S Jaishankar outlines ‘Vishwa Mitra’ goal for India

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Arguing that India didn’t benefit from the globalisation, which he argued on account of the gains going to those why had strength in the productions, Jaishankar spoke of the rising interests in the world for workforce mobility agreements with the country.

EAM S Jaishankar with PM Narendra Modi

EAM S Jaishankar with PM Narendra Modi

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, January 3: External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in a departure from the popular slogan of India becoming a ‘Vishwa Guru’ argued that the country should aspire to be a ‘Vishwa Mitra’. While Guru in place of meaning a teacher is essentially seen as an Indian aspiration of a global leader, Jaishankar appears to have brough an air of moderation by scaling down the yearning to the aim of a global friend.

In a conversation hosted by Samir Saran of the ORF for the book launch function, Jaishankar articulated that “India should aim to have more goodwill and less of adversity”. Jaishankar said that he envisaged India as a ‘Vishwa Mitra’. This is in departure to the often-stated claims of the leaders and even ministers from the ranks of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre that India is becoming a ‘Vishwa Guru’ under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Jaishankar was in conversation at the ORF for the launch of his book ‘Why Bharat Matters’. Further elaborating on his ‘Vishwa Mitra’ pitch, Jaishankar spoke of the trust quotient in the global affairs. He argued that India will stand to gain in the emerging economic opportunities because of the trust factor. He suggested that India is being looked upon by countries with trusts. Jaishankar gave the example of the indigenous Covid-19 vaccines to drive home his arguments, stressing on the accuracy and efficiency of the Indian jabs.

Arguing that India didn’t benefit from the globalisation, which he argued on account of the gains going to those why had strength in the productions, Jaishankar spoke of the rising interests in the world for workforce mobility agreements with the country. He also spoke of work place mobility as an opportunity for India.

Jaishankar predicted that India stands to gain from its digital strength in the global economy because of the efficiency, scale and trust quotient. He said that the data trustworthiness will be a factor driving the global interests.

His book has heavily drawn analogies from the epic Ramayana while explaining the geostrategic issues. Jaishankar claimed that QUAD members are like four sons of King Dasratha. Ram, Bharat, Shatrughan, and Laxman were four sons of Dasratha. However, Jaishankar didn’t identify the QUAD countries with the specific sons of Dasratha. The US, Australia, Japan, and India are four members of the QUAD.

To a question if France was a Laxman for India, Jaishankar said: “I have written about France in the book, and there are several references to Laxman. So, you may draw your conclusion.” French President Emmanuel Macron will be Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations this year. India and France have strategic relations while also being partners in defence cooperation.  

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