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Day 86 – Q 4. How can India’s soft power be leveraged in the subcontinent and to what advantage? Suggest.

4. How can India’s soft power be leveraged in the subcontinent and to what advantage? Suggest.

भारत की नरम शक्ति का उपमहाद्वीप में कैसे और क्या लाभ उठाया जा सकता है? सुझाव दें।


Soft power is the ability of a country to persuade others to do what it wants without resorting to force or coercion. Soft power lies in a country’s attractiveness and comes from three resources: its culture, its political values, and its foreign policies.


How can India’s soft power be leveraged in the subcontinent?

  • India’s spiritualism, yoga, movies and television, classical and popular dance and music, its principles of non-violence, democratic institutions, plural society, and cuisine have all attracted people across the continent.
  • International Day of Yoga reflects yoga’s immense popularity worldwide, underscoring its richness as a soft power resource.
  • Indo-ASEAN music festival in Delhi was a bridge between the youth of India and ASEAN
  • India is a civilization which has offered refuge to cultural and religious freedoms to Jews, Parses, Christens and Muslims.
  • Buddhism is an important bridge between not just India and South East Asia and East Asia, but also with South Asia.
  • India is a country in which all major religions like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism – coexists which has been the strength of India’s soft power.
  • India is dipping into its soft power resources in its diplomatic engagements abroad.
  • Offer subsidized courses in foreign capitals to teach appreciation of Indian culture
  • Indian Diaspora is seen as ambassadors of carriers of our soft power.
  • To project New Delhi’s soft power across world capitals, the MEA has embarked on a program to build diplomatic missions and cultural centres using the country’s diverse styles of architecture.
  • India’s successful Aadhaar programmes which can help countries do similar things and India’s IT capabilities are huge source of soft power.
  • Student exchange programs, increase in scholarships, medical tourism and research scholars have resulted in a vibrant democracy. Indian Diaspora is seen as ambassadors of carriers of our soft power.

India’s Soft Power proposal in budget 2020-21

  • Proposal to consider issuing Aadhaar Card for NRIs with Indian Passports on their arrival without waiting for 180 days.
  • Mission to integrate traditional artisans with global markets proposed, with necessary patents and geographical indicators.
  • 18 new Indian diplomatic Missions in Africa approved in March, 2018, out of which 5 already opened. Another 4 new Embassies intended in 2019-20.
  • Revamp of Indian Development Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) proposed.
  • 17 iconic Tourism Sites being developed into model world class tourist destinations.
  • Present digital repository aimed at preserving rich tribal cultural heritage, to be strengthened.

What advantage will be gained by India through soft power?

  • Diplomacy need not backed by the military and economic hard power. This presents a ‘technology’ in our hand to compete and overtake Chinese ‘check book’ diplomacy. 
  • It gives moral high ground at world forum especially due to non-violent manner in which we had achieved our independence.
  • International Support for tough decisions like abrogation of article 370. 
  • It keeps India distant from world conflicts like recently in Syria, Sudan, Israel-Palastein issue. So India earns god will from all country.
  • Helps India balance its relationships keeps balance in relations. At the time of cold war, India got aid from NATO and USSR both.


It is imperative that India expands its soft power and civilisational strength, both for national unity and to gain the proper place in the continent for its magnificent heritage that can benefit all humanity. India has the cultural and civilizational depth to lead the world to a new era of peace and higher consciousness, but needs the political will and the diplomatic skill in order to do so. 

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