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”
* 15 March: “Appreciating The Importance Of Neutrality In The New Cold War”
* 25 May: “Russia, Iran, And India Are Creating A Third Pole Of Influence In International Relations”
* 6 June: “India Is Irreplaceable Balancing Force in Global Systemic Transition”
* 20 June: “Towards Dual-Tripolarity: An Indian Grand Strategy for the Age of Complexity”
* 27 June: “Explaining India’s Balancing Act Between BRICS & The G7”
* 6 October: “Korybko To The Hindu: Your Editorial Won’t Change India’s Principled Neutrality”
* 22 October: “India’s Principled Neutrality Towards The Ukrainian Conflict Is Indeed People-Centric”
* 11 November: “India’s Enlightened Self-Interest & Strategic Morality Concepts Are Important”
Along the way, I ended up responding to several influential Indian intellectuals with contrarian views:
* 28 April: “Korybko’s Response To Shashi Tharoor: India’s Principled Neutrality Serves Its Interests”
* 1 May: “The Wall Street Journal Is Wrong: Russia Can Indeed Depend On India”
* 2 May: “The Economist Is Wrong: The Ukrainian Conflict Actually Bolsters India’s Balancing Act”
* 18 May: “The SCMP Is Wrong: India’s Military Diversification Plans Shouldn’t Be Anti-Russian”
* 30 July: “Ramachandra Guha Is Wrong: India Should Be Proud Of Its Principled Neutrality, Not Ashamed”
* 17 August: “The Lowy Institute Showed Its Ignorance Of India’s Balancing Act”
* 16 September: “Response To C. Raja Mohan: Russia’s Ukrainian Setback Shouldn’t Change India’s Calculations”
* 22 September: “Korybko To M. K. Bhadrakumar: PM Modi’s Remark To Putin Wasn’t A Gaffe”
* 23 September: “Korybko To Happymon Jacob: Russian-Indian Ties Are Qualitatively Evolving”
* 10 October: “Korybko To Mihir Sharma: India’s Balancing Act Is Approaching Perfection”
I also observed how India’s rise inadvertently complicated China’s grand strategy:
* 12 August: “Speculation About Russia Becoming A Chinese Puppet Ignores India’s Decisive Balancing Role”
* 1 October: “The Ukrainian Conflict Might Have Already Derailed China’s Superpower Trajectory”
* 4 October: “China Should Be Pleased With India’s Principled Neutrality Towards The Ukrainian Conflict”
* 5 October: “Kissinger’s Prediction About A Forthcoming Policy Recalibration By China Is Probably Correct”
* 27 November: “The Daily Beast Shared Some Surprisingly Accurate Assessments Of Chinese Interests”
For as “fringe” as my analytical assessments might have seemed to some, they finally went mainstream:
* 18 November: “Three Recent Articles Prove That The World Is Finally Appreciating India’s Balancing Act”
Even a top US spokesperson eventually implied that their country came around to seeing things my way:
* 19 November: “The White House Press Secretary’s Praise Of Modi Reaffirms His Rising Global Leadership”
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 May: “Rahul Gandhi vs. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar: A Clash of Worldviews”
* 4 June: “India’s Top Diplomat Reminded The West That The World Doesn’t Revolve Around It”
* 11 June: “President Putin’s Insight Into State Sovereignty Is Instructive For All Countries”
* 3 September: “Lavrov Explained Why The US Hasn’t Successfully Pressured India Into Sanctioning Russia”
* 16 September: “Modi’s Peacenik Approach Towards Putin Aligns With India’s Principled Neutrality”
* 17 September: “The US’ Ukrainian Puppets Won’t Succeed In Pressuring India To Stop Buying Russian Oil”
* 28 October: “President Putin’s Praise Of Prime Minister Modi Will Have A Major Impact On Global Perceptions”
* 15 November: “PM Modi’s Pragmatic Remarks About The Ukrainian Conflict Gave Voice To The Whole Global South”
* 26 November: “’Live With It’: India’s Candid Response To Western Criticism Of Its Russia Policy”
* 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:
* 19 November: “Analyzing The US-Chinese-Russian-Indian Interplay In The Global Systemic Transition”
That piece and the prior ones about China explain why it’s now pursuing a New Détente with the US:
* 27 September: “Are American Officials Right About China Tacitly Complying With Anti-Russian Sanctions?”
* 20 November: “China’s Stated Desire For Military Talks With The US Signals Its Interest In A New Détente”
* 22 November: “The Emerging Military-Strategic Dynamics Of The New Cold War In The Asia-Pacific”
* 23 November: “China’s Reported Pause Of Russian Oil Imports Ahead Of The West’s Price Cap Is Revealing”
* 28 November: “The US’ Arms Backlog For Taiwan Caused By Ukraine Can Facilitate The New Détente”
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.