10 months have passed since the first Russian bullet landed in Ukrainian territory. Questions do not seem to stop. Interestingly, India has been at the receiving end of most of these questions. It is the Journalists posing these questions again and again. But neither Russia, nor Ukraine ever utter a word against India.
India played a key role in Ukraine-Russia crisis
One could understand the reason for Russia not asking India for explicit support. India has been buying its oil and indirectly helping Russia to crank up its revenue. However, the puzzling question is why Ukraine would not speak against India?
Turns out, Ukraine has also benefited from India during the war too. One of the main reasons why Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is safe is because India jumped in to defuse the tension around it. Similarly, India also played a key part in chalking out a grain deal between Ukraine and Russia.
The deal allowed Ukraine to send out millions of tonnes of wheat, maize and other grains from Ukraine. Thanks to this deal, between August and October, Ukraine exported around 9.3 million tonnes of grains. It helped the war-torn nation offset its $6 billion revenue loss to a certain extent.
The remarkable thing is that India played its part in a quiet way. It did not thump its chest around like Americans have been doing by parading Zelenskyy in their Congress. The world got to know about India’s role not when America or any of its friends tried to irk us. The information was laid down by EAM Jaishankar in a carefree fashion in Austria.
He said this to ‘Die Press’ newspaper and calmly moved on to tackle other questions. When asked about the credit for mediation, Jaishankar replied, “No. But it’s not a question of who gets the credit as mediator and makes the headlines for it.”
That is some graciousness on the part of a country which has been at the receiving end of the West’s hate for having an independent foreign policy. After Ukraine and Russia, if there is one country which has been the centre of the crisis, it is India.
When the war kicked off, the western bloc expected India to take their side. However, India decided to have its independent foreign policy, which was obviously not acceptable for the west. They still view India from a lens of supremacy. Their impulsive reaction about India’s neutral stance was filled with hypocrisy and explicit cognitive bias.
India’s abstention at the multilateral forums like UNGA, UNSC and IAEA among others sent Ukraine lobby in a jiffy. Americans came after us with their age-old tactics of showing India having poor human rights and minority records.
India was threatened of no support when China would launch a similar offensive against us. Side-by-side, west’s support for Pakistan, a broken country inimical to India grew. Even Kashmir was used to threaten India. Age old narrative of “Kashmir issue can only be solved through UN mediation” was pushed.
India dealt with abuse without any complaints
India calmly dealt with all of it. EAM Jaishankar became a rockstar all over the world, simply for the sake of representing India’s cause in a nonchalant fashion.
On China’s question he effectively told the west that India does not need them. In Pakistan’s issue, he reminded them of their past support for the military nation. For buying Russian oil, he informed the wilfully ignorant western media that inflation and hunger is not only a western phenomenon.
The new generation of westerners is now learning from Jaishankar about the hollow claims of their leaders to end the global hunger crisis. Other ministers including former diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri also took the charge. On CNN, he told a large section of the global population that the Indian government does not interfere with the independent choices made by Indian companies.
While all this was going on, Russia and Ukraine did not criticise India. Even when PM Modi told President Putin that it is not an era of war, he did not object to it. Putin has been talking to PM Modi on phone about the crisis.
Similarly, apart from few and far statements from overenthusiastic juniors in the rank, Ukraine has largely recused itself from criticising India. Like President Putin, Zelenskyy has also been talking to PM Modi over phone.
With their silence, both countries have been vindicating India’s role in the peace process. Now, with the G20 and SCO Presidency, let’s hope India ends the mess between both countries.
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