Impact of Domestic Policies on International Relations
In the 77th UNGA session which was delivered by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar was applauded for the professionalism and precision.
However, his articulation of some areas of the Modi government’s domestic agenda raises several deeply troubling questions.
What was in the address?
Mr. Jaishankar said, “They are regenerating a society pillaged by centuries of foreign invasions and colonialism.”
He praised the “determination, inventiveness, and enterprise of millions of ordinary Indians.”
He made a clear distinction between “centuries of foreign attacks” and “colonialism” in his concept.
Many in the Assembly room may have been perplexed by the distinction Mr. Jaishankar was making between the two since they are unaware of the severe ideological battles happening in modern-day India.
But those who adhere to the ideologies that divide India now would have understood the distinction he was making.
Mr. Jaishankar stated that the democratic environment in which India is being revitalised is “reflected in more honest voices and grounded leadership.”
This is also depressing, if not insulting, representation of the decisions made by Indian voters from the first election in 1951–1952.
He evidently ignored the fact that adult franchise was introduced by the Indian Republic and that authority was solely vested in the representatives chosen by the populace.
Challenges for India in the International Arena:
What is more unsettling is the idea that India’s reputation as a pioneer and leader in the global decolonization movement in the 1950s and 1960s is compromised by the “freedom from a colonial mindset.”
It is impossible to deny that Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were heroes to the anti-colonial leadership in many countries in Africa and elsewhere, despite what their critics may think of them (and there is much in their political and governance records that is deserving of criticism, if not condemnation).
India has reason to be proud of its contribution to the decolonization of the world following World War II.