Foreign policy is a plan of action adopted by one nation in regards to its diplomatic dealings with other countries. It focuses mainly on three factors: war, trade and people migration and is established as a systemic way to deal with issues that may arise with other countries. In this age of interdependence, no country can afford to live in isolation.
Comprehending the same fact, Indian leaders have always tried maintaining as much cordial relations with the co-inhabitant nations as possible. Of recent though, a map posted by Harsha Goenka, chairman of a large conglomerate in India, suggests otherwise. This map depicts and contrasts the times before and after PM Modi came to power. If the map is to be believed, India hardly had good relations with any country before the messiah of India – Mr. Modi shouldered the responsibility to bring the “Ache Din”.
Blurred by the whirlpool of political fights and filthy propaganda and accusations, one would normally expect the general public to ignore such a fringe propaganda. But, what worsens the case here is that the photo became viral on social media platforms, thanks to the brainless heads and callous fingers of its users.
The 1947-2014 map, including of course the years under PM Vajpayee years, suggests that the whole planet except Russia, and parts of Western Europe had bad relations with India for 67 years. Fast forward to 2015: One year later – Wow! Magic. Everyone’s fond of India. Seems the lotus has lured not only its countrymen but the world rejoices in its fragrance. But there are intriguing little tid-bits. Western Greenland/Eastern Canada apparently has not jumped on board the Modi train. Meanwhile, only a south-western portion of the Arabian peninsula, covering some of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, seems to have turned over to Modi’s side.
More astonishingly, or rather ridiculously presented, India’s own parts – the North-eastern region is depicted in the “not having good relations of India” column.
Ludicrous as it stands, it has become imperative to reiterate the facts here. India has had cordial relations with many nations in the past, which Mr. Modi has certainly improvised upon; but these were not created out of the blue moon as the map suggests.
Though, the work done by the Mr. Modi is commendable. Visiting over 30 nations in less than 20 months and turning the tables in one’s favour is not everyone’s bread and butter. Modi did improve relations with neighbouring nations like Bhutan, Nepal, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka etc. Stealing credits off former leaders’ roll is not something that goes well for his charisma.
Facts be said, Modi’s predecessors had well established a firm foundation for him to develop on. The tallest leader of his own party – Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was the one who stepped forward to bury the hatchet between the two nations of India and Pakistan. PM Mawaz Sharif sends his regards to his former counterpart, each time Modi meets him. Does this in itself not speak volumes about who fathered the process of peace between the two nations?
Talk of the dynamic nation of Japan and one remembers how their government felicitated Dr. Manmohan Singh with the greatest civilian honour of their nation – the Grand Cordon of The Paulownia Flowers. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged Singh as a statesman who strengthen the India-Japan ties. Our ties with Japan date back to the days of Independence, nothing new did Mr. Modi do here.
Canada too, has always been our friend. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Canadian PM Stephen Harper at the G-20 summit in Mexico in June 2012 discussed on “strengthening the ties”.
India’s relations with the mighty United States flourished as the India strengthened. US associates with the likes of its own. As India proved it has the potential to be a global leader, US became our ally. This started in 1991 when even amidst an economic stagflation, India strengthen its economy. The world then recognised a potential leader in India. PM Narasimha Rao chaired the process and he, not Modi initiated the process. The second evidence came when Vajpayee announced India’s achievement as a nuclear superpower. And the rest as they say is history.
Neighbouring nations of Nepal and Afghanistan had also had strong relations with India. While India was the only South Asian country to recognise the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in the 1980s, India aided the overthrow of the Taliban and became the largest regional provider of humanitarian and reconstruction aid.
The 1950 treaty between India and Nepal stated that “neither government shall tolerate any threat to the security of the other by a foreign aggressor”. These accords cemented a “special relationship” between the two nations.
A lot more nations have been our good friends. The fact that this patently preposterous map is actually getting shared probably doesn’t deserve any more comment, but of course, Twitter was happy to offer it.
“Labels don’t matter to me, madam. Truth is PM and Sushmaji has done a wonderful job in terms of foreign policy.”- Harsha Goenka (Original: Twitter)
“Hahahahaha why does India have “bad relations” with the islands between Greenland and Canada?” – Malika Rodrigues (Original: Twitter)