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US salutes India on global stage

   By Vijay Darda | 21-11-2022

Prime Minister Modi held Indian flag high with his diplomacy and no-nonsense approach at  G20 summit

Vijay Darda

The picture of the US President Joe Biden saluting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 17th summit of G20, a group of 20 powerful and influential countries of the world, is going viral. In fact, this picture is indicative of India’s growing importance on the world stage. No matter who is the President of America, he does not normally salute the head of any other nation. If Biden did this, the whole world is taking it as a new sign. In the same summit, the picture of Modiji with French President Emmanuel Macron and Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is enough to show Modiji’s diplomacy and Indian influence. The way in which he met Chinese President Xi Jinping, his message is loud and clear that no country should take India for granted now! Most importantly, the all-powerful US too has praised India’s role at the G20 summit.

Before talking about the role of India, let us first consider what is its importance on the world stage. The foundation of this group was laid in the form of G7, which was formed by America, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and Canada. Later, Russia joined and now it has become a Group of 20 countries. The G20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. The importance of this group can be understood from the fact that about 60 per cent of the world’s population lives in these countries and about 80 per cent of the world’s GDP comes from these countries. Besides, more than 75 per cent of global business is related to these countries. Global investment is also about 80 per cent.

Clearly, it is a matter of pride for India to assume the presidency of such a group. It’s a big deal. Especially when the world is divided into camps and is engaged in the battle of supremacy. There is deep mistrust between the superpowers. China has hurt many countries with economic weapons and its expansionist policies are trying to digest small countries. Russia has attacked Ukraine and the supply chain around the world has been badly affected. Pakistan has become a stronghold of terror and even Biden himself has said this openly. It is natural that countries like China and Pakistan must be wondering why the G20 presidency has come to India and what will be India’s stand.

India has made its stand clear during the summit that it does not follow any camp and believes in the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. During the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting in September last, Narendra Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin that this is not the time for war. The same thing was repeated again and it was also recorded in the declaration of G20. At this summit, Modiji clearly said that India will make this organisation beneficial for global welfare. In fact, today India is in such a situation that when on one hand it talks clearly with America, it does not refrain from pointing fingers at the mistakes of its old friend Russia. However, the presidency of the G20 is not a bed of roses. In the present circumstances, it is definitely a crown of thorns, but Modiji’s diplomacy is such that he establishes the most comfortable relationship with one and all. Sometimes, he hugs someone, sometimes he pats someone else’s back. His style is full of self-respect. It is obvious that this self-respect belongs to India.

As of now, the way Modiji has kept India away from camps, it reminds me of the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. India had newly become independent. It might have been weak but instead of going with any camp, Panditji opted for the path of non-alignment. Panditji laid the foundation of the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM).  Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee walked on the same path and now Narendra Modi is successfully taking it forward.

India will officially assume the G20 presidency on December 1. Next year’s conference will be under the presidency of India. Meanwhile, the outline of 200 programmes has already been prepared. Introducing its inclusive approach, India has invited Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE as guest countries for the 2023 summit. It is evident that this is also a big opportunity for India. The credibility that would be earned by successfully assuming the presidency of the G20 would also help it attract international investors. It will be easier for our businessmen and industrialists to operate across the globe. It will pave a new path for our youth from education to skill development.

I have written earlier also that by 2050, India will develop into the second largest economic power in the world. The increasingly active role being played by India is indicating the same thing. Let’s hope, it is so! This whole exercise is about the economic betterment of the common man. And I will keep you informed about it from time to time.

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