- Shashi Tharoor has come out all guns blazing against the Modi government’s diplomacy
- He believes that India should have criticised its time-tested ally in clear and distinct terms
- It’s sad that a diplomat like Tharoor has failed to understand the deliberately blurred line of India’s support to Russia
Once a career diplomat, Shashi Tharoor now seems to have dedicated himself to a political cause, forgetting all diplomatic instincts. This can be the only reason why he has not noticed that India has already taken a side in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Shashi Tharoor criticizes Modi Government
On March 8, Shashi Tharoor wrote an incredibly analytical article about India’s dilemma (according to him) in the ongoing crisis. He started the article by opining that the fight for land in Eastern Europe has exposed India’s position in key issues of strategic diplomacy.
Tharoor seemed to be critical of India’s abstention in United Nations votes, Security Council, the General Assembly, and the Human Rights Council. Tharoor asserted that Russia is a clear aggressor in the conflict, while Ukraine is the victim. According to Tharoor, India should have deplored Russia and objected to the soviet nation declaring the independence of separatist states in Ukraine.
Read more: With back-to-back abstaining at the UN, India has sent a very strong message to the world
Tharoor missed the basic tenant of diplomacy
The Congress MP also pointed out that India’s calling for peace in Europe is in vain. Instead, he seems to suggest that clear and distinct language of criticism against Putin should have emanated from Indian diplomatic channels.
However, Tharoor seems to forget that in diplomacy, covert communication is more effective than overt ones. India’s abstention to vote is more of a friendly gesture to Russia than a neutral stand.
Russia: An ally which India can rely on
Russia is a time-tested ally of India. We have started to forget the number of times when it assisted India when the west was hell-bent on helping a terrorist nation like Pakistan against us. The soviet nation had once vetoed the Kashmir issue in support of India. When the whole west had abandoned India in 1971, it was the soviet nation that acted as a buffer against them.
Read more: 6 times Russia used Veto to save India at the UN
On the other hand, for a major part of our existence as an independent nation, we have needed Russians more than the other way around. Even to this date, when we are building up our indigenous defence manufacturing, Russia remains one of the biggest arms suppliers to India, as Tharoor pointed out in his article.
India’s neutrality is India’s support to Russia
Russia already had lots of allies like China before the Ukraine war. But, akin to their nature of ditching allies, China abandoned Russia in UNSC and abstained from voting on the resolution, thereby abandoning its so-called ally. The backstabbing by China came at the time when the whole of the West had left Russia isolated at the international stage.
Deep down, Russia was expecting everyone to vote against the act of violence in Ukraine. At that time, India said that it will not vote either in favour or against Russia. India repeated it at more supranational stages. Now, Russia also knows that in the event of western sanctions, it needs to expand its consumer market, and after China, there is no bigger consumer market than India in the world.
But, owing to China abandoning it, Kremlin would be reluctant to trust China for further ties. But India, on the other hand, through its abstention, signalled that it is ready for more economic cooperation with Russia in the event of sanctions.
Read more: So basically, its India and India alone that can stop the Russia-Ukraine war
Shashi Tharoor has served in multiple roles at the United Nations. He must be well aware of the nitty and gritty of diplomacy. Sadly, he failed to realise that India’s ‘Neutrality’ is actually India’s support for Russia.