The Image Crisis of India as a Development Partner in South Asia: A Regional Development Perspective

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Abstract
In order to emerge as a regional leader and an influential global power, India has been expanding its role as a donor or development partner across South Asian and Sub-Saharan African countries. To cash on its identity as the Big Brother of South Asia India, despite having some serious domestic and regional problems, recently invested a lot of money in a number of development projects in neighboring countries. This article attempts to delve into India's role as an emerging power in the South Asian development business. With a view to examining India's prospect in this context, the article analyzes three pertinent development cases from three major South Asian countries namely Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka where India attempted to prove its regional development leadership through bilateral arrangements. After reviewing those cases, the author argues that India is still holding its image rather as a political Big Brother of South Asia with occasional attempts to interfere into the internal matters of its neighbors. In spite of some big joint development ventures in recent years, India in all three cases failed to formulate trust and credibility among the people living in neighboring countries. It also could not build an image of a regional development partner. This image crisis is one of the key reasons why it is very unlikely that India will soon become a regional or global superpower especially in the light of increasing Chinese influence in the region.
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Archival date: 2021-08-08
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2021-08-08

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