Critically analyse the nature of India’s engagement with the Middle East

Middle east has been the most important region outside the subcontinent for India’s security and prosperity. But still this region did not receive much attention it deserved from India. India’s engagement with Middle east cab be broadly divided into 3 stages.

Stage 1:(Independence 1947  to Economic reforms 1990)

  • India’s emphasis was on anti-west and anti-Israel solidarity with the middle east
  • This was mainly driven by the presumed need to prevent the Pakistan from scoring a march over India by its religious affinity
  • Despite expansive goodwill towards India in this region , India has little to offer beyond its rhetoric support
  • With increased emphasis on self reliance,India dismantled its strong economic links with middle east
  • The oil boom in the gulf saw increased interdependence on this region through labor exports and energy imports

Stage 2: (1990-2014)

  • This stage saw India’s more pragmatic approach towards the region
  • Scale of India’s economic interdependence increased rapidly and the nature has changed from mercantilism to trade and investment links with the region
  • Renewal of military exchanges and security cooperation have taken place but this did not converted into a bolder Indian military partnerships in the region

Stage 3:(2014 – present)

  • There is solid corrective in the last two years
  • Even India brought Israel partnership into open, It has devoted much energy in engaging gulf countries

Middle east is eager to see India to return to its traditional role of security and economic partner. India is also keen to improve its relation with the region.


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