There are three major ways to achieve national objectives in the international arena, especially when one is dealing with an equal or a weaker competitor, first is to threaten them with sticks, the second is to offer the carrots and the third is to attract them or co-opt them to have the same needs. If you can get others to be attracted to have the same desires, it costs lesser. Hard power is necessary but has its limitations; Afghanistan and Vietnam have taught that the side with the larger army doesn’t always win. A country’s soft power ultimately flows from three sources, its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values (when it lives upto them at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority). The relevance of the application of soft power is hence growing as India commences her march towards the rightful place in the comity of nations.
The proceedings of the Seminar on “Leveraging India’s Soft Power as a Strategic Resource” record the wide ranging spectrum of India’s Soft Power and have recommended measures to enable India meet the challenges in the emerging new world order and assure its rightful place in the comity of nations.