As pressure from the west mounts on India to take a strong stand in the Russia – Ukraine crisis, Union minister for foreign affairs, S Jaishankar on Wednesday reaffirmed the Centre’s non-aligned foreign policy.
Jaishankar said that India cannot please other countries by being a “pale imitation” of them.
Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, a gathering of international leaders in New Delhi, the foreign minister said, “We have to be confident about who we are. I think it's better to engage with the world on the basis of who we are rather than try and please the world by being a pale imitation of what they are.”
He added, “The idea that others define us that you know somewhere we need to get approval from other quarters, I think, that's an era we need to put behind.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Jaishakiar accused European nations of throwing the Afghan civil society under the bus as he took questions from European foreign ministers on India’s position in the Ukraine crisis.
He also questioned Europe’s position when Afghanistan was in a somewhat similar position. He took the occasion to remind European leaders that there were issues of equal importance in other parts of the world as well.
Jaishankar said that India should pay more attention to hard security and be practical about how it leverages the international environment and correct past mistakes.
He said, “If I were to pick a single thing we have done, a difference that we have made to the world in the last 75 years, is a fact that we are a democracy.”
The Union minister further mentioned that there is a “gut sense” that democracy is the future and a large part of it is due to the choices of India in the past.
He said, “There was a time when in this part of the world, we were the only democracy. If democracy is global today or we see it global today, in some measure, the credit is due to India.”
Speaking on where India fell short, Jaishankar said India did not pay attention to its social indicators and human resources in the past. “Two, we didn't concentrate as much on manufacturing and technology trends as we should have. Three, in terms of foreign policy, we didn't give as much weight to hard security,” he said.