India’s place in the changing world order; From Middle East to the balance of superpowers

December 17, 2020 2:25 PM

Beijing has already made clear its intent to change the existing world order by playing a much more active role in matters pertaining to globalisation, international trade, climate change as well as in military matters.

India with its long history of peaceful coexistence between people of multiple religions and faiths becomes a good example for the world to follow. (Photo source: Twitter/@narendramodi)

By Farooq Wani, 

While the Corona pandemic that originated from China has brought immense suffering to the entire world, the positive part is that it has brought the superpowers, who considered themselves invincible and were manipulating the world in a manner that suited their own vested interests, on their knees. In fact, many noted analysts consider this pandemic as the defining moment and pivotal event which marks the end of an era and heralds the beginning of another.

Beijing has already made clear its intent to change the existing world order by playing a much more active role in matters pertaining to globalisation, international trade, climate change as well as in military matters. And though Beijing is doing well to fulfil its global ambitions by securing a steadily increasing following, it too has proved inept and incapable in controlling the disease that spawned on its soil and soon spread like wild fire throughout the entire world. Since India, which too is emerging as a very strong power in the third world refuses to toe Beijing’s line and has vastly enhanced its defence cooperation with the US and its allies, China views India as a dangerous adversary. The determination to safeguard its territorial integrity against Chinese attempts to realign the Line of Actual Control (LAC) displayed by New Delhi has not only unnerved Beijing but also demonstrated that India is well on its way to becoming a ‘jug-guru (World leader)!

The recently held American elections have demonstrated the exceptionally strong call for greater democratic and social reforms. It’s hard to estimate what the outcome of this historical change-over will be but in the world undergoing a tectonic shift in the existing power balance, we cannot take our position for granted. Globalisation is an opportunity, a chance, a challenge. The need of the hour is to get a clearer picture of the shape of things to come in the fast-changing global scenario in which we are witnessing the emergence of new powers and the decline of the old. India has to navigate its path through this changing world order while keeping its interests in mind.

Change is the only certainty in life and the opportunities that the current scenario presents for India are tremendous-provided we are able to gainfully exploit the same. And to do this, the most important improvements that India needs to make concerns quantum augmentation in the efficiency and pro-activeness of its national security structure, ensuring greater flexibility in its outlook and thinking as well as a thriving economy. In the world of today, its money and muscle that ultimately matters!

One thing that is very clear from the normalization agreements between Israel and the Gulf Arab states is that the politics of West Asia has undergone a drastic transformation. And since the long-existing status quo has been broken, things will not be the same any more. Henry Kissinger in his famous book ‘World Order’ wrote that geopolitics and strategic considerations triumph religious issues. These diplomatic agreements are symptomatic of a Zionist-Sunni alliance against Shia Iran, which is finding itself isolated and is desperately trying to find a way out of this stranglehold because Arab-Zionist bonhomie is clearly in the US’s strategic interest.

Uprisings in many Muslim countries like Afghanistan and Syria which erupted with tacit support and patronage of some superpowers as well as Islamic nations have fizzled out. Nearer home, Pakistan’s image in in the international community has been severely eroded by Islamabad’s incompetent governance, policy paralysis and increasing tilt towards fundamentalism, not to forget Pakistan army’s continuing nexus with terrorist groups due to which Pakistan has landed in the grey list of FATF!

Turkey is also trying its best to replace Saudi Arabia as the leader of the Islamic block but while its efforts have made insignificant gains, Ankara’s manipulations have greatly divided the ‘umma’ (global Muslim fraternity).

Change is rapidly sweeping through Saudi Arabia, with many younger people, especially women, embracing newfound freedoms and as someone remarked, “Before there were limitations. Everything was `haram,’ (forbidden by religious beliefs). But now men and women have the freedom to become whatever they want.” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is going ahead to modernize Saudi Arabia, even it at times amounts to breaking long-held societal taboos derived from the regressive interpretation of Islam, as well as introducing economic reforms to wean the Gulf energy giant away from its decades-long dependence on oil revenue.

Unconfirmed reports of secret parleys aimed at a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel signals a paradigm shift, for it could lead to the creation of a new history and may signal a dramatic change in the way the Jewish-Muslim relations evolve. However, since Palestinians look up to Saudi Arabia as their most influential ally who supports their dream of a homeland, normalisation of Saudi-Israeli relations won’t be an easy task. Vested interests of western powers in the Middle-East make matters worse since the existing chaotic scenario there suits many of them.

Under these circumstances, India with its long history of peaceful coexistence between people of multiple religions and faiths becomes a good example for the world to follow. New Delhi maintains equally good ties with Israel as well as Islamic states that are its avowed enemies and thus India could well serve as the proverbial bridge that could be used to get over the centuries-old Zionist- Islam divide!

(The author is Editor Brighter Kashmir, Columnist, Political Analysts and TV Commentator. Views are personal)

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