Almost a decade ago, a number of Indian intellectuals and policymakers worked on a report, then turned into a book, titled NonAlignment 2.0. The report sought to “identify the basic principles that should guide India’s foreign and strategic policy over the next debate”, provoking plenty of debate and criticism in the process, not least because of the title and its connection to Nehruvian-era approaches.
A decade later, some of those involved in the report along with a few fresh names have put together another report, “India’s Path to Power: Strategy in a World Adrift”. This time around the report says it aims to “focus our attentions on the need for concentrated strategic thought and debate about the hard choices that confront India” in a world where the country’s “external and internal environments are now being shaped by tectonic shifts – incipient trends that require thinking afresh and calibrating India’s strategy on a broad front.”
Among the things that are different from the previous paper – which include a sharper focus on the China threat and an appraisal of the post-pandemic fallout – there is a greater attention to the role economic policymaking plays in creating the conditions for India to project power.
I spoke to economist Ajit…