The land of Buddha and the home of some of the oldest civilizations of the world, India, is located in South Asia. India has a rich history in various forms, be it historical buildings or historical dynasties. India shares a border with six countries of the world, namely Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The biggest challenge of India till date remains Pakistan which got independence from united India on August 14, 1947. Meanwhile, China also used to give a tough time to India on its borders, and both countries fought a war in 1962, known as the Sino-Indian war. China claimed a sweeping victory over India and claimed a part of Kashmir equal to the size of Switzerland, known as Aksai Chin. Besides, India and Pakistan have been to four wars to date over Kashmir. India played a significant role against Pakistan in 1971 Bangladesh’s war of independence.
The countries of Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, and Bangladesh enjoy unique relations with India, and their relationships with India gives them a sense of power in the highly populated continent.
India’s detailed map with its neighbors can be viewed here.
India and Pakistan Relations:
India and Pakistan share a collective past and common history. Both countries were united under the flag of united India when the majority of Indian Muslims decided to get their separate homeland under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The partition took place in 1947 and is considered as one of the bloodiest partitions of the known history when more than one million people died.
Both India and Pakistan fight over a disputed region of Kashmir, and both sides claim the whole territory as theirs. 1948 was the first year when both countries went to war when local fighters from Pakistan invaded Kashmir. To date, the situation of the region remains hostile due to this, and both countries control a part of Kashmir.
The detailed map of Kashmir can be viewed from this image.
Pakistan and India fought their remaining wars in 1965, 1971, and 1999 respectively. It is apparent to mention here that both the states are heavily equipped with nuclear weapons, and it makes the region extremely volatile and vulnerable to an all-out war.
The trade relations between the two countries are at its lowest point right now since the decision of India to include Indian administrated Kashmir in the Indian Union on August 5, 2019. In the latest clash, both the states got involved in an aerial engagement when Pakistan shot down one Indian fighter plane capturing one of the pilots in action. India often blames Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism on its soil. The masterminds of Mumbai terror attacks, Hafiz Saeed still rooms free in Pakistan. Besides, the roots of Pulwama, Uri, and many other attacks were traced in Pakistan, according to Indian investigations.
India and China relations:
India and China used to enjoy good relations. In fact, both countries used the slogan Hindi-Chinni Bhai-Bhai (India and China are brothers). But now the inclination of China is towards Pakistan, where she is investing a huge amount of money on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). India is also a part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.
India is the rising economy and market of the world. It is the biggest democracy of the world, and China has to keep its relations with India good to emerge as a strong power. India and China have a border dispute, which forces India to have significant military forces on McMahon Line(the border between India and China). The primary reason for India’s military expenditures is its hostile relations with Pakistan and, to some extent, with China. Indo-Pak border is often regarded as one of the most populated borders militarily, which enforces both the nations to allocate the significant chunk of their budgets to weapons.
India is also one of the biggest markets of Chinese exports, and it is for sure that relations between both of these countries cannot go to worst in the near future.
Relations with other states
India’s geographical challenges are mostly described by its ties with Pakistan and China. Other states, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar, are not strong enough militarily as well as economically to tackle the giants like India. In fact, Nepal and Bhutan share a strong communal and historical background with India. Bhutan’s foreign policy, defense matters are heavily influenced by India, which gives India an upper hand in their bilateral relations. Besides, Bhutan acts as a buffer zone between China and India, which gives India a bit of relief on the Northern front.
India, mostly Hindu but officially secular state, has strong religious connections with Nepal, which makes their bond strong. People of both countries enjoy visa-free entry in other countries, and India enjoys dominance in the bilateral relations due to t its impacts on global politics.
Bangladesh, erstwhile part of Pakistan, also has a strong connection with India as India played a significant role in Bangladesh’s independence in 1971 Indo-Pak war. India claimed a sweeping victory over Pakistan, and Pakistan further got divided into two parts.
The relations of India with Myanmar are too dominated by India, and many of the refugees from Myanmar’s ongoing massacre are living lives in parts of the Indian state of Assam.
India has 7516.6 Km of coastline, which enables it to develop some of the world’s famous ports, including Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. India’s economic dominance is based on these ports, and they are the backbone of the Indian economy.
In a nutshell, India has such a vibrant culture that it won’t be a wrong thing to call her the most dynamic state with respect to Culture. The geographical location of India allows her to enjoy some of the perks which none other countries can have. But the presence of neighbors like China and especially Pakistan makes the region a little bit vulnerable to crisis and stuff.