In the past, we have enumerated the concept of a civilisational state which India is. Well, the mark of a civilisational state is that when it is down, it takes lessons from its history and corrects the mistakes. That is what India has done after PM Modi came into power. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had explicitly credited Krishna Diplomacy for India’s rise on the global stage.
Jaishankar’s Krishna Diplomacy
Recently, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar was in Delhi University to express his views on the book ‘Modi@20: Dreams Meet Delivery’. There he answered questions related to various aspects of India’s Foreign Policy. Jaishankar refused to treat Ukraine crisis as a one-off incident for which India needs to devise a specific policy. India is focussing on preventing more such escalations.
Citing Diplomacy of Shri Krishna as the main source of India’s current Foreign Policy, he said, “India’s position on Ukraine is based on Krishna’s actions in the Mahabharat, which was to avoid war and return to dialogue and diplomacy”. Jaishankar elaborated that the crisis has created various other problems like fuel shortage, fertilizer shortage, and food shortage among others. Modi government does not want its people to face any of those shortages. The government seeks to balance out historical interests, strategic interests and current interests.
Application of Krishna Diplomacy during the Ukrainian crisis
In one speech, Jaishankar gave a full glimpse of India’s policy. He revealed that this policy is based on pragmatism, this policy is best on self interests; this policy is based on preferring national interest over another moral posturing. In short, this policy is based on Diplomacy of Shri Krishna in Mahabharta.
To put Diplomacy of Shri Krishna in the context of the Ukraine war can be summarised in one sentence, “NO FIRST USE OF FORCE” policy. During the time when the tensions between Kauravs and Pandavs were at their all time high, Krishna tries his best to avoid any conflict. Due of him having a vast experience in war, he had seen the consequences the common people have to suffer due to the greed of rulers. So, he went out of his way to avoid conflict. Only when the Kauravs led by Duryodhan did not bother listening to them did he advise the Pandavs to use counterforce. India is currently doing exactly the same thing.
India is balancing out its interests
The Eastern Europe is stuck. Russian aggression on Ukraine is the effect of a trust deficit between Russia and NATO. It has been going on for decades now. Finally, earlier this year, Russia decided to seize control of the Ukrainian Region it calls Russia-Friendly. But, western powers did not try to avoid the conflict. Better to say, western politicians, fuelled by the military-industrial complex, did not want to avoid the conflict.
So, they raked up their offenses against Russia. Be it diplomatic, economic, or even military, Russia was cornered. On the other hand, India keeps trying to bring both parties to the table. PM Modi is in fact one of the few national leaders who has been approached by both Zelensky and Putin for the peacemaking process. Being the pragmatic person he is, PM Modi has not been carried away by it. Currently, India is the only country that has monkey balanced both the USA and its allies and the Russian Federation.
Currently, India is in a position to bring both countries to the diplomatic table and chalk out a solution for peace. But, until the western powers give up arms, it won’t be possible. In that case, the Krishna Diplomacy preaches about giving a counterpunch.
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