AHMEDABAD: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday batted for promoting nationalism to deal with challenges like terrorism and said the country now has both vision and leadership, which were lacking in the past causing it to lag behind other nations.
Addressing a gathering of BJP supporters here, the former foreign secretary praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his "vision of new India", stressing things were changing under his leadership.
Jaishankar, who on Friday won the Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, was here to participate in the BJP's nation-wide membership drive along with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and other party leaders.
"If we look at India's history, our internal disputes have been our weakness, from which others have benefited. We should promote nationalism and increase national security for challenges like terrorism. For that, we need leadership and persistency seen in the last few years that were lacking earlier," he said.
As a career diplomat, Jaishankar said, he worried about India lagging behind countries like China, which he said was due to shortcomings in vision and conviction.
"You know that I worked for 40 years in the service of the nation as India's diplomat and foreign secretary.
During this period, when I looked at the world, I found there are some countries which have progressed a lot in 20-30 years.
"To tell you frankly, there are also countries which have moved ahead of us even when they were at our level 30 years back, like China," he said, adding it was due to lack of vision and conviction.
"Today, both have changed. There is a vision of new India that our prime minister has put before us. And there is also commitment due to the vision," he said.
Jaishankar said he was drawn towards the party due to the commitment shown by the government.
He said that only those countries have progressed where people take it as their responsibility to take their nation forward.
"And this is possible only when we all consider participating in issues and policies concerning public. Country will grow if this enthusiasm grows," he said.
"This new vision, new commitment, is what made a man like me to come into public life, to join this party," he said.
He said there was need to collaborate with other countries.
"If we have to progress further, our collaboration with other countries, in terms of technology, investment, and support we can give to our people (living abroad), can make a lot of difference. If we work for this together, our country can reach another level," he said.