Sunday, May 7, 2017

Right wing politics and cow vigilantism impact India's image overseas


The right wing politics is here to stay worldwide as it is a new global phenomenon and India is no exception to it, say serving diplomats while also pointing out that the episodes like cow vigilante have certainly affected India's image.

At the four-day conference of heads of Indian Missions in foreign countries, issues such as this figured prominently and it has been underlined that the diplomats and Indian Missions have a role to play in highlighting abroad India's image as a pluralistic society and also one which has all virtues to garner foreign direct investment.
"These things figure at the deliberations from time to time. Nobody is saying that the Government of the day is supporting right wing activism but such rows like cow-vigilantism certainly affect India's image," a well informed source said.

Sources further told UNI that in the dynamics of the new world order as India's position goes up globally, there are instances when some countries "tell us on our face -- what is this happening in India?" In fact, some African countries especially hold Indian experience of pluralism in high esteem. We are a model. But when they see such a thing (cow vigilante) happening in India, they do often ask, what's this happening in India?," said one of the bureaucrats in the know of things.
At the four-day meet that concluded on May 7, 2017, the foreign mission heads and players of foreign policy engine room in India spoke at length about steps being taken to make Indian economy "attractive" for investors and for prospective partners. There were also special sessions during the deliberations on giving push to various flagship developmental schemes of the Government and on measures to augment them with collaboration of various stakeholders -- both private and governmental. A few diplomats also spoke about the supposed 'Modi doctrine' in foreign policy and essentially it was stressed that pragmatism and continuity should sustain.

"Some measures in foreign policy have to come by the factor of time and forces of circumstances," said one diplomat later and pointed out that the economic liberalisation of 1991 had to come under an underestimated Prime Minister like PV Narasimha Rao.
"It had to come either way.

The foreign exchange crisis was serious and the Rao Government had to act," the source said, adding that similarly a number of measures and neo-assertiveness displayed now under Prime Minister Narendra Modi are also linked to the changing dynamics of the new world order.
"India is today not only a developing country but also among the fastest growing emerging economies. Hence the world is taking India more seriously now, I should say," another official said.
It is in this context, he said the 'neo-assertiveness' by New Delhi is not only making sense, it is also refreshing.


Issues like firmness shown by India on the face of stiff opposition from China during the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh too figured. There were also special sessions on various theme including “Smarter Diplomacy, Swifter Delivery”, themes based on India's neighbourhood, trans-national issues like maritime security and cyber security and terrorism.

It was underlined that addressing global and trans-national issues like maritime security, proliferation risks surrounding weapons of mass destruction, cyber security and terrorism and drug trafficking should get priority.
Both Mr Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee also underlined that efforts should be to work with "like-minded nations" and global institutions to swiftly generate effective solutions and implement them efficiently.
At the deliberations, the issue of migration came up with several speakers mentioning that the populations across the continents are fast becoming "inward looking and apprehensive".
Economic migration from the African continent, mass influx from war-torn countries have already brought a once-flourishing European continent to the brink, it was pointed out. About the big picture concerning Asia, a senior diplomat said, by far the largest continent has many things new and unique.
"The vastness is an issue by itself, so are socio-political, cultural and anthropological differences. You just cannot compare China with Nepal," the official remarked.

ends

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