Gist of Editorials: Being a Good Neighbor (The Hindu) | GS – II

India’s neighbourhood policy is at a critical juncture: while its past policies have ensured a steady decline in its influence and goodwill in the region, the persistent absence of a coherent and well-planned regional policy will most definitely ensure that it eventually slips out of India’s sphere of influence.

Relevance : GS Paper II (International Relations)

  • India must work towards South Asian integration.
  • South Asia is one of the world’s least integrated regions.
  • Problems:
    • India has ideational disinclination towards its neighborhood.
    • Neighborhood has not been seen as an opportunity by India.
    • There has been a steady decline in India’s influence and goodwill in the region.
    • Persistent absence of a coherent and well-planned regional policy
  • Present scenario
    • Recently India made grand foreign policy commitments to neighboring countries.
    • However, it tried to interfere in the internal affairs of Nepal and Sri Lanka.
    • India seemed clueless on dealing with political crisis in the Maldives.
    • India’s refugee policy on Rohingyas went against its own traditional practices.
    • Arrival of an India-friendly Ibrahim Mohamed Solih regime in Male.
    • Return of India friendly Wickremesinghe as Sri Lankan Prime Minister
    • Nepal has reached out to India to put an end to the acrimony.
    • Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh are also positively disposed towards India.
    • Relationship with Pakistan continues to be testy and directionless.
    • What should India do?
    • India must shed its aggression and deal with diplomatic finesse.
    • It must not meddle in the domestic politics of neighbor countries.
    • India must follow up on its promises to its neighbors.
    • India must invest where China falls short.
    • India must invest a great deal more in soft power promotion.
    • It must also look for convergence of interests with China.
    • There needs to be better regional trading arrangements.
    • India should construct border infrastructure and ease restrictions on border trade.
    • There should be attempts at forging multilateral arrangements.
  • India has a real opportunity today to re-calibrate its neighborhood relations.


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