India has served as a colony of the Britishers. Britishers were the ones who modernised Bharat that was gripped under the clutches of Raj-Shahi. The ‘Goras’ were so kind-hearted that they awarded independence to the poor Indians.
This was the false public discourse before the arrival of Narendra Damodardas Modi. PM Modi brought along a man who could personify his dreams of “looking into the eyes while talking to the world,” especially the West. The man is External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar, who has started giving it back to the West with élan.
Jaishankar shows a mirror to the ‘almighty’ Europe
India’s foreign minister Dr S. Jaishankar is on a four-day trip to Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The man of the moment, EAM S. Jaishankar came down heavily on Europe while speaking at the GlobSec 2022 Bratislava forum on Friday.
While speaking at the interactive conference, Jaishankar slammed Europe for constantly criticising India’s decision to buy Russian oil. Not only this, but he also questioned the West’s decision to not lift the sanctions on Iranian and Venezuelan oil. Jaishankar thrashed Europe’s colonial hangover and pointed out Europe’s mindset of it being the almighty.
Alluding to India’s stand on the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Jaishankar remarked that India does not make foreign policy choices that are “cynical or transactional” in nature.
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“India is not funding the crisis,” Jaishankar makes it clear
All eyes are on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the war has adversely affected the trade around the globe. World trade today has become complicated as most of the nations have picked sides, the main debate is around oil and gas. The resources that all nations need, and the ones who have picked sides are criticising others who haven’t. The West comes in this category.
The situation is not simply black and white and contains a lot of grey areas. EAM Jaishankar pointed them out well at the Bratislava forum. Jaishankar made it clear that Europe must not see India’s decision of importing Russian oil through a political lens.
Responding to India’s role in funding the Russian invasion of Ukraine by buying Russian oil, Jaishankar asked, “Is buying Russian gas not funding the war?” He further added, “It’s only Indian money and oil coming from India that funds it, but not the gas coming to Europe?”
He exposed the West’s agenda of squeezing every other source of oil and remarked that “If countries in Europe and the West and the US are so concerned, why don’t they allow Iranian and Venezuelan oil to come to the market.”
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India is not sitting on the fence
The West has a habit of flashing the China card to get India on their side by hook or by crook. Jaishankar gave a much-needed lesson on India’s foreign policy to Europe. Jaishankar came down heavily on Europe and said that being the 5th or 6th economy of the world, “India is capable of managing its difficult relationship with China.”
While criticising Europe, he marked Europe’s silence on the issue concerning Asia and pronounced how India condemned the Bucha killings. Establishing India’s stand he said, “If I get global understanding and support, obviously it will also help me. But this idea that I do a transaction, I come in conflict one because it will help in conflict two, that’s not how the world works.” And made it clear that what is happening between Russia and Ukraine will never happen between India and China.
On the question to join a global power axis, Jaishankar remarked that “India is entitled to make its own choices, which is a balance of values and interests,” reinstating India’s stand on independent foreign policy. Jaishankar made it clear, that India’s foreign policy is not about sitting on the fence, rather India is standing its ground.
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Saying that India has not ignored the crisis that broke out after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Jaishankar reminded Europe that India called for direct telephonic conversation between the heads of Russia and Ukraine.
Europe should come out of its colonial hangover
There was a time when the big powers of Europe controlled a major chunk of the world. And some ‘big’ European countries think they still hold the power to control the narrative of the world.
But the time has come when the European powers should come out of their colonial hangover as they are not the only ‘powers’ of the world, be it politically or economically. This is what Jaishankar pointed out when he said, “Somewhere Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems. That if it is you, it’s yours, if it is me it is ours. I see reflections of that.”
The world cannot be “Euro-centric” as it was in the past. As in today’s multi-polar world groups like the QUAD exists. And there is no denying the fact that the globe needs India.
India had received enough lecturing from the ‘big’ powers about moral grounds, human rights, economics and whatnot, and finally, India is asserting its stand like never before. India has got enough of preaching and is now giving it back to the westerners with élan. India, a nation of 125 crore people as highlighted by PM Modi multiple times doesn’t and will not take unsolicited lectures from the colonisers. The Europeans may find it hard to digest, but they will have to accept the hard fact that gone are the days when India bowed down to the Queen are gone by.
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