Main Article Content

Mohammad Reyaz


The term soft power has become a catch-all-phrase for public and cultural diplomacy since Joseph Nye introduced it in 1990.  India has had several historical and cultural advantages regarding its influence in foreign countries. While India and Indians enjoyed goodwill in most countries, the sudden interests in India among the policymakers, businesses, and politicians were mainly after the 1992 economic liberalization that had opened the Indian markets to foreign investments. Besides the nation-branding exercises globally, New Delhi employed soft power instruments in countries it deemed to have more significant interests, from traditional allies like Bhutan and Afghanistan to the countries in the West in the last three decades. Nevertheless, how successful has India been in exploiting its cultural linkages and using its soft power in its branding? This question becomes pertinent as, in recent years, India has often received negative press coverage in international media, and on several freedom/democratic indices, its rankings have gone down. As India celebrates 75 years of independence as Azadi ka Mahotsav (a grand celebration of independence), this paper assesses the scope of its soft power as a foreign policy instrument, points out its shortcomings, and recommends the possibilities.    


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Reyaz, M. . (2023). INDIA@75: ASSESSING INDIA’S USE OF SOFT POWER AS A FOREIGN POLICY INSTRUMENT. Journal of Liberty and International Affairs, 9(1), 117-129.
Author Biography

Mohammad Reyaz, Aliah University, India

Dr. Mohammad Reyaz is an assistant professor at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Aliah University, Kolkata, India. He was the Officiating Head of the Department from November 2019 to December 2021. Dr. Reyaz was a 2021 fellow of the Study of the US Institutes (SUSIs) for Scholars on Religious Pluralism hosted at Seattle University. He has done an ICSSR-IMPRESS sponsored project on 'Stakes in India's Soft Power: A Case Study of Afghanistan.' He was in Afghanistan in August-September 2019 doing fieldwork for this project. His first trip to Afghanistan was in 2014. Besides MA in Convergent Journalism from AJK-MCRC, Jamia, Dr. Reyaz has also done an MPhil and Ph.D. in International Studies from MMA Jauhar Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, with a specialization in Central Asia. His Ph.D. dissertation was on 'Civil society and the role of media in Central Asia. He has presented papers in seminars and workshops in India, Germany, England, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, etc. Dr. Reyaz is a former journalist and contributes articles to different media. He works at the intersectionality of (new) media, society, and (identity) politics in India and larger Eurasia. His research articles and book chapters have been published by SAGE, Oxford, Routledge, Springer, and Intellect, among others.