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India, Buddhism and Geopolitics in Central Asia: Regaining Centrality

Ambassador P. Stobdan was Senior Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detail profile.
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  • June 25, 2010

    India has to shed the current approach of understanding Central Asia steadfastly through a Western prism. The practice has obscured rather than clarified our interests. India should redesign its platform to lay the groundwork for evolving an enduring policy goal in Central Asia. It should translate its “soft power” into a strategic framework and make it the linchpin of India’s policy goals in Central Asia. Central Asia was always a fertile ground for Indian thought and culture to grow. Explorers are unearthing fresh evidence of a robust Indian cultural presence in the region. It is only by invoking these elements that India could seek an advantageous term and favourable atmosphere to enhance its national interests in the region. The Government of India should embark on a fresh initiative of establishing a University in Central Asia to re-harness and promote India’s traditional interests in the Eurasian continent for long-term benefit. The university should be named after the ancient Takshila University or any other ancient institution that had played a historical role in promoting Indian culture in Central and East Asia.