With events in India’s diplomatic circles reaching a silent crescendo (seems like an oxymoron..but that’s how cloak-and-dagger it is), India’s quest for a permanent seat at the security council has reached a new sense of urgency.
Is this all that necessary?
For one, since the United States crippled the status of the new members, by refusing to grant them the veto privelege, the G-4 (as India, Japan, Brazil and Germany are known) have accepted fool’s gold. As it stands now, of the G-4 countries India is the one country that can provide a security, economic and political counterbalance to the Chinese influence in the South-Asian region. Japan - being dependent on the US for its security, Germany - which had better resolve the EU constitutional crisis before flailing elsewhere, Brazil - a relative newcomer to global political innuendoes are not going to stand as an effective counterbalance to the sphere of Chinese influence.
Though China recognises that, in light of increasing Indo-US ties (helped in no small part by the highly influential expatriate Indian caucus in the US), it had better maintain growing trade and economic ties with India. Similarly, we recognise the need to forge strong economic bonds with China and the ASEAN.
As it stands, India is the country which has consistently opposed the United States on issues that appear to be skewed - be it the CTBT, patent reforms and Iraq. As the only democratic rising power in the Asian region, it has the potential (as yet to be exercised - a case in note would be our silence to the Taiwan issue, with whom we still do not diplomatic ties) to chill the fire of the Dragon’s breath.
However, it is moot whether or not a permanent seat can help in doing this. A permanent seat is a recognition of power, rather than a seal of approval to exercise it. Can India, which has not opposed China on many issues (other than the venerable Dalai Lama), can do what it could not earlier? I believe that a permanent seat without the veto option is just a permanent seat-warmer with the option to talk out loud.
For me, I think the Indian govt. should pursue the idea of the Ruan - a unified currency for south-asia along with creation of a Free Trade Area (a’la EU). That would be much more effective than a frikking permanent seat.