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PM Modi’s call for UN reforms should be the beginning of our resurgent foreign policy

India could look to pursue a seven-point agenda to play a bigger role in global affairs.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday exhorted the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to reform itself and include India in its decision-making body. This is a great beginning for our country, but it cannot stop there.

It was the Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who muttered after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour by forces of Imperial Japan — “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” The Pangong standoff may have similarly unwittingly awakened a sleeping giant – Bharat. India now has the economic and military might to stand up to any nation and its foreign policy should reflect that.

India needs to formulate and implement a new paradigm of foreign relations and international diplomacy that will secure its territory, give confidence to her friends and reinstate its ethos of Vasudhaiva Kutambakkam as a guiding philosophy.

India needs to revamp its foreign policy approach by junking its non-alignment strategy and embrace a bolder approach to achieve its long term vision of strategic peace and spirituality.India needs to implement a seven point agenda.

United Nations reforms

The structure of the present day United Nations is such that it will be very difficult to get rid of its inherent bias and a rigid power structure solidified in favour of victors of the World War II. To that extent, it will be difficult for the United Nations to reform itself.

By seeking a veto power in the United Nations Security Council, India may have to play into the same biases and discrimination that have been propagated since 1945. The UN is fast becoming irrelevant without the stabilizing voice of sanity while favouring rogue states with veto power.

New Bretton Woods deal

India needs new security and trade structures with allied democracies which will prioritize its strategic interests and will try to isolate countries that have been long been working against India. India needs to negotiate a new Bretton Woods deal to end discrimination and restore respect to the world’s most ancient culture.

The only path to a recovery in the global economy is a new Bretton Woods agreement. 85% of the world’s population lives in Asia, Africa and Latin America and is younger and able. The developed world cannot produce any further growth and prosperity in the world, foreign exchange and interest rates need to adjust to global demographics.

A new Bretton Woods system would involve a one-time revaluation of all non-reserve currencies against reserve currencies (ex-china since it doesn’t need QE). There is a market driven mechanism in place already, the revaluation of currencies can be in proportion to the rate spread.

Strengthen long standing ties

India needs to accord greater respect to her all-weather friendslike France, Russia and Germany who have always stood by us even during adversities. India needs to align its interests to the global pivots of power as we are entering a new world order with multipolar power structures.

Isolate China

India needs to isolate China and strengthen its alliance proactively. India is a democracy with a long cultural heritagelike the West unlike Chinese CCP which believes in suppression of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. With 2000 plus ethnic groups and every representative religion.

The Indian government have never been involved in overt or covert sponsored genocides as opposed to many developing countries including China after WWII. On the contrary, foreign state and non-state actors have either actively targeted ethnic genocide in India like Kashmir and Maoist guerrillas orengaged in subversive activities weakening the democracy.

China funded a $34 billion network of highways, railways, and pipelines called the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) across the length of Pakistan to transport oil and gas from the Pakistani port of Gwadar to Chinese city of Kashgar.The control over Malacca Straits is critical for Chinese efforts to connect the Pacific and Indian Oceans for oil and gas imports as well as its solidify its claims over the South China Sea.

Isolate Turkey

India need to isolate Turkey and call out the Khilafat brand of imperialism that may have disastrous consequences for the world.

Any non-secular Islamic country with pan-Islamic idea is dangerous for India. With increasing minority and history of partition India should confront Turkey’s global pan-Islamic movement for its own safety and trade through Mediterranean. India should remember after the capture of Constantinople, trade relations with the West got severely restricted which also hampered Indian knowledge of European invention of steam engine, industrial loom and use of gunpowder bringing catastrophe for centuries – first through Islamic barbarism and followed through by colonial loot.

Israel style soft power

India needs to implement an approach like Israel which has turned a hostile neighbourhood into a region of carefully crafted friends and strategic defence interests.

Israel has always supported India unilaterally, though India always stayed neutral much of the time in Judea and Samaria Area conflict but in the Jewish homeland was always there in India’s times of need. Be it earthquake, tsunami or cyclones they have always helped us with technology transfers and intelligence sharing. Now India should be there for Israel.

India needs to regain its maritime and naval supremacy

India used to be a global maritime superpower till about the first half the previous millennium. Naval power have always been strength of any great civilization be it for Greece, Rome, Vikings, Spanish, British or the USA. Without a sound Navy India will never be able to become a global power and maintain trade routes to feed its economy.

India is important for south East Asia and even north Asia, as it sits on the head of the Indian Ocean straddling the sea lanes of commerce from the choke points of the Straits of Hormuz till the Malacca Straits. Its airbase in Campbell Bay (Nicobar Islands) is just 240km from the mouth of the Malacca Straits. Even with CPEC corridor in place, a bulk of the minerals and other resources extracted by the Chinese would still have to traverse the Indian Ocean, Andaman Sea, and the Bay of Bengal right below India’s perch, providing it opportunity to counterbalance China’s claims over the South China Sea.

Note: Article co-authored by Saptorshee Kanto Chakraborty.

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Santanu Chakraborty
Santanu Chakraborty
Santanu is an award-winning equity and debt market reporter and has worked with Bloomberg News, Dow Jones Newswires and Warburg-Reorg for the past 12 years. He has been writing compelling stories about Indian markets simplifying complexities and providing clarity where there is uncertainty.

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