India not to get dragged into new bloc politics
New Delhi will continue to adhere to its own non-alignment which Vajpayee described as 'genuine non-alignment'
New Delhi, July 01: An ineluctable message from the annual summit of the Group of Seven , the world's "most industrialised" countries, recently held at the German resort of Schloss Elmau , is that New Delhi would continue to adhere to its own brand of non-alignment, or , as former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee termed it, " genuine non-alignment" and not get dragged into any new bloc politics.
Reports are that at the summit, the G-7 countries came forward with some economic initiatives on their agenda. Their agenda included the launch of a $600 billion US-led Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), commitments on fighting climate change, funding renewable energy changes, mitigating inflation and managing the continued global crisis over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The summit focused on the challenges the group today perceived from Russia and China. Its communiqué outlined the challenges to the international order that emanated from Moscow's war in Ukraine and Beijing's "expansive maritime claims", rights violations, and unsustainable debt creation in lower income countries.
One finds the focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however , was on the development of the developing nations . It has been in tune with the very basics of India's non-alignment which are aimed at promoting the foreign policy independence and economic development of itself and other like-minded nations. Prime Minister Modi, who attended the summit, along with other special invitees from Argentina, Indonesia, Senegal, and South Africa, made it clear at the summit that the developing world today needs the most support, including to weather the "knock-on" effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
New Delhi has sought to distance itself from the PGII, which is viewed by many as a G-7 counter to China's Belt and Road Initiative. India has also not signed any statements castigating Russia and China. Pertinently, Prime Minister Modi has also not joined Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping's criticism of the West in the contemporary politics. At the earlier BRICS summit , he stayed away from Putin and Xi's stringent criticism of the West.
Interestingly, India has joined the G-7 and special invitee "partner countries" in issuing a statement on "Resilient Democracies", committing to free and fair elections, protecting freedom of expression, and gender empowerment. This shows New Delhi's commitments to democracy-a proposition the world can take solace in.
(Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi. He is also Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, New York)
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