P. Whitney Lackenbauer
This article examines critically examines the writings of five Indian commentators: Indian Council of World Affairs research director Vijay Sakhuja, former foreign secretary Shyam Saran, retired Army colonel P.K. Gautam and Navy commander Neil Gadihoke, and political scientist Sanjay Chaturvedi of Punjab University. It subsequently assesses India's perspective and potential strategic and policy directions in the Arctic region. Indian policy discourse has yet to produce a coherent or "dominant" opinion on the country's place in Arctic affairs. Nevertheless, several trends are evident, including an emphasis on a 'polar race' narrative; a view of Arctic as a "common heritage of mankind" in need of protection; and a geo-economic perspective that seeks strategic positioning for future resource exploitation and shipping accessibility.
P. Whitney Lackenbauer is Associate Professor of History at St. Jerome's University (University of Waterloo), Canada.