NEW DELHI:BJP National General Secretary and Director of the India Foundation Ram Madhav on Wednesday outlined six strategic realisations for India, and another six that India wants the world to realise. He was speaking at a session on Emerging Security Dynamics in Indo-Pacific Region during the three-day Raisina Dialogue, organised by the Observer Research Foundation and the Ministry of External Affairs, at the Taj Diplomatic Enclave in New Delhi.
The first realisation, he explained, was that “the global power axis is shifting from Pacific-Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific Region,” and the “diminishing influence of the western powers in the region and the rising power of China are the new reality.”Two, this shifting axis brings great opportunities and challenges. India now has an opportunity to rise as a “responsible and influential global power”.Three, India has to “completely reorient its strategic mindset from the West to the East, from land-based thinking to ocean-centric thinking.”
Four, unlike in Pacific-Atlantic region, countries in Indo-Pacific region are civilisations. “The so-called ‘American Way’ will no longer work in the region. We have to find an Asian way, and India has to make cultural and civilisational linkages an important part of its diplomacy.”Five, countries like China are racing ahead with plans that can be described as the ‘21st Century Marshall Plan’, and the global rule-based order is coming under severe stress. “India has to realise that it can’t just be a spectator, or a mere participant, or even a ‘pole’ in the so-called multi-polar world. It has to become a stakeholder.”
Six, India has to give up its strategic reticence, aloofness and passive diplomacy. “Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi we did exactly that. We conveyed to the world that we have arrived.”Just like India, the world, too, needs to have six strategic realisations, Madhav said.
One: The Indian Ocean is the epicentre of global power play in the 21st century. “We must give up the outdated phrases like Asia-Pacific and embrace the new concept of Indo-Pacific, and the centrality and primacy of the Indian Ocean to the global economic and military activism must be recognised.”
Two: India wants to rise as an “influential and responsible global power”. This will be good for global peace and development.
Three: Old alliances and multilateral forums are becoming irrelevant. The future of the Indo-Pacific region is in the hands of the alliances and institutions of the 21st century now taking shape. The “so-called American Way will not guide affairs in the region, it will be an Asian way.”
Four: India offers a win-win proposition for India and its western allies: An India-led framework to the East of India; and an “India-supported framework to our West.”
Five: Countries in the Indian Ocean region must have their own code of conduct for peaceful and non-intrusive growth of the countries in the region.
Six: While the last century was bipolar, most nations had become mere cheerleaders to the big powers. “In the 21st century, we need to move away from multi-polarism towards multi-stakeholderism.”
Madhav also noted that
while strategic autonomy had been a mantra for successive governments, India had suffered from ‘hyphenation’ with other nations for too long. “We have introduced, for the first time, de-hyphenation in Indian foreign policy. We deal with countries on bilateral basis, building strong ties,” he concluded.