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75 years–Foreign policy–The irreversible momentum

WebdeskAug 13, 2021, 09:08 AM IST

75 years–Foreign policy–The irreversible momentum

                                                                                                                                                                       Nirendra Dev

 

Over the last few years, India has improved relationships with key players such as the United States, France, Russia, Japan, Australia, South Korea and neighbouring countries. 

 

New Delhi: A few years back, responding to a debate on foreign policy issues, including the vexed Doklam issue, the then External Affairs Minister Late Sushma Swaraj had said in Rajya Sabha that, while Jawahar Lal Nehru attained ‘high prestige’ for himself, Narendra Modi used foreign policies to attain heightened respect for the country.

 

This perhaps is the story of India’s journey in diplomacy vis-a-vis the country’s first Prime Minister and the incumbent.

 

Even a neutral expert and a well-known name in foreign policy studies, C Raja Mohan, has said that India’s international role has acquired “an irreversible momentum under Narendra Modi.”

 

Many would say in the diplomatic realm, Modi has not disappointed.

 

Rather it was perhaps not expected of a state-level Neta to set the kind of peace and thrust that he has done!

 

Over the last few years, India has improved relationships with key players such as the United States, France, Russia, Japan, Australia, South Korea and neighbouring countries.

 

Of course, India has issues with China and Pakistan, but the root causes of the problems are plenty – some in legacy and the rest in the hands of those players in Beijing and Islamabad.

 

Even with players like Germany and Israel, things have been handled in a much mature manner. In 2017, Modi himself visited Israel to celebrate 25 years of establishment of the Indo-Israel relationship.

 

The bilateral ties were in effect established when Late P V Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister.

 

In India, a section of political class and observers might have taken a jaundiced view and suggested that closer India-Israel ties could jeopardise New Delhi’s relations with Palestine. This is not the true scenario.

 

When Late Sushma Swaraj visited Palestine, the leadership there had urged India to make effective use of good relations with Israel so that peace could be hammered out between Palestine and Israel. With regard to the Arab world, the Modi government has done a fine balancing walk, and the relationship has improved manifold. This is in contrast to apprehensions expressed by a section of the political class that under pro-Hindutva PM Narendra Modi, India’s relations with the Arab world would decline. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, son of the UAE’s founding President and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, for the first time, had come as India’s chief guest for the Republic Day function on January 26, 2017.

 

 

 

The relationships with countries such as Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh also grew closer.

 

Afghanistan is a time tested friend, and India has a very smooth and mutually dependable friendship with the Maldives.

 

And with regard to Sri Lanka too, lately, In a major move, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Mauritius and Seychelles in the Indian Ocean region have come together on a "common maritime security platform," opening a new vista altogether.

 

Prime Minister Modi got a feather in his cap on August 9 when he presided over an Open Debate at UNSC on Maritime Security.

 

Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to do so, and the fact that a formal statement was adopted shows the changing face of India’s prestige overseas.

 

The UNSC has also actively appreciated India’s stance on terrorism. In the wake of the Pulwama attack, it was natural that added pressure was mounted on Pakistan despite ‘objections’ from certain quarters.

 

Among other positive sectors, the International Solar Alliance and Quad are two powerful and influential stages.

These certainly combine to show New Delhi’s growing diplomatic prowess.

 

Experts say if the Nehru era gave India a space for hearing at the global stage, under the Rao-Vajpayee era between 1991 and 2004, it unleashed India's economic power, nuclear potentials and revitalise the approach to the US and also in the extended neighbourhood and ASEAN region.

 

Since 2014, under the Modi-Sushma team and now a strong axis between PM-NSA-Foreign minister axis, it's a New India.

 

Modi has displayed his religiosity and underscored the new civilisational identity.

 

India is now 'reshaping' the global policies - from climate change to terrorism.

 

 

Comments
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Anonymous
on Aug 13 2021 20:47:04

India is lucky to get relief from Nehru-Gandhi family rule because of P.V. Narasimha Rao, Vajpayee and permanently under the ongoing rule of Narendra Mody.

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