The present article tries to draw a real picture of India's dream of becoming
a superpower, India's emerging position as a world leader in the UN, and how
this emerging superpower was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The author here
wants to gain the attention of its readers on the recent happenings which worked
in favor of India (especially in the Indo-Pacific region). These recent events
include; defense agreements, treaties, diplomatic achievements, important
international dialogues &, etc.
India is an ancient land where endless human advancements flourished. It is a
nation which, has withstood the assaults of time and maintained its way of life
as a free, independent country. India is a place that is known for variety,
monotony wears on the soul.
A nation that is the house of more than 1/6th of the worldwide populace, it is a
country that is lively with the fantasy of its kin. India of the 21st century
isn't only a country, yet a fantasy a dream of incalculable spirits trying to
have a place with a solid, confident, ground-breaking and self-reliant country.
In the start of 1990-91 the then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao was forced to
proclaim that "our coffers are unfilled" and India had to vow its gold to get
the scant forex. Yet, in 2004 Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh in his
Independence Day discourse stated that, "From being a borrower, India today
loans cash to the less fortunate and poorer countries".
Prior to this pandemic India became the 5th largest economy in the word, and the
GPD growth of India's economy seemed to be rising at a very promising rate, but
due to the pandemic this economic growth was hugely affected, making the GDP
growth of India fall to its record low of negative 23.9%. It was a huge blow to
India, which made us question our dreams of becoming the global
superpower.  But fortunately in the 3rd economic quarter of this fiscal year,
we are observing, the restoration of steadiness and hope in our economy, with
rapid growth from a negative 23.9% to a positive 0.1%.
This present paper tries to discuss in details about how the changes brought to
the world along with the pandemic is working in favor of India and how India is
using it for its advantage and emerging as a world superpower. This paper not
only focuses on the economic aspect but also the military, political &
diplomatic aspect, more of which is discussed in the later part of this article.
India's Evolving Position In UN
United Nation should undoubtedly, the most significant position in establishing
today's world order, the foundation of which was laid in the year 1945.
Presently there are 193 countries which are registered as members State in UN.
The founding charter of UN forwarded the purpose for which this organization was
established and it has further records many-a-few guiding principles which
regulates all the current missions and works of UN. There are 6 main organs of
UN that includes UNSC, UNGA and ICJ.
The author here forwards some recommendations which the government of India can
and must do to fix the broken system of this body, which are as read:
- India getting a non-permanent seat in UNSC
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is unarguably one of the most
important organs of the UN. The membership into this organ holds the most
controversial and discriminatory aspect of UN. The membership into UNSC is
regulated as per the UN Charter which states that:
The security council shall consist of 15 members of the United
Nations. Of these 15 members, 5 will be the permanent members and
Now the election for the non-permanent members happens every year, where 5
countries are elected for the term of 2 years. The election of the
non-permanent members has to follow the rules of UN charter which also
provides the fixed quotas for different regions; this ensures uniform
representation of countries of different region to the UNSC. Currently 2/10
seats are fixed for the countries belonging to the Asia pacific. Indonesia
and Vietnam were elected as non-permanent members from Asia-pacific region,
of which Indonesia is to retire, giving its position to India in January of
2021.This is 8th time that, India has won the non-permanent seat of UNSC.
India's candidature to this year's UNSC's election was unanimously endorsed
by 55 countries of Asia pacific region including China & Pakistan who
presently are, having direct military and diplomatic confrontation with
India. This unopposed endorsement of Indian candidature to UNSC's membership
shows the success of Indian diplomacy, in the indo-pacific region which was
able to mold the decision of countries such as Pakistan, which is considered
to be the sole nemesis of India along with china, who consider India as
their biggest hurdle. The biggest highlight of this election is the
voluntary suspension of Afghanistan's candidature from UNSC election for
- India's approach to reform UNSC
What makes this position in UNSC so important to India? Post the covet-19
it's being assumed by many diplomats and political-analysts that, the year
2021 & 2022 are going to be very crucial for India, who has always supported
the idea of reformation in UNSC, along with its demand of a permanent seat
in the Security Council. Moreover, it's important to note the rapid increase
in the number of countries, supporting and advocating India's demand for
reformation in current UNSC which doesn't represent the geo-political
realities of the 21st century.
According to The Print article, India's External Affairs Minister, S.
Jaishankar releases an statement stating that, India's win in the UNSC
election will bring ‘Five S' approach to the world. The 5 ‘S' approach here
includes; Samman, Samvas, Sahayog, Shanty & Samriddhi of all. The External
Affairs Minister further supplements that it's through using this approach
that India will move near the direction of a novel orientation for the
reformed multilateral systems also known as norms.
- India's leadership role in WHO
The international courts may not be effective in delivering justice, by
punishing those who are responsible for spread for this pandemic but the
world can't look the other way as China and its accomplice break the rules;
the accomplices like the China and the World health Organization; an
institution which has been parroting China's statements since the very
The WHO is made up of the UN member states (194 members), the challenges
that it faces are institutional. The WHO is as effective as the nations
which make up its body, so cutting funds and issuing threats to WHO by some
members like US, will not really work in the long term, there has to be a
leader, someone will have to get their hands dirty and fix the flaws in the
system, can that someone be India? There's a probability for that to be a
Starting from the 22nd May 2020, India was given the leadership role of WHO.
India's nominee is appointed as the WHO'S executive board chairperson.
India's nomination was unanimously upheld by the south-east Asia group last
year. India thereby took-over this leadership role in WHO replacing Japan
and is expected to hold this post for a minimum of 3 year.
Changing nexus between Indo-ASEAN countries post covet
- Push the WHO leadership for accountability -A good place to begin is by
asking questions; questions like, why did it buy china's word on human
transmission? Did it downplay or bluntly lied about how lethal this virus
was? Why did it declare a pandemic only after the virus has reached 85 odd
countries? India must begin by asking these questions without hesitation.
- Demand transparency from member countries - starting from the one who
gave the world the virus; china.
- India must insist on financial independence of WHO – by doing this India
can limit the influence of other nation in the decision making process of
The new phase to Indo-ASEAN relationship began with the change in India's views
towards the south-east Asian countries, this view of India is reflected in its
1991 foreign policy of Look East, which in 2018 was renewed to Act East
Policy. Now the question was, Should India forgo its policy of Act East
and concentrate more in other organization like the Quad-Groups, SAARC nations &
etc, which satisfies more of India's security interest?
Considering all the challenges before ASEAN that affected it's relevancy to
India (such as, its failure of ASEAN to gather uniform consensus, ASEAN's bent
towards China in major trade agreements like RCEP and OBOR, Reluctance of few
ASEAN countries to go against China and etc) author's view to the above
question would have been in positive, but after observing all the changes within
this ongoing pandemic, the author believes that, India's Act East policy which
centrally focuses on the ASEAN countries is still very much significant to
India, to ensure India's strategy to counter china's String Of
Pearls. Some of the major developments which change the author views on
ASEAN's relevancy to India are as discussed hereunder:
- Changing views and interest of the ASEAN countries
The increasing aggression of china, towards its neighbors', be it India in the
Himalayas or the ASEAN countries in the south china sea, is now forcing these
countries to change it strategy towards china from passive resistance to now
active aggression. For example, the repeated intrusion of the Chinese into the
Vietnamese Exclusive Economic Zone, which lead to the death of few Vietnamese
sailors in the past few months have aggravated the whole situation to a next
level and the accusation on Chinese to have intentionally started this pandemic,
doesn't make things any better for the ASEAN-china relation but on contrary to
this, it has brought India and ASEAN a lot closer, due to the mutual threat for
both which is china. These recent incidents have created a drastic change in the
views and interest of the ASEAN countries towards china. Earlier, where there we
use to see the failure of ASEAN to gather uniform consensus on this matter, now
we observe a sought off uniformity among them.
- Increasing Role of ASEAN in India's Necklace Of Diamond Strategy
We all know about the String Of Pearls, which is the Chinese strategy
to encircle India in the Indian ocean by continually developing significant
strategic bases around India. For years now, India remained unsuccessful to form
a useful alternative to counter the string of pearls strategy of Chinese, the
reason for it being is the lack of capitals to to afford creating such bases
which is huge. But now India has come up with a much affordable and useful
strategic plan, where we by signing security agreements with other foreign
countries promise to share each other's naval bases and ports for strategic and
Further, Indian strategic experts with the same principle as above have formed a
new strategy of Necklace of Diamond as a counter to Chinese String of
. The necklace of diamond or garland of diamond strategy mainly aims
at encircling china in the South China Sea. This plan of India seemed nearly
impossible few years back but with the transformation in the geo-static
relationship things have changes for good.
For making these diamond strategies successes the ASEAN countries are very
significant for India, this is because India has already signed significant
deals with ASEAN countries like Singapore & Indonesia, and the discussion for
such other agreements with rest ASEAN countries are still in progress.
The authors suggestion for India, if it wants to use ASEAN's support and their
ports as a way to counter china, is to 1st ensure the stability of the union and
then create medium to attain uniform consensus or understanding among them by
letting them know of the benefits they will achieve form this which might be
ranging from soft loans to security, from free trade deal to tourist promotions
The author of this present article aims at drawing a clearer picture of India's
dream of becoming global superpower. The present paper mainly focuses on 2 major
aspects, relating to India's emergence as the world leader; first being the
India's evolving position in UN and the second being the Changing nexus between
Indo-ASEAN countries post covet and why ASEAN's relevance to India changed post
the pandemic, which also includes the Indian strategy of necklace of diamond as
a way to counter the Chinese strategy of string of pearls
. And the very end
of this paper the author has forwarded her suggestions and opinions of the
Written By: Prime Legal Law Firm
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