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The Economist Is Wrong: India Isn’t “Reliably Unreliable”
Everything that this rising Great Power does is predicated on advancing the grand strategic goal explained in this analysis, and only upon finally understanding these motivations will observers realize that its foreign policy is actually quite predictable, which can in turn make India among their most reliable partners.
The Economist is among the most influential sources of information for decisionmakers across the US-led West’s Golden Billion, yet that’s precisely why its takes can’t always be trusted since they’re written to sway their target audience one way or the other. They’re not accurate nor objective despite the obvious efforts that go into establishing such a pretense, which was once again predictably the case in its recent article titled “On foreign policy, India is reliably unreliable”.
The piece argues that the only consistency across decades of Indian foreign policy is that it’s opportunistic, with nothing having supposedly changed since independence apart from that country’s “increased wealth mean[ing] that multiple partners are keen to work with it.” As a result, the article’s unnamed author(s) added that “India’s many suitors are willing to excuse whatever in its behaviour they dislike.” They concluded by declaring that “the geopolitical context has changed more” than India has.
To be sure, The Economist’s observation that India has always prioritized its objective national interests in its dealings with the international community rings true, as does its final note about how much the geopolitical context has recently changed. Nevertheless, the obsession with attempting to misportray India as “unreliable” is meant to mislead their targeted audience of Western decisionmakers into thinking that there isn’t any discernable rhyme or reason to how that country advances its interests.
That artificially manufactured impression is deliberately deceptive since it ignores that “Three Recent Articles Prove That The World Is Finally Beginning To Appreciate India’s Balancing Act”, which is predicated on its new grand strategy of dual-tripolarity. The three cited pieces in the first hyperlinked analysis of this paragraph confirm that the media has come around to realizing that everything India does is aimed at accelerating its rise as an independent pole of influence in the Multipolar World Order.
The second hyperlinked piece shares more insight into how it plans to bring that about, and intrepid readers can learn more about its evolving modalities in the context of the Russian-Indian Strategic Partnership here, here, here, here, and here. The long-term goal connected with its dual-tripolarity grand strategy is to assemble a new Non-Aligned Movement (“Neo-NAM”) for sustaining its impressive success thus far in breaking through the bi-multipolar impasse of the global systemic transition.
India is opposed to that aforementioned world order wherein the Sino-American superpower duopoly always benefits no matter what happens in International Relations. That system was becoming entrenched prior to Russia’s special operation in Ukraine, which was provoked by NATO crossing its national security red lines there, unexpectedly derailing everything. Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar thus saw a chance to completely change the world order.
That explains why India immediately prioritized becoming Russia’s irreplaceable valve from Western sanctions pressure in order to preemptively avert the scenario of its partner’s potentially disproportionate dependence on China. Had Russia become China’s “junior partner”, India would have been coerced by circumstances into becoming the US’ “junior partner” out of desperation to retain a semblance of regional balance, thereby completing the systemic entrenchment of bi-multipolarity.
All of that was averted by its decisive intervention as was explained above, which resulted in making the global systemic transition’s final form of more complex multipolarity (“multiplexity”) inevitable with time even if it still remains a far way’s off in practice. Nevertheless, there was never any returning to bi-multipolarity after India successfully asserted itself as a globally significant Great Power upon whom the balance of influence in the New Cold War between those two superpowers depends.
India was able to obtain this role as the kingmaker in this global competition due to its masterful balancing act between the US-led West’s Golden Billion and the BRICS- & SCO-led Global South of which it’s a part. The latter was hitherto considered to be de facto led by China, but all that changed after India’s defiance of Western pressure to distance itself from Russia inadvertently offset China’s superpower trajectory, following which Delhi became the voice of the Global South at international fora.
The systemic basis has thus already been built for bi-multipolarity to transition to a system of Indian-driven tripolarity prior to its final form of multiplexity, with Delhi seeking to sustain its impressive success in this respect by leading the Neo-NAM that it’s informally assembling. That network is intended to enhance its participants’ capabilities in comprehensively replicating India’s balancing act between the Golden Billion and the Global South with a view towards maximizing their strategic autonomy.
That ambitious outcome would complement India’s achievement in breaking the bi-multipolar impasse of the global systemic transition and thus enabling International Relations to continue evolving towards multiplexity. Everything that this rising Great Power does is predicated on advancing that grand strategic goal, and only upon finally understanding these motivations will observers realize that its foreign policy is actually quite predictable, which can in turn make India among their most reliable partners.
Russia was the first in the world to discern the driving forces behind Indian foreign policy since Delhi’s envisaged Neo-NAM is perfectly aligned with Moscow’s own grand strategic interests as articulated in President Putin’s Global Revolutionary Manifesto. This explains why their strategic partnership has successfully changed the world order over the past nine months. The sooner that Western decisionmakers accept this, the sooner that they can formulate policies for effectively adapting to it.