Modi’s openness to the diaspora should, hopefully, crack open India’s generally unwelcoming attitude to “foreigners” that has congealed over the last many decades of inward orientation.
As New Delhi turns to the Gulf in 2015 and tends to its high stakes in the region, an intensive engagement with Saudi Arabia must be at the top of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diplomatic priorities.
Despite Modi’s claim to Vajpayee’s strategic legacy, the latter’s understanding of the subcontinent’s past and his vision for the region’s future appear to have little resonance within the BJP and RSS.
India needs to deepen its military security cooperation in the Indian Ocean with the United States and France and initiate a maritime security dialogue with China.
It is easy to forget that domestic stability holds the key to a successful foreign policy.
The United Nations General Assembly recently declared an annual International Day of Yoga. This small step underlines the immense possibilities for projecting India’s soft power under Modi.
In his outreach to leaders in the subcontinent and Asia, from Nepal to Japan and China to Myanmar, Modi has projected Buddhism as one of India’s bridges to these nations.
Pakistan’s ambivalence towards economic integration and the minimal gains from the South Asian summit in Kathmandu need not necessarily be a setback to India’s agenda for regionalism.
Delhi and Tehran see the Chabahar port as a means to improve their geopolitical leverage with Pakistan and pursue their common interest in providing Central Asia alternative routes to the Indian Ocean.
What Prime Minister Narendra Modi does with the American business community during his visit to the United States may be more consequential over the longer term than his engagement with the political leadership in Washington.