1 Jan 2017 | Target Mains: Weekly Essay Challenge

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  • Is India still a soft state?

    Instructions: Write an essay on one of the above topics in 1000-1200 words.

    A related topic about India being a soft state came in the 2009 mains. Given the events in the past year, we thought it was appropriate to revisit the issue.

    Also , Happy New Years!


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  • Profile photo of Nitish Allamaraju Nitish Allamaraju @nitishallamaraju

    Nobel winning economist Gunnar Myrdal coined the term “Soft State”. The policy of ‘soft state’ means a lenient attitude of state towards social deviance. Soft states do not take hard decisions, even if the situation demands. This soft state policy weakens the capacity of the state in enforcing rule of law. Not taking hard decisions increases the crime rate, violence, corruption etc. Myrdal says that effective governments follow strict enforcement of rule of law.

    In India’s foreign policy, right from the time of Independence, we have always taken strong stance. We declined to join either of the power blocs and Jawaharlal Nehru led the newly formed countries, which were emerging from the colonial grip, towards the Non-Alignment Movement. Further, we always stood our ground and never signed controversial treaties such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    But internally, all was not so good. At the time when Myrdal propounded the idea of a ‘Soft State’, India was still reeling under multiple issues. Firstly, the destruction of strong local powers during the colonial period, left a bad law and order situation in the country. The concept of democracy and the new constitution which was adopted, were new to the people of the country. The partition of the country, caused havoc and also created communal tensions.

    As time progressed, other issues such as the vast Social inequalities with multiple castes, linguistic and cultural differences among all the states emerged. Corruption, wars coupled with bad economic conditions, added to the financial instability of the country. Political instability during that time also prevented the government from taking strong decisions. The situation was quite bleak. Many international scholars had even predicted the collapse of the Indian state.

    Over time, the situation started changing, we started taking strong decisions. The call for the New Economic Policy of 1991, which brought in reforms through Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation was the one of the significant steps taken. The effects of the LPG is visible today with the stable economic condition of the country. Laws such as the Right to Information have empowered the citizens. The RTI was effectively used by the citizens to bring in more transparency in the working of the government. Also the way people came out of their homes to protest against the Delhi rape case shows that the people of the country are now questioning the working of the government. These protests eventually paved way for stronger laws for the protection of women in the country. Terrorist attacks such as the 26/11 in Mumbai, has forced the government to take strong measures to secure the borders. And also several measures have been taken by the union government in procuring latest technology for the Armed forces along with push being given to indigenously developed systems, on which we have shown good progress with the missiles like the AGNI series and the BrahMos Missiles. And recently, the decision taken by the government to demonetize high value currency, have flushed out fake notes and terrorist financing, and to an extent has taken a toll on the parallel economy. Further, the raids conducted by various agencies against those hoarding black money, including top bureaucrats and ministers, shows strong leadership in taking tough decisions.

    Though India has not evolved completely to a state free of all hurdles, slow but strong decisions are being taken to improve the system of governance. Hence, it can be said that India is transitioning from the position of a “Soft State” towards being a “Soft Power”.

  • Profile photo of Nikita Shinde Nikita Shinde @nsshinde27

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  • Profile photo of Soumi Das Soumi Das @soumi-das

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  • Profile photo of Lakshmi Lakshmi @lakshmiprasannamunipalli

    Is india still a soft country?
    From the last 7 decades india is facing terror attacks from its neighbouring countries .in 1960’s aand 70’s india not in a position to retaliate to strikes,usually opt for backing from U.S and other worldl countries. As of now the terror attacks on india has been increased abruptly leading to more civilian deaths and soldiers death(66 in 2016).
    Now india is growing in defence power and be in a top most position in the world following israel China U.S.
    India follows no first use policy and also bonded to the objectives of NAM and panchsheel.This made a assumption to the world countries that india is not potential enough to retaliate, if we consider the attacks,in 2016 from pathankot on Jan 2nd to nagrota in Dec on LOC. The attacks have been increased and death toll is high in comparison to last years.
    India has been consistent from past attacks but now if any country attacks further we will immediately strike back on the grounds of humanity and welfare of the people.
    Now we enhanced our second strike capability with the recent successfull test fire of AGNI V entered the hub of inter continental ballistic missile with test range of 5000km which threatened the world super powers like China where it started pressurised the UN body to put nuclear sanctions on india as it is not a member of NPT and NSG.
    Many terror attacks has been faced by Western countries recently then the world responded questioning the international body,UN and it took initiatives to peace to combat those attacks but when it comes to third world countries it’s reaction is luke warm especially in india even after receiving support from many countries. This change in attitude of UN on attacks is because the super powers being permenant members of UNSC .veto is in he hands of big 5 nations China US UK Russia France ;on india entry especially China wants pakistan also to be given the membership if india given so even though pakistan fails to full fill the criteria of being a permanent members of UNSC.
    India opted for reviewal of Indls water treaty , demonitisation ,increase in custon duties , review MNF status, strengthenING it’s ties with pakistan neighbours Afghanistan, Iran and gulf countries.
    Thoughh india is capable to use its defence power still choose diplomacy.now China, Pakistan are offering partnership to india in CPEC along with 64 countriesas it is one of the growing economy, india stand is yet to be known;but if india chooses to enter this economic corridor the relationship might be enhanced by which attacks can be controlled peacefully. Thus india still a soft power.

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  • Profile photo of Lakshmi Lakshmi @lakshmiprasannamunipalli

    Happy new year

  • Profile photo of Avanish Singh Avanish Singh @avanishsingh

    At the present time India is in the way of becoming soft power,for achieving this target it is essential that continuously moving towards the target.but there is lot of barriers in this way among them som of mentioned heare-corruption is the most problematic factor due to this factors various important compponent of soft power destruct,2.decreases of social and moral value:if any country become valueless in regard of social and moral then that country never become a soft power,3 decreasing emotions of humanity:if countrymen of any country has les from emotions of huminity then all ways boloked of soft power.then it is confirm that ig India want to become a soft power then it is must for India that he acheve all component which is essential for that success.though India is not still as soft power but India has full from potential for achieving it.

  • Profile photo of Mahesh Kumar Mahesh Kumar @mkyadav913465

    @Amir Antony
    Dear, read twice what is essay topic .
    It says whether India is still a soft state ?
    Ideal approach should be
    1.explain what is sOft state ,
    2. Like the term first originated in Gunner Myrdal novel Asian drama,
    3. It refers inability of developing nation like India to take hard decisions
    Due to various reasons…diversity , secular principle, large mass ignorant , illiteracy, wide label poverty etc
    4.But situation is changing now ..
    5.Cite 5…6 example from diverse area

    Demonetization
    Rail fair hike issue
    C.B.I raid on higher civil servant (chief Secretary ) office in TN
    Surgical strike
    Dalai Lana episode n India withstanding pressure
    Etc
    N finish with a good n crisp conclusion

  • Profile photo of Amit Antony Amit Antony @amitantony94

    The Indian subcontinent is located in one of the most ideal locations on the planet. A mountain to protect us from the north, an ocean which is named after us cause of our trading exploits over the centuries and also a direct link to the ancient silk route which was how trade of many goods and items used to happen with Europe and the Middle east. India cannot be considered as a soft power; simply because of the fact that we’re located in such a desirable location it’s imperative that India should use this to its own advantage and which it has been doing since the centuries.
    Traditionally we have always been a trading power. Dhows have been visitors to the western coast of India for our spices, precious stones and other luxurious items, all for Arabian and European merchants further in the west. Till date we still export jewellery items all around the world, showing our dominance in this sector and the craftsmanship our Indian jewelers have.
    There have been periods in our history when we had kings who were expansionist in nature. Ashoka sent his 2 children to Sri Lanka to spread the word of Buddhism and played a major role expanding the religion in south East Asia. Even King Harsha was known to have an impressive navy which made its presence felt all the way to the Strait of Malacca-a major trading point in south East Asia. The temples in Angkor Vat in Cambodia show the link towards Indian architecture that was prominent during the era-visible proof that we were indeed very influential in this region.
    Our nation’s freedom fighters were very well known in the global arena. South Africa still reveres the links it has with the Mahatma. Bose and his Indian National Army were present in Singapore and is said to have the support of the Japanese forces during the time. Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the most prominent and most influential leaders during the times. He led India’s complete foreign policy during its formative years and his opinion had its weight in the global stage.
    It was in this period, just after independence that India played its new role as a harbinger for freedom and stood against apartheid, colonialism and western imperialism. The Bandung conference which happened in Indonesia tapped into the anti colonial sentiment which was high during the times, had India as its leader.
    The non aligned movement gave nations a 3rd path towards staying neutral during the cold war era. India was one of the founders of this movement and played a major role in keeping both the US and USSR camps at bay. India played the negotiator role during the Korean War, showing that both sides had enough faith in us to see that communication could occur between both sides.
    We’ve always been active participants in the UN Peace keeping missions, showing that our nation does stand for peace all around the world. We are also a part of the G4 group- a group of countries who are pushing for reforms in the UN Security Council. To have the legitimacy to demand for such a change shows that we are indeed a force to reckon with. Further we enjoy a lot of good will with all our neighbors. The SAARC conference was the perfect platform for India to project that it was a team player in the south East Asian theatre.
    Militarily, we are doing pretty well. The armed forces are in the top 5 of the largest standing forces in the world. Our navy is one of the few which has the capability to become a blue water naval fleet. Having fought many wars, the forces are battle experienced. And our jawans guard one of the more perilous borders known to mankind.
    It takes a lot of political capital and will to be able to impress on the world your opinion, whether it might lead to wrong or correct decisions. India has time and again taken such decisions as well. We have always stood up to grave injustices. We rejected the NPT and the CTBT due to its discriminatory nature and made the move to become a nuclear power. With that distinction even global powers cannot treat us lightly.
    India has also stood for the highest standards of moral principles. Cowing to pressure from other nations would have presented us as weak in the global arena. But we still haven’t budged to the pressure of China to remove the Dalai Lama from our soil. We stood by the poor refugees of East Pakistan when they became victim s of atrocities of the Pakistani army during the 1971 war. This action led to the independence of Bangladesh.
    Economically also we have made a major impact. In this era of globalization and rapid pace of development in technology, India stands at the forefront of embracing such technology and providing these services worldwide. With over 1.2 billion people in our country, the potential market is huge. No country or industry can ever ignore this fact.
    From the perspective of trade, economics, military, foreign relations and other such avenues we have always been active participants and the world has seen that our nation is a force to reckon with. Thus in no sense can it be said that we are a soft power.

    • Profile photo of Amit Chaturvedi Amit Chaturvedi @amitchaturvedi09

      Isn’t the essay about soft state and not soft power ?

  • Profile photo of Avancha Anil Avancha Anil @avanchaanil04

    A warm welcome to all in to the new year hoping that it will bring desired results we are aspiring for…

  • Profile photo of Simran Bains Simran Bains @simranbains

    To the entire team of Civilsdaily and our friends here, a very happy New Year to you all. 🙂
    Thank you CD for every initiative that you came up with, in 2016! You guys are playing a very important role in our preparations! 🙂 Hoping to see this association bringing desired results in 2017. 🙂
    Happy new year once again.

This topic contains 14 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Nitish Allamaraju Nitish Allamaraju 5 months, 2 weeks ago.



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