'India giving voice to the Global South'

People across the world are looking towards India for solutions

PTI03_02_2023_000061B Loud and clear: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar speaks during the first session of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Delhi in March | PTI
Dr Vijay Chauthaiwale Dr Vijay Chauthaiwale

The presidentship of the G20 came to India at a time when the world was coming out of the pandemic. The Russia-Ukraine conflict was already on. This was coupled with supply chain constraints and a lack of funding for the developing world, but India has come out it like a guiding light. Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin that this was not an era of war.

This has set the momentum for India’s leadership in many ways. The Indian economy has come out of the pandemic more and more resilient in spite of many doomsday predictions. India has shown yet again that it can resolve the problems that it faces and can also show the path to others. We are now giving voice and leadership to the Global South.

On G20, the prime minister has ensured that the event would not remain confined to some government departments, instead there is enormous public participation or jan bhagidari. More than 200 events have taken place. The Y20 India initiative organised more than 1,500 events, reaching out to more than a lakh young Indians. There is much resonance. This is the kind of scale at which the G20 has happened. I have met a lot of volunteers who say that we have raised the bar so high that it will be a challenge for other countries who take over the G20 presidency in future. Everything will be compared with what has happened in India. We have projected the best of what India can offer the world―in culture, arts and even cuisine.

Under Prime Minister Modi, the Indian diaspora has become a force to reckon with. This has two aspects. One is that Indians are one of the most prosperous and educated groups in countries all over the world. Second, they are the most law-abiding residents in the countries they live. They contribute significantly to the GDP in those countries. They have earned respect. The diaspora is also quite fragmented based on ethnicity, religion and language. But the prime minister has brought them all together.

Because of the global conflicts and the pandemic, people across the world are facing job losses and many of them are looking towards India for solutions. India is not only an IT power, it can also provide solace to the soul. Our cultural and spiritual heritage―for instance, yoga―is not confined to any religion. These are cosmic solutions which are available and affordable to everyone in the world. These can be done at an individual level, or at a mass level. There is a flexibility that is built in, even with nutrition.

India is offering a one-spot solution to many issues. How much of it will be translated into reality is different because it involves a lot of issues pertaining to implementation. But people are now looking at India for answers, even on issues like climate change. The credit goes to Prime Minister Modi that he has brought out an integrated solution to many problems facing the world.

The author is in-charge of the BJP’s department of foreign affairs.

As told to Mandira Nayar.