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Book lays out foreign policy vision for India

·2-min read

New Delhi, Jan 22 (PTI) A new book by foreign affairs consultant Mohamed Zeeshan argues that India needs a more coherent strategy for its relations with the outside world in order to fulfil its domestic development needs and global leadership aspirations.

'Flying Blind: India's Quest for Global Leadership' seeks to explain why the ordinary Indian citizen should care about foreign policy and how a more proactive foreign policy can deliver economic growth at home.

'It details out the dilemmas plaguing India's foreign policy today - each of which have led to several inconsistencies in India's foreign policy practice and have consequently impacted India's interests,' publishers Penguin Random House said.

Faced with threats from China along its borders, and in need of solutions for its economic problems in this globalised world, Zeeshan argues that India needs a more proactive foreign policy.

He points out the pressing concerns that India has been burdened with from the past to the present, while also examining the various strengths that India enjoys - which, if intelligently utilised, will help India emerge as a global power in the coming decade.

The title 'Flying Blind' alludes to the absence of a coherent strategy in making full use of these advantages.

Through travels and debates across continents, and a series of discussions with diplomats, thought leaders and academics from around the world, Zeeshan lays out a much-needed foreign policy vision for India to champion the global good.

The author says in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the clamour for development institutions around the world will only get louder.

'Countries suffering from weak governance capacity and - worse - civil war and violence are a natural threat to global health, development and security. Global cooperation will necessarily need to address these gaps in public systems worldwide,' he writes.

So what does all this mean for New Delhi? 'For years now, India has stood out in the postcolonial world as one among very few stable democratic states, with an economy that has long been on the move. If Indian strategists are wondering what role New Delhi should play on the world stage, they should look no further than India's own long-standing and globally recognised strengths,' Zeeshan says.

'As one might say about domestic politics, just so even in international politics: give the people what they want,' he adds.

He also argues that no democracy - whether India or the US - should take its institutions and rights for granted.

'The resilience of democracy is not due to divine intervention; it is due to the persistent efforts of the citizens themselves to continue their democratic traditions. In India, the democratic culture seems to be well and truly deep-rooted. But Indians must keep it that way,' he writes. PTI ZMN RB RB RB