Bharat’s Current Foreign Policy: Proactive and Assertive


The New Geometry of India’s Foreign Policy

Image credit: Flickr/Indian Ministry of External Affiars

by Sudhanshu Tripathi   25 September 2023

The foreign policy of Bharat is a distinguished policy statement regarding the independent country’s aspirations to play its tryst with destiny. The core of the focal theme of this policy converges over strategic autonomy for the country that it passionately continues to accomplish under all circumstances. But this does not mean that Bharat would ever break the cardinal features of its rich ancient tradition and so-evolved cultural heritage characterized by eternal and universal moral values, viz. peace, love, truth, compassion, justice, freedom, and many more, until and unless an unfortunate situation so emerges and that too in the context of protecting core national interests like territorial integrity and state sovereignty apart from peace and security of its citizens and their overall well-being and socio-economic welfare including political stability. Why Bharat always aspires for independent decisions and independence of actions as regards the operation of its foreign policy is indeed a fact worth considering here. Because Bharat firmly believes and upholds the ideal of vasudhaiv kutumbakam ie the whole world is one family, and continues to carry the same spirit in all over the world. That was clearly visible during COVID-19 global crisis when the country passionately dispatched COVID-19 vaccines and a team of doctors and medical experts in all over the world to help the needy and suffering population.

Thus Bharat always acts with its full might in the welfare and common interest of the humanity at large whenever and wherever a need so arises. At the same time India’s foreign policy has always dealt with or now boldly deals with all emergent situations whether it be the prolonged Sino-Indian standoff over the international border between them in the recent past or cross-border terror exported by Pakistan into Bharat or surgical strikes on terror outfits housed inside PoK or successfully holding the G-20 summit or meaningful role in ASEAN summit in Jakarta or issuing stern warning to Canada during September 2023 to control the Khalistani terrorists therein active against Bharat, thereby continue reinventing the country’s strategic autonomy marked by the non-alignment and reinvigorating India’s past glory and traditional cultural heritage reflecting its proactive vision incorporating tradition with modernity throughout the world.

Evolving world order

Unfortunately, the evolving world order since the end of the first World War, based upon the then American President Wilson’s idealism, got a knee-jerk turn with the end of the second-World War in 1945. And that witnessed stiff and sharp bipolarity between the two prominent allied powers viz. the US and the then USSR (Soviet Union) due to total ideological division between the US’ led capitalist countries of the western Europe and the communist’s world consisting eastern European states led by the then USSR. Thus the so-evolved bipolarity led to emerge fierce Cold War between the two blocs led by the super-powers and their bloc followers and their several hostile acts of animosities leading to mounting of tensions and consequent arms race and actions and counter-reactions between the two blocs. That continued for many decades and with the closing years of eighties and the onset of nineties in the previous century marked the end of bilateral world order passing through the cold war and afterwards détente between them in the early seventies and onwards led to arrival of the post-cold war world order characterized by Unipolar world with the US being predominant and hegemonic power controlling the entire international relations and world affairs including controlling ideas of almost the entire humanity through its powerful satellite controlled popular media and political ideas and ideals including the so-governed global economy.

Post-Cold War world

The post-Cold War world has unfortunately witnessed various upheavals in as diverse fields as economic, social, cultural, and political, while passing through the prevailing issues of grave concerns. These are concerned with issues like economic recession, globalization and liberalization, environmental degradation and pollution, organized violence and crime syndicates, explosion of internal conflicts in many parts of the world and macabre terror and religious fundamentalism and consequent massive displacement of human population both internally as well as externally, besides mounting fear of nuclear proliferation and nuclear holocaust, and many such other challenges of serious nature. As obvious these issues have altogether cast a deep blow on the global community by putting immense impact in all over the world wherein different nations make contact among themselves through the instrument of their respective foreign policies against the backdrop of eastward shifting global geopolitics. Indeed the changing global political configuration is increasingly characterized by the moving global centre of power from the west to the east, according to most political observers.

In this scenario, Bharat’s proactive vision for the country as well as the whole world is indeed credible so as to the address the long emergent crisis viz. Russia-Ukraine war, the emerging Moscow-Teheran-Beijing axis against the US led NATO powers in the aforesaid war, the mounting tensions in the Indo-Pacific region particularly around South China Sea, Chinese threat to Taiwan, Russia-North Korea-China triangular alliance against South Korea and Japan, the now resurfaced Nogorno-Karabakh crisis, civil unrest in Yemen and any more are indeed the potential threats that may create massive holocaust to contain and convincingly disturb the so obtained peaceful-progressive and liberal-progressive democratic order in the world. Against this background, Bharat with bold assertions in the recent ASEAN summit in Jakarta in the interest of smaller regional partners followed by new evolved self-confidence due to its successful G-20 presidency creating milestones has provided enough leverage to New Delhi to play meaningful and decisive role in international relations and world affairs given the constructive support to Bharat by most of the prominent global and major powers led by the US except China and Pakistan etc.. Such conducive environment for New Delhi will evidently push-extend its genuine claim for permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. That will be a due reward for the current foreign policy of the country engaged in procuring it vital national interests amidst promoting larger interests of the international community and global humanity in the true interest of the above-mentioned vasudhaiv kutumbakam.  This may happen as nothing is beyond human endeavour.