International Dialogue |
MCRG Logistical Spaces (3)
India’s Look East policy, now upgraded as ‘Act East’, calls for a double look East. To make it successful and achieve its purpose of situating the country’s under-developed and conflict ridden Northeastern states at the heart of its robust engagement with South-East Asia and possibly China, India needs to first look East from its mainland to Bangladesh. Bangladesh holds the key to India’s overland connection to its Northeast, which is linked by land through a tenuous 21-lms wide Siliguri corridor, often derided as a “Chicken’s Neck”. The access to sea for India’s Northeast is also easily possible through Bangladesh and somewhat more circuitously through Myanmar. So it would be no exaggeration to say that Bangladesh holds the key to India’s ‘Look East’ or ‘Act East’ policy when Delhi seeks to use the country's Northeast as a bridgehead in the way China seeks to use frontier provinces like Yunnan.