The fact that India has been elected as non-permanent member of UN Security Council for the next two years, and that the rotating presidency of the Council in coming August will be India's, will not be taken by anybody as a diplomatic feat of the country. That is a normal process. But the unfortunate fact is that India's efforts for a permanent membership on the council, which it well deserved as the second most populous country in the world, has not met with any success so far.
To be read with is the fact that the clout and relevance which India, the second largest country in Asia, had wielded as part of its diplomacy is gradually dimishing. Even when economically much poorer than it is today, India during the era of Jawaharlal Nehru had enjoyed a prominence and recognition among the world's nations. Nor can any forget its role in forming international public opinion as the leading country in the non-aligned league of nations.
True, with the disappearance of Soviet Union as a big power, the non-aligned movement itself has lost its relevance. But India had somewhat held out its slot without endorsing US imperialism and stopping short of dancing to its tunes. During the ten years of the Manmohan Singh-led UPA rule, the country started its tilt towards the right. And then with the Modi government coming to office, the country started taking sides with America, Israel and all reactionary right-wing regimes.
When Donald Trump was facing a virtual overthrow by America's own people, India made compromises with his irrational stances. By attending a Trump election in Houston as the chief guest, and by bringing Trump to an event in Ahmedabad, the latter giving the impression that Trump was the inaugurator of the pro-Modi campaign for the 17th Lok Sabha election, our prime minister was sitting in the fond hope that once Trump got a second term, the scenario for India would be bright.
But when the US electorate at their first opportunity showed Trump his place, all Modi's calculations Modi went haywire. Like a boat's underside being the refuge when it capsizes, Modi has now declared friendship and amity with Joe Biden. Given no other option to pursue, one can give some allowance can be made for this stand. Modi is the first prime minister to have undertaken 92 foreign tours in his first term in office. But the foreign policy outcome of the country is so out of shape as to show hardly any signs of survival.
China, which is a leading world power and Asia's most powerful nation, despite being the epicentre of Covid-19, reclaimed its space and is surging ahead surviving all odds. Reports indicate that even after rigorous negotiations, the Chinese military, which encroached into and annexed Indian territory in Ladakh, is entrenched with redoubled preparation. In trade relations with China, India's retaliatory measures have not paid back either. On the other hand, China is strengthening its ties with Pakistan which India sees as its arch foe. And it is a fact that China wielded its veto to engineer and thwart India's bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Further, China currently has acquired undeniable sway over SAARC member countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives and even Bangladesh. In West Asia, Iran which had maintained very friendly relations with India has started turning its face away when India started siding with the US on the issue of sanctions on Iran.
Afghanistan is a neighbouring country which India has ceaselessly helped and in whose development India has played a major role. When the US administration, in its urgency to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, started talks with the Taliban in Doha that are nearing conclusion, indications are that a second term of Taliban dominance in Afghanistan will become a reality. As such, how Pakistan, which has not suspended its hide and seek with Taliban, will make capital out of this opportunity is a question that has implications even for India's security concerns. Even Russia one of the chief sources of India' defence equipment, has showed signs of nervousness about India's relations with the US.
In short, the country's foreign policy demands extreme vigilance and skillful diplomacy. There is no use turning a blind eye to the damage and loss caused by the policies adopted by the regime just to pursue its racial and national obstinacy. When the World Health Organisation's map showed Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh in different shades as regions outside India, we lodged legitimate protest. But did the Centre ever assess the impact at international level of its overnight revocation of the statehood of Jammu-Kashmir? When such measures are imposed through use of brute majority in parliament and other muscular steps, it would be worthwhile to deliberate on how the outside world will such actions.