No Major Change In Indian Foreign Policy After Election – Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala

February 06, 2014

Top Sri Lankan diplomat and former UN Under-Secretary-General Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala says a major change in foreign policy is unlikely in the aftermath of India’s general election.

“Whatever the outcome, the trend in recent Indian Parliamentary elections has shown a “regionalization” of politics and the vital need for the national parties to form alliances with regional state based parties in order to form coalitions. That has had an impact on India’s foreign policy. Thus West Bengal politics influences India’s policy towards Bangladesh and Tamilnadu based parties – Dravida Munetra Kazagham (DMK) led by Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha’s AIADMK – vie with each other in having a decisive impact on relations with Sri Lanka. India’s neighbours are generally better off with a strong centre in the Indian Union, “Dhanapala says in an article carried in IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint.

“Prominent personalities like Dr.Subramaniam Swamy, ex DIG Kiran Bedi, retired Ambassador Hardeep Puri and many others have hopped on the BJP bandwagon. Congress has targeted Modi in their campaign ever since he was nominated as the Prime Ministerial candidate last September. The fact that Rahul Gandhi, while leading the Congress electoral campaign, has not been nominated as candidate for PM (prime minister) by the Congress is perceived as a sign of weakness. (Rahul Gandhi comes from the politically influential Nehru-Gandhi family.)

The backdrop to this political process is the socio-economic situation of a country of 1.2 billion which has begun to surge forward economically like many others in the Global South such as Brazil, China and South Africa. At the same time inequalities and gaps in the development process reveal large segments of marginalized populations in addition to the deeply entrenched caste factor,” Dhanapala says.

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