you nailed it.

from:  jeeves
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 10:49 IST

Why the story of helping the poor is a lie perpetrated on the poor, the not so poor and the rich alike. Any system can succeed only if it is self sustaining. To remove people from poverty, the economic and political system should be conducive for people to quickly earn money. The present system incentivises poverty and ignorance. Only if the people are poor, can the parties claim to be helping aam admi. They have been saying the slogan of bijli, sadak, paani, khana etc etc for the last 50 years and will say for another 50 more if they can. In this way, the poor are given the opium of hope, the not so poor are given unending dreams and the extremely rich are perfectly happy exploiting this ignorance for generations. Immaterial of whether India aspires to be a super power, it should invest as best as it can like a super power in building world class technology, stable social security, effective medical care etc. This is what is given in a super power. Not free TVs and alcohol.

from:  someone
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 20:23 IST

indians shold improve their court one can break law,but he will notbe punished peoplehave no moral to obey the law,judicial system is bad,lakhs of cases are pending incourts, all vakils judges are corrupted, govt. should increas courts and judges but lots of money are spend on baseless narega scheme were money hardly reaches the people, the time will come when youngster suicide bomber will kill the politician who is corrupted

from:  j.i.patel
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 18:50 IST

First lets accept the fact that we are a over populated nation. Then
bring the population explosion under control and then the have should
start helping the have nots. Instead of the rich insulting the poor and
treating them in-humanly.

from:  Jacob Chandran
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 23:10 IST

When did India make any official proclamation of having become a global power, or wanting to be one? I can't think any country in the world has made any such proclamation. India has been labelled this that and the next by silly external commentators, and all this while life continues in this country just like it has before.

Having said that, there is no contradiction between being a military power and having poor people. The Soviet Union's achievements were suspect, because the people were poor and the country had food shortages. When Britain was a military power, its own people were far less prosperous than they are today. Hence the emigration to the colonies.

Perhaps being a super power and being prosperous are mutually exclusive properties.

from:  Boman Mehta
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 22:13 IST

I study in Germany and am often come in contact with several students
from the Middle East and other Arab countries. They are all fascinated
by India. They all have great esteem for India. India somehow has still
managed to be everybody's friend. But it is also true that these people
are aware of the festering sores of poverty, corruption and illiteracy
in our country. We have a lot of cleaning up in our own front and
backyards before we even aspire to play a regional role.

from:  luhar sen
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 20:42 IST

It is said that money comes only when there is peace and so the
power. Power is relative term. India was more powerful and
intimidating before Pakistan tested its nuclear bomb.But still India
is more powerful than Pakistan not because of it military but here
standard of living and is HDI is better .Once people are happy ,well
educated a country can focus on different area of technology and use
its money in loan and grants to have more diplomatic
influence.Therefore Indian leaders must look inwards and focus on
social development . Once the problems like
poverty,malnutrition,infant mortality etc are curbed or at least
brought to a reasonable level then we have more money to spend to
enhance our diplomatic,economic and defence clout and more number of
contented people to think for it.

from:  shreyansh subham
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 20:13 IST

Yes, India has the capacity to become a regional power, if not a global power. But it will be better to use our capacity to feed our hungry billions to improve their standard of life and create a cordial atmosphere for country’s citizens at the lowest strata to make progress. Today fruits of economic growth are not reaching a very large section of country’s population. Let us not forget that on account of income and wealth disparities and neglect of rural areas and agriculture in particular we find that the sphere of influence of naxals is increasing. Therefore, let us concentrate our energies (1) to revamp our public distribution system to ensure food grains supply to our poor, (2) to ensure supply of drinking water in remote villages, (3) to provide affordable health care by improving service given by our primary health centres and in government hospitals and (4) finally have in place a good primary education infrastructure to improve literacy.

from:  Narendra M Apte
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 19:43 IST

India has always thrived in false self-glorification.The ground realities take away all that it has achieved. Until the basic needs like 'Roti Kapda aur Makaan" are fulfilled we have no right to call ourselves even "Power" The top heavy country is reeling under its own weight. Unless the major issues like corruption and caste-ism are addressed we shall find ourselves reeling back. Compare the population which is living in abject poverty and lack of health facilities and education and you will know the enormity of the internal problems facing the country. Making selective progress in selective segments becomes useless if the benefits do not percolate to a man on the street. It is unfortunate that The Government has helped in multiplying problems and creating rift between classes and castes...High time we stop bragging of our achievements......

Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 15:36 IST

If we have an aim to reach moon, atleast we end up on top of the tree.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 14:17 IST

Agree, India is not a global power.Large parts of our population are very poor, do not have access to clean water, sanitation, education, basic health care. This should be our priority. We also lack leadership. First 50 years of our policies were driven by a socialist dogma, leading to the licence raj and immense corruption. No surprise as any interference with the market will lead to corruption. Our forign policy to a large part was dictated by some nonsense idealistic utopia - in this equation India's interests suffered immensely. These "socialist tendencies" still persist, leading to more corruption (2G scam, coal etc favoured a few very rich). We need to sort out our political system, empower the democratic institutions, ensure that meritocracy is the driving force, let the entrepreurial spirit so abundant, flow. All this will drive the economy. The government's job:create conditions that lead to excellence. Our global power status will land in our laps.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 14:15 IST

Right but upto some extent.India is not a global power in some aspects but in several places it has chalanged the world . To be a global power one need have mmost resources within the country. As several democrats had occasionly quoted that india is close to be superpower or it has calibur.And saying this we are insulting those dignitarians.I agree that we are lacking in technology but how much would you expect from a nation who faced 200 years of slavery.As said by U.S. prez Mr. Obama having 50% population as youth india can reach this milestone.

from:  sushant singh
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 13:21 IST

I agree to the author in most of the instances when I look at India as
a citien of India. We have a lot to do, we have to have poverty
alleviation we have to have better educational perspectives which
would transform our young Generationto Job makers and not Job
seekers.I.E we become self potent and generate ideas and adavances in
Science and Technology which would transform us into global leaders
and not a global follower or a Clerk who does junk software work some
global powers. But now if I forget that am an Indian and if I look unbiased to India as a country and culture it is our soft power that
is our identity and our trend where we always have used our soft power
for our advantage. The impact of soft power cannot be visualised in
short perspectives but on the long run that will make the difference
than being a "global POwer" . if you look at history we should not
forget that it is our soft Power that transformed China and influenced
China for centuries through Budhism.

from:  Dinoop R Menon
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 12:37 IST

what the author fails to understand is that, the application of hard
power in order to change the attitude of another country has a lot of
side effects which will only become apparent later on. For eg consider
why Iran leadership is so anti-US, it is simply the direct consequence
of US meddling in Iran. So there are costs associated with using your
hard power to change another country. These costs generally balance
out the short-term benefits and ultimately what we find is that soft
power matters a lot more in the long run than immediate short term
gains. Changing the attitude of the people over long term has more
benefits and is more long lasting.

from:  Rajeev
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 12:25 IST

Hats off to the writer for opening eyes of those who clap at every utterd -word of India being dubbed an emerging superpower.while the maladies of poverty ,unemployment ,hunger and corruption, with which the country was born ,will take years to stop haunting us , there is no reason we should ever get flatterd by the objective-oriented state ments of others'.

Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 12:11 IST

Fair comment by CHINMAYA R. GHAREKHAN. I believe when power comes it
doesn't require any demonstration but it recognize by conduct and
decision making. US, Russia, China does not need to demo their power, it
is reflected by their Infrastructure, Decisions, and their conduct.

from:  Shailendra Mishra
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 11:19 IST

Throw at least one seriously corrupt politician into the gallows of death, and we will back the cause of Indian government seen as a power within the country.

As long as the MPs, MLAs, MLCs, IRS, IPS, IAS, Army, Navy , Airforce and most of all, The Press have corrupt intentions, India has no future what so ever.

If the activities of leader of ruling party is suspicious and deserves serious investigation, so be it. We, the people, will trust the government that doesn't hesitate ordering probe and acting swiftly on anyone irrespective of their colour, race, caste, seat of power etc.

We cannot afford even a single corrupt person in seats of power. And No, I will never see India as any sort of power.

from:  Prakash Srivatsan
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 10:25 IST

India should give first importance to our farmers. Farmers are like pillars to India. The main thing Indian govt should consider that the
growth rate will increase only if You care , Protect and increase the
productivity of agriculture. This is the main resource of India. If you
not protect you're Eyes then there will be no use of you're other body

from:  kiran kumar kotagiri
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 09:08 IST

Arguably, this is a pathetic and lame attempt to explain super power status. I am shocked that this
is a guy who was advising the PM and was an Ambassador to United Nations.

I see most of the comments that talk about how India should provide food for its poor before
embarking on super power journey. Agreed, but have you wondered that China's claim to super
power status is generally accepted whereas China does possess an equal amount of poor people. So,
by your logic, China is another country chasing a fools dream of super power status when its people
are poor. Logically, the argument breaks down.

Yes, India must fulfill its promise to its citizens to provide food, water etc. But, that does not mean
that we shouldn't be forward thinking. Taking care of citizens and becoming a super power go
hand in hand...just look at China. US is a different case...the author may argue otherwise because of
his lack of fundamental understanding of the US. Don't count out US.

from:  Arun
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 08:42 IST

I am really sick of reading such kind of pessimistic articles. We have
not done that well as nation till now but all is not gloom and doomed.
No nation is perfect in this world. It will be better if we try to
focus on positives. We have progressed as a nation and life standard
has improved. Keeping in mind that things are bound to change for good
with education and economic development, there is no reason that we
should not try to strengthen our position as a global power. We are a
country of more than 1 billion people and our voices should be
listened at world stage. Unfortunately, many people (like author) in
this country are more than happy with the role of mute spectator for
their country. If there is no will, there will not be any power.

from:  Astick Shukla
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 05:19 IST

I agree with the author about us being "Praise-Flattery-prone". That certainly needs to change And with the ruffling nature of World Economy it is a necessity of time that we keeping our country at center should concentrate on being an economic stable state rather than being a swollen bubble of armory because that would forth us in being a second USSR within no time.

from:  achal samarthya
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 01:23 IST

This is an afterthought to my earlier letter. Basically we lack a leader who can lead.the Indian
population has crossed the billion mark. Yet we don't have our own leader. The major
political party has entrusted the task of selecting the next presidential candidate to their
leader who is from a country of Musolini and Berlusconi, and a country which has seen about
fifty is also likely that an half Indian or Italian will be our prime minister in future.
Shame on us , there is not one Indian in a million to govern us
Where are we going? God only can save India.

from:  Narayanan
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 00:43 IST

Qualifications of a superpower:
AT least seven major qualifications are essential.1)Perfect human right with full " mandated free same quality education" for for all;2)Social justice with full emplyement/compensated welfare;3) same level free mandated health care.4)A religious/social idealogy--to sell and convert ala, democracy, socio-communism, islam, or christianity;5)Powerul war mechine to scare/subdue others6)Original high tech sciences/industries recognized by others;7)Extreme wealth/trade surpluses to help other.
India does not meet any one.USA meets all; USSR, had met many;China meets many;Japan meets many so do Germany and France.
The article is certanely informative but does not say abt etiology. Interestingly India remains a defensive player even in south asia;most scarred of Pakistan. India perhaps wants to be left alone with its " hinduism" intact;It does not want to finish off pakistan or be reunited again.Very interesting country indeed.

from:  Dr abdul jamil khan
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 23:43 IST

Excellent article clear and simple on where India stands and what its priorities
ought to be.Visiting dignitaries lose nothing to flatter India by calling us an
emerging superpower,a nuclear power,deserves a permanent seat at UNSC,should
play larger role in world affairs and so on. Our leaders are more than happy to
hear such words. The policies of globalization, liberalization and open market
philosophy are meaningless as long as gap between rich and poor are widening
everyday.There is no problem in rich becoming richer, so long as the gap between
rich and poor is reducing. This alone determines economic development. The
government merely saying those consuming Rs 28.65 daily in cities and Rs 22.42
daily in rural areas are not poor, is nothing but a practical joke to ridicule the poor.
This article must be read not only by those responsible for shaping our policies,
but students of political science in general. Thanks to Hindu for publishing this.

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 22:04 IST

A perfect analysis of the situation.military, economic and diplomatic?militarily not a
superpower.inferior quality materials beginning from bofors and the present scandal on the
military vehicles and do anybody expect India to become a military superpower?
Economic? Economic offenders are garlanded and are happy outside. When do you expect
to be a economical superpower?we have surplus grain production and most of it is allowed
to rot.most of the population is without food and starving and where do you want to hide
your face.
One of the most corrupted nation in the world.more than 60% of the population has no toilet
facilities. We are behind most of the African countries and I am even disgusted to think that
our country is a superpower.

from:  Narayanan
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 21:40 IST

Poor article! The writer is pessimistic and displays total lack of ambition for India and indians to become superpower. US, China and Russia would love this writer to be indian PM so they can continue their odd superpower business in Asia without any reference to indian one billion population. With this kind of unwilling and weak VIP people in indian gvt, one day Pakistan or China would easily invade India and turn the country into another colony! Come on Chinmaya, show some leadership, and great ambition to become a leader in Asia and the world in the future, even if today India is not at par with US.

from:  raj
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 21:26 IST

India is self stymied owing to its verbose upper and middle classes. The same people
contribute little in terms of time and resources to uplift their own citizens. The only
resource of help for the majority is through personnel in mandated public service
who again are after power and glory and in reality and have less empathy for the
deserving poor. Governments cannot change things that people protect like the caste
system. The government is only a reflection of its people.

from:  nmantri
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 19:32 IST

Dear Sir, As long as When people like Chinmaya R. Gharekhan advises
and formulates policies at our countire's highest executive we never
will be a regional or global power... We need dreamers like Shri.ABJ
to take our nation to the league of elite nations... not Gharekhans
or Manmohans...

Dream on, dream on, dream on,
dream yourself a dream come true
dream on, dream on, dream on,
and dream until your dream comes true
dream on...

Sivasakthivel.KG, Coimbatore, TN

from:  Sivasakthivel.K
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 18:44 IST

I think enough comments / views has been made / expressed by the readers. I hope the right message goes to the ears of policy makers ( especially to the PM and his colleagues ) in alleviating the POVERTY from India instead of simply boasting of for some EMPTY TITLES. As rightly put by the writer in the header lines itself as “Instead of chasing such titles, let us work harder to improve the lives of the poor”

Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 16:55 IST

Good Article in terms of verbalizing the ideas truthfully.To be seen as Global power, Indian should first benefit its citizens by proper development in each and every spheres. I think first and foremost population control is the factor indian should be aiming as all the developments are soaked in by the steep increase in the population.Though there is some risk in implementing this policy, like the increased percentage old people as was faced by china but still stringent steps needs to be taken for a bright indian future.Only after this step rest of the steps could be applied and implemented smoothly.

from:  Narendra Sahu
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 15:27 IST

Great politicians of this country look INDIA very myopically. They think this nation as a resource for their own interest.This view has to change only a develop nation can bring welfare of the nationals . The dimension of politics in INDIA has to change .

from:  bijenkumar
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 14:48 IST

Yes, I agree that India is no where near the super or global power
status. I live in Europe and attended several European seminars where
non of the professors or seminar delegates talk about Indian cases as
an example. Its China what they think as a perfect example of growth
and prosperity compared to other Asian countries. For westerns India
is a big market for cheap labour and investments but not a developing
country. They consider India as corrupted, problem-oriented and
politically unstable country. As a Indian I really feel ashamed of
myself when they speak about Indian politicians corruption rates, lack
of facilities, population.
This article clearly throw light on the same point that we Indians
have to pull up our socks and work very hard to get a global status as
a true developing country. Discussions never solve problems but
implementations do.

from:  Mudari Bhupesh
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 13:39 IST

One should examine the reasons why a country becomes a super power. US
became a superpower after WW2 when it helped Europe and it played a key role
in bringing justice to the world through trials development of UN and world court
in Hauge etc. India has no such credibility in the world. India has not played any
serious role in the moral issues of the world after its independence and it has not
delivered justice to its own people by eliminating poverty or by delivering an
ecosystem where there is equality to all. Till India continues to exploit its people
through caste based systems and practice of cruelty through poverty it can
never be any sort of power regional super universal or even power within its own
people. At least author has attempted to rise this issue when Indians are deluding

from:  svnagappa
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 11:58 IST

"to make us take foreign policy steps which would serve the objectives
of those flattering us"

Exactly. Remember the Miss India/Universe/World flattery for selling
I was also appalled when school kids were desperately complaining to
Hilary Clinton (Yes you read it right) about the problems in India. It
made my blood boil.

from:  Karthik
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 10:04 IST

Every Indian from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Cape comer in to North East should feel
proud of being an Indian first and Indian last.Loyalty to the country of birth has to be
complete and absolute.If a few in Arunachal Pradesh think of being Chinese,Kashmiris
being Pakistani,North East states being of Chinease and Burmese ,then the reasons of
allienation to be looked into.Imparting education,primary health care and security and food
are responsibilities of a responsible government.So called superpower USA,there are much
more complex problems and challeges.But every American is taught from birth that he is
number one in all respects and that thinking process makes the difference.Let us eah
Indian feel proud of the Great Country -Bharat - where Lord Budha was born and epics like
Mahabharat enacted.This thinking process itself would lead to a India-a super India

from:  Dr K V Peter
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 10:00 IST

It is not we who say that our country is a global power. It is
others, mainly western countries who drum beat that. By pampering us
with such eulogies like 'Regional power' or 'Global power', they seek
to increase their trade balances against us. And we, on hearing such
empty compliments from others, get simply elated and carried away to
cloud nine. In the last 60 years, our march towards progress and
prosperity had never swerved out of that 'one step forward, two steps
backward' track. Our education system is in such a miserable state
that it has ceased long back to turn out any one with outstanding
leadership qualities or anyone with administrative abilities and
managerial skills. Our technocrats are bereft of innovative ideas to
give fruition to their engineering skills. Only in the matter of
populating the land, in the matter of corrupt practices and moral
decadence, we have shown tremendous growth in the last sixty years
for which. of course with no doubt, we deserve that eulogy.

from:  T.Sathyamurthi
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 03:22 IST

Of course we are not a global power or any kind of power. The reason behind that is
people with the vision are not ruling the country for a short period we had Vajpayeeji
he had the vision and he did not bend to all foreign countries. Today we have Modi
or even Jayalalithaa but the ruling Congress is trying to pacify all sides, which is not

from:  Hari
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 03:06 IST

Respected Sir,
This is a real good article. Worth reading it again and again.Now is
the time for India to do industrial goods in all engineering fields on
war footing in a mass scale (other than IT and BPO serviceS) with
largest youth at considerably lesser cost and then with strong IIMs and
other reputed management institutions to export to other nations and
earn a quantum jump in our dollar reserves . This will make our
country stronger with high respect . This will make youth to give
higher purchasing power and our internal demands will go up. If some
Indians could do in other nation , why not do in our own country.
This my humble opinion for India to become ethically good power
09, June 2012

from:  K.S.Sundararaman
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 00:32 IST

Its true that the economy of the country has to be to strong. People of India and the illiterate politicians are making it as an issue of pride to call India as a superpower. We should first concentrate on the problems of malnutrition, poverty, safety, corruption and so on...How can a country (India) which has 25 percent of the total poor in the world, who is not able to give two times of food to its citizens, who is behind to Bangladesh in treating malnutrition, which has highest number of illiterates, will be called as a superpower? At-least now we should open our eyes and accept the reality and work together to make India a strong nation if not a superpower

from:  Prakash
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 00:17 IST

A decent analysis, but only to falter in the last sentence. We can definitely do without being tagged as a "superpower" by the US, China or
even government at home. What we can't do without is happiness all over
the country, which seems to be conspeciously absent at this moment. But
Mr. Gharekhan, do you really believe that the present day government is
not bothered about being called as a 'Power'?

from:  rahul kumar
Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 at 00:09 IST

I think there is no connection between power and poverty of a country.
Even in USA has unemployed citizens, China has slum areas and also poor
people in France. Power (of a country)means ability to influence in
internal matters of other country. It is not waste of time, Self
evaluating of a country by in terms of power. Now India may not be a
global power. But we can say it as a "Regional Power" by considering the
infrastructural development in Afganistan, MFN status by pakistan, trade
support to Bangladesh, financial aid to Sri Lanka, requesting India's
help by Mauritius.

from:  Ameer
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 22:35 IST

The article raises some very pertinent points with which I stand in
total agreement. The importance of cultural and soft diplomacy has
been overestimated over a period of time. The distinguished writer has
correctly pointed out that all country act in their own national
interest and cultural diplomacy only generates goodwill. Indeed, no
country is a global superpower in the 21st century. The importance of
legitimacy has been highlighted. yet, we've seen how illegitimate wars
have been waged in recent years. While I agree with the view that we
should focus on the national development of our poor populace, I would
like to add that India should invest in R&D and development of
indigenous hardware and armament. That is because it is simply naive
to depend on the "American pivot" in the long run. A short and limited
conflict as Kargil can't be equated with a conventional long stretched
wars. The unique position of India warrants it to be well prepared on
all fronts, internal or external.

from:  Atul
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 22:31 IST

India is and should not be eanmoured of nomenclature. We should
concentrate on improving the quality of life of the citizens by creating
more self-employable job oppurtunities, build self-reliance, educate them
in their field of choice, provide marketing environment, with-out many
tiers of middlemen, corruption free(desrable,but is it possible n ow?.).
For this as of early independece days, mixed economy with private
capital, not priding on FII is essential. let us not despise private
capital, but keep a watch where the wealth goes, so that it gets equitably

from:  S.R.Nagarajan
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 22:24 IST

Its a very nice article and plain language. Its good. Can India be
superpower? Yes. In what way is the question. India was superpower
till 1800s. Why? A nation that has close to 80% self sufficiency with
billion people is still a great excercise. The problem is in our
borrowed system of living. Anything done/said/thought by West we want
to like that way. A single bane combined with absolute lack of value
in system (corruption, leadership(not a PHD PM or educated man) but a
kingly/stately ruler at the helm of nation of thousands of years of
history, value and culture) makes it that way.

Mandating IIT/NIT/IIM/Govt college people to serve nation for 2 years,
capital punishment for corruption particularly to politicans and
businessmen, making neighbouring nations as extended states by
investing and making sell everything, forcing global nations to ask
opinion for the extended region (persia to indonesia)- some examples
to drive home value.

Else we will be lost in internal quagmire.

from:  ram iyer
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 21:10 IST

This is a good article for discussion. But Mr.Gharekhan did not mention about our history. US has a history of over 300 years China also has a past history. But India has a history only since 1947. India's resources were looted and British rapped India and destroyed our old values. When they left India,India had famine, no money to import basic food items and plus threatening Pakistan was established. So first priority for the government was to provide basic food and shelter to the mass population including people from Pakistan. That time India had no money to build educational institutions and thus illiterate public started to produce children without any control. Because of that population in India reached from 3oo million in 1947 to 1.3 billion by 2012. Now, after 65 years of hard work India had reached this level. A mini Super power in her own terms. Indians are hardworking people. Yes, we do have a major problems of poverty that is mainly due to the population.

from:  menon
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 20:52 IST

Prosperity can not come sans power projection. To enforce law within the state or ward of
threat from outside, power is necessary. This either or scenario Mr Gharekhan propounds is
incorrect. The need presently is to break the Sino-Pak axis, wean Pak away from China
towards comity with India. This is a precondition for South Asian prosperity.

from:  N J Ramesh
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 20:23 IST


The concept of Super power itslef is antipeoeple.All the super powers around us is achieved its position either by looting the other countries or their on ordinary people.The dream of of us as a country shall be about a society where everyone can handle carefully the natrual resources with equal rights on it.So that there will not be any chance of birth of Anilagarwal,Mithal,Tata,Ajith jain,Ambani brothers etc.....
This can be possible only by people's movment where everyone will be eligbile to become rulers.
e.p. anil Bahrian

from:  E.P. anil
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 19:37 IST

"we are the most flattery-prone people in the world — and/or to make us take foreign policy steps which would serve the objectives of those flattering us. Will the label of regional power help ameliorate the lives of the poor in our country, which is and should continue to be the guiding principle of our domestic as well as external policy? "
Thank you Mr Chinmaya R. Gharekhan for your blunt statement. The western powers know india's weakness and call india an emerging power and prod india to fulfill its responsibility and use its military to safeguard western interest. India has already fallen for the bait in Afghanistan where all the mighty empires of the past and present have been defeated

from:  karan
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 19:35 IST

Since 65 years We have been saying that India is a developing country
when will we say India,a developed country? forget India becoming super
power.India can only become global power when it can have the power to
influence other countries.This can be done only when its house is set in
the order.

from:  M.Rajanikanth
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 19:17 IST

The concept of India becoming a Global or Super-Power now or in the future is i a
myth which has no reality whatsoever. It is like a mirage which one chases
endlessly without any positive result. Let us be realistic and turn our attention
inwardly for a moment dispassionately. One will be shocked to observe the
deplorable level to which we have landed ourselves - shorn of those noble
qualities of honesty, integrity, compassion, selfless service yielding place to
jealousy, hatred, greed, lust for power which is presently the dominent factor in
our way of life. Realisation of the utter futility of these ignoble qualities will result
in a change towards a positive way of life leading to prosperity all round. We have
abundant manpower and natural resources and should be able to able to achieve
our objective with sustained effort. In this context, the subject of India becoming a
super-power or global power fades into insignificance.

from:  tSSreenivasan
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 19:06 IST

The process of improving a country's economy, which is necessary to really ameliorate poverty, would necessarily imply greater need for material and energy resources. Most countries are not self sufficient in all required resources in which case they need to ensure their supply from other countries and companies through treaties and contracts. The need to enforce such agreements would naturally ensue which would necessitate beefing up "power" in all forms - diplomatic, military etc. Labels are usually just an attempt to classify countries based on their relative proportions of power. Therefore, I don't see the point of this article. If the author is suggesting that the Indian government is just going after impressive labels, God help us.

from:  Sundeep
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 19:02 IST

A good article and an eye opener for those who think India is growing
and has the capability to attain 'Global Power'. With the GDP rate
going below 6% and corruption aggravating massively, how can we hope
India to have such powers. Right from the top order, our politicians
are brazenly doing corruption and there is not a single member in the
Govt. who is actually doing the right work for which is placed in that
position. Then we are always ready to blame the external factors
impacting the country's growth. Unless there is some miracle
happening, there is no chance of India to reach to such level !

from:  Anurag
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 19:02 IST

Why are we too much bickering about power. When every one of us
involuntarily living in a dream world of baseless figures that
determine our country's growth. People and Democracy are not
different, we know that we have the very power to do anything that
could bring a drastic change. The truth is.... we have no time for all
of this. Power is a consequence of stable society, which we don't have
and will never have.. As long as our present way of thinking remains
stable we will be unstable for infinite number of generations. India
is and will be developing because of hardworking young and dynamic
workforce, not because of exports or a stable leadership. If everyone
of us are determined towards a sustainable growth this would take not
less than 5years but we can't do this due to the virtue of imbalance
in our way of thinking and implementing things. 'Poor people'
government's heaviest burden. How on earth Rs-32would be enough to
live in a city.. this is how we analyse things.Super Power??

from:  sandeep
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 17:30 IST

This hype of India being going to super power is absoulely media's creation.A country where three fourth of population lives less than a dollar,massive and widespread poverty ,abysmal low level of health care and dilapitated and crumbling infrastrure,we are not even a nowhere near a developed country.Unfortunately we are heading wrong way led by opportunistic and selfishly corrupt politicians.The blatant truth it will take a century to even catch china let alone super power.patting our own back would make us appear foolish before the world.

from:  Bari
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 17:22 IST

Very nice,realistic,reasonable presentation.In a country where the people are safe/ secured with basic needs like food,clothe and shelter can think about next status.when our great INDIA will provide all these basic facilities to its people? Then only we are compitent to talk about status of super power.
Dr.D.Gurusamy, Chennai.

from:  Dr.D.gurusamy
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 16:57 IST

An interesting article. However, the lack of belief that we as a nation can get our act together is as ridiculous as the assertion that we are a regional power today. After all who would have believed 25 years ago that Soviet Union would disintgegrate from wihin or that China would become the world's second biggest economy. Longfellow had rightly said "Heights by great men reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight but, while their companions slept, they were toiling upward in the night." Let us learn to dream and get our act together.

from:  Ashok Awasthi
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 16:51 IST

Best article! The author deserves high appreciation for the truthful presentation of contemporary India vis a vis world scene. I am fully convinced that India can never be a developed state/ great power to reckon with in any field until all the present political leaders fade away and give way to quality members for enacting and implementing better laws. This requires quality population!But for the British and American appreciation,god alone knows where the nation would have been now. The prerequisites of a 'great state' as any saneman can perceive are 1. Trash-free environment and abundant greenery. 2. Population free from poverty and illiteracy. 3. Respecting rules, law & order and exemplary punishments. 4.Doubling farm produce by helping the farmer at his door with better market facility.5. Ameliorating & overhauling existing contract system with zero tolerance on quality. 6. Health-care to all. 7.Right to employment. 8.Access to best brains abroad to India in all fields.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 16:24 IST

The exceptional US-Americans continue to deploy themselves without worrying about adverse reactions, the effect of which results in their economic weakness like all the military expenditure on wars down the drain. Thank God, and thanks to ancient commonalities of the region, India and Iran are happy to maintain their cordial, and crucial, relationship. Trying to poison this would hardly bring the US closer to its attributed power. Thank God, India realises (this article being a case in point) that beyond power, and flattery, lies wisdom.

from:  Rajan Mahadevan
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 16:07 IST

This 'Global Power' status for India is another 'G' conferred on themselves by the ruling (looting) elites of Quota-Corruption Raj.They are certainly concerned about how their claims to power are perceived by their vote banks if none else.

from:  S. Suchindranath Aiyer
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 16:01 IST

Not a bad article at all and good conclusions. But the author is completely mistaken or misinformed about the realities of erstwhile Soviet Union. The Afghanistan intervention has nothing to do with the collapse of Soviet Union. The Union collapsed because of traitors among the leadership and lack of any political will from Gorbachev. Till today in Russia Gorbachev and Yeltsin are the most hated personalities and with good reason for that.They are much more loved and adored in the west and in other parts of the world than in their own country. Any sensible analyst will understand the reason. The author for sure does not have any idea about the reality of how SU functioned when he claims that the economy could not sustain the military power. This is sheer rubbish. Till date Russia cannot come to that level of military power although economy is better functioning than in SU. Also the author forgot about the intimidation of Yugoslavia by NATO, firstly US.

from:  Balaji
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 14:04 IST

"...we are the most flattery-prone people in the world". I have heard that time and again, but never backed by any data. It's another way of saying Indians are the world's stupidest people. Are we? We are surely not any power, but does that also mean we are fundamentally inferior? That we shape policy based on flattery?

from:  pabitra
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 13:33 IST

No doubt the article compels us to ponder & overcome the internal & surrounding hindrances in the path of to become a global power but I wonder why the main factors of huge corruption, black money & good governance by the ethical statesmen didn't provoke him to be included in the article ?

from:  mailjeet
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 13:14 IST

India is the biggest democratic country in the world in terms of population. Democratic governance is fragile.One can say India is a super power only based on being a member in the nuclear club of the world.When our economy still dependent on west, how we can say India is a super power?

from:  sc nehruroy
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 13:11 IST

Never was, never will be.thank god fot that, i dont ever want to see another country go the way we have been.

from:  naveen
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 12:28 IST

In a country where a teacher does not teach, a doctor does not treat, a policeman does not catch, a judge does not decide, a leader does not lead because he lacks credibility, propriety and honesty, a politician does not think beyond parochial vote bank politics, where corruption is rampant, illiteracy, hunger and superstition ubiquitous, how can that country be called a Super Power? Let us not make a fool of ourselves.

from:  Raj Behl
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 12:21 IST

India, since independence, has vehemently involved in answering regional issues, poverty & education. Political interests from region and religion has remained the pivotal issues so far. Generally, Indian government is hesitant in implementing its policy (foreign) to avoid strong criticism from opposition and fearing its repercussions in next elections. Fear of meeting defeat in next elections prevent to adopt a good foreign policy (trade). Only thing remains is to float as per the wishes of the Superpower country.

from:  Izrar
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 12:20 IST

Well... Who needs the superpower status? The poor?, they just need a day's food, some clothing and money, they don't need to go and boast to someone that they live in a superpower nation. Only the politicians boast about India being Superpower to get votes after claiming that they made India superpower and cheat people, Just like the 'India Shining' slogan which ultimately didn't worked. Though there are many positive growth in India, every citizen should be satisfied with the country's government rather than looking and comparing with others countries growth and Influence. A good example we can adopt, would be Bhutan's 'Gross Domestic Happiness' which they calculate instead of 'Gross Domestic Product', to see if the people are happy and satisfied.

from:  Rakesh
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 12:09 IST

The India-related part of Shri Gharekhan's elegantly-written article is addressed to answering two questions: (a) whether India qualifies to be called a global or even a regional power, & (b) whether India should better turn attention to solving myriad problems within. While (b), for obvious reasons, brooks no further debate, I have a submission to make reg.(a). It has been well said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The on-going state of turmoil in Delhi about how much more to compromise on the existing Indo-Iranian ties in order to avoid the adverse consequences of the impending sanctions of the US-backed Western powers is an eloquent proof of India's tenuousness to the claim of being a power to be reckoned with.

from:  S.P.AWASTHI
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 11:57 IST

According to current scenario India has a goal to be the super power till 2020....even India has started working over that direction on the cost of Indian Environment and the lives of our poor people.In Kerala Government has given agricultural land and water supply to Coca Cola because of which some poor farmers has to loose their lands and some are not getting water for irrigation over thousands of farmers are committing suicide very year.For developing industries and infrastructure lakhs of trees are being cut every year.I think India will surely become Super Power on these grounds but only for short term because for governing any power country needs human resources and natural resources but we are destroying those resources on cost of becoming Super Power.......

from:  Bhanu Pratap Singh
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 11:48 IST

Who cares about India being any sort of 'power'? I personally do not have any sense of inadequacy being a non power. I'd like to see a happy and contented, peaceful India, rather than a powerful one, ready to exert itself. By and large, we are blessed with peaceful neighbours, nations that are smaller than us, and with fewer resources. Let's build strong bridges with them and help them grow with us. I really don't need to see India dominating any global sphere. If there are Indians in positions of power globally, God bless them, but let's not trumpet that as any sort of success for India. We really do not need to play any game of comparison. Our outlook should be that of a nation setting an example of peace and prosperity, and of wishing the whole world well. Nothing more, nothing less.

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 11:32 IST

In the 21st Century to boast to be a superpower requires to generate the power of mind.Of course,money power for providing amenities of life and create conditions where the mind and knowledge grow is vital.India has miserably failed since 1991 in inculcating among its students and faculty members independent critical thinking and training to be leaders and not followers in pursuit and growth of knowledge.In spite of mushrooming of colleges and institutes,overwhelming majority of them, have mediocre faculty,poor infrastructures such as labs.and libraries.There is no reward for meritorious and no way to ease out non-performers.Fifty percent of primary schools in the rural areas are without teachers.Excessive govt.regulation leads to stagnation and corruption.The IITs have been maligned first by instituting JEE and now this is to be replaced by Common Engineering Test (CET),instead of conducting its own entrance test to attract the best and the brightest.The Empire of mind rules supreme.

from:  Prof A N Malviya
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 10:54 IST

Military Might and Political will go together in making the might of a Nation. Our histroy bears testimony to our defensive attitude. Even today we stand devided and our political system function on compromise. The diplomatic attitude is somewhat sly, escapist and opportunist. We talk to please all. Our policy towards Bangladesh, Srilanka, Nepal, Mayamar and China is not certain and always conciliatory.Even towards Pakisthan, except for 1971 which also ended up in a whimper we have always been conciliatory. In the economic front we remain as buyers and our home made products have limited buyers. We have our Jindals & Tatas but that has not made us an economic power.The rich & poorer divide is immense and increasing. It is six decade plus and till date we do not have a uniform education policy, employment policy, social security policy to name a few. It takes a combined effort to make a Nation a Super power or even a Regional Power.

from:  Jayant Dutta
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 10:15 IST

In an increasingly inter-connected and inter-dependent world the concept of being a 'Super-power' is loosing its relevance.I don't think there is any country in the world which can dominate or influence the whole world. Even America with its tremendous military and economic clout is facing opposition from countries like India, China, Russia,Iran,Middle-East, Pakistan, Cuba and many Latin-American countries.Most of these countries are nuclear powers and can easily resist any invasion of their sovereignty. I strongly believe that India should take the initiative and try to make the UN,the Commonwealth and the NAM movement more vocal and assertive.It is quite evident that economic power is shifting to Asia and it will remain so for a long time to come. India should try to project itself as an independent,liberal, democratic,secular and progressive country for the rest of the developing world to emulate.India has a very important role to play in the social,cultural and political future world.

from:  Umesh Bhagwat
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 10:05 IST

I am in total agreement with you on what India has to do. Rs.100 spent should not give value of Rs.5 or 10, we should be targeting to generate a value of at least Rs.110 from that 100 rupees. Internal capacities should be built up, efficiency and competency of the union as a whole needs to be put on a path of improvement.The titles of Superpower,'Soft' power, 'regional' power, etc. will be automatically conferred to us. In-fact we should not be even trying for getting these titles. Our foreign policy should be driven by the need for prosperity of our people and people in other similar countries.

from:  Praveen Nair
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 09:38 IST

Very misleading article This article seems more a justification of the inefficient, ineffective foreign policy of the Manmohan Singh government. Writer seems to suggest, Power is elusive anyway, so let not have any policy at all!!! What a strategy!!! Of course, Americans want the world to regard them as super power. have you been to united states, ma'am?? While ideas of becoming super power are misplaced, the 21st century will be a multiple polar world with various power centers and India would certainly be one of them. Invading countries, looting and destroying them does not constitute power - that is the western definition of power which is nothing but brute force. True power lies ineffective diplomacy, displaying strong will to resolve our problems and that of the world and then having the political guts to implement solutions. No wonder with this writer being the special envoy to west Asia , we have had a non-existent west Asia policy.

from:  Swarna
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 09:34 IST

A state is a superpower only if it has the ability to project it's interest and protect them in all corners of the world. Today's global scenario don't offer any state the privilege of being called superpower. Its partly because of creation of UN, though it's independence may be questioned, and partly because of the fact that the superpower-dom dream is shared by many states today. Therefore, no state is willing to accept absolute supremacy of any state. USA wishes to assert itself and protect it's causes across the globe only because of the facts mentioned in the article. But the way it's assertion is being downplayed in Syria, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan and most recently in Pakistan suggests that it(US) doesn't enjoy absolute say even in these economically and politically riven states. Future timeline is clearly drawn. We won't have any superpower in coming years there will be only states with competing and comparable power status.

from:  Ajeet Tiwari
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 09:09 IST

basic needs of the people must be fullfilled.poor people do not know about super power or global power.what is meaning of global power for a person who is earning less than 30 rupees in a day.

from:  brajesh shukla
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 08:55 IST

Author uttering his views on U.S & China,which is complete ridicule.We should not basked by becoming an introvert.I must say U.S&China deserves“Global Power “Tag.Economy is the Power house for any states and it must be enmeshed with Military,Trading,GDP,and Supremacy power over other states and these two countries have a strong grip on it.I didn't understand why author comparing U.S to U.S only and China to China?Global power means to compare globally with other states. U.S spear of power Ubiquitous to entire planet so do China mushroomed in term of GDP.Let’s stop pointing out their audacity.However, in some section I scampered with author’s narration and his vision on India’s power. Traditionally India chasing to become a super power is a fallacy. Our government has to ameliorate course of action, while dealing with hungry mouth & illiteracy rate. Indian government must make ineptitude people to skillful educators, who are at least get a clarion view of the phrase “Global power”.

from:  Prasannajeet Mohanty
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 08:26 IST

Revealing article. We should know about today's world, our strength
and weakness. There is no point in jumping on our achievements - which
are moderate comparing to others. We should concentrate on improving
the conditions of our people, their quality of life, giving honesty /
integrity, it's due place. Super power, global power is a gimmick for
us. As rightly pointed out, importing defence equipments and
increasing might cannot automatically givesuper power status. Most of
the developed countries do not bother about these things. as usual, we
people because of our modest background we are worried about such

from:  Gopalan
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 08:24 IST

Who is chasing the title? Not the people at large. Only those wanting to play diplomatic games are concerned about such titles. Worse, for India, there are so many amongst these game players who want to project that the world should not allow India to be a super power.

India will grow at its own pace and based on its own requiremenets. For the people to progress, these titles will not matter.

Ashok Chowgule
Goa, India.

from:  Ashok Chowgule
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 07:59 IST

Fortunately India is not running behind that name.All this names and
titles are the products of media and politics.I feel that India still
struggling hard to recognise her own identity and realising that her
opinion or herself is not largely considered Global wise.It is always
better to work hard to improve our infrastructure,living
conditions,justice,peace and to make India a better living place for
all the people.For that we need a vision,a vision to build a country
free from corruption,injustice,poverty and abuse.
when we rise into global standards,then we will be heard..

from:  smitha
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 07:51 IST

Totally agreed. The author has summed up beautifully in one line , really we should work harder to improve the lives of the poor instead of chasing meaningless titles.

from:  bipin
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 07:19 IST

Correct. India is no.1 in mismanagement, corruption and cheating.
Good in blaming others for our problems.

from:  P.Tauro
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 06:17 IST

A good analyis. India is widely recognised as a super soft state with rampant corruption. Its politicians have zero strategic vision. Despite the humiliation suffered in 1962 and the repeated attacks from Pakistan, the country has learnt few lessons. 1971 was an exception and even then the country failed to press its advantage and lost an opportunity to settle the Kashmir issue once and for all.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 05:41 IST

Very well wrtitten article.. Thanks.. How can a country become any power when half of the population is poor? We have started good,
building infrastructure, increasing educational facilities, and
raising the middle class.., but, it is a long way to go, to be
strong economically... more attention has to be given towards the
villages and the poor, good sanitation, schools, etc.. and the illegal money lying in the foreign banks has to be brought back.. It is a crime to stash the money outside the country, when our backyards need cleaning..We should forget to be any power, but be strong, and self relient internally...

from:  Shrinivas
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 05:11 IST

Many people from India have global power. Many corporations from India
have global reach and influence. The world looks at these winners and
automatically associate global power to India. The world outside India
also knows the disparity between the affluent and the poor. Bill Gates
has done business with India's professional and business elite, but he
and his wife have shown a lot of grace in connecting with India's
disadvantaged. Warren Buffett's right hand man is Ajit Jain. The
world's steel industry is led by Lakshmi Mittal. The world's luxury
car brand Jaguar is now owned by Tata. IT powers Infosys, Wipro, TCS,
and HCL are familiar to any office worker the world over. India is a
global power because of its people -- past, present, and future.
Gandhi, Nehru, and Indira from the past. Corporate titans from the
present. In 2050 the largest educated youth population. India's poor
shape the world's conscience including its own.

from:  Subra Balakrishnan
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 05:09 IST

Yes India to-day definitely needs a dynamic leadership very few Indian leaders have this capability to lead a country as diverse as India in to dynamic path of sustained growth .India has a vast and rich middle class who are eager for a dynamic leadership that can take India to become a power that the world will sit up and notice.

from:  sushilpershad
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 02:40 IST

Finally, someone is making sense! You cannot say any better than this article about India's priorities.

from:  Kumar S
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 02:29 IST

Dear Sir, India is not a regional nor Global power......Its Universal power...THE SUPREME POWER....

from:  Nitin
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 02:11 IST

In recent years, except for a few who have an exagerated opinion about our country, opinion makers in general have not been talking about India as a potential global power.Chinmaya R. Gharekhan himself says the "Indian government does not seem to be much preoccupied about such recognition". If we are not using our resources, whatever these are, to reduce the miseries of the poor and the deprived in the country, it is not because we are using these for becoming a world leader, but it is because we Indians are not moved by the sufferings of our fellow countrymen. Along with the growth of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), another GDP (Gross Domestic Poverty)is also growing.But who cares?

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 02:03 IST

India's becoming superpower will never be promising, if we are analyzing based on past misfortunes and wrong decisions by incumbent Government. India's vision completely need to be vigilant about future goals, and should not be based on just parliamentarian ques-time where Politician tussle indifferently.Delegates of country should shoulder up for country uprising fact rather than tiff of political issues,apprently it lacks a utter leadership and strong co-her-ency. In prevailing days, it seems a "utopia" where castaway still in search of lost ship.

from:  A Awasthi
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 01:38 IST

India should first improve the lifes of ordinary citizens by improving
Justice system, Law and Order, civic amenities, water, power and
sanitation, decent health care , cheap and efficient transport,
Employment for all citizens.Unless this reaches atleast 95% of the
population, India should not even talk about becoming a developed
nation or Global power.Currently, there is terrible poverty, sickness,
malnourishment and millions of people who are homeless and hungry and
unless this is solved,India will descent into Chaos.One of the most
important things which is needed is strong leadership to achieve this.

from:  Ram
Posted on: Jun 9, 2012 at 01:15 IST
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