India and the Himalayan states

Authored by: Satish Kumar

Handbook of India’s International Relations

Print publication date:  May  2011
Online publication date:  May  2011

Print ISBN: 9781857435528
eBook ISBN: 9780203828861
Adobe ISBN:


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The Himalayan kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan and the Indian state of Sikkim have occupied an important place in India’s foreign policy scheme. 1 The importance of these Himalayan actors for India can be visualized from two different angles: a) the strategic importance of these Himalayan actors for India’s national security; and b) the place of these Himalayan actors in India’s own role perception in international politics. The Himalayas have become the southern border of the People’s Republic of China, but they do not occupy such an important place in the Chinese life and culture as they do in India. The Himalayan kingdoms of Nepal, Bhutan and the erstwhile kingdom (now Indian state) of Sikkim were considered an integral part of the Indian regional system. As such, these three units are right in the middle of India’s whole ‘Himalayan frontiers’, its northern ‘borderland’ flanks. 2

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