India’s posture at Doklam was responded in equal measure by China. In fact, the story holds that India has completely withdrawn its troop leaving behind only 50 soldiers. China’s ire towards India has been for two reasons. Before discussing the reasons, let it be known that the ire was quite fierce than what the Indian government had expected. Perhaps, interfering into the domestic affairs of its weak and under-performing neighbours have become so common with India that it simply did not bother to see who it was throwing the challenge at. One can understand why SAARC has not been seriously pursued. Had there been a dedicated effort to make SAARC perform, the small South Asian States would have shed India’s influence to become a vibrant part of the South Asian economy. Just like Nepal, where India has been interfering in almost everything, Bhutan too has been tainted by the Indian influence. After Doklam, the situation has reversed at least in symbolic terms, and if India keeps to its penchant for showing hedonistic tendencies, another Doklam would simply reduce India to a nonentity. So let there be a lesson learned that India’s power within the region is not expected beyond a certain limit. India’s intimidation techniques towards Pakistan have also failed to make any mark. Pakistan army has so far given matching response to India on its continuous shelling at the Line of Control (LoC). It is this aggressive, intruding, and discordant prone posturing of India that has started the arms race in South Asia. The United States in its effort to strengthen Indian nuclear and military muscles to counter China is only putting more pressure on Pakistan and China to get equal with India. In region where poverty still reigns and millions of people sleep empty stomach, arm race could only be a super power’s ploy to make this part of the world subservient to its desires. According to the Chinese government, it had informed the Indians twice before starting the construction work on the India, Bhutan and China border at the Sikkim sector. But India chose to neglect the intimation. And when it did respond, it was to push the Chinese out of the area with a blame that China had intruded into Bhutan’s territory. Apparently, India had come to the rescue of Bhutan. India’s ignorance of the ground realities in the Sikkim area reveals its potential to bully its neighbouring countries especially those that reckon power and influence. China has so far tolerated India’s defiance at the Sikkim Sector. It seems this leverage may not work for too long. Terming China, a powerful neighbour, the Global Times opined: “The border standoff has stretched out for nearly two months. The world has seen China treasure peace and understands the causes of the issue. During this period, the Chinese public has gradually adapted to the risks and uncertainties their country faces and believes the Chinese government has the authority to solve the crisis through all possible means.” Chinese newspapers have gone as far as comparing the situation at Doklam to that of Indian-held Kashmir. This India-driven analogy could come back to bite New Delhi if Beijing ever decides to come to Pakistan’s rescue against rising Indian atrocities in Kashmir What India does not realise is that this defiance is bringing it a bad name both at home and abroad. An ordinary Indian is fully aware today that India cannot challenge Chinese power in the region. Another lesson to be learned from the Doklam impasse is that balancing China by the sheer display of strength, arrogance, and power would be counterproductive for India. China has been following the policy of peace and reconciliation with its neighbours to bring prosperity in the region, towards which China is spending heavily through its One Belt One Road initiative. Instead, ever since China has begun this initiative, India is exploring new avenues to stand out against China in a show of power and influence. India is playing a similar game in Afghanistan, which has disturbed the equilibrium between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Indian Intrusion into the political affairs of Afghanistan has only weakened the Afghan government’s argument that it wants peace within and outside. Pakistan has long accused India of fomenting unrest in Pakistan through Afghanistan. Terrorists from across Afghan border operate on the back of Indian money. India’s desire to attain power in the region cannot be achieved by pushing its agenda on the neighbouring countries. Chinese newspapers have gone as far as comparing the situation at Doklam to the Indian Held Kashmir. The analogy created by India could strangle its neck if China ever decides to come to the rescue of Pakistan in the case of India’s rising atrocities in Kashmir. Doklam is a reminder that India can be cut to size if it tries to outsize the powers surrounding it. The sooner this lesson is learned the better. The writer is a journalist she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, August 11th 2017.