Title

Transforming the unbound elephant to the lovable Asian hulk: Why is modi leveraging India’s soft power?

Department

History & Political Science

Document Type

Article

Publication Source

Round Table

Publication Date

2016-01-02

Volume

105

Issue

1

First Page

57

Last Page

65

Abstract

© 2016 The Round Table Ltd. Prime Minister Modi’s administration has renewed emphasis on highlighting India’s soft power resources such as yoga, democratic values, spirituality, etc. Modi has also launched an aggressive public relations and marketing campaign to boost India’s economic growth. This article examines the role and importance of soft power resources in Modi’s foreign policy. The author argues that Modi is applying a two-pronged strategy of simultaneously adopting an aggressive sales pitch to boost India’s economic growth and leveraging India’s soft power to mitigate potential threats emanating from the country’s growing hard power. While soft power resources generally supplement a state’s hard power towards achieving foreign policy goals, Modi is using India’s soft power to draw attention away from the state’s rising military power. While India is enhancing its existing military power, Modi is engaging India’s neighbours and other great powers to ensure that its rise is intended to be peaceful, non-threatening and entirely benevolent. This is in stark contrast to how Asian states as well as the world perceive China’s rise. This article also questions the effectiveness of this strategy and predicts that this strategy should bode well for India in maintaining its international reputation and relationships.

Keywords

Bharatiya Janata Party, China, Indian foreign policy, Modi doctrine, Narendra Modi, Soft power, South Asia association for regional cooperation

DOI

10.1080/00358533.2015.1126956

https://doi.org/10.1080/00358533.2015.1126956

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