India dominates much of the subcontinent it occupies. In terms of land mass, population, economic activity and military capabilities, no other country in the region comes close. And yet, as much as India towers over the region by metrics, it cannot project power in the region proportionate to its size. In this Deep Dive, we’ll explain why this is the case and what would be required for India to reach its potential.
A Corridor to the Core
A country’s core is the area that is critical for geopolitical survival, where the key components necessary to sustain life intersect. India’s core lies within the Indo-Gangetic Plain, where the Ganges River meets the southern foothills of the Himalayas. Before independence, when colonial India included present-day Pakistan, the core extended westward to include both sides of the Indus River. The flat terrain is hospitable to settlement and agriculture, and its proximity to the Ganges ensures a freshwater supply. The humid, sub