The Newsletter 65 Autumn 2013

India looked East or the East looked India

S.D. Muni

Inida's ‘Look-East’ policy, contrary to popular assumption, neither started in 1991 nor was it confined only to economic engagement with its easterly neighbourhood. As a civilisation of sun worshippers, India has always looked towards, and engaged with the East, in many varied ways. One can easily identify four phases or waves of India’s eastward yo ho. The first is historical (pre-colonial), the second is during British Imperialism, the third since independence (1947 onwards) and, most recently, since 1991. Enough attention is being paid these days to the last two phases, while there are only scanty, and hazy narratives to unravel the first two.

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