Indian Hegemony in South Asia

Keywords: indian regional hegemony

India has been given a label as the Regional Hegemon of South Asia. If not formally, then atleast the motives are tagged as possessing "hegemonic tendencies". This paper looks at the idea of Hegemony, Regional, the many reasons accountable for such a view and the various outlooks. I also chuck light on the overseas plan of India to pressure on the non-hegemonic tendencies of India. India thinks in peaceful coexistence. The main aspect that i wish to draw out is the change in the international situation that makes India's "hegemonic position" rough to survive.

SOUTH ASIA - A general outlook and evolution

South Asia is the southern region of the Asian continent. South Asia typically involves Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Some explanations may also include Afghanistan, Burma, Tibet, and the British Indian Ocean Territories. Iran is also included in the UN subregion of "Southern Asia, " although some options consider Iran to be part of Western Asia. South Asia is home to more than one fifth of the world's society, making it both the most populous and most densely populated geographical region on the planet. The spot has often seen issues and political instability, including wars between the region's two nuclear-armed state governments, Pakistan and India. As the South Asia got never been a coherent geopolitical region, it offers a distinct physical identity. The restrictions of South Asia change based how South Asia is identified. South Asia's north, east, and western boundaries vary based on explanations used. South Asia's southern border is the Indian Sea. The UN subregion of Southern Asia's northern boundary would be the Himalayas, its western boundary would consist of the Iraq-Iran border, Turkey-Iran border, Armenia-Iran boundary, and the Azerbaijan-Iran border. Its eastern boundary could be the India-Burma border and the Bangladesh-Burma boundary.

Most of this region is a subcontinent resting on the Indian Dish (the northerly portion of the Indo-Australian Plate) segregated from the rest of Eurasia. It had been once a little continent before colliding with the Eurasian Dish about 50-55 million years ago and having a baby to the Himalayan range and the Tibetan plateau. It is the peninsular region south of the Himalayas and Kuen Lun hill ranges and east of the Indus River and the Iranian Plateau, stretching southward into the Indian Ocean between the Arabian Sea (to the southwest) and the Bay of Bengal (to the southeast). The spot is home to an astounding variety of geographical features, such as glaciers, rainforests, valleys, deserts, and grasslands that are typical of much bigger continents. It is surrounded by three normal water systems - the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.

Almost all Southern Parts of asia were under direct or indirect Western Colonial subjugation at some point. Much of modern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar were little by little occupied by Great Britain - starting from 1757, attaining their zenith in 1857 and ruling till 1947. Nepal and Bhutan were to some extent protectorates of THE UK until after World Warfare II. In the millennia long history of South Asia, this Western occupation period is rather short, but its proximity to the present and its enduring impact on areas makes it prominent.

The network of means of transport and communication as well as banking and training of requisite workforce, and also the existing rail, post, telegraph, and education facilities have changed from the base set up in the colonial era, often called the Uk Raj. As an aftermath of World Battle II, most of the spot gained self-reliance from Europe by the overdue 1940s. Tibet at times has governed itself as an independent state and at other times has had various degrees of association with China. It emerged under Chinese control in the 18th century, in spite of British attempts to seize ownership of this Chinese protectorate at the start of the 20th century. Since 1947, most Southern Asian countries have achieved huge progress in all spheres. Perhaps most obviously achievements are in the domains of education; industry; health care; it and services predicated on its applications; research in the domains of cutting edge sciences and solutions; defence related self-reliance jobs; international/global trade and businesses and outsourcing of human resources. Areas of difficulty remain, however, including religious extremism, high degrees of problem, disagreements on politics limitations, and inequitable distribution of prosperity. However, a merged work by the nations has helped the countries in overcoming the various hurdles and settling the disputes peacefully.

India has enjoyed a significant role in the introduction of South Asia as an area of resources, technology and even as a power to some extent. However, at several situations the actions of our land have been viewed as steps used towards the purpose of becoming the "Regional Hegemon".


Hegemony is a term defined as the control(formal) especially of a state within several states. This is how any standard dictionary would specify hegemony. In Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, politics theorists Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe define hegemony as a sort or form of politics relation when a given collectivity functions some type of social activity which is not "natural" to them. However, the word hegemon is generally used in a negative sense to signify dominance, coercion or affect in the vaious areas. India has often been accused of possessing hegemonic tendencies in its foreign affairs and insurance policies by various writers and nations totally. A country's international policy, generally, aims to attain three basic objectives-securities, steadiness, and position (George Liska ). George Modelski in his publication 'A theory of Foreign Coverage' defined overseas policy as the system of activities changed by communities for changing the behaviour of other state governments and altering their own activities to the international environment. With this sense any country big or small, which endevours to help expand its policies to achieve its desired world order is hegemonistic. The word hegemony is pejoratively used when the fantastic powers practice procedures in seeking predominance over others. Literally hegemon means a innovator who looks for predominance over others. This requires the presence of some subordinate areas too, whose politics and policies hegemon would try to influence.

In the Old World, Sparta was the hegemon (leader) city-state of the Peloponnesian League, in the 6th century BC, and King Philip II of Macedon was the hegemon of the Category of Corinth, in 337 BC, (a kingship he willed to his child, Alexander the Great); in Eastern Asia, it took place in China, through the Spring and Fall Period ( 770-480 BC), when the weakened rule of the Zhou Dynasty business lead to the comparative autonomy of the Five Hegemons who had been appointed, by feudal lord conferences, and were nominally obliged to uphold the Zhou dynastic imperium above the subordinate state governments. In past due sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century-Japan, hegemon applies to its "Three Unifiers" - Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu - who exercised hegemony over most of the country. In today's world hegemony has curves in imperialism. Imperialistic powers around their empire had hegemony. After Second World War the beginning of cold war resulted in a grouping up of countries in two major camps. The categories acquired strong NATO countries as well as poor countries like Pakistan. Fragile countries, which inserted into such alliances to secure themselves from the hegemony of other countries, were subjected to veiled hegemony, and military bases of the more robust countries were often accommodated there. It has been an accusation for India too for several years. India has been accused of being influential in procedures of different nations by making them reliant on it in conditions of economy, military services power, resources and even in the politics aspect.


What precisely is meant by the "region" which is given in the word Regional Hegemony. We talk of South Asia as a region. Amitava Acharya in his Regional Worlds in a Post-hegemonic Period says Local world subsumes regional order and regional organizations, as well as monetary regionalization. Regional Worlds "are not just material constructs. They provide sites for ideational and normative contestations, level of resistance and compromises, including both says and civil societies which transcend local limitations and overlap into other local and global areas. Regional worlds are not autonomous entities, nor strictly subsets of global dynamics. They create, absorb and repatriate ideational and materials forces that make world politics and order. " This description brings about the essential requirement of the word "regional" that are economic, ideational etc. It really is true that regional worlds are not autonomous entities since nations within a region aren't only dependent on each other but are also afflicted by as small factors as this inflatable water problem which a any day take a bigger form. The plans of one land influence the other for some reason. Winston Churchill and Walter Lippmann were of the view that world order could best be attained by local spheres of affect. Robert W. Cox in his " Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An article in method", discussions of the different phases in the world hegemony where he mentions the time of U. S hegemony from 1945-1965 and then mentions the stage which starts off from 1965 which was characterized by the fall of the U. S hegemony with the climb of the third world and the fragmentation of the world economy.

Amitava Acharya sets up a question requesting if the end folks hegemony might open the door to the surge of local hegemonies such as East Asia under Chinese language, South Asia under Indian, the Caucasus and Baltics under Russian, and southern Africa under South African, western world Africa under Nigerian and south America under Brazilian, dominance. Would the finish of American hegemony be changed by such distinctive or over-lapping regional hegemonies? Such questions have often come up and have required the nations to think of any single land progressing at a higher quickness as a potential hegemon. In his Tragedy of Great Power Politics, John Mearshimer argues that great power, including rising or aspiring great forces seek to achieve regional hegemony, an objective more necessary and achievable than global hegemony. It really is true that in today's bigger than before world, global hegemony is a faraway goal though some still attest to the U. S hegemony. The point of concern comes to worries of regional hegemons due to Hegemony often being grasped as a first step towards imperialism. Regional imperialism of a sort in limited sense can not be avoided. If a country is bigger or more robust its foreign insurance plan stakes would be higher and its objectives are to be set accordingly which might or might not be compatible with the hobbies of other regional areas. South Asia as such didn't have any real issues, however a mental scare of your government often posited smaller expresses in this area in defensive pose more as an over effect. India is one particular example of a state found in a dilemna.


When India acquired liberation from the imperialistic rule of English Empire in 1947, it was to adopt a policy, that ought to fulfill its aspirations of a transformed world order and in doing so confer a status, provide the country an economic steadiness and security to its borders. The ideological cover of non-alignment and panch sheel was suitable for this. One of the basic tenets of Panch sheel is peaceful co-existence, which means non-interference in the inner matters of neighborhood friends. In an effort to achieve its aim of word order where new nation states could improve together was to be the objective of India's Foreign insurance plan. Thus the hegemony above the neighboring states or in South Asia couldnot have been an integral part of India's Foreign Coverage. On the other hand it was from the insurance policy of peaceful co-existence and Panch sheel. India's efforts to allay the worries of its friends and neighbors was one of the features in all these fora, whether it is NAM meetings or other international symposiums. India's overseas insurance plan of non-alignment and its assumed role of third world innovator however is one of its strength. But in a natural corollary to this surrounding countries felt poor and insecure credited to natural dread lest India start performing as your government in the region. Though India's overseas insurance policy of non position was more targeted at providing a fresh world order where in fact the new expresses could endure without taking part in the cold conflict between the very power of post world battle era, a big sibling scare among the smaller countries is reasonable and could not have been avoided. There are various reasons which have led to these concerns.


Countries that surround India, such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bagladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Burma are nowhere at par with India, be it in their size, society, monetary development or skilled human resources. The natural resources available in theses countries also do not make these countries competitive.

India dominates the complete area geographically. She actually is the only real country that stocks a big coast line with all the other six states while do not require have common borders with each other. China after the job on Tibet in 1950, reached the borders of the Asian subcontinent but encounters problems of convenience because of the difficulties of the northern ground. K. M. Pannikar said "Geography constitutes the long lasting basis of each nation's history. " It really is true since it is as a result of rich geographical features that India possesses, landlocked nations like Nepal and Bhutan can barely survive economically without India's cooperation. Pakistan and Bangladesh too are dependent on India for water supply. Giantism as called by John. P. Lewis has its far reaching regional ramifications.

The enmity with Pakistan remains since the partition days which is yet much behind India in all respects apart from nuclear status which too is unclear. Three wars with Pakistan have almost founded military supremacy of India in South Asia. In 1971 battle India could effectively achieve its target of dismembering Pakistan from various issues regardless of opposition of United States of America. Inspite of the many attempts of "friendsihp" like the recent cultural cross border work through "Aman Ki Asha", Indo-Pak conferences always finish up as what Nawaz Sharif got once referred to as "zero reaching". Pakistan still doesnot give India the status of MFN (most favoured land) though SAFTA has been around force for quite a while now. Although India's self-perception might be that this has acted with extensive restraint in preceding crises with Pakistan, for example, in the 2002 standoff after the attacks on the Indian parliament, in the 1999 Kargil problems and even in the1971 warfare, from the Pakistani point of view the trauma of disintegration experienced in 1971-when India significantly aided in the creation of Bangladesh-overshadows all Indian actions.

China, though not really a part of South Asia takes on an important ole in the affairs of the region. China remains what Andrew Hurrell calling the best example of "pragmatic accommodation" and inspite of being truly a true good friend and permanent member in the United Nations Security Council has often participated in discouraging India's development in armed service, or as the long term member of the United Nations Security Council or in the India-Pak wars or even the increasing friendly ties of India and U. S. India is an evergrowing power and it is a major market for Chinese language goods as well as a major service agency at the global level. Hence, China has often displayed its displeasure at India's "hegemonic tendencies".

Nepal is pretty much dependent on India for it's economic development. Nepal's overtures with China to be able with an independence from the shadow of India could be a good example of this over defensive posturing. India and Nepal have had a friend ship treaty because the days of Ruler Tribhuvan. The treaty facilitated both countries to own trade across their edges without a lot of custom formalities. Nepal's financial reliance on India's economy and its geographical land locked position impelled Nepal to acquire this treaty. Nepal however never stopped searching for alternatives such as path to the sea through India and Bangladesh to increase its international trade. Invitation to China to make streets in Nepal was one particular step to send a clear message that their country has other options too and since attempts to avoid "dominance" by one country.

Bangladesh happened almost with the solo handed initiative of India. Even their Mukti Bahini was trained by Indian Military. Soon after liberation from Pakistan, Bangla Desh began pursuing a policy to exert self-reliance in its foreign plan. The fanatic elements in Bangla Desh however weren't satisfied with this subtle and steady posturing and assassinated their first Leader Sheikh Mujiburrahman for his being pro-Indian. Governments successively after his assassination had to pursue Managed Anti Indian Position in their Foreign policy to be able to meet their domestic compulsion in expressing opposition to Indian hegemony.

Sri Lanka's overseas plan has been more 3rd party in the region. However its home compulsion and gradual increase in the power of fanatic Buddhist elements in its politics and their pro-majority regulations have complicated the home politics. This led to rise of Tamil protected groupings in Sri Lanka and then their establishment of a limited control over the Tamil bulk areas in North and North eastern Sri Lanka. India's limited role of sending IPKF to revive Sri Lankan control of these areas was also be observed as an effort to prove its hegemony in South Asia.

Mohammed Ayoob wrote in "India matters", that given its advantages in conditions of both theoretically skilled manpower and command line over the English language by a considerable section of the working human population, India has the capacity to play an extremely important role in the sphere of service industries. He also earned another aspect that could have been responsible for the fear of India's role as a local hegemon. It could be the strengthening ties between India and U. S. Ayoob brings in an interesting reason for the close bonds between India and U. S. He says "Indian and U. S. concerns do not coincide basically on the issue of maintaining a stable and secure order in Asia generally speaking and in South Asia in particular. A major danger to both regional and global balance and securitycomes from a specific variety of terrorism that has targeted both India and the United States. " This is true that post the twin tower problems in U. S, terrorism gained importance worldwide which owes it highlight to U. S because the 11 Sept attacks proved that terrorism could tremble the super capabilities too. Hence, started the Indo-US camaraderie which carries on and the putting your signature on of the nuclear package was another step to the a friendly relationship. That was another reason which made the neighbours uneasy about India's increasing vitality. The question was whether India was attempting it's side at camaraderie with "the hegemon" to check out it.

Absence or weak democratic corporations in these countries, and India's set up democracy has further weakened the ties countries bordering India. Nepal has already established Monarchy for almost all of the part in previous sixty years. The intervals of democratic governments there have up to now not been able to determine a workable democracy. Pakistan's military still message or calls the photos even if democratic governments come into vitality. Bangla Desh has already established its own problems with democracy where the successive government authorities after being elected have attempted to get rid of opposition, more of an inheritance from Pakistan. Sri Lanka has already established democratic traditions that have weakened, off later, due to the surge of the fanatic elements in politics and government as well. Perhaps, Kant's "Perpetual Tranquility" works here too in increasing the suspicions of other nation's regarding India.

The establishment of SAARC designed to have closer local cooperation cannot allay the doubts of smaller states around India. It is more used as a forum for venting the thoughts against India in a veiled manner. Before each SAARC getting together with the diplomatic channels would have been working overtime to control this in place of finding new avenues of regional co-operation. However the system is often used to malign the Indian image by doing an all yr roun survery of Indian intrevention in the affairs of other countries and that highlights the 'hegemonic tendencies" of India.

India's role to be party to good offices and mediation in taking care of international crises could be another reason for the rising suspicions. In the beginning, oweing to the non-aligned status, India was accepted as a mediator by several belligerent areas like in the Korean War, South African apartheid etc. However the Bangladesh problems was viewed as an unnecessary treatment by Pakistan and even the Sri Lankan turmoil which later resulted in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Many such interventions were regarded as a display of unwanted disciplinary works by India just like U. S played the role of a police man in the world scenario post world war.

India's new nuclear status has been seen as a disapproving move by Pakistan, China and many other nations of the world. The globe today is actually divided based on nuclear haves and have-nots. India joined the golf club with it's first peaceful nuclear lab tests in 1974. India refused to signal the discriminatory treaties like NPT and CTBT and proceeded to go ahead and authorized the much criticised nuclear contract with USA. USA arrived forward to simply accept India as a significant global player and made an attempt to delink Indo-US relationhship from its relaionship with Pakistan. It was kept that Indo-US civil nuclear deal was designed to serve Indian security needs and provide a basis for the introduction of bi-lateral relations with the USA. Though India announced it's intention to signal similar nuclear co-operation treaties with other countries too which her decision was not against any other country, India's nuclear status was not taken in good spirits by te neighbours and even beyond the neighbourhood.

India's role in Afganistan has often been regarded as a hegemonic tendency. Within the GIGA working papers, Melanie Hanif talked about the Indian involvement in Afganistan and said that" India as a growing regional power is the only real country in the region that might own the capabilities, the determination, and the legitimacy for a long-term proposal in Afghan security. " India provides scholarships for Afghan students and fosters its commercial ties with the country, something which has, however, been hindered by Pakistan's denial of direct access. India has also offered training to the Afghan National Security Makes, but this has not been noticed due to Pakistani opposition. India is committed to development and infrastructure jobs in various sectors in Afghanistan, especially the reconstruction of overland roads. In conditions of soft vitality, India's advantage is the high popularity of Indian music, videos and tv shows in Afghanistan. With a view to armed forces capabilities, India has enhanced its presence in Central Asia through the establishment of its first airbase outside India, in Farkhor/Aini, Tajikistan. All this things to India's willingness and preparedness to be more mixed up in attempt to reconstruct and stabilize Afghanistan. Although almost all of the external parties are likely to accept a dominant role of India in Afghanistan, two important veto players remain, one within and one outside South Asia: Pakistan and China.


All these reasons mutually see India as a local hegemon. The tag has resulted in both discovering India as a head and a threat. Greater than a threat, it's the suspicion and stress of other countries, which includes given India the label. Power sometimes appears as a zero total quality. The power gained by one land is the loss of the other. India with all the resources and ability is hence seen as an expansionist maybe not in the last imperialist ways but by means of soft electric power and mediation. However, it is highly doubtful to call India as the hegemon because hegemony would mean supremacy in decision making and insurance policy making for all your other countries of the spot. Pakistan is a significant example of India's faulty hegemony.

Andrew Hurrell discussions of the actual great powers on the globe and message or calls them BRICs, i. e. Brazil, Russia, India and China. He says that countries like Brazil, India and China are acquiring "enough power to change the face of global politics and economics. " However, he also brings out another aspect. He says that though these countries have the capacity to be great capabilities, these nations talk about certain uncertainties especially regarding the behavior of "the first choice", USA. A second characteristic that these countries share is a sense of vulnerability. It really is true for India too. Though the size may increase options and like every other region, India too may have a notion in its 'natural right' to an influential international role yet it knows its vulnerability. When Hurrell discussions of India as a great power, he questions what would happen if the "developing country" individuality of India comes into turmoil with the "aspiring great electricity identity". This debate brings the facet of India's aspirations to be a great electricity, which could be the aspirations of any region. Any nation gets the goal to be counted on the list of influential ones. That will not actually imply hegemonic tendencies.

The most important aspect is the acceptance. For India to be always a regional hegemon, it is just a precondition that other nations acknowledge the position desired. To be always a hegemon, India would need the support and acknowledgement by the complete region. This is highly unattainable in today's times of globalization and flexibility. All the nations are "sovereign" and are absolve to take their decisions based on their national interests. There exists interdependence but not domination. There is certainly the whole process of settlement deal of disputes by mediation however the mediator remains only that and little or nothing more. The earth today is anarchic where there is no overarching authority. A couple of portions that advocate for some authority but there is absolutely no such power present. Even USA, which could be called after the head or "the hegemon", is satisfied with opposition now by producing nations like India. The Gulf Conflict met with an enormous opposition and international pressure. India is nowhere close to USA in any developmental field.

In his publication "The Development of Space", Henri Lefebvre posits that geographic space is not really a passive locus of public relations, but that it is trialectical - constituted by mental space, sociable space, and physical space - hence, hegemony is a spatial process influenced by geopolitics. This is true because inspite of being truly a huge region India is still behind Japan in the technology aspect. If we look at Asia, we have China as a competitor. Infact, though China is not a part of South Asia, it is very much an integral part of the decision making process. Whether we discuss of the Indo-Pak relationships or the Kashmir concern which had afflicted almost all the countries of South Asia for some reason, China ha always possessed a say. It really is quite powerful and enjoys a permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council. It could always be called as "the hegemon" of Asia if we consider development and relationships with U. S to be a criterion for the label. China has for years maintained an equilibrium in is relation with the western regardless of it being a communist nation. In spite of being truly a communist land, it enjoys a particular place in the world. That is power. The standard for each Indian step is the Chinese language strength.


K. P. S. Gill in the article " Independence From Fear -- Regional Security - India can redeem South Asia", called South Asia "the most volatile area of the world, as the epicenter, the 'new locus' of terrorism, as the venue of the resource-sapping and futile biceps and triceps race and of a possible and damaging nuclear confrontation. Gill says India is the local large of South Asia and accepts that it has been thought of as an ambitious regional hegemon. "India is the home to a resurgent economy, led by sections of the hi-tech manufacturing and information technology sector, has drawn significant and growing international opportunities and multinational involvement. A lot of this 'globalization', though, is still within the category of speculation and predatory capitalism, rather than a profound structural reorientation or long-term determination by international partners. India is also home to the greatest pool of complex and skilled manpower on the planet, though its quality may be slightly unequal. Despite these drawbacks, the country's potential to seize the opportunities of the new scientific trend is unquestionable. "

Gill says that India being on the way to the developed status must take the responsibility of bringing up the entire region. "To do this, it must allow the idea of its centrality, not as hegemon or 'big sibling', however in operations of genuine a friendly relationship and shared concerns using its neighbours. " But, before doing that India would have to package with the suspicions regarding India's interventions and initiatives. This true because even the slightest initiatives considered by any region for the progress of another nation, are considered "expansionist and hegemonic tendencies". Within the absence of immediate imperialism and old forms of power, a fresh term has appear and that is "Soft Electricity" which includes been discussed by Joseph Nye is what operates today. Today, power has improved its face. It really is no more limited o traditional musical instruments like armed forces and economic assistance, because they're rarely sufficient to cope with the new dilemmas of the world politics. Today multinationals will be the new sources of the co-optive vitality. India has gained a great deal from these multinationals. As India liberalized her economy, these multinational corporations came into the Indian market segments and played a significant role in improving India's position in the world. The BPOs and the KPOs, which have emerged as a major occupation sector in India, have also led other nations feel isolated. Gill regards India as the accountable one whose responsibility is to if not control then lead South Asia towards progress "prior to the opportunities of the present are destroyed by the deluge of troubles and another widening scientific distance that will deny it increases in size of the existing knowledge revolution".

Gill brings throws light on the aspect that, the development of all people, rather the whole region is interlinked. He says "Several tests to bring the spot together on a single system have, nevertheless, fallen by the wayside in the face of historical grievances and the shared suspicion that comes in their wake. " That is true since the shared suspicions are accountable for South Asia being behind inspite of having the potential and the resources too. He stresses on India's role by declaring that the Indian market leaders " will have to forge new and successful mechanisms of governance, and create the required infrastructure for the optimal utilization of the abundant resources - including human resources - that the countries in this region have been blessed with. "

With this, Gill would like to stress on local cooperation rather than local hegemony. The downside is that all attempts of "regional cooperation" completed by India are seen as "regional hegemony" only due to the vast differences between the nations.

Prof. Shrikant Paranjpe, Dept. of Defence & Strategic Studies University or college identifies South Asia as a regional state system. Regarding to his review India is the local hegemon and Pakistan is the "bargainer" or the spouse talk about while all the tiny nations of the region will be the "peripheral dependents". He says "South Asia has become regarded as a location of critical matter in conditions of potentials for a turmoil. The discord situations that one seeks to handle in South Asia today aren't something of the traditional cold conflict collision and collusion". For Shrikant, "South Asia appears to be met with three conditions that dominate the debate on the emergent order in the region: question of hegemony and the legitimacy of the use of force; the problem of bilateralism and the question of order from the point of view of civil contemporary society. " Shrikant's observation is quite true since they are the three questions in the imagination of the nations of South Asia. But. any steps taken up to solve these issues are used as "expansionist tendencies". That's the reason a resourceful region like South Asia continues to be considerably behind the developed areas which is so as a result of shared distrust that exists in the region.


Whether India is hegemonic or not is something that may be discussed at span because there would be people supporting it and opposing the promise. The actual fact remains that India has time and again given it's neighbours the probability of getting suspicious in case not so then atleast they use those chances to malign India's image. India is the hegemon however, not in the imperialist sense which is usually the apparent connotation. India is the hegemon in neuro-scientific development, resources, technology etc. This aspect can be utilized for the overall development of the whole region as K. P. S. Gill suggests or it can be regarded as a flaw as seen by Pakistan and other nations. These countries with an exception of Nepal aren't economically reliant on India. A closer economical cooperation could have been in better hobbies both ways. Geographical gain and India's diplomatic success both play a major role in the so called hegemonic position that India enjoys. India is quite abundant with resources and has prevailed in the diplomatic missions too. India can simply be called as the first choice or the governor of South Asia. Whatever happens in India has an effect on other nations too, whether they are cultural conflicts, natural or political upheavals or financial difficulties, they all have an impact on South Asia. Harish Kapoor says that being the dominating nation in the area has been India's goal since Indira Gandhi's time. But India hasn't achieved the hegemonic status which it is accused of. The intervention in Sri Lanka proved to be a major fault. Pakistan remains anti-India, there is no other word for this. Even the democratised Bangladesh is no more ally than before. Nepal is in line with India but no-one is aware of till when. Afganistan which for a few is an integral part of South Asia has still to get a speech of it's own in such issues.

South Asia is a huge region so when we talk of it we see all the resources, water bodies, human resources etc. This is why for the Chinese language desire for South Asia despite not being truly a part of it. If there may be one hegemon in Asia, maybe it's China. India is still way behind China in a great deal of aspects. India too like any other nation aspires to "lead" the other countries and its friendly ties with USA are being seen as a move towards the methods of USA. It could be said that aspirations of a regional hegemon are being designed by "the hegemon". However, one way of looking at it is that India is merely trying to overcome the hegemony of other nations by becoming self sufficient. But this argument is hardly accepted. The balance in India's insurance plan thus tilts towards regionalism which is as Harish Kapoor says, "it is difficult to assume that the growing home uncertainties and destabilization of the region are ever heading to permit India to extricate herself from rginal preoccupations".

In a nutshell India's hegemony in your community is more of the making of the domestic compulsions of these surrounding countries then the coverage of India, which regardless on theoretical base would prefer to abhor it. However, one aspect that sticks out throughout is the lack of identification by neighbouring expresses as "the leader" or as "the hegemon". It really is unrealistic to expect Pakistan to grant India the tag despite accusing India of being the hegemon in the affairs of the spot. Moreover instead of being called the "regional hegemon", India could well accept "very soft hegemon" or the "benevolent hegemon".

India is the powerhouse of South Asia but being the powerhouse doesnot imply being a hegemon. Though this controversy comes up everytime India will go ahead with a fresh development or some intrevention, it is absolutely acceptable that there surely is no place for a hegemon in the international situation in a world of anarchy, not at the international level nor at the local level. Sovereignity is the most sacroscant process in international relations today no state would like to bargain with it.

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