India is now a significant force impacting 200 nations – The Sunday Guardian

The G-20 summit is set to showcase India’s rising prominence to the world.


Some people are surprised at the historical significance attributed to the upcoming G-20 summit in Delhi. However, I believe that having covered the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and then the Group of 77 (G-77) countries’ gatherings as a journalist almost 40 years ago in 1983 and having had the opportunity to witness Indian Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers speak at several United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York and write about India’s role, the scale of the G-20 summit now appears very significant to me in comparison to all those summits. In the ever-changing international landscape, India’s importance has grown beyond just being a superpower or one of the wealthiest nations. Now, consider this: The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has 120 member countries, the Group of 77 (G-77) has 56 member countries, and the United Nations has 193 member countries. But do these organizations have the capability to stop the Russia-Ukraine conflict or control countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan that support terrorism? Moreover, can any other country, apart from India, play a significant role on par with the United States, Russia, China, Europe, Asia, and Africa in global politics, economic affairs, and humanitarian and environmental issues?

Some experts are expressing reservations about the G-20 summit in Delhi being made historic and grand because it follows the tradition of rotating its chairmanship among member countries. However, they seem to forget that at this point in time, India’s role has become crucial on every international platform. How can journalists or senior diplomats who were part of the arrangements for hosting world leaders and their allies in 1983 during NAM forget that, despite all claims, sessions and decisions at the summit were influenced by the Soviet or American lobby behind the scenes? Previously, it was the norm that the leader of a smaller country would threaten to leave if a rival spoke before them. Can a developed and prosperous country today issue such threats to India? Similarly, on the world stage, the United States, China, and Pakistan were running campaigns against India. Today, the United States is strategically placing India ahead on various issues to benefit itself. In the organization of the Group of 77 (G-77) countries in 1983, not only British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but also Queen Elizabeth was attempting to conduct proceedings in their own style from the Presidential Palace. Back then, Indian government officials had to work very hard to preserve the dignity of both sides. Is Britain causing trouble for India today? On the contrary, British Prime Minister Sunak appears to be singing praise about India and Hinduism. China engages in provocations on one hand, but is attempting to maintain economic relations with India during summits. Whether it’s Russia, France, Japan, Germany, Iran, or the United Arab Emirates, they are all striving to strengthen their ties with India. Therefore, the G-20 summit is set to showcase India’s rising prominence to the world.

The G-20 is the world’s largest group of the top 20 economies. It contributes approximately 80% to global GDP, 75% to global trade, and represents 60% of the world’s population, making it a major player in contemporary global politics among multilateral forums. The chairmanship of the G-20 holds significance for India for several reasons. First, it offers a substantial opportunity to set the agenda in international politics, particularly in leveraging power and influence on multilateral platforms. India has consistently aimed to be the voice of Global South on global forums. India is utilising its role in G-20 leadership to advance its own interests and position New Delhi as the voice of Global South and champion of Global South’s interests. Reforming multilateral institutions worldwide is one of the foremost priorities of India’s foreign policy. Facing challenges of climate change, economic reforms, pandemics, and growing geo-political tensions, the global community is seeking effective and responsive multilateral institutions that can perform better in the field. Therefore, India has positioned reformed multilateralism as one of its top priorities to address the challenges of the 21st century effectively. This will enhance India’s stature and role in global politics. India’s leadership comes at a time when the world is facing not only the challenges of global ups and downs, but also rising global tensions. The world is grappling with several challenges, including post-Covid economic recovery, climate change, food and energy security crises, supply chain disruptions, and conflicts. The international community hopes that India will play a crucial role in building global consensus on resolving these issues and shaping the agenda for the future of global common goods. Similarly, the world also expects India to bridge the growing divides not only between developing and developed worlds, but also within the Western bloc, especially in the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strengthened India’s position on international forums and in bilateral talks over the past few years. His claim that hosting the G-20 summit is a matter of pride for India in its 75th year of independence is indeed a significant opportunity for the country. The hosting of the G-20 summit in India could be a matter of concern for countries like Pakistan.

With the hosting of this summit, India is establishing itself as a soft power. In the coming times, the world’s attention is firmly fixed on India. India is a leader in the fight against terrorism. India has friendly relations with Russia. India also has good relations with Ukraine and its Western supporters. The entire world has been urging India to mediate and find a solution to this war. Everyone knows that if any country can stop this war or facilitate a peace agreement between the two countries, it is India. India has so far adopted a neutral stance on this war, although it has called for a peaceful resolution on various global platforms.

The world had praised India’s initiative in addressing the growing global food insecurity. Russia and Ukraine are major suppliers of grains worldwide, but due to the ongoing conflict between these countries, several nations faced food security concerns. Subsequently, a mutual agreement was reached between Russia and Ukraine, which led to the resumption of grain supplies. India had already played a role in facilitating this agreement. The global food crisis was averted, and the world acknowledges the significance of India.

In this way, India’s political, diplomatic, and economic influence will be showcased to the world during the G-20 summit. Furthermore, collaborative efforts in strategic relationships, the use of nuclear energy, space exploration, missions like the Chandrayaan and the exploration of solar mysteries, and partnerships with developed and developing nations through digital transformation will open new avenues. This victory of India should not only be a matter of pride for the government, but for every Indian.

The writer is editorial director of ITV Network-India News and Dainik Aaj Samaj.

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