It is always a pleasure to hear External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar speak. And when the Minister spoke in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, he was quite forthcoming in his opinion regarding how Indian diplomacy should work. In fact, he went as far as taking a dig at the former Defence Minister’s 6-hour long speech at the United Nations.
Dr. S. Jaishankar has made two major observations-
- India should follow its national interest; and
- India should stop giving So, there will be no lengthy explanations and silently follow its goals.
India is not concerned about giving ‘Gyan’
Dr. S. Jaishankar gave a speech in the Lok Sabha during the debate on Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022.
On a side note, Dr. Jaishankar also addressed the concerns of fellow members about India’s diplomacy being passive. That was clearly a political remark and Jaishankar was quick to shoot it down. He said, “PM Modi spoke to Russia and Ukraine presidents. The fight is between them. Who else will he then speak to? PM Modi spoke to the relevant parties. Maybe, doing the relevant thing looks irrelevant to other people.”
The Minister made it clear that India shouldn’t be concerned about ‘giving gyan‘ about foreign policy to others in the world. It should rather look at its own national interest, play its role and make its contribution.
India’s diplomacy is very focused
In the speech S Jaishankar also made it clear that Indian diplomacy is pinpointed and focused. In a subtle dig at China, Jaishankar spoke about India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The Minister said, “There is a reason, and many of you are aware of why that consensus is not there. There are countries that genuinely have concerns that they are willing to debate; there are countries that seem to have another agenda and are creating blocks to the consensus. So, it is something that we are working on.”
And this is what India has been doing with its stand on issues like Pakistan-exported terrorism in Kashmir, the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), and Chinese bullying.
“I can say in 6 minutes….”
In his speech S Jaishankar also made a reference to former Defence Minister VK Krishna Menon, as his name and long speeches were mentioned in the Parliament.
The External Affairs Minister Jaishankar said, “Krishna Menon is known for giving the world’s longest speech in the United Nations. I assure you I can say the same in 6 minutes. Today, we should be less concerned about giving gyaan to the world.”
Now, for many in India’s left-dominated intelligentsia, Jaishankar’s remarks may have come as a bolt from the blue. The left-liberal ecosystem has celebrated the likes of VK Krishna Menon as ace diplomats for several decades now and his six-hour speech is cherished as a landmark moment.
However, what Dr. S. Jaishankar said sets a new template in Indian diplomacy. He has made it clear that India will go about pursuing its interests, without caring much for detractors. India is not going to give long speeches and explanations on global platforms. This is the new India that understands how to achieve its geopolitical and diplomatic goals, and its arrival has been announced by none other than External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar himself.