By Vijay Darda | 10-07-2017
India is shaping its foreign policy in such a manner that it should also be in the driver’s seat..!
If we look at India in terms of population, then one sixth part of the world resides in India. As a consumer market, India is one of the fastest growing countries. In space science, it is rapidly climbing its peak. In every sense, India is in such a position today that it can not be ignored and naturally this position has not been attained overnight. When we became free, our country was called the land of snake charmers, but it has been good fortune of ours that we got one visionary leader after another who put India on the world map. These great leaders include from India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee and now Narendra Modi. The foreign policy of all of them was such that India started emerging as a force rapidly.
There is a huge difference in circumstances during the tenures of the other Prime Ministers and Narendra Modi. Earlier the world lived in the era of the Cold War. Either be with America or with Soviet Russia. In that period Nehruji strengthened the principle of non-alignment and his decision gave an opportunity to move Indian foreign policy in a free way. However, despite this non-alignment, we actually moved closer to Russia. Russia has also played a great role in friendship. It has always been in the role of a true friend for us. We have never been directly opposed to America, but America has never treated us as its friend.
Now the circumstances are changing rapidly. Our engagement with America is increasing. The reason for this is not that America has suddenly started favouring us. The reason for this is that America is no longer the only power in the world. The weakness of Europe and Russia’s renewed assertion under Putin’s leadership and China’s rapid emergence have worried the US. Under the circumstances, India is seen as a support which is also an emerging power and the world’s big market too! India also needs the US to curb the growing influence of China. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not let this opportunity slip through. He forgot the bitter episode that once the US had refused to grant him a visa. He extended a hand of friendship to America. This is the identity of a successful politician that he does not let personal grouse stand in the interest of the country. He went to the US and came out with a smile.
Although before becoming Prime Minister, he had no experience of foreign affairs, he never felt this shortcoming. By inviting the heads of the SAARC countries to his oath-taking ceremony, he gave a big message. Actually, he avoided collision with any country so that he can give new direction to the relations. However, where he has to express his resentment, he expresses it with great passion. For instance, on one hand, he reached Pakistan without calling Nawaz Sharif, and on the other, he did not look at Nawaz at the inaugural function of the SAARC summit. For, that day was a sad reminder of the Mumbai terrorist attack, but the next day he extended his hand to Nawaz. His message was clear!
Now look at the latest events. At present, the Chinese and Indian armies are face-to-face on the border. China is constantly threatening but Modi did not respond to it. They were waiting for the meeting of the BRICS. There, he joined hands with China’s President Jinping and the circumstances emerged in such a way that both of them praised each other from the forum! Modi knows how to respond to the neighbours’ activities with diplomatic skills. Moreover, Jinping knows that India will not give in to China’s ambitions under any circumstances. How can Jinping forget that only last year India, Japan and America conducted joint war drill in the South China Sea! It was a direct threat to China! Modi is working closely with the US, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia, which are upset with China’s policies. This is a big diplomatic victory.
In addition to strengthening relations with the Europe, Africa and Latin America, India has shown an attitude of accommodation to those countries which were generally neglected in the Indian perspective. Last year, the members of the Modi cabinet visited such 68 countries. Of course, the benefits of these visits have accrued to India.
Indeed, India is currently claiming its real place in the world. India has conveyed the message to the world that now onwards India’s role is not only of the country whose people believe in the rules but it also has the capacity of joining the rule makers’ group. India has taken a different stand. On one hand, we are pushing our friendship with the Arab countries from where we need oil and on the other, there is friendship with Israel, from which we are getting better supplies of weapons and hope to get new technology. We have built bridges with Iran to encompass Pakistan. Building friendship with Iran, Arab countries and Israel at the same time is an amazing feat and Narendra Modi has done it.
India knows that the world will not go forward without Indian support and its voice is as important. Now the voice of India is very effective in the WTO and India is also a member of the G-20 and East Asia Summit. The time is not far when India will join the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and also become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Indeed, the world knows that India has the potential to become the natural leader of South Asia. We are moving forward to achieve this prime position. In the globalised world, India is fast emerging as a shining star!
Before I conclude…
If your thinking is unique and there is dedication to go through with some technique, then nothing is impossible. This has been proved by Shraddha Minj of Ranchi and her friend Sanjay Murmu. Both are tribals. Shraddha is studying veterinary science but is proficient in mathematics. Last year when a company gave them free internet, their talent came out. They uploaded the first video to teach mathematics in Hindi to three and a half lakh people. One of their videos has been seen by 35 lakh people. Their viewers are spread across 208 countries of the world. I salute this initiative of Shraddha and Sanjay.