ISSN 2330-717X

World Crystal-Gazing India – OpEd

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Indiaonce considered the land of snake charmers, rope tricks and poverty has turned around its image to emerge as the land of opportunities and leaders. Indian origin figures are leading the way to lay down the tale of successes around the world.Previously India was often tempted to limit its relationship with the US and Europe for fear of offending friend Moscow or instigate Beijing. This was done either in the name of ideology or the fear that there will be unpleasant consequences in relations with Russia and China. The Modi government has broken out of that defensive mindset by putting national interests above all.

The world is watching India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s independent foreign policy with interest as he leads the world’s fifth largest economy. The Ukraine war the Russia- Ukraine conflict has given India an opportunity to showcase its independent foreign policy to influence the international order. Indian ministers are seen to speak and back up India’s independent foreign policy on various world forums with confidence and conviction.

Foreign leaders in the past have been critical of India’s foreign policy and have been averse to praising Indian policies. Since the beginning of the Russia- Ukraine conflict most world leaders friendly or otherwise have showered compliments on India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s independent foreign policy and his stand on various issues.

China

Global Times the CCP mouth piece acknowledges India’s increasingly important and unique role amid the current bloc confrontation. India sees the big powers’ game as an opportunity for its strategic rise. India is the only member of the Quad that has not joined the US in sanctioning Russia or blaming it for the conflict with Ukraine.

India’s participation in BRICS and the SCO is unique as India is the only member that is also member of the US-led Quad and is regularly invited to G7 summits. This policy of course, has been criticized by many. However, this strategy has sustained so far and it represents India’s essential civilizational character of seeking “unity in diversity” as acceptance grows of India’s independent foreign policy. Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that “India has always stressed independence and autonomy in its diplomacy and strategy, so it has always been open to joining different international organizations to maximize its own interests.” 

Russia

President Putin hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi  for pursuing an independent foreign policy despite while speaking at a plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club, a Moscow-based think-tank as a “True Patriot”, while asserting that the “Future belongs to India”. PM Modi is one of those people in the world who is able to pursue an independent foreign policy in the interest of his country, and his people despite any attempts to stop him.” Russia, though has not been too happy with India’s deepening ties with the US, but Putin does recognise those compulsions. 

Prime Minister Modi  told Putin that “It is not an era of war.”President Putin  to Prime Minister Modi  “I know about your position on the conflict in Ukraine, and I know about your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the opposing side  leadership of Ukraine, … wants to achieve its goals by military means, as they say, ‘On the battlefield’.”

United States of America

US President Joe Biden congratulated India on 75 years of independence and said the US and India were “Indispensable Partners and the US-India Strategic Partnership is grounded in our shared commitment to the rule of law and the promotion of human freedom and dignity and would continue to work together to address global challenges in the years ahead.” Biden also said his country’s Indian-American community had made the United States a more innovative, inclusive, and stronger nation. However, the US resents India’s independent foreign policy stance especially on account of its stand on the  Ukraine conflict, India’s close engagement with Russia and relations with China. 

Ukraine

Ukrainian Ambassador Igor Polikha had earlier urged Indian Prime Minister Modi to intervene to de-escalate the Ukrainian crisis by pursuing diplomacy with President Putin and help Ukraine as  India is an influential global player and for many years, was the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement. At present, we are pleading for political assistance from India. Modi ji is one of the most powerful leaders of the world and has a special partnership with Russia…I don’t know how many world leaders Putin would pay heed to, but due to the rapport Modi ji shares, I am hopeful that the Russian President would at least consider his words. We are expecting a much more favourable attitude from the Indian government.” 

Others

UAE’s minister for artificial intelligence, Omar Sultan Al Olama, praised External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s stewardship of Indian diplomacy for deftly navigating the recent geopolitical headwinds. 

Pakistan’s former  Prime Minister  Imran Khan has commended India’s foreign policy. 

India believes in “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” is a Sanskrit phrase which means; “The world is one family.” Many peace lovers are wondering can India the land of Buddha and Gandhi broker peace between the two conflicting sides Russia and Ukraine.Modi is the one and only one world leader who speaks to both the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine. This conflict has unsettled the entire world economy and disturbed the global geopolitics.

India is accused by some for this independent foreign policy. India is pursuing mutual relations, with each on its own merit. Delhi does not let the US or for that matter any other power to define how India’s relations should be with others. 

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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