FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY

 

Context:

  • The world has recently seen the rise of authoritarian rulers in many countries. Democratic tenets which have been under attack in recent years appear set to face more onslaughts this year.
  • The United States which was widely viewed as a major bulwark for democracy, appears to have developed pathological infirmities. This situation does not augur well for the future of democracy worldwide.

Major Factors around The Globe

 

China: The Disruptor

  • With a GDP of $15.6 trillion in 2020, its net worth today is estimated to be higher than US and hence China deserves to be considered.
  • Militarily, China is openly challenging US supremacy in many areas
  • China has abandoned the ‘One Country Two Systems’ policy, stripping Hong Kong of its freedom.
  • It is now threatening Taiwan which could well become a flash point of conflict.

 

Russia – Ukraine Conflict:
  • Ukraine which is being backed by the US and NATO forces and Russia on the other side are in a continuous conflict.
  • The situation has grave possibilities and could result into considerable damages.

 

Unrest in Central Asia:
  • Kazakhstan which was seen as one of the more stable Central Asian Nations is facing unrest and political instability.
  • Return of Taliban to power in Afghanistan has led to shift in balance of power in the region.
  • Its return to power signifies massive victory to Pakistan, even in Pakistan, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has become energized notably Kazakhstan.

 

India’s Concerns:
  • One of the key issues is the confrontation with China, the transgressions across the Line of Actual Control could well be expanded.
  • India’s membership with the QUAD is provocative to China and may result into China embarking on new adventures at Sino- Indian border.
  • India needs to develop a strategy to counter China’s publicity on its low-yield nuclear weapons meant for battlefield use even during conventional military operations.
  • India needs to come up with a strategy to deter China in Indian Ocean region.
  • India will find it difficult in dealing with the turmoils which have occurred in two areas of strategic interest viz. Central Asia and West Asia.
  • In West Asia, the challenge is how to manage its membership of the second QUAD (India, Israel, UAE and US).

 

Path Ahead:
  • India’s foreign policy needs to demonstrate more flexibility to manage the contradictions that exist however there are challenges associated. Examples:
  • Balancing act that India can perform with regard to buying S 400 missile systems from Russia risking potential sanctions from Washington under CAATSA.
  • India must not only take stock of the dangers that exist but also be ready on how to manage the risks that are well evident.

Source: THE HINDU.

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