New Delhi should take a call on planning its politics and policies for responding to its foreign affairs, involvement and engagement. It couldn’t have come at a better point of time in history with the country reeling with distress in the face of the second Covid wave.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar asserted and underlined that for India, a pandemic like Covid offered an opportunity to enter into global alliances and collaborations to contain and calm this mutating strain. But for the centre’s reluctance to admit and accept its fault, from exorbitant vaccine prices to lack of testing and tracking of those infected, our government should be held responsible — morally and ethically for bellying our hopes and aspirations.
How are we supposed to negotiate with nations around, given our ineptness in arranging the scramble? Or how are we to be termed and tagged by dominant players like the United States and China far ahead than us in trade and technology, locking them in a fierce battle which has to be claimed and conquered.
Do we count it for our convenience and craft in switching sides and allegiance given our strategic objectives and interests, which makes us fall in their laps?
Make in India was Modi’s rallying rhetoric targeting China after the Galwan incident, asking and encouraging a boycott of Chinese goods with a rider for adopting swadeshi. The government purchased Russian S 400 long-range missiles after the United States go-ahead signal. Politically we are sovereign, but internationally we are far from being one with tough negotiations and bargains coming into the play often.
Diplomacy is often two sworded where being, pretending and portraying are not to be confused. Who can better understand it than a Jaishankar who has worn many hats to his glory, acutely aware of the chaos and challenges in singularly situating the strengths out of nowhere?