India Rising

By Cohen, Stephen P. | The Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2000 | Go to article overview

India Rising


Cohen, Stephen P., The Wilson Quarterly


In the wake of dramatic nuclear tests, quickening economic growth, and a highly publicized American presidential visit, India seems ready to take its place among the world's leading nations. But for that to happen, India will need to act like a major power, and the United States will need to recognize how much India has changed.

Since its birth as a nation more than 50 years ago, India has seemed poised on the edge of two very different futures. On one side lay greatness; on the other, collapse. That drama has now ended and a new one has begun. The specter of collapse has passed and India is emerging as a major Asian power, joining China and Japan. The 1998 nuclear tests in the Rajasthan desert that announced India's entry into the nuclear club only served to underscore the nation's new stature. India has begun economic reforms that promise at last to realize its vast economic potential. It possesses the world's third largest army. It occupies a strategic position at the crossroads of the Persian Gulf, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. Its population, which crossed the one billion mark this year, may surpass China's within two decades. It is the site of one of the world's oldest civilizations, a powerful influence throughout Asia for thousands of years, and for the last 53 years, against all odds, it has maintained a functioning demo cracy.

For most of those 53 years, the United States and India have maintained a strained relationship -- a relationship that has not been helped by years of American neglect and misunderstanding. Now there are signs of change. Despite the administration's anger over India's nuclear tests, Bill Clinton in March became the first American president to visit the subcontinent in more than two decades. Addressing the Indian Parliament, he acknowledged the richness of Indian civilization, noted the country's economic and scientific progress, and praised its adherence to democratic norms. "India is a leader," Clinton said, "a great nation, which by virtue of its size, its achievements, and its example, has the ability to shape the character of our time." Yet he tactfully noted areas of American concern and expressed alarm about Kashmir, India's relations with Pakistan, and nuclear proliferation. Speaking less guardedly before his visit, he had called the Indian subcontinent "perhaps the most dangerous place in the world."

Before winning independence in 1947, India was the jewel in the crown of the British Empire, an important military resource in a location of great geostrategic significance. But the Cold War diminished India's importance. Because it did not play a significant role in the balance of power between the Soviet Union and the Western alliance, the superpowers often took India for granted. At most, the two sides saw India as a potential counter to the People's Republic of China on the international chessboard -- but only one of several.

American and Indian interests in China did briefly run along parallel lines. In the late 1950s, when the United States tried to weaken the Chinese hold on Tibet, the Indians provided a refuge for the Dalai Lama. When the short India-China war broke out in 1962 over what remains one of the world's longest contested borders, Washington sent a military mission to India and supplied the country with small arms and a defensive radar system. This was a period of intense cooperation, with joint military exercises, U.S. military assistance, and U.S. help in setting up India's foreign intelligence service. President John F. Kennedy saw the competition between India and China as a struggle between the world's largest democracy and communism for the future of all of Asia; he continued the shift toward India that had begun in the last years of the Eisenhower administration. Kennedy praised the "soaring idealism" of Jawaharlal Nehru, prime minister from 1947 to 1964 (although his contacts with Nehru were to prove disillu sioning).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

India Rising
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.