Geopolitics, or foreign policy, is a dynamic subject that keeps changing as per the changing geostrategic situation. India, despite claiming to be an independent nation, could only realise its potential after 2014 due to a blockage that has existed since the Nehruvian era.
When asked about India’s foreign policy approach, the Prime Minister, remarking on the change in approach, said that “Na hum duniya se aankh jhuka k baat karenge, na ankh dikha ke baat karenge, hum duniya ki aankh mein aankh mila ke baat karenge,” which meant that we will stand equal to the world. And that seems to be happening aggressively after the inception of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
India will now export its exports
The bilateral ties between India and Russia have grown multifold, especially after the Ukraine crisis. India has stood by its all-weather friend, and it appears that India will be exporting defense products to its biggest exporters.
Russia has recently asked India for aircraft and helicopter spare parts. According to a report by Reuters, Russia has sent a list of more than 500 products to India. The Indian counterpart has also shown interest in narrowing the trade deficit.
Reportedly, Russia aims to import crucial items like landing gear components, fuel systems, communication systems, fire extinguishing systems, life jackets, and aviation tyres for its helicopters and aircraft.
India has emerged as the ultimate benefactor of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, as it appears that Russia has turned towards India due to the West imposed sanctions. Russian fleet is composed of Western-origin passenger jets, and at the current juncture of time, Russia is unable to obtain the necessary products from the international market.
And hence, it has turned to its all-weather friend, India. While India prepares to export defense products to Russia, the move will again add to not only increasing India-Russia bonhomie but also India’s growing global stature.
India and its rise on the global stage
Since India’s independence, India has been persuaded by the two blocs of the world that bifurcated post-World War II. Although Marxist historians may have popularised the Nehruvian model of non-alignment, it is a well-known fact that India kept swinging between both blocs and could never actually build a group of countries that could actually align with India’s interests.
However, with the inception of the Narendra Modi government, India’s foreign policy changed drastically, and the centre not only took a practical approach but also went on to establish an “India Pole,” which gained momentum after the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
India has now become an advocate for the third world, which was visible in the recently concluded WTO (World Trade Organization) Summit and at the G20 presidency.
India’s rise is complemented by defence exports
Be it the G7 meeting, the QUAD, the I2U2, or the superior platforms like the UNGA or the UNSC, India has maintained its independent stance. India not only refused to submit before the self-acclaimed global superpowers but also prioritised its own national interests. What has complemented India’s rise is its growing independence in the defense sector.
For the unversed, just 5–6 years ago, India was the second biggest defence importer in the world, thus putting a huge burden on our defence imports. Then, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India not only diversified its defence imports but also focused exclusively on the defense sector under the “Make in India” initiative.
Along with Make in India, the government introduced a detailed “Defense Production and Export Promotion Policy” in 2020. It envisaged achieving a turnover of Rs 1,75,000 crore by 2025, including Rs 35,000 crore in exports of aerospace and defense goods.
All this can be seen as complementing India’s rise on the global stage. Further, India exporting to one of the bloc leaders, namely Russia, will further strengthen India’s voice on the global stage.
For the ones who think this will be our first time exporting to Russia, India already produces and exports F-16 fighter aircraft to the United States of America. The increase in defense exports speaks volumes about the world’s reliance on India.
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