The famous novelist John W. Campbell once said; “A diplomatic protocol is a form of manifestation of good manners between nations” which tends to be true whenever we have a look at the noble moves of the honourable PM Narendra Modi. Indeed! It was a very humble gesture to invite heads of ASEAN nations as guests during the historical Republic Day of India on January 26, 2018. Preceded by the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit this has surely symbolized a bilateral engagement where the PM stressed on “Shared Values, Common Destiny.” Even though it is quite evident that the charismatic leader has a strong conviction to assert the nation’s sphere of influence but is it so much smooth?
The Policy Times tried to have a look at the possible obstacles in the visionary approach of our honourable PM:-
- Can we match China in terms of project proposals and financial commitments?
- Can personal bonds manage complex geopolitical challenges and conflicts?
- How will he able to manage the bureaucratic inertia that has always acted as a hindrance?
- The sluggish execution of connectivity projects
- India’s methodology to cope up with its own limitations
- The self-insecurity of the ASEAN nations
- The revanchist policy of China on South China sea
- Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy’
Looking at the possible hassles, it seems that the historic bond which has a history of more than 2000 years couldn’t be sustained in a true manner or just we need to have a change in our approach instead of giving customized personal hospitality to the heads of the nations. (Although it was nice gesture from a country which believes in (Atithi Devo Bhava). Can’t we have just slight changes in our policies which can bring miracle in the long run? We have the following suggestions for our policymakers:
- Maintaining a long-term personal relationship as Indian diplomacy is based on personal dynamism
- India needs to be quite strong in execution rather than just initiation and leaving it in mod-way
- Need to encash the aggressive policies of China and USA in its favour for maintaining strong bond with comparatively weak nations
- India needs to work on the ground realities leaving behind the assumptions and fears
- India needs to understand that geo-political differences need to be understand thoroughly instead of just feeling proud on the historical aspects
Then only the day will come when the vision of a strategic leader will come true and could make India a real torch-bearer in South-East Asia.