Tuesday, July 10, 2012

True-False Exercise July 10

Read the passage and answer the question that follows.
A recent report from the London School of Economics (LSE) titled “India: The Next Super Power?” — and, very surprisingly, given excessive mileage by various sections of the media — reflects a new obsession among certain global think tanks and research institutions of the need to remind India that it has a long way to go before it can join the “high table.”
The report posed the question in the context of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2009 visit to India when she said she considered India to be a global rather than a regional power. Do we really need to take cognizance of preachy sermons on how “India has miles to go before it can sleep,” or would we rather be driven by Rabindranath Tagore's dream of an India “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high … Into that heaven of freedom let my country awake?” I think most Indians would still prefer the latter. So let me try and explain why this argument of India aspiring to be a superpower is both historically and contextually a “no-brainer” argument.
A superpower, according to many international relations theorists, should have the ability to both exert influence and exercise power in its areas of interest, wherever that may be across the globe. Today, that area has extended into the realms of outer space. More importantly, modern neo-realists also believe that true superpower status is reflected in a willingness to engineer regime changes to protect your own way of life or interests, or even to pursue altruistic agendas of “keeping the world a safer place to live in.” No Indian in his right mind, leave alone policymakers and strategists, could ever dream of subscribing to such fanciful ambitions. I would even go to the extent of wagering my entire savings that even if all the fissures and cracks cited by the panel of LSE experts were to be filled up in a few decades, India could never get around to becoming a superpower of the likes of the U.S. of today or the yesteryear Soviet Union, or for that matter, an emerging China.
This argument of mine has historical backing. Unlike the Greeks, Romans, Mongolians, the participants of the Crusades, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union or the U.S. which had their own reasons for conquest or “expansive doctrines,” India, for centuries, was a “potpourri” of small nation states, satisfied within the boundaries of its geographical expanse, religious tolerance, cultural diversity and abundant natural/water resources. Modern India, ravaged for two centuries by colonial exploitation, is still a nation in the making, benignly looking outward in recent times, primarily to seek energy resources and develop its vast human capital. Nothing exemplifies this aspiration more than the consistent statements of the strategic establishment that all current national strategies including those relating to security would first revolve around India's progression from a developing to a fully developed nation — a tall order by any yardstick.
Let me now dwell a bit on “hard power” and see how it is factored into this whole business of fingerprinting a “superpower.” Capability is never equal to power unless it is backed by intent and willingness to use the power in pursuit of national interests. The development cycle of hard power in respect of superpowers or potential superpowers usually commences with a preponderance of deterrent capabilities, re-enforced as time passes with significant coercive or offensive capabilities, until a stage is reached when this coercive capability offers prospects of widespread “compellance.” Incidentally, compellance is a term propagated by the eminent political scientist, Thomas C. Schelling, during the Cold War and is still widely discussed in the global discourse on power equations. Going by these characteristics, where does India stand in this imaginary and premature quest for superpower status? India's development of force projection capability has always been governed by an overarching strategic direction of responsibility, restraint, resilience and respect for sovereignty. This has meant that deterrence has always occupied pole position, with coercive and expeditionary capabilities taking a back seat.

On the basis of the passage state whether the following statements are True or false.

1) LSE regards India as the next Super Power.
2) The author believe that with respect to becoming a super power Indians are driven by “India has miles to go before it can sleep,”
3) Capability is never equivalent to power.
4) It is only a matter of time before India emerges as a super power.
5) India has started to look outward to dominate its neighbors.
6) The idea of India as a super power is not realistic.
7) The reason of India not being a serious contender for the super power title is that Indians generally have a  feeling of respect for human freedom.

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