-Dr. S Jaishankar
Having an appropriate foreign policy is a matter of great importance to any nation, because it has to show dynamism with the changing world scenario, keeping the basic principles intact. It is note-worthy that the entire humanity has seen the biggest ever challenge to tackle after the WW-II, i.e the pandemic caused by Covid-19 virus, then the Russia-Ukraine crisis, U.S army leaving Afghanistan etc.
Since India gained independence, the world has changed beyond recognition. After 75 years of independence, India is a young state and a very old nation. In today`s highly dynamic world, India faces the challenge of defining its foreign policy and shaping the curves of its engagement to balance the national interest with moral values. In recent times we have seen that the basis of India’s foreign policy being ‘India First or Nation First’.
In last few years, India had to experience boarder issues with China, due to which the relationship between the two countries have been mostly strained. Then surgical strikes in POK and abrogation of special status of the state of Jammu & Kashmir were matters of discussion for the rest of the world.
India, especially the Ministry of External Affairs and the minister Dr. S Jaishankar, who is a diplomat turned politician has had a very strong position as far as positioning ‘Brand India’ in front of the world. Dr. Jaishankar has earned great respect in and outside India particularly for projecting India’s views very clearly on the international aspects and matters related to India’s relations with others.
India, being the fifth or sixth largest economy of the world, having the one-fifth population of the world is very much capable of taking its own decisions and having its own side i.e not going to any other axis. When asked about purchasing Russian oil, which might be about funding the war, Dr. Jaishankar clearly stated about getting the best deal for its own people and when the west or the U.S purchases natural gas from Russia, is it not funding the war?
He argued in international forums that why Europe and the U.S does not allow Iranian oil and oil from Venezuela open for all? When he was asked that why Europe should trust India regarding its relations with China, as India has not supported the west against Russia, the minister famously mentioned that the European Union in general had been silent for many issues in Asia in the past and it has to come out of the mindset that Europe’s problems are world’s problems and world’s problems are not Europe’s problems.
In recent years, India has made bold decisions in terms of Indo-Sino relations and India feels that it is very much capable of handling these challenges. Importantly, this has nothing to do with the on-going Russia-Ukraine crisis, because the border disputes with China are many decades old.
This seems that India has really changed its gears, not fearing the sanctions by the west. It tells the world that India is entitled to have its own ways, taking into account its own national interests and there must be a balance between values and interests. This means that though India believes in “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family) but it will not disregard its own national interests as far as the foreign policy is concerned.
Writer: Editor, India; Bahumatrik.com