India’s Interests Were Often Sacrificed Because of Ideological Reasons: Jaishankar

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Jaishankar asserted that the Narendra Modi government always work with the world while putting the country’s interests at its core.

India’s interests were often sacrificed because of “some ideological reasons”, external affairs minister S Jaishankar has said, asserting that the Narendra Modi government always work with the world while putting the country’s interests at its core. In an interview with Akashvani, Jaishankar highlighted the shift from the non-alignment era to a more assertive and national interest-driven approach in the present globalized landscape.

Jaishankar acknowledged the historical significance of non-alignment, describing it as a manifestation of India’s assertion of independence during a time when its capabilities were limited. He noted that while non-alignment represented a distinctive era in Indian foreign policy, it also came with its limitations.

“[It] was an era where our capabilities were limited and also where we did not always put our national interest first. Sometimes, we did not get the gains that we could have. But that is in the past,” the minister said.

Pointing to the challenges faced during the 1990s, a period marked by significant economic reforms, Jaishankar said these reforms necessitated a recalibration of India’s foreign policy, recognizing the inextricable link between economic and diplomatic strategies.

“We not only had to change our economic policy but also our foreign policy because both go together,” he said.

Jaishankar underscored the nation’s enhanced capabilities, self-assuredness, and belief in its capacity to effect substantial global change.

“Today, we are in a different era – It is an era where we are more capable, more confident, more ambitious, we think we can make a big difference. It is also a time which is more globalised. So that challenges are different, capabilities are different, the goals are different,” Jaishankar said.

He attributed a significant part of this transformative shift to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra and commended his understanding of India’s role on the international stage, his faith in the Indian populace, particularly the youth, and his adeptness in leveraging technology.

“We are much more active, much more visible. We are shaping the big issues and ideas of our times. We are nationalistic and international at the same time. We are doing more with the world but we always do so with India’s interest at the core. Not like in the past where often we put India’s interest behind some other country because of some ideological reason,” he said.

Source: Hindustan Times