Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Foreign policy takes centre stage in LS polls as voters credit PM Modi for India’s ascendance on world stage

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Shillong, April 21: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday once again chose the Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi to spotlight India’s growing profile and emergence as a “Vishwa Bandhu in a divided world”.

The state-of-the-art venue hosted the G20 Leaders’ Summit last September which not only promoted India’s spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – or the ‘World is One Family’ – but also perfectly showcased Bharat’s culture, heritage, traditions and technological advancement.

“Today we put forward the principles of truth and non-violence with full confidence in the global fora. We tell the world that the solution to the global problem is found in the ancient Indian culture and tradition. This is why India is making a place for itself as ‘Vishwa Bandhu’ in a divided world,” said PM Modi at the inauguration of the 2550th Nirvana Mahotsav of Lord Mahavir.

With the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections having already kicked off on Friday, analysts believe that Prime Minister Modi highlighting how “India is making a place for itself” in these times of conflict remains quite significant.

PM Modi has successfully managed to list his government’s achievements in foreign policy to voters, especially the massively-aware young generation. India’s growing profile, he said on Sunday, is due to its cultural image, growing capabilities, and foreign policy.

In the vast tapestry of Indian politics, where domestic concerns often dominate the discourse, the emergence of foreign policy as a pivotal election issue in rural as well as urban regions is being seen as another notable achievement of the Modi government.

Traditionally, foreign policy has been the domain of diplomats and policymakers, discussed majorly in the corridors of power rather than the dusty streets of rural India. However, with the winds of change blowing, the electorate is increasingly engaging with matters beyond national borders.

Experts attribute this spectacular change of public mindset to India’s ascendance on the global stage and the diplomatic, geopolitical and strategic deftness displayed by the Modi government from time to time over the last 10 years.

In recent years, India’s foreign policy decisions have reverberated far beyond the walls of diplomatic enclaves. From border tensions with the neighbouring countries to trade agreements with global partners, the ramifications of these decisions have been felt in the everyday lives of Indian citizens, including those residing in rural areas.

As such, it is only natural that foreign policy has found resonance among voters who seek a better understanding of how India navigates its relationships with the world. Hence, the ongoing Lok Sabha elections are not aloof from what is happening abroad and India’s dominant role therein.

“The growing interest across the nation in foreign policy is welcome. It reflects both democratisation and globalisation. Modi 3.0 will only make this stronger,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar posted on X, earlier this week.

A separate section titled ‘Modi ki guarantee for Vishwa Bandhu Bharat’ in the BJP 2024 manifesto mentions how the Modi government has made Bharat “a reliable, trusted and dependable voice globally” in the last 10 years.

“Today, the world believes that Bharat is the mother of democracy. Our diaspora around the world feels empowered and connected. Our civilisational values, thoughts, wisdom and traditional knowledge have found a place of pride at the world stage. We will strengthen our position and conduct our policies to further our national interests with the spirit of Vishwa Bandhu,” states the BJP ‘Sankalp Patra’.

It mentions further consolidation of Bharat’s position as a voice of the Global South by using Prime Minister Modi’s visionary 5S approach of ‘Samman, Samvad, Sahyog, Shanti and Samriddhi’.

Experts underscore that the voters are now more aware than ever before of India’s unprecedented rise in the global order, also quite visible as the government continues to safely evacuate its citizens from troubled regions in the world.

“Modi ki guarantee works for all at home and abroad,” asserts EAM Jaishankar. (IANS)

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