Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 4: Should India be a soft state or an assertive one?

The last question on the governance model (before we move on to specific sectors) relates to how India should be perceived globally and in the neighbourhood. Sandwiched between Pakistan and China, India has few options to maneuver.

Is there such a thing as a soft state? Is our ‘softness’ with its genesis in the non-aligned movement now becoming a handicap in dealing with the rise of China? How should we deal with the rise of Islamic threats, especially in Pakistan?

The global situation is changing rapidly. Who could have anticipated the rapidly unfolding developments in the Middle East? What should India’s response be – even as it has ambitions of a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, but is still unwilling to take a clear stance on Libya? Is there an argument to be made for India to flex its muscles much more on the global stage and be seen as a regional counterweight to China?

Contest Overview.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.