Between the Ganga and the Mekong: Understanding of India’s historical links towards regional cooperation – By Imdad Hussain, Distinguished Fellow, Asian Confluence

BETWEEN THE GANGA AND THE MEKONG: Understanding Of India’s historical links towards regional cooperation

Imdad Hussain, Formerly Professor of History, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong


When New Delhi began to ‘look east’ some three decades ago its one outcome was a revival of interest in the countries of Southeast Asia.  The development of North Eastern India was the defined objective of the new domestic and foreign policies.  This region was not very long ago reorganised into seven states, four of them former districts of the old colonial province of Assam, and its relative isolation caused by Partition had been recognised or the overriding factor for its remaining far behind the other states of the Union in economic development and industrialization.  Its geographical proximity to Southeast Asia, seen as a key to its fuller and speedier progress, gave that policy, Look East, its broader dimension.