January 2019 \ News \ DIPLOMACY—COMMENT
India and Australia Need to re-craft an old relationship

India-Australia relations are a classic example of unrealised potential and a tragic tale of consistently missing opportunities, despite multiple areas of strategic convergence and shared interests. It is almost as if apathy holds back both countries from trying to break new ground in a significant manner. This has been frustrating and disappointing ...

By Amit Das gupta

Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi and Australian PM Scott Morrison meet on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Singapore on November 14, 2018

All of a sudden, there was hope that the relationship would reach new frontiers and that the years of neglect would slip away quickly. There was, in fact, clear strategic focus and logic to reshaping the bilateral relations, especially in the face of a changing world order, an openly hegemonic China and strategic uncertainty in the Indo-Pacific that led many to believe that the Pacific would, in fact, be the staging ground for the next Cold War. There was genuine and credible optimism that Modi’s visit would allow the hesitations of history to be overcome and that the stage was set for a new and inspired chapter in bilateral relations.

Unfortunately, in the four years since Modi’s visit, while there have been some positive developments, a transformative change in the relationship has not yet happened. Both sides continue to remain hostage to the past, Canberra more so than New Delhi.