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We have already surpassed UK & France in terms of GDP, making India the 5th largest economy on the planet. And most countries which are part of the Commonwealth were British colonies, which makes it even more awful for India to stay in the Commonwealth because we are no longer under the shadow of UK.

Setting the emotional tone aside, the Commonwealth doesn't benefit India much either financially or doesn't give any other kind of benefits to Indian citizens or students in the UK. The Commonwealth isn't like UNDP or EU or NATO, so why doesn't India leave?

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    What does India win by leaving the Commonwealth? – Thern Jan 18 '18 at 16:09
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    @Nebr As international politics is all about public perception - India actually has more to gain by leaving the commonwealth as commonwealth has less to do with democratic nations and more to do with nations who were formerly colonized by UK and represents a disdained look towards nations which were formerly colonized - It's not a symbol of freedom , it's a symbol of oppression and leaving commonwealth is a symbol that we have outgrown our former colonial masters and we don't need their support anymore as we are a bigger economic power than UK. – user17709 Mar 8 '18 at 13:00
  • "[India] is a bigger economic power than UK", by what measure? – Gramatik Mar 9 '18 at 21:31
  • @Gramatik by GDP OR PPP or by any other economic measure . BY Purchasing Power Parity , India is the world's 3rd largest economy and by GDP India is the world's 5th largest economy and UK, France are trailing behind India in terms of GDP. India was able to cross UK's GDP one year earlier than expected because of decline in growth of UK's economy because of brexit. India even has greater forex reserve than UK. – user17709 Mar 10 '18 at 10:29
  • Related: Why are so many countries still in the Commonwealth?. – JJJ Jul 26 '19 at 20:46
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To follow your argument to its logical conclusion, why didn't Britain leave the Commonwealth? It has a much larger GDP than most other Commonwealth nations. Britain gains by having a top position in an international club. By remaining in the Commonwealth, India has a leadership position in a worldwide organisation.

The purpose of the Commonwealth is to advance international cooperation, social and economic development and good governance among its members.

As India grows and develops, it can move to being a leader in these areas. There are many members of the Commonwealth that have a lower GDP than India. They look to India for support and leadership. India, therefore, gains by having a good relationship with a variety of countries, from a position of strength.

There is also the symbolism. Being in the Commonwealth is a statement that democracy and the rule of law are important in India. Leaving the Commonwealth would be a symbol of the opposite. These symbols matter. It is part of how India represents itself on the world stage.

Meanwhile India's GDP per capita is still a long way below the European average. India benefits directly from the economic ties with wealthy nations, and leaving the Commonwealth would disenfranchise millions of Indians living as Commonwealth Citizens, stopping them from voting in the UK and other countries that allow Commonwealth citizens the vote. Commonwealth citizens can benefit from consular support at British Embassies. And there is also the Commonwealth Games.

The actual benefits of membership are fairly marginal. Pakistan didn't seem to be hurt much when its membership was suspended. Fiji likewise. But one has to ask, "What would India gain?"

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  • As international politics is all about public perception - India actually has more to gain by leaving the commonwealth as commonwealth has less to do with democratic nations and more to do with nations who were formerly colonized by UK and represents a disdained look towards nations which were formerly colonized - It's not a symbol of freedom , it's a symbol of oppression and leaving commonwealth is a symbol that we have outgrown our former colonial masters and we don't need their support anymore as we are a bigger economic power than UK. – user17709 Mar 8 '18 at 12:59
  • @AashishLoknathPanigrahi Then why doesn't India leave the commonwealth? – James K Mar 8 '18 at 13:26
  • This is exactly the title of my question - Why doesn't India leaves the commonwealth. – user17709 Mar 8 '18 at 13:42
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    That is the point! The very fact that India doesn't leave shows that the current Government does not agree with your analysis: The India government thinks that India actually has more to gain by remaining in the Commonwealth. There is no evidence that India has tried to leave, but been prevented from doing so. – James K Mar 8 '18 at 13:46
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@JamesK in his answer states the benefits of staying in the Commonwealth without addressing the obvious other side of the coin and rather asks it as a rhetorical question: 'What would India gain?'. While I don't disagree that staying in would have the benefits stated, I do believe that there are benefits in leaving.

The big moves in international politics are mostly about the impressions they make in the grand stage. As a former colony of the British Empire the affiliation with the Commonwealth puts India in the position of an underdog. As long as this remnant of an empire prevails the UK will be seen as the moral leader of the pack. Thus leaving the Commonwealth while keeping and praising the ethical standards it represents should be seen positively internationally.

India itself is a big enough entity to build and keep ties and agreements from a position of strength. There is no doubt about it.

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    " As a former colony of the British Empire the affiliation with the Commonwealth will always put India in the position of an underdog." Why? – user19831 Mar 8 '18 at 12:57
  • @Orangesandlemons India and UK belonged to a club for a long time where the relation between the two was basically exploitation. The rules of the club have changed, but it is clear that UK remains still the leading entity in that club. – Communisty Mar 8 '18 at 13:25
  • In which terms? Even with the most exaggerated argument the UK has far less seniority within it than within say, the UN. – user19831 Mar 8 '18 at 14:39
  • I wasn't comparing the seniority of UK in the UN and in the Commonwealth. – Communisty Mar 8 '18 at 14:50
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    Could you please remove the reference to any other answer and simply write an answer of your own that stands on its own? – CGCampbell Mar 8 '18 at 17:21