India Unlikely to be a Super Power
Date: Sunday , April 01, 2012
Despite "impressive" achievements in various sectors in recent years, India is unlikely to be a superpower and in fact, should not aspire to become one, says a study by the London School of Economics (LSE). The study, titled 'India: The Next Superpower?', recalls and dismisses U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's statement made during her visit to India in 2009 that "I consider India not just a regional power, but a global power".
The LSE study comprises essays by nine experts in the areas of India's economy, defense, government, culture, environment and society. Ramachandra Guha, currently the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the LSE, argues that it is doubtful whether India should seek to become a superpower. Guha cites seven reasons why India will not become a superpower. These are, “The challenge of the Naxalites; the insidious presence of the Hindutvawadis; the degradation of the once liberal and upright Centre; the increasing gap between the rich and the poor; the trivialization of the media; the unsustainability, in an environmental sense, of present patterns of resource consumption; and the instability and policy incoherence caused by multi-party coalition governments,” says Guha. Listing India's several achievements that prompted predictions and ambitions in some quarters about India being the next superpower, the study goes on to discuss several challenges that are likely to prevent India from realizing such ambitions. It says, “Still, for all India's success, its undoubted importance and despite its undisputed potential, there is cause for caution in assessing India's claim to superpower status. India still faces major developmental challenges. The still-entrenched divisions of caste structure are being compounded by the emergence of new inequalities of wealth stemming from India's economic success.”
“India's democracy may have thrived in a manner that few ever expected, but its institutions face profound challenges from embedded nepotism and corruption. Its economic success continues to come with an environmental cost that is unsustainable,” says the study. Besides Guha, other contributors to the study are Rajeev Sibal, Iskander Rehman, Nicolas Blarel, Oliver Stuenkel, Harish Wankhede, Mukulika Banerjee, Andrew Sanchez and Sandeep Sengupta.