Has India surpassed its former colonial masters in the realm of diplomacy? Has it skilled the art of realism, something many had accused New Delhi of lacking in its way of handling the foreign affairs all these years, better than the North-Atlantic countries that were known to be the masters of this particular politico-diplomatic ideology?
The United Kingdom (UK), on the other hand, is believed to be putting its own position in a spot by calling a referendum on staying back in the European Union---one of the big success stories of regional integration in the post-World War II period. [What is Brexit and why is it important?]
The alacrity with which India has displayed its diplomatic skills at not one but two places simultaneously to back its ambition to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has proved to the world that it has come a long way since the Nehruvian days of blinking eyes first.
India's determined NSG bid: Jaishankar in Seoul, Modi in Tashkent
While Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar went to Seoul in South Korea to attend the NSG's plenary meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was set to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to make one final effort to change Beijing's mind on opposing India's entry into the NSG. [Will the Modi-Jinping meet ensure India's entry into the NSG?]
China has objected to India's entry into the NSG, the members of which can trade in nuclear technology after a number of western countries, including the US, has backed it. However, of late, the growing support for India's entry into the elite club saw China focusing more on Pakistan's entry into the NSG to balance India's presence.
Even as US argue with China and Pak, India hasn't sit back and waited
But the arguments and counter-arguments between the US on the one hand and China and Pakistan on the other have not eclipsed India's own efforts in getting the permit to enter the NSG. It might still be unsuccessful in its ambition but there is no denying the fact that its diplomatic initiatives have really come of age and that is more satisfying.
While UK is eyeing isolation, India is seeking integration
Just like when the Leave campaign in the UK is planning to reverse the flow of globalisation by seeking an isolation for the country, the Indian diplomats are showing a lot of grit in scaling the heights of power politics to serve the country's interests. And this is where PM Modi has brought in a positive change.
Here lies PM Modi's credit
He has shaken up the stagnant-looking bureaucracy, so much so, that South Block is now having the confidence to see eye to eye with the opponents, especially the Chinese, who they used to deal with a lot of apprehension earlier. The political leadership under Modi has brought in a new way of looking at things and it has effected a paradigm shift in the country's foreign policy and it is here to stay.
Unlike earlier, India has not blinked first when dealing with China
Whether China succeeds in stopping India from entering the NSG or not, the diplomatic victory will be India's. Given the conservative nature of South Block's doing things, the end result of the NSG bid will be a huge boost. If India gets an entry, it will elevate the stature of Modi's team in the international arena and if it doesn't, yet the message that China is creating an obstacle on the former's way of growth will earn it more friends.
Is India more realistic in diplomacy today than its former colonia masters?
The drama which is folding in case of India's NSG bid is no less significant than the UK's plan to exit the EU in the other part of the planet. But there is a clear difference in the vision for the two countries. For a difference, it is India which is scoring more on the realist front than its European counterpart this time.