“India Should No Longer Please The World, Others Don’t Define Us”: EAM Jaishankar


New Delhi: Foreign Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India has completed its 75 years of independence and it should put behind the idea that it needs to get approval from other quarters. He said that other do not define India.

Speaking at Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation’s Raisina Dialogue 2022 he said, “We have to be confident about who we are. I think it’s better to engage with the world on the basis of who we are rather than try and please the world by being a pale imitation of what they are. The idea that others define us, that you know somewhere we need to get approval from other quarters, I think, that’s an era we need to put behind.”

The remark comes amid India’s divisive stance toward Russia, which is still attacking Ukraine. While condemning the violence and urging a cease-fire, India maintained its long-standing trade relations with Russia.

“My morning today was made by meeting a fellow foreign minister who told me Gujarat is ahead of globalisation. Actually, he said Gujarat does not need globalisation… I think in a way I would hope in the next 25 years India too would be at the forefront of teh right kind of globalisation, more decentralised, more fair, one which works for everybody, one which is not weaponised,” the foreign minister said.

He hopes that in next 25 years, India might become more international in terms of commitment, role and responsibilities.

Speaking of India’s “Don’ts”, Jaishankar said, “We should not be looking at the world with a sense of entitlement. We need to earn our place in the world which to a certain extent comes to the issue of how the world benefits from the growth of India. We need to demonstrate that.”

Speaking about Ukraine, Jaishankar said, “The best way forward is to focus on stopping the fighting, getting the talking and finding ways to moving forward. We think our choices are best placed to advance that.”

He believed that in past 75 years India could have done better. He highlighted three things: First, attention to social indicators which he said was not paid; two, concentrate on manufacturing and three, importance to hard security. “This is not a polemical criticism of the past.”

Jaishankar said that if today there is a sense in the world that democracy is, in some form the future, then a large part of it is due to India and the choices India made and stuck with in very different situations. There was a time when, in this part of the world, we were the only democracy.

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