Some conclusions which can be immediately drawn from the unfolding events in the Arab world are as follows:-
- The area will remain destabilized over an extended period.
- There will be long disputes over new political structures and methods of governance. Democracy’s chances appear slim.
- Polity will get polarized with religious conservatism gaining an upper hand.
- As Al Qaeda has made significant inroads and anti US and anti West sentiments predominate, a slide towards Islamism seems unavoidable in the long run.
- The dominant strand of such an Islamism will be Sunni. Shia-Sunni chasm will widen.
- Resultantly, religious extremism will grow which in turn will fuel radicalization and Jehadism.
- At the wider international level Arab countries of the region may constitute themselves into a bloc against the western world.
- Energy will become more expensive.
India will need to keep an eagle’s eye on the developing scenarios in the Arab world. While its own energy security will perhaps remain the prime concern, it will also need to insulate itself against the influences of a possibly growing Islamic resurgence in West Asia and North Africa.