A friendly elephant in the neighbourhood
Posted on: 23 Feb 2012
South Asia is a problematic region, the least integrated part of the world – and India is at the centre of the picture. The second most populous country have sensitve, if not outright hostile relations with most of its neighbours. The imports and exports among these country are miniscule and India is to blame for all this. Though it is a democracy and has the biggest economy and military in South Asia, it has rarely been a force for good. It has treated the neighbours either with negligence or high-handedness. India's economic self-sufficiency made co-operating with the neighbours unnecessary. And India's size has encouraged bullying tendencies. It has meddled in Nepal's politics, and in the early stages of Sri Lanka's civil war it backed Tamil guerrillas. Even today Pakistan complains that India is supporting separatists in the province of Baluchistan. It is in this context that India's recent attempts to mend the fences with the neighbours attract attention. To get a better picture of the situation read this story from The Economist.