Topic- India and its neighborhood- relations.
3) Given concerns over increasing Indian influence, our foreign policy must exercise caution in dealing with Bhutan. Critically examine.(250 words)
Why this question
Bhutan is a small but an important neighbour of India. The two nations share close historical ties which have only strengthened with time. However, there are several issues involved in India-Bhutan relationship, which need to be discussed.
Examine- Here we have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. Based on our discussion we have to form our opinion on the issue.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to discuss why there is a need to exercise caution in our foreign policy while dealing with Bhutan- what are the issues involved which demand so. We also have to discuss the implications of a unrestrained and uncalled for intervention in Bhutan. Based on our discussion, we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.
Structure of the answer
Introduction- mention that the basic framework of India- Bhutan bilateral relations is the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed in 1949 between the two countries, revised in February 2007.The India-Bhutan Friendship Treaty not only reflects the contemporary nature of our relationship but also lays the foundation for their future development in the 21st century.
- Discuss why there is need to exercise caution in our foreign policy given the increased concerns related to Indian influence in Bhutan. E.g mention Doklam crisis, incidences of indian presence being mistakenly represented as Indian encroachment, HP projects and their debt etc. All of these have the potential to deteriorate the relationship between the two countries and push Bhutan into the lap of China etc.
- Mention that there are a number of institutional mechanisms between India and Bhutan in areas such as security, border management, trade, transit, economic, hydro-power, development cooperation, water resources. Mention India’s aid to Bhutan in the form of giving money for budget, scholarship programme, road building etc. Mention why there is a need to portray this cooperation and aid aloof from the concerns of India influencing Bhutan’s domestic polity.
Conclusion- Bring out the need for enhanced cooperation and a positive relationship built on mutual confidence and respect for sovereignty. Write a few lines as to how India should proceed in this regard