Military intervention to halt atrocities is one of the most contentious aspects of R2P and with which India has often expressed disagreement in the past. Since the 2005 World Summit, however, there has been an apparent softening in that opposition. This article takes a close-up look at the empirical record, revealing ambiguity in Indian attitudes from the outset that militates against categorizing them as either ‘for’ or ‘against’ humanitarian intervention. The portrait that emerges is of a reactive actor driven incrementally away from a default preference for sovereignty as autonomy, whilst harbouring deep concerns about armed intervention. This article suggests that cautious and reluctant accommodation offers the best description of India’s still unresolved stance on humanitarian intervention. That fits in with a broad preference for pragmatism in foreign policy, which has struggled to balance traditional concerns with a ‘new’ ambition to acquire and sustain greater power-political influence in a changing world.
C. Raja MohanCrossing the Rubicon: The Shaping of India’s New Foreign Policy (Delhi: Penguin Books2005) pp. 237-241. See also Stephen Philip Cohen India: Emerging Power (Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press 2001) pp. 127-155; A.Z. Hilali ‘India’s Strategic Thinking and Its National Security Policy’ Asian Survey 41/5: 737-764 (2001); Radkha Kumar ‘Sovereignty and Intervention: Opinions in South Asia’ in Pugwash Study Group on Intervention Sovereignty and International Security ‘Papers from the Como Workshop’ Pugwash Occasional Papers 2/1 January 2001 http://www.pugwash.org accessed 12 May 2012.
Nicholas J. WheelerSaving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press2000) pp. 60-65. See also S/PV.1606 4 December 1971; S/PV.1607 5 December 1971; and S/PV.1608 6 December 1971.
See Andrew B. Kennedy‘India’s Nuclear Odyssey: Implicit Umbrellas, Diplomatic Disappointments, and the Bomb’International Security36/2: 120-153 (2011) which traces the disintegration of India’s confidence in the security umbrella of extant nuclear states and in international institutions to provide for its national security.
Alex J. BellamyResponsibility to Protect: The Global Effort to End Mass Atrocities (Cambridge: Polity Press2009) p. 88. See also Nicholas J. Wheeler ‘A Victory for Common Humanity? The Responsibility to Protect after the 2005 World Summit’ Journal of International Law and International Relations 2/1: 95-107 (2005).
Sumit Ganguly‘Enlightened Self-Interest or Moral Outage?’Deccan Chronicle24 March 2011 www.deccanchronicle.com/editorial/dc-comment/enlightened-self-interest-or-moral-outage-243 accessed 24 March 2012.