On 12 October 2007, the "India 2025" Conference was held in Paris. It was organized by the Institute of Higher National Defence Studies (IHEDN, Paris) and the "Asia 21" group (Futuribles International). Among the questions tackled were geopolitical developments in India, some aspects of which were covered in the February 2008 issue by Frédéric Grare and Isabelle Saint-Mézard. Alain Lamballe, who also spoke at the conference, gave an account of the factors that were likely to impede the rise of India between now and 2025 and he presents his analysis for us here.
Lamballe takes a highly pessimistic view of the future of South-Eastern Asia. He stresses India's weaknesses - namely the reservations of the two majority religions about progress, the potential ethnic and religious rivalries, the risks of insurrection and terrorism, the lack of energy resources and the regional geopolitical dangers etc. There is nothing to indicate that the "gloomy" scenarios that can be derived from these weaknesses will actually materialize over the next 20 years, but it is important, nonetheless, to be aware of them, in order to develop a better grasp of the elements that might lead to such an outcome and to observe how they develop over time.