Geography has placed India front and centre in South Asia. She is the only country with land or maritime borders with every state in the subcontinent. All South Asian states have either been a part of or enjoyed the closest of ethno-cultural, religious, and linguistic bonds with India.
India is the net security provider in the region except for Pakistan. Notwithstanding resource constraints and limitations in project delivery, India has been instrumental in fostering economic and infrastructure development in neighbouring countries, especially Nepal and Bhutan.
More often than not, our neighbours are critical of India, accuse her of arrogance and interference, seek external balancers and occasionally, even ignore her security concerns.
During the Cold War, they tried to involve the western powers and, of late, have been vigorously courting China. They are not bashful about playing outside powers against India.