No balancing or containment for India. Position India in the leadership role in the world. This was the overarching message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to heads of Indian missions as he underlined the new template of proactive holistic diplomacy, which entails harnessing the global environment to enable India to play a leadership role, upgrading capacity to deal with new-age threats, promoting the country’s soft power and setting the tone for global climate change negotiations.
In an oblique critique of India’s hitherto defensive foreign policy, Mr Modi exhorted Indian envoys to shed “old mindsets” and help the country position itself in a leading role, rather than just a balancing force globally. The formulation will be specially scrutinised in China where the diplomatic-strategic establishment has often accused India of ganging up with the US and Japan to contain Beijing’s rise.
“The present global environment represents a rare opportunity, when the world is keen to embrace India, and India is moving forward with confidence,” Mr Modi said while inaugurating a four-day “Heads of Indian Missions” conference, which is themed “diplomacy with development. Around 120 envoys from Indian missions abroad have gathered in the Indian diplomat for brainstorming sessions on the future trajectory of India’s diplomacy, the first such meeting under the Narendra Modi government.