Discover more from Andrew Korybko's Newsletter
Korybko To Rajagopalan: India’s Principled Neutrality Does Indeed Ensure Its Security
Considering the positive impact that India’s principled neutrality has had for ensuring its national security interests vis a vis China, it can be concluded with all due respect that Professor Rajagopalan was once again just as wrong with his latest assessment of India’s interests as he was with his one in February that I also responded to at the time. Hopefully he and those of his peers among the Indian intelligentsia who continue to criticize this policy will reconsider their views and appreciate the role that it played in their country’s global rise.
Rajesh Rajagopalan, a prominent professor of International Politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, published a piece at ThePrint about how “G20 leadership only brings status. India should focus on security instead, keep eye on China”. He argued that India’s principled neutrality in the New Cold War, which is being waged between the US-led West’s Golden Billion and the jointly BRICS- & SCO-led Global South of which it’s a part (not his description of this global competition but mine), is counterproductive.
According to this influential Indian intellectual, his country’s allegedly prestige-driven efforts to strike a balance between all key players in the global systemic transition to multipolarity are occurring at the expense of its national security interests vis a vis China. In response, Rajagopalan hints that it should instead decisively take the West’s side against the People’s Republic. With all due respect to the esteemed professor, he’s just as wrong with that assessment as he was with his one in February.
In the lead-up to what ultimately became Russia’s special operation, he inaccurately predicted that “India-Russia rift will deepen with Ukraine crisis. It’s foolish thinking otherwise”. I responded to him in my piece about how “Russia-India chasm isn’t deepening with Ukraine. It counters US’ divide-and-rule ploy”. It explained how both Great Powers have complementary grand strategies aimed at breaking through the present bi-multipolar impasse of the global systemic transition.
Accordingly, I predicted that their ties would actually strengthen as a result of the Ukrainian Conflict that shortly thereafter evolved into its present phase of a NATO-Russian proxy war in that crumbling former Soviet Republic. Subsequent events proved the veracity of my assessment wherein India successfully rose as an independent pole of influence in the emerging Multipolar World Order. This outcome was made possible precisely because of its pragmatic policy of principled neutrality towards that conflict.
Intrepid readers can review my pertinent pieces over the past year explaining this in detail:
* 16 December: “The Neo-NAM: From Vision to Reality”
Along the way, I ended up responding to several influential Indian intellectuals with contrarian views:
* 22 September: “Korybko To M. K. Bhadrakumar: PM Modi’s Remark To Putin Wasn’t A Gaffe”
I also observed how India’s rise inadvertently complicated China’s grand strategy:
For as “fringe” as my analytical assessments might have seemed to some, they finally went mainstream:
Even a top US spokesperson eventually implied that their country came around to seeing things my way:
What ended up happening over the past nine months is that India’s careful balancing act in the New Cold War made it the kingmaker of this global competition after it successfully rebuffed prior US pressure upon it to unilaterally concede on its objective national interests vis a vis Russia. This rising multipolar Great Power stayed the course due to the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar:
* 26 November: “The Economist Is Wrong: India Isn’t ‘Reliably Unreliable’”
As a result, a unique interplay emerged between the US, China, Russia, and India as explained here:
That piece and the prior ones about China explain why it’s now pursuing a New Détente with the US:
The nearly four dozen analyses enumerated above clearly explain the many grand strategic successes connected to India’s pragmatic policy of principled neutrality towards the New Cold War. In a nutshell, this enabled India to accelerate its rise as a globally significant Great Power in the emerging Multipolar World Order, which resulted in breaking through the ongoing systemic transition’s prior bi-multipolar impasse that could have otherwise resulted in entrenching the Sino-American “Chimerica”/G2” model.
This game-changing geostrategic outcome wasn’t unexpected either since my cited analyses prove that it was self-evident to any objective observer. Nevertheless, some like the respected Professor Rajagopalan still have yet to realize the ways in which India’s principled neutrality literally changed the course of International Relations, ergo his inaccurate assessment of that policy’s impact on its national security interests vis a vis China.
The reality is that this selfsame policy actually advanced India’s aforesaid interests with respect to: averting the scenario of Russia becoming China’s “junior partner”; contributing to the derailment of its neighbor’s superpower trajectory; averting the consequences of the commodities crisis that’s presently afflicting most of its Global South peers by securing reliable imports of fertilizer and fuel from Russia; growing at twice the pace of the People’s Republic; and balancing security ties with Russia and the US.
Considering the positive impact that India’s principled neutrality has had for ensuring its national security interests vis a vis China, it can be concluded with all due respect that Professor Rajagopalan was once again just as wrong with his latest assessment of India’s interests as he was with his one in February. Hopefully he and those of his peers among the Indian intelligentsia who continue to criticize this policy will reconsider their views and appreciate the role that it played in their country’s global rise.