India’s Leadership In Turbulent Times

India’s Leadership In Turbulent Times

In the past three years, the world has experienced turbulence like never before. At the beginning of 2020, the world was buffeted by the Covid-19 pandemic, adding to the blows it had suffered in recent decades, such as the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and the international economic crisis in 2007-08. 

It resulted in severe economic and health repercussions for the world. Over seven months ago, as the world was still trying to recover from this crisis, Russia invaded Ukraine, dealing it a massive blow.

In addition to disruptions in supply chains, food, energy, and fertilizer prices are rising sharply worldwide.

However, these unanticipated disasters have also affected the developed countries in Europe, the USA, and elsewhere. All this turmoil has made India a beacon of hope for the world. 

A leading partner of choice, India is indispensable to tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including peace, security, climate change, economic recovery, healthcare, and terrorism. 

By pursuing bold yet prudent policies, India turned the unforeseen dangers of the Covid-19 pandemic into opportunities, as most countries failed to do. In contrast with the developed countries, India adhered to a measured policy approach when they were competing to stimulate their economies. 

India's Leadership In Turbulent Times

More than 800 million Indians have been provided with essential food items for 33 months so that the decline in earning capacity of the working population due to the extended lockdowns would not adversely affect the economic well-being of the lowest income groups. 

The swift recovery of the economy was also greatly aided by widespread and rapid digitization. 

It is worth noting that the protracted shutdowns at the beginning of the pandemic and again from March 2021 took a heavy toll on the economy, resulting in a decline in the GDP in FY 2020-21 of 6.8 percent.

Still, the following year marked a sharp increase that erased much of the lockdown deficit. The Indian economy is the 5th largest in the world today, with an annual GDP growth rate of about 7%.

Today, the world has a GDP of $3.5 trillion, so getting to $5 trillion isn’t far off. 

India is expected to be the 4th largest economy in the world by 2027. India continues to face several domestic challenges. Some examples are inequality, unemployment, gender disparity, education, healthcare, and more.

It is a sustained effort on the part of governments, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre and by various state governments, to improve quality of life and to create an environment that encourages entrepreneurship so that job seekers can become self-employed and employers can create jobs. 

India's Leadership In Turbulent Times

India also scored high in the health sector by producing two vaccines within a year of the pandemic. Covishield was developed and manufactured by AstraZeneca Oxford Company of the UK, and Covaxin, an indigenous vaccine produced on an indigenous basis. It allowed India to begin vaccinations in 2021.

Among the eligible segments (12 years and older) of India’s population, over 2 billion vaccines have been administered. Among the eligible citizens, one dose has been given to 94% and two to 86 percent. 

Another significant segment of the population has been administered the third precautionary dose. 

Furthermore, India has supplied more than 200 million vaccine doses to over 100 countries commercially and as gifts in line with its ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ philosophy (The Whole World is a Family). 

A wrong assumption by China was that India would not be able to withstand its onslaught of more than 50,000 troops and heavy artillery located in eastern Ladakh.

In 2017, the 73-day standoff in Doklam should have made it clear to India that it would not compromise security and territorial integrity. 

In retaliation to its ignominious pullback in Doklam, China’s arrogance resulted in a swift and robust response at the Line of Actual Control in June 2020. There has been no resolution to the tense standoff so far.

Currently, the Russia-Ukraine conflict is nearing a boiling point. With a modest card, India has played it smartly. Even though it chose not to criticize Russia directly for the attack, India consistently emphasized respecting the UN Charter and the territorial integrity of all fora, including the UNGA. 

Although India did not condemn Russia’s actions, it made it clear that it is unhappy that the war continues and desires its end through dialogue and diplomacy as soon as possible. 

On September 16, PM Modi said during the SCO Summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, that this was no time for war. 

The Indian ambassador to the UN said India was ‘deeply disturbed by the recent events in Ukraine’ while speaking on the US resolution condemning Russia for annexing the four regions. 

Purchasing more Russian oil than ever shows a clear commitment to India’s core strategic interests to the West, Russia, and the rest of the world, including China. 

A significant concern for the country is safeguarding its energy security and ensuring that its people have reliable energy at an affordable price. The US has shown itself unable or unwilling to lead the world over the last three years.

India's Leadership In Turbulent Times

As evidenced by the poorly handled Covid-19 pandemic and the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, the government has a reckless attitude. 

Due to its reprehensible behavior during the pandemic, wolf warrior diplomacy, weaponizing supply chains, and expansionist policies, China feels that the US’ isolationism has created a vacuum it wishes to fill. 

India shines as an oasis of peace, stability, and development in this chaotic and unstable environment. On September 24, the External Affairs Minister explained how India enjoys immense goodwill, is a voice of reason and has vast experience.

India has the opportunity, now more than ever, to realize its rightful place in the world community. India cannot lead the world alone at this juncture, nor is it capable of doing so. 

To establish a place for itself that is worthy of its economic, political, and cultural stature, it must enter into appropriate partnerships. 

For a country to be able to lead its region or the world, it needs to possess self-confidence, boldness, courage, vision, political will, sound economics, the ability to make tough decisions, political stability, the right mix of hard and soft power, social harmony, and peer recognition.

India, under Prime Minister Modi, possesses most of these ingredients. Over the past eight years, Prime Minister Modi has demonstrated India’s confidence, vision, and courage through several path-breaking initiatives at home and abroad. 

Additionally to the ones cited above, there are many other demands, such as abolishing Article 370, prohibiting Triple Talaq, instituting GST, pushing back against Pakistan and China, and improving relations with the United States, Japan, Europe, and others.

It has been evident from its actions and decisions that India under PM Modi is willing and capable of successfully leading the world to resolve many of the challenges it faces. 

According to The Economist, the same thoughts are expressed in its latest issue. Due to their Left-liberal ideologies and unfounded prejudices about India, they may harbor these attitudes. In addition, it proves that their journalism is low-quality, low-effort, and low-accurate. 

India's Leadership In Turbulent Times

During a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 16, Prime Minister Modi stated that diplomacy, dialogue, and democracy are the answer, rather than war. Under Modi, India’s rise was evident in the assured interaction with Uzbekistan.

With its ambition and assertiveness, India has become increasingly indispensable for finding solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as diplomacy, climate change, technology, trade, and efforts to diversify supply chains against Chinese influence. 

Clearly, the above statement illustrates how India is currently positioned. India can lead the world into peace, security, and prosperity because it enjoys a democratic dispensation, a large demographic dividend, a rapidly growing economy, and a diverse, peaceful population.

Edited by Prakriti Arora

Nandana Valsan

Nandana Valsan is a Journalist/Writer by profession and an 'India Book of Records holder from Kochi, Kerala. She is pursuing MBA and specializes in Journalism and Mass Communication. She’s best known for News Writings for both small and large Web News Media, Online Publications, Freelance writing, and so on. ‘True Love: A Fantasy Bond’ is her first published write-up as a co-author and 'Paradesi Synagogue: History, Tradition & Antiquity' is her second successful write-up in a book as a co-author in the National Record Anthology. She has won Millenia 15 Most Deserving Youth Award 2022 in the category of Writer. A lot of milestones are waiting for her to achieve. Being a Writer, her passion for helping readers in all aspects of today's digital era flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides.

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