India's Strategy in the Indian Ocean: Indian Aims and Interests in a Historical Perspective

  • Satvinder Singh Rai (Autor/in)

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India’s Indian Ocean strategy is an integral part of the overall strategy of the Indian national bourgeois leadership to fulfil its regional and global ambitions. In this context, there is a close link between the South Asian Region and the Indian Ocean in India’s strategy. In the paper, India’s policy in the Indian Ocean is discussed within the framework of a historical perspective, and the factors which have influenced India’s defence and foreign policies are examined. The active Indian interest in the Indian Ocean begins with the emergence of India as the pre-eminent power in the South Asian Region during the ’70s. This Indian involvement in the politics of the Indian Ocean coincides with the intensification of superpower naval presence in the Indian Ocean. In this context, India’s support for the concept of the Indian Ocean Zone of Peace is grounded on the fact that, on the one hand, the concept conforms to the longstanding requirement of Indian foreign policy of keeping the Cold War and superpower rivalries, conflicts and presence out of the South Asian Region, and on the other hand, the concept, if accepted internationally, would have the practical effect of underlining and strengthening India’s regional dominance.