Use Of Kautilya's Mandala Theory

A Mandala can be seen as merely a diagramic way to represent foreign nation relationships. Traditionally, geopolitical mandalas were based on the concept of there being a central location, or powerhouse, that sought to exert its influence and present its strength by means of gaining cooperation from other such power centers. The method by which to achieve this was to show its ability to maintain allies and persistently thwart engagements from enemies. Kautilya's Mandala Theory originated at a time where conquest overshadowed diplomacy, but today conquest is usually substituted with that of containment. Over the course of the early to late 20th century, this theory was not used in India's foreign policy to any discerning degree. If adhered to perfectly, China would be seen as an enemy, in terms of foreign diplomacy, and China's neighbor, The Soviet Union, would be treated as an ally. Kautilya's overall principle - that an enemy of my enemy is a friend - does seem to conform to most of India's interactions with China, especially during the Second World War - though the overarching Mandala Theory is relaxed and softened in severity, at least to a certain degree. Thusly, rather than treat China as an outright enemy, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the Indian nation on the world's radar today, sought to establish a friendship with Chinese Communist leaders. In fact, Nehru had sketched out that a mutual respect between the two superpowers was the cornerstone for his foreign policy, believing that such a connection would be mutually beneficial and was the only means by which to maintain peace and prosperity for both giants of Asia. Yet, when the Sino-Indian War broke out, these efforts were largely banished.

Typically, India's responses to external policy events were usually derived from cultural traditions, harking all the way back to Ghandi and the colonial control. The nation's policy-making and decision-making had always been dominated by a passive, negotiation-seeking method of conducting diplomacy, and military action was and remains rare. China is more of an aggressive nation, one that does not tolerate internal dissent and actively seeks its objective, by use of force if necessary. Seeing that Kautilya's theory suggests that a nation must always "tip" the balance of its surrounding countries, and do so in its own favor, one can plainly see that India, in the present day, does not necessarily do that in regards to China. Rather, China is left to its own accord, while India is only and solely on a defensive.

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