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Indian Studies through Comprehensive Structural Studies

Special Lecture: Dr. Ian Hall(Professor, Griffith Asia Institute, Australia)


Special Lecture: Dr. Ian Hall(Professor, Griffith Asia Institute, Australia) 

K. Subrahmanyam, a prominent international strategic analyst in India, said, "India is one of the few countries after the colony that has a comprehensive strategy for domestic and overseas challenges to become a major subject of the international community."After independence, Nehru implemented a national strategy: 1) the Federal, constitutional, secular democratic political system, 2) the mixed economy, 3) the non-alignment. However, this national strategy was challenged by 1) the Kashmir conflict, 2) bad economic performance (GDP growth rate of 3.6% in the 50s), 3) 1962 Indian-Chinese war defeat, and the 1965 Pakistani war.


Dr Ian Hall exemplified the failure of the national strategy between 1964-91 after Nehru, and explained Lao's reforms and changes (1991-96) after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. According to him, the 1991 international balance crisis and the collapse of the core partner Soviet Union revised the national strategy, and accordingly, 1) the political system was maintained but there was considerable pressure, resulting in the recurrence of the Kashmir rebellion and the rise of Hindu nationalism. 2) The national economic adjustment has partially collapsed and the problem of tariff barriers has occurred. 3) They showed interest in China by pursuing multi-polarization in response to the US monopolar order after the collapse of the Soviet Union while maintaining estranged relationship with the United States. In particular, the 1998 Indian nuclear test caused Pakistan's nuclear armament and China's extreme backlash, and serious dialogue between India and the United States began. This led to the nuclear agreement and the basic defense agreement in 2005, which was the result of mutual concern about the expansion of economic cooperation between the United States and India. In particular, the United States showed a lot of interest in the Indian market centered on weapons, and India's dependence on Russia weakened in military modernization. From 2003 to 2008-9), India pursued multilateral strategic autonomy, and showed an average annual GDP growth rate of 8.7%, and relations with China and Pakistan also stabilized. However, in terms of domestic issues (politically), there were problems such as party divisions along regional and caste lines, Maoist Naxal rebellions, and Hindu nationalism escalation throughout the northern states.


The international financial crisis has led to a decline in growth, a heightened discontent with the government system, and China's strong presentation of new self-assertions in the international community, fueling the perception that New Delhi is too weak.

In 2014, Narendra Modi and the Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power; this ended the 30-year unstable coalition and the first Hindu nationalist majority was established; Prime Minister Modi 1. The government promised to change the political system, realize the Hindu state, and to promote economic super-strong dialogue  2. to reach 10% growth, 3. to promote vigorous and powerful foreign policy. Modi wanted to break up the post-colonial national strategy of Nehru. Specifically, the following is the contents. 1. India's democracy is maintained, but reflects the wishes of the Hindu majority: the imposition of uniform civil law, the abolition of special autonomy over Kashmir, where Islam is the majority, education emphasizing Hinduism, 2. Replace socialism with a business-friendly policy: deregulation, high-responsive bureaucracy, encouraging foreign investment, and building infrastructure (but there was no new free trade agreement, no tariff hikes). 3. It is a multilateral policy, but it is a vigorous and powerful foreign policy: it emphasizes balance with China as well as the United States and its allies (Australia, Japan), but avoids formal alliances. Foreign support, maintaining strong ties with Russia for defense technology; improving relations with the Middle East countries for trade/investment and Pakistan isolation; and punishing support for Pakistani rebels. Resets relations with South Asia.

However, Dr. Ian Hall expressed skepticism about whether this national strategy was working and finished the lecture with three questions below to gauge the future development of India: Can India, Hindu with Muslims and others as "second-class citizens," maintain the support of Western democracies? 2. If the Indian economy grows only 5%, can we catch up with China and maintain the interest of foreign traders and investors? 3. Will India's vigor continue if the economy doesn't grow rapidly, especially after COVID-19?

This lecture was held online, and it was successfully completed through various questions at the end of the lecture with more than 40 participants.