Raisina Dialogue: India’s prominence growing globallyby Opinion Express February 3, 2018 0 comments
The Raisina Dialogue, a premiere foreign policy conference held annually by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), has grown significantly and is taking an institutional character.In its third edition organised a fortnight ago in Delhi, the Raisina Dialogue began a new culture of inviting a head of State to deliver a speech. In his inaugural speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dwelled on how Israel has grown as a powerful force despite being a resource scarce country.
The other major difference this year was women comprising 33 per cent of the panelists. Co-hosted by New Delhi’s top notch think tank Observer Research Foundation, the event provided a platform for young scholars associated with think tanks and universities to come together and gain knowledge from the experts in the field. Terrorism, importance of India-Pacific region, rise of India as a regional power, and a threat from China to the region hogged the event. It also accentuated the shift of power from trans-Atlantic to India-Pacific. The other major highlight of this year’s dialogue was the speech by Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat who talked about taking firm action against the terrorist and extremist elements. His description of modus operandi of terror outfits was remarkable. He said terror outfits have two faces: military, political. General Rawat said, “Willie military wing can be and is being dealt firmly by our forces, it is the political wing which is much more dangerous as they provide a big sup- port mechanism to terrorists”.
The Army chief urged media houses they should not give space to the evil activities of terrorists as these news boosts their morale. But the major point of his speech was his suggestion to restrict social media platforms for a brief time period in order to take decisive action against terrorists, who use social media as a weapon against the Indian state.
The other significant highlight of the event was the coming together of chief of navies of all ‘QUAD’ countries on a platform to discuss maritime security in the India- Pacific region. This panel discussion gave dear indications that India has now aligned very much with the US and its allies. The adversarial role played by China was dis- cussed at length and the rise of Chinese power was considered to be a major threat to all democracies and the global world order.
Apart from that, India’s then Foreign Secretary Saishankar in his speech outlined the shifts and the constants in the Indian foreign policy. His speech categorically stated that India is no longer a meek spectator in the global affairs and intends to play more proactive role internationally, and even take positions if needed. What this meant is that India wouldn’t shy away from taking sides on issues.
The Raisina Dialogue basically reflects India’s growing prominence internationally and its acceptance by other states in the inter- national system. It also allows the Government to self-assess its standing on various issues related to security and international politics. At a time, when India is facing a challenge at its borders, the dialogue provides an opportunity for academicians, scholars, researchers, policy makers and journalists to assess the Indian foreign policy afresh.
Courtesy: The Pioneer