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Standing Alone


India doesn’t need a PIO from the US to know that it will be ‘alone’ in any possible war against China. If the US was so good at predicting events, perhaps it should have pre-empted what is occurring presently in Ukraine. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has effectively placed all the self-serving advice emanating from the US and UK in the correct perspective by pointing out that, in the months to come, it will be the same countries importing gas from Russia as have been doing till now – mostly those in Europe. At a time when the world is hoping for effective diplomacy to avert World War 3, the US and UK should have a better understanding of the reality than that which emerges from the echo-chambers of ‘western’ opinion.

It is also interesting to note that India is counted as a democracy when required to confront Russia, while most of the time every effort is made to discredit it, even by supporting and sponsoring anti-national and other disruptive elements. Even so many years after Independence, one of India’s major concerns is battling the residual colonial mindset that runs through the western establishments.

India is fully aware of the threat from China and is prepared to confront it alone whenever needed. It will willingly be part of organisations like the Quad, but with its eyes open. It will certainly not allow itself to be used as a pawn against Russia. Also, it should be given credit for having the intelligence to help out in the Ukraine matter in its own way. It recognises that Russian President Putin needs a face-saving exit from the present imbroglio. The US, on the other hand, is willing to fight Russia to the last drop of every Ukrainian’s blood.

As before in history, India’s principle of ‘non-alignment’ is being interpreted as ‘neutrality’. Just as this approach helped prevent a nuclear holocaust in the days of the Cold War, it will hopefully play a positive role in the present crisis. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pragmatism should be able to communicate the necessary message to Russia in the interaction with Foreign Minister Lavrov. With similar interventions underway from China, Turkey and other ‘third’ parties, it is possible a resolution may be found that gives Ukrainians back their freedom. It is necessary, however, that the US and its allies obtain a better understanding of present day India, rather than take their cues from outdated precepts that exist, today, only in the cobwebbed halls of Harvard and Cambridge.