South Asia: Publications

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  • Future of India–Nepal Relations: Is China a Factor?

    Nepal shares an open border of 1,868 km with five Indian states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim) and 1,415 km with Tibet. Under the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship with India, Nepali citizens enjoy ‘national’ treatment and Nepali businesses unhindered rights of trade, transit and movement. An estimated six million Nepalese live and work in India and contribute to their inward remittances. Social intercourse along the Gangetic plane is described by people as ‘roti-beti ka sambandh’ (a relationship based on sharing of hearth and marriage).

    March 2015

    Depoliticising Illegal Immigration from Bangladesh to India

    With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition coming to power in India in May 2014, the issue of illegal immigration from Bangladesh has come to the forefront once again. However, the fear is whether the debate over the issue will shed more light, leading to the resolution of the problem, or whether it will simply degenerate into political rivalry and polarisation. Illegal immigration figured prominently in the run-up to the 2014 parliamentary elections and was often raised by one of the leading political parties, the BJP.

    January 2015

    India’s ‘Strategic Autonomy’ and the Club Model of Global Governance: Why the Indian BRICS Engagement Warrants a Less Ambiguous Foreign Policy Doctrine

    India’s global policy strategy is on the verge of major changes. Non-alignment as a cornerstone of foreign policy has become outdated given the power shifts in a multipolar world, especially through the emergence of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), which has put India in the position of being perceived as a potential new global player.

    January 2015

    Politics and Perceptions of Indian Aid to Nepal

    India has significantly invested in Nepal’s development through economic assistance since 1952. Despite deploying aid to win the hearts and minds of the people of Nepal, India has not entirely succeeded in doing so. Paradoxically, an analysis of Indian aid and gaps in the planning, processes, modalities and perceptions of India’s motivation shows that it has possibly contributed to the fuelling of anti-India sentiments among the Nepalese population.

    May 2014

    Issues in the Management of the India–Pakistan International Border

    A discordant political relationship, three and a half wars and Pakistan’s material support for secessionist militants in the border states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir compelled India to harden its international border with Pakistan. An inward-looking economy and the absence of an imperative for regional economic integration also resulted in restricted movement of people and goods across the border. However, in the past decade or so, an emergent Indian economy coupled with both countries’ desire to engage themselves constructively have paved the way for softening the border.

    May 2014

    Maritime Security Trilateralism: India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives

    India has stepped up its efforts to cooperate on security issues in general and on maritime security in particular with its island neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). At the core of this lies the initiative to build a trilateral maritime arrangement with Sri Lanka and the Maldives. It is in this larger context that the second National Security Advisors’ (NSAs) meeting took place in Colombo in July 2013.

    May 2014

    Northern Provincial Council: What Does it Mean for Tamil Political Aspiration in the Post-War Context?

    Elections for the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) of Sri Lanka were held on September 21, 25 years after they were first held in 1988 under the Thirteenth Amendment (13A) to the Sri Lankan Constitution, which formed part of the Indo-Lanka Accord. It was, however, the first election since the demerger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces in 2006.1 With the end of 30 years of war that had culminated in the elimination of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), election to the NPC was politically crucial for the Tamils, especially in the post-war context.

    May 2014

    Religion and Politics in South Asia by Ali Riaz (ed.)

    In the post-colonial era, religion has emerged as a powerful political force in South Asia. The key question that emerges is: how and why did religion become this potent political ideology in the South Asian region? Aiming to find the answer to this question, Ali Riaz, along with other scholars from the region—namely Abdulkader Sinno, Amalendu Misra, Subho Basu, Farhat Haq and A.R.M. Imtiyaz—offers a comprehensive analysis of the interaction between religion and politics in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

    January 2014

    Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the West by Ahmad Rashid

    There is immense strategic interest in the Af-Pak region. The US has spent over half a trillion dollars in Afghanistan and perhaps billions in Pakistan. NATO has spent money and sacrificed lives in Afghanistan. India, China, Russia and Iran have given large packages of aid and invested in the country. What will be the future of these trillion dollars of expenditure, huge investments and diplomatic efforts in the Af-PaK region? Ahmad Rashid offers a disturbing answer. Pakistan is on the brink of collapse, Afghanistan is in the midst of a civil war, and the Americans are pulling out.

    January 2014

    India’s South Asia Dilemma and Regional Cooperation: Relevance of Cultural Diplomacy

    This article highlights the current relevance of cultural diplomacy not as a panacea for the problems in India’s relations with its South Asian neighbours but as a way of dealing with the dilemma it faces. Against the backdrop of India’s position in South Asia and the importance of the region, the article makes an estimate of cultural diplomacy.

    January 2014