Watch: Modi's 'Neighbourhood First' didn't live up to its potential in 2015
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his Neighbourhood First policy last year, it was welcomed by all with a certain amount hope and expectation. His invitation to all heads of governments of South Asia to his swearing-in ceremony was seen as the first radical move in that direction. However, in 2015, somehow a perception gained ground that the policy has not delivered on its potential.
India's Nepal policy has been a failure, with anti-India sentiment on the rise in Kathmandu. It does not seem as if the problems in Nepal lend themselves to easy and quick solutions. Nor does India know what it can do to resolve issues that are essentially internal.
On Pakistan, the Indian government's flip-flops are inexplicable. And in Afghanistan, with Pakistan once again playing a role in facilitating a dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban, India once again is in danger of being marginalised.
With Bangladesh, there has been a remarkable improvement in ties. With Sheikh Hasina's Awami League in power, the Land Boundary Agreement has been ratified and operationalized with the exchange of 162 enclaves in all; a $2 billion credit line has been extended to Dhaka by New Delhi; and energy cooperation, infrastructure development and connectivity has been enhanced.
With Bhutan and Sri Lanka, the relationship is on an even keel and even as the Maldives goes down a slippery political slope, the relationship with India has not deteriorated.
Watch the video explainer to understand how Modi's flamboyant foreign policy initiatives could have yielded much more.