The Indian Geo-strategy - A Synopsis

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Most Indian writers don't use the term Geo-strategy while discussing matters-geostrategic unlike their more academically trained Western counterparts.

India's Cold War Era Geo-strategy:

India was closely allied with the USSR in the Cold War Era despite Indian pretensions of non-alignment. This influenced its geo-strategy of that era. Following are the two noteworthy features of Indian geo-strategy in the Cold War Era:

1. Pakistan then was a political entity composed of two geographically distant divisions. The East Pakistan and the West Pakistan. India desired to weaken Pakistan which always was a potential military threat to India in terms of division of Indian military resources on two diametrically opposite war flanks of the East and West. India achieved this geopolitical objective through the geo-strategy of engaging Pakistani Union militarily in the 1971 Indo-Pak War which saw the separation of the East Pakistan from Pakistani union and birth as the new nation-State of Bangladesh despite the threat held out by the USA in terms of dispatching its 7th fleet to the Arabian sea to assist the Pakistani military forces in the East Pakistan.. Contrary to popular perceptions in India, as Swaminathan S. Ankalesria the columnist writing the column Swaminomics has shown it were the Indian military forces which first entered the Pakistani soil and not vice-versa.

2. India did its best to restrict the Chinese advance across the Tibetan plateau into the Indian Ocean.

 India's Present Geo-strategy:

 The aim of the present day Indian geo-strategy seems to secure the sustainable peace and sustainable security for all the political entities in the Indian subcontinent India included,  burying the baggage of acrimonious political past. In fact, the Indian government of the day is trying its level best to pursue "the Geo-politics of Win-Win Situation For All" by trying out various geostrategic combinations and permutations like "Deep Interdependencies" and "Permanent Linkages" with its neighbours.

 Some interesting Markers of the Contemporary Indian Geo-strategy:

 1. India has assiduously been trying to cultivate close ties with the East Asian countries by re-invoking cultural past. For example, A very big delegation from South Korea visiting Ayodhya in India was given unprecedented warm welcome by the previous NDA regime led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Old cultural facts were played up duly like the thousands of years back a princess from Ayodhya was married off to a south Korean  King whose descendents happen to be the present day millions of South Koreans. These delegates were treated as Indian relatives visiting the home of their grand ancestor mother-princess at Ayodhya.

2. The Indian  Independent strategic Defense Command based in Andaman & Nicobar islands safeguards vital Indian geostrategic interests in Bay of Bengal and the Mallacan strait.

3.The Indian government is reported to be thinking of reviving its geo-strategy of the "Look East" involving road connectivity with the nation-States located in East Asia which have strong age old cultural ties with India like Thailand, Campuchia, Laos, etc.

4. India is busy building a metalled road via Afghanistan linking India and Iran .This vital geostrategic link is meant to help secure India an easy access to the rich oil and gas reserves in  West Asia. India being suspicious of Pakistani reliability has avoided including Pakistan in this geostrategic strategam.

5. Mauritius, the tiny island nation-State in Indian ocean had offered one of its strategically located islands to India , on lease. This would help secure India full strategic control of Indian Ocean if India accepted this offer. The Indian naval bases operating out of this Mauritian base shall come to enjoy the advantage of strategic oceanic-depth.

6. The Indian navy has conducted numerous friendly naval exercises with the navies of other countries like the USA.

7. The Indian navy has successfully participated in numerous operations to save the hijacked ships sailing in the Arabian Sea from the international pirates.

8. The announcement by Mamata Benerjee, the Indian railway minister, proposing laying of the extensive trans-South Asian railway line running from India across Myanmar and beyond.

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