India – A Soft Power

Soft power is the ability of a country to persuade others to do what it wants without resorting to force or coercion. Soft power is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and persuasion.

  • Soft power lies in a country’s attractiveness and comes from three resources: its culture, its political values and its foreign policies.
  • Hard power encompasses military and economic means while soft power is about culture and values.
  • Though slower to yield results, soft power is a less expensive means than military force or economic inducements to get others to do what we want


India as a Soft Power

India boasts an amazing variety and wealth of soft power resources. Its spiritualism, Yoga, movies and television soaps, classical and popular dance and music, its principle of nonviolence, democratic institutions, plural society and cuisine have all attracted people across the world.

  • Indian philosophy has captivated Western minds since the 1960s.
  • The Indian cinema has long drawn huge audiences in significant parts of Asia, Africa, and beyond.
  • The impressive participation around the world on International Yoga Day
  • India has sophisticated systems of philosophy, psychology, medicine, science, social thought and spirituality, containing a wealth of wisdom and transformative ideas for this new era of information technology.
  • India has an elaborate and integrated artistic culture of music, dance, painting, poetry, sculpture and architecture, covering human creativity in all its diverse forms.
  • Indian soft power has enormous influence in the world – from religious and spiritual aspects to popular culture and its IT-related expertise.


However there are few areas to be worked on - 
  • Cultural institutes like Germany has the Goethe Institute, China has its Confucius institutes, and France has the Alliance Francaise – all over the world, where they offer individuals the chance to learn foreign languages and attend cultural events such as movie showings and cooking classes.
  • India’s National Museum does not feature on lists of top museums throughout the world. There is a need for a world class museum in India.
  • India should invest more in sports & recreational activities to draw tourists to partake in activities that they would otherwise have to fly to Europe or America for. Ex. Skiing Culture
  • India should do more to draw tourists to beautiful but relatively unvisited sites such as the Sun Temple in Orissa, the ruins of Hampi in Karnataka, or the Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh. India should go beyond the image of just the Taj Mahal and Rajput forts.


Without soft power, hard power lacks its intellectual and cultural edge. While soft power provides the ideas and motivation, hard power gives the tools and weapons for the soft power to expand.

India Yearbook English India Yearbook Hindi Economic Survey 2017

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