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What does a rising India mean?

What does a rising India mean?

If the presidency of the G-20 symbolizes India’s growing prominence in global power politics, it is evident that India has indeed emerged as a significant player on the world stage. The successful hosting of the G-20 Summit in New Delhi, under the theme of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’, underscored the profound concept of ‘Vasudhaiva kutumbakam’, which translates to “the world is one family” in Sanskrit, considered the mother of all languages spoken today in the world.      

During the summit, India’s leadership demonstrated its commitment to fostering unity and collaboration among nations. The emphasis on the interconnectedness of all nations and the importance of collective action showcased India’s diplomatic prowess and its role as a bridge between Eastern and Western perspectives. On the global stage, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar have been strongly raising the issues of developing nations, which account for a major share in global politics. 

Prime Minister Modi and Foreign Minister Jaishankar have been instrumental in promoting the values rooted in the Eastern knowledge system, often referred to as ‘orientalism’, on the global stage and within the United Nations (UN). Besides ‘'Vasudhaiva kutumbakam'’, one significant achievement was his leadership in declaring ‘Yoga’, an ancient tradition of physical and mental exercises, as the International Yoga Day, an observance recognized and celebrated annually by the UN. The United Nations had proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, as proposed by PM Modi in his address at the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly in 2014.  It was endorsed by a record 175 member-states.   

Yoga, known for its positive impact on physical and mental well-being, has been embraced worldwide as a valuable tool for promoting holistic health and wellness. Before the concept of a modern state system based on geography, the entire Himalayan region, including the south of the Himalayas, was a very fertile land for knowledge, Yoga, meditation and many other ancient innovations, which modern developed states are following these days. 

Certainly, India faces a range of complex challenges, and PM Modi has not been immune to criticism from the opposition parties. Any country’s domestic situation is purely their issue to resolve. And, in a democracy, parties based on different ideologies share differences and that might take the shape of conflict too. But the most important thing is whether they share enmity or differences on foreign policy, foreign relations and building the international image of their country or not. India has set the tone that despite extreme political polarization, the country has never been divided on issues related to external relations.    

There’s no denying that PM Modi and Foreign Minister Jaishankar have effectively elevated India's international standing and ensured that it is noticed and recognized by major global powers. While foreign policy is often considered an extension of domestic policy and circumstances, Modi has managed to navigate the global stage without getting embroiled in divisive domestic politics. On his part,  Jaishankar has played a major role to elevate the image of India as a key player on the global stage. And, it is Jaishankar, who has shown the way to the Europeans and advised them to change their mentality toward Asia. It is Jaishankar, who has adopted a ‘multi-alignment’ policy, according topmost priority to India’s national interest.  

 Let’s enter into the announcement of India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) and its significance to the world. One achievement made on the sidelines of India’s G-20 Summit was the new initiative to develop a rail and shipping corridor connecting India with Europe via the Middle East with leaders from the US, India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of IMEC.

 IMEC is significant from an infrastructure and connectivity perspective as well as from a geopolitical angle. The project involves two separate corridors—the eastern corridor, which connects India with the Arabian Gulf, and the northern corridor, which connects the Arabian Gulf with Europe. According to the MoU, IMEC is “expected to stimulate economic development through enhanced connectivity and economic integration between Asia, the Arabian Gulf and Europe.” That some of the major Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Israel, the UAE, and Jordan, are part of it makes it noteworthy, especially fro

m a geopolitical perspective. Announcing this on the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), the leaders noted that IMEC will involve rail connectivity, shipping lines, high-speed data cables and energy pipelines. 

IMEC has been perceived as a counter-move of BRI launched by China in 2013. Whether it aims to challenge BRI or not, connectivity is an important precondition for development. New Delhi, which has a vital role to play in IMEC, should be aware that such connectivity projects shouldn’t be used strategically to control the power of China or any other countries. Indian leaders must understand that the future of the world largely depends upon what kind of relations the emerging Asian powers maintain.   

As a neighbor of emerging economies (India and China), Nepal would be happy to embrace the rising significance of them, but it should strongly object to any move from the third countries to destabilize Asia, including the South Asia region.