Narendra Modi’s Impact on India’s Global Standing and Ongoing Challenges
By Syed Atiq ul Hassan:
In recent days, three significant incidents have captivated the world’s media, making headlines in print and electronic news outlets. Each event has sparked discussions, debates, and widespread coverage, highlighting different aspects of humanity’s triumphs and tragedies.
The first incident revolves around a large fishing boat that tragically sank in Greece waters with approximately 700 individuals on board, including 350 Pakistanis. Sadly,
only twelve people could be rescued, leaving the rest lost at sea. Reports indicate that the Greece authorities had received prior information about the boat’s engine failure but failed to take prompt action, potentially leading to the loss of many lives. While this incident garnered global attention initially, its coverage in international media subsided relatively quickly. This may be attributed to the fact that the individuals on the boat were attempting to reach Europe through illegal means, risking their lives for a chance at a better future. As residents of impoverished nations, these migrants didn’t seem to capture the interest of powerful European countries.
The second incident involved the sinking of the Titan Submersible, a small submarine carrying five individuals, including two Pakistani billionaires—a father and his son. These esteemed members of society had embarked on a mission to explore the wreckage of the RMS Titanic, the ill-fated ship that sank in the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912, claiming the lives of 1,500 passengers. Tragically, fate had a different plan, and the small submarine exploded within a few hours, resulting in the loss of all five lives on board. The news of two Pakistani billionaires involved in this incident sparked conversations about their lavish expenditure on
exploring a century-old shipwreck while overlooking their potential contributions to their home country (Pakistan) needed today. This incident received extensive coverage across online, electronic, and print media in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Minute-by-minute updates on the search efforts for the missing submarine were broadcast worldwide, with newspapers featuring the story prominently on their front pages. Despite the relentless rescue attempts by Canadian and U.S. Air Force aircraft, Navy submarines, and teams of sea search experts, the mission ultimately ended in tragedy as the submarine and its occupants were laid to rest at sea.
The third major news event that garnered significant attention was the official visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States of America (USA). This visit was extensively covered by American, Canadian, Australian, and European media outlets. Television talk shows delved into discussions about Indian democracy and its international standing, while editorials and columns in international newspapers provided analysis of the Mr. Modi visit’s significance.
These three incidents serve as poignant reminders of the complexities of human existence. While the fishing boat tragedy highlights the perils faced by desperate individuals seeking better opportunities, the submarine incident showcases the fragility of life and the importance of responsible philanthropy. Meanwhile, the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscores the ongoing interest in global political dynamics and the significance of diplomatic engagements between nations.
Narendra Modi: From Offender to Bonafide: Mr. Modi’s recent visit to the United States marked an important milestone in his political career. Despite previous challenges, including being denied a US visa due to his association with the Gujarat riots in 2005, this visit held great significance. As the former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi faced global scrutiny for the violent communal riots that took place during his tenure. The riots resulted in the tragic loss of lives and property, leading to protests across Islamic nations, as well as strong condemnation from residents in the United States and Europe. Although there were demands for his prosecution in the International Court of Justice for alleged terrorism, no legal action was taken against Modi. Furthermore, the aftermath of these events has raised concerns about the safety of minority communities in India, including Muslims, Christians, and lower caste citizens, under the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Narendra Modi’s leadership.
Official Visit and White House Reception: In a historic turn of events, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi became one of the few world leaders to receive a warm welcome from the US
President, high-ranking government officials, and legislative members at the White House. The significance of this reception cannot be understated. For the first time, Indians residing in the United States were officially welcomed on the South Lawn of the White House, and they expressed their joyous support for Prime Minister Modi. The atmosphere was filled with excitement as chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram” echoed throughout the function. The enthusiastic response from both the Indian attendees and the host officials, including US President Joe Biden, was evident in their warm applause and appreciation.
Prime Minister Modi’s Speech: During his address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his gratitude for the honour bestowed upon not only the 1.4 billion Indians but also the four million Indians residing in the United States. He emphasized the pride the Indian government feels for this recognition. It is important to note that his speech focused primarily on the positive aspects of the visit and the significance of the occasion, rather than addressing the controversial events from his past.
Mr. Modi’s visit to the United States showcased the evolving dynamics between the two nations. While past controversies and concerns regarding human rights issues persist, this visit symbolized an opportunity for dialogue and collaboration. It is crucial to monitor and address the ongoing challenges faced by minority communities in India, ensuring their safety and well-being. The international community, including the United States, European countries, Canada, and Australia, should remain vigilant and promote inclusive societies where all citizens can thrive, regardless of their religious or caste identity.
Narendra Modi, a former tea seller (Chai wala), has made history with his political rise in India. As the current leader of India, Modi has spearheaded the country’s development and forged strong diplomatic ties with nations around the world. While his foreign policy successes have garnered recognition, India still grapples with issues such as ethnic prejudice, minority persecution, and the complex situation in Kashmir.
Foreign Policy Achievements: Under Modi’s leadership, India has strengthened its ties with nations like the United States, Australia, England, and Canada through Défense alliances and partnerships. Simultaneously, he has maintained robust trade relations with long-standing allies such as Russia, Iran, and Middle Eastern states. This successful foreign policy approach has enabled India to form Défense alliances with countries like the US, England, Japan, and Australia, boosting its global standing.
Recognition on the International Stage: Notably, Narendra Modi holds the distinction of being the first Indian Prime Minister to address the US Congress twice. During these speeches, Modi delivered his remarks in Hindi while an English translation was presented simultaneously. This recognition reflects the growing acceptance of India and its leadership on the global stage.
Challenges and Concerns: Despite India’s progress, it faces ongoing challenges, including ethnic prejudices and persecution of minority communities, particularly Muslims and Christians. The situation in Kashmir remains a contentious issue, with historical grievances and disregarding the 1948 resolution passed by the United Nations. The presence of a large military force in Kashmir has led to allegations of human rights violations. It is worth noting that despite these concerns, countries like the US, Australia, England, and European nations continue to engage with India through trade, technical collaborations, and Défense agreements.
The US-India Relationship: The recent visit of Mr. Modi to the United States holds significant importance. The scheduled visit was advanced, indicating the deepening ties and shared interests between the US and India. One of the key factors driving this alliance is the United States’ apprehension regarding China’s growing power and its alliances with countries like Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, and Iran. There is a fear of the emergence of a new global bloc comprising Central Asian and Middle Eastern nations. The US aims to align itself with new partners, including India, to counterbalance China’s influence.
Prospects and Concerns: While India takes pride in its technical and Défense alliances with the US, it must remain cautious about its role in any potential conflict between the US and China, particularly concerning Taiwan. In such a scenario, India might be strategically employed as a battleground between the allies of both nations, akin to how Pakistan was utilized during the Afghan war. Careful consideration is necessary to ensure that India’s interests and national security are protected in any geopolitical developments.
Strengthening US-India Partnership: During Modi’s visit, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the need to further strengthen and promote the comprehensive global and strategic partnership between their countries. Key areas of collaboration include IT, mobile industries, advanced scientific and space technology, Défense cooperation, investments in India’s mobile phone industry, and collaborations in agriculture, industry, education, health, and trade sectors. Additionally, the leaders announced the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), comprising India, Japan, Australia, and the USA, aimed at promoting stability, resilience, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States highlighted the deepening partnership between the two nations, focusing on a wide range of bilateral interests. While India’s international recognition has grown under Modi’s leadership, challenges persist, including the need to address ethnic prejudices and resolve complex internal polarisation issues based on ethnicity, race and religion.
(Syed Atiq ul Hassan is a Sydney-based Journalist, political analyst, and editor, Tribune International, his email address is email@example.com, mobile is +61 479 143 628 )
Concluded: 26 June 2023