Author

Shyam KrishnaKumar

Shyam KrishnaKumar

Research Associate | VIF
Arunima Gupta

Arunima Gupta

Manager | VIF

Envisioning India’s future

68 years after we became a republic, India is poised to become the fifth largest economy according to a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Recently, at the World Economic Forum Summit in Davos, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the country’s strengths and concerns, which garnered attention from his contemporaries reinstating India’s growing influence. As India rises steadily on the path of becoming a global power, our actions hold tremendous possibilities both for our people and the world in general. This presents us with both the opportunity and mandate to envision an India we aspire to create and the world order we wish to shape.

India’s rise is an opportunity to reimagine an India in consonance with our highest civilisational ideals: joy, sustainable prosperity, responsible freedom, ethical upliftment, peace and mutual respect and swarajya. These ideals, when they influence our foreign policy, have the potential to shape a plural global order. As potential leaders and shapers of tomorrow, the current global environment calls on us to envision an inclusive global order and then strive to make it a reality. This comes in the context of China’s increasingly expansionist agenda which sees globalisation as international connectivity for capitalist pursuits. On the other hand, the weakening of the liberal international order, most glaringly visible in Brexit and US protectionism, hints towards waves of anti-globalisation. With the international order in a state of flux, India needs a dream, an overarching vision to bring coherence to our actions, to act as a balancer between the policies of the East and the West and thereby connect with individuals, nations and regions for achieving collective and sustained prosperity.

Amidst this churn, India’s foreign policy approach has been undergoing a paradigm shift with economic and strategic relations gaining significant cultural undertones. The new approach is reflected in the foreign policy pillars of Panchamrit – Samman (dignity and honour), Samvaad(engagement and dialogue), Samriddhi(Shared Prosperity), Suraksha (regional and global security) and Sanskriti evam Sabhyata(culture and civilisational linkages). Panchamrit has begun to influence our international outreach. This has found place in our global engagements through the ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East’ approach, as evidenced by Prime Minister Modi inviting the heads of all SAARC countries to his swearing-in ceremony in 2014 and more recently, his counterparts in the ASEAN for India’s Republic Day in January 2018.

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