3 years of NDA: Modi-fied foreign policy stands India in good stead
As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi completes three years today (May 26), a review of foreign policy suggests that the current dispensation has many hits and achievements. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Modi-fied foreign policy, diplomacy to be more precise, has stood India in good stead globally. Modi’s unconventional diplomacy resulted in India being held in high esteem in the world.
Going by the foreign visits of the Prime Minister over the last three years, it can be said that Modi has been successful to put his views across in accordance with what the subtlety of diplomacy demands. Rather, PM Modi has gone to the extent of establishing new contours of diplomacy which is off-beat and unconventional.
Yes, PM Narendra Modi did foreign policy differently. He has redefined the diplomacy which was hitherto practiced through conventional tracks. Conventional thinking does not seem to be in the dictionary of PM Modi as far as foreign policy is concerned. One is not mistaken if one says that Narendra Modi is a masterful diplomat apart from being a political stalwart. Everybody saw how PM Modi promoted his brand in words and action whenever there was a foreign tour.
Under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, India has learnt the diplomatic art of giving tough message to China. The practice till before Modi came to power has been traditional diplomacy in terms of dealing with China. Before Modi regime, India’s handling of China resulted in the neighbouring country’s activities adding to woes of New Delhi. China continued to be generous with its economic and military aid to Pakistan and pursuing its policy of fomenting troubles for India by extending support to other neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal. But now with PM Modi at the helms, India has come up with a strong and unconventional diplomacy sending out a strong message to Beijing. There is no doubt that China has to be on the back-foot.
India’s recent decision to skip the much-hyped ‘Belt & Road Forum’ (BRF) in Beijing came to be recognised as diplomatic master-stroke by New Delhi. Normally, India has never before publicly confronted China’s hegemonic ambitions in the past. But this time round, the Modi government took a firm stand and boycotted OBOR organised by China. The MEA spokesman clearly stated the reason why India is taking such a stand.
MEA spokesman Gopal Bagley said that India is not participating in it on the basis of sovereignty. In what proved dampener for China, the EU too backed away from a trade statement. India’s strong message to China has not affected business between the two nations. China’s investment in India has gone up, according to experts.
India is focussing on other neighbouring countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in an apparent bid to counter China’s clout in these small nations. According to a report, India has decided to focus on around 20 visible projects for Bangladesh, which will utilise the $4.5 billion in LOC assistance. This is part of India’s strategy of SAARC outreach. The SAARC satellite launched by India was also a key part of country’s space diplomacy for the regional cooperation.
It goes to credit of Modi’s line of diplomacy that a new ‘Link West’ policy is being pursued by India apart from the ‘Act East’ policy. PM Modi is also going to visit Israel which assumes diplomatic significance after his engagement with UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gone ahead with his diplomatic initiatives in an energetic way and tried to derive benefits from security and economic point of view. Everybody would agree that he visited the countries which were neglected by the previous governments.
He visited countries and connected with Indians living abroad hard-selling how a positive change has taken place in New Delhi which is conducive for investments and ease of doing business. He took open positions on issues which were hitherto kept under the wraps on pretext of being diplomatically sensitive. It was under Modi over the three years that the consolidation of challenging relationship with the United States was pursued.
As a result of aggressive diplomacy under Modi’s leadership, the global community has begun to recognise that Pakistan is not doing enough to tackle terrorism. This is not all but the global community also agrees that Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism. Countries from USA, Germany, England, France to Japan, all put pressure on Pakistan to act against terrorism and stop harbouring it which is directed against India from its soil.
PM Modi has motivated the foreign officers of India to pursue rigorously so that India can get membership of coveted Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and permanent seat in United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
It has been noticed how five powerful countries (P5) have supported India’s bid for both the elite groupings. In every meeting top leaders of the world, PM Modi does not miss the opportunity to put his point straight in a forceful manner. The issue of NSG and UNSC are the two key agendas which Midi has taken up on priority and according to MEA sources, India is close to getting the same.
People of India have given mandate to PM Modi for a change. So, accordingly, he is changing India and its policies for better, with foreign policy not being any exception. He has transformed India’s external affairs. India First was the slogan that PM Modi pitched for during his foreign visits over the three years.
On the same line, US President Donald Trump has propagated America first. There is no doubt that PM Modi is being recognised and appreciated on the various global forums. He has been lauded as a statesman who wants to change India’s equations with world on the conditions put by the former. PM Modi’s foreign policy has shown departures from what was an unproductive past.