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De-hyphenation of India and Pakistan: An Empirical Assessment


The objective of this study is to empirically examine the success of the India-Pakistan de-hyphenation strategy adopted by the Indian government since mid-2014. Ever since gaining independence, India and Pakistan have been viewed as one bloc premised on a shared history, common culture, and a longstanding rivalry centered on Kashmir. Western nations, especially the US, adopted this stance as their foreign policy towards South Asia, and occasional attempts by the Indian State to geopolitically delink itself from Pakistan remained largely unsuccessful. In the wake of the BJP-led government taking charge in mid-2014, the Indian state introduced targeted policies and programs to alter the equation vis-à-vis Pakistan. This involved establishing India as a legitimate global power rather than a regional player in the South Asian geopolitical arena and publicly calling out and exposing Pakistan for its role in promoting terrorism. The present paper evaluates whether such policies have succeeded in de-hyphenating the India-Pakistan dyad in terms of media representation. Data from Google Trends was utilized, with the sample being bifurcated into two samples centered on mid-2014. A Welch's t-test was conducted to ascertain if there were statistically significant differences between the two periods. Results indicate that there has been a statistically significant decline in India-Pakistan hyphenated searches after mid-2014 which lends support to the claim that the de-hyphenation policy adopted by the Indian State has been successful.

Keywords: India-Pakistan de-hyphenation, media representation, foreign policy, Google Trends, public opinion

Cite Article (APA):

Mukhopadhyay, S. (2023). De-hyphenation of India and Pakistan: An Empirical Assessment. International Journal of Political Science and Governance, 6(1), 230-234.

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