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India Soft Power: Soft Power High

Indian soft power high – historical trends.
Monotapash Mukherjee, “India’s Soft Power,” November 17, 2007,
Like everything else, India was gifted with a huge capital of soft power. Soft power, as opposed to hard military power, connotes a nation’s contribution to the field of art, literature, fashion, music, culture and so on. It enhances a nation’s image and attracts others towards it like a gravitational pull. India, as in the past, is rich in soft power at present too. But as a result of inconsistent strategic culture and a complacent policy mechanism, India has failed to utilise it in the fullest potential. Soft power, as a corollary to hard military power, should help a nation to deal with other nations in thy fields of technology and resources. Consider these facts, which the Indians know and consider matters of past but are unaware of their significance for the present and future. India is an ancient country with millennia-old cultural traditions.

India Soft Power: Tech Solves Soft Power

India’s continued development is critical to its use of soft power diplomacy – India will only realize its soft power if it has credibility
Dr John Lee (Foreign Policy Research Fellow at The Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney and a Visiting Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.) June 30 10
Having abandoned the narrative of India as ‘victim’ of the international system, Indian elites are becoming more confident in India re-emerging as a great power in Asia. But, like China, India will remain a relatively poor country (in terms of GDP per capita) for decades. Therefore, just as Beijing wisely measures its progress in terms of building ‘comprehensive national power,’ New Delhi now seeks to measure its progress by its reserves of both hard and soft power. India’s attractiveness and ‘soft power’ potential lie not in its Nehruvian traditions of socialism or non-alignment but in the fact that its rise (unlike China’s) complements rather than challenges the preferred strategic, cultural and normative regional order. Although this provides a strong foundation for its ‘soft power’ credentials, India can only realise its ‘soft power’ potential if it proves to the world that the country can continue to undertake reforms needed to build its ‘hard power’ capabilities. But if New Delhi succeeds in this regard, India’s rise will meet little resistance89 and New Delhi will be well placed to be one of the principal leaders in, and shaper of, the Asian Century—a remarkable feat for a country that was very recently mocked, ignored or dismissed as a ‘geographical expression’ by the then great powers of the world.

India Soft Power: Space Solves Soft Power (1/3)

Strong Indian space program leads to South Asian soft power projection.
Dinshaw Mistry, associate professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati, “THE GEOSTRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS OF INDIA’S SPACE PROGRAM”,JSTOR, November/December 2001.
A second set of benefits from indigenously developed space assets is political in nature. First, space assets provide international prestige and have foreign policy spin-offs. ISRO can offer PSLV, IRS, and INSAT services to other states, thereby reinforcing New Delhi’s political and economic ties with these nations. Second, by acquiring technological autonomy over its space assets, New Delhi can use them not only for economic purposes but also for military missions. The IRS-PSLV and INSAT-GSLV projects demonstrate ISRO’s ability to both build and launch militarily useful and strategically significant reconnaissance and communications satellites. This could greatly enhance New Delhi’s power projection and force multiplication capability in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific regions, thereby affecting the strategic balance in these regions.
Prestige from the Indian space program is the key internal link to soft power.
Ajey Lele, “Space Programme: Adding to India's Brand Image,” July 2007,
International prestige in science and technology is critical. This is Soft Power. It is the capacity to get others to do what we want without coercing them because they admire our achievements and want to emulate us. India's Space Programme needs to be viewed as the most thus. It is an important factor that has contributed immensely towards giving India its Soft Power status. However, this success in the space arena is a long tail of domestic and international struggle. Today, when the aerospace command is going to be a reality in India's defence architecture, it is important to trace the journey of India's space programme. The Indian Space Programme has a long history. Subsequent to the launch of first artificial satellite Sputnik 1 in 1957, by the erstwhile Soviet Union, the technological vision of the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru gave birth to this programme which now has accomplished many laurels for its professionalism. Scientists like Dr Vikram Sarabhai and MGK Menon were instrumental in making Nehru's dream turn into a reality. Initially, space research was started as a part of India's atomic energy programme. This programme started in the year 1962 as the Indian Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) under the leadership of Vikram Sarabhai. The most notable aspect of India's space programme is that it is not born out of any military programme, like ballistic missiles, but out of a dream of actually being able to launch satellites.
Indian space program key to soft power – builds elite status, shapes as a major economic and geopolitical player.
Ajey Lele, “Space Programme: Adding to India's Brand Image,” July 2007,
India's proposed manned mission to moon would make it a force to reckon with and count among the select few countries in the space club. It is expected that tomorrow somebody will put the flag on the moon and would claim its ownership - the threat which Antarctica had faced once. Moon is important because in future it could become a convenient and cheap option for carrying out repairs of satellites which may go faulty in the outer space. Facilities could be built on the surface of the moon. Also, another important factor is the presence of Helium-3. It is predicted that Helium-3 could become a great source for energy generation and will turn out to be a much better option than nuclear energy. The gas is available in abundance only over the moon and that is why the race for conquering it. During last few years, ISRO has emerged as a useful agency for the developing countries to launch their satellites. It has so far provided countries like Argentina and Indonesia etc to launch their satellites. This activity is also helping India in revenue generation and it is expected that in the years to come, India may be able to manage 10% share of this fast growing market. Recently, India's first commercial rocket was fired into space, carrying a 776-pound Italian satellite that collects data on the origins of universe. The success of this launch is likely to give a major boost to India's brand image in the launch sector. Today, a major transition is taking place in respect of India globally. India is being considered as a major driver of the global economy in the future. Strategically, India is also bound to play a major role in the global geopolitics. The presence of a space infrastructure should play a major role towards establishing an Aerospace Command by the three services to ensure the country's security. But overall, ISRO has already given India a Brand Image in space research and capabilities.
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