The year belongs to Indian philosophy of ‘VasudhaivKutumbakam’ in global politics

Year 2023 is all set to be over, and the world is eagerly waiting for the new year to explore new opportunities. This year remained extravagant from global affairs’ point of view. Amid the rivalry between the US and China, the world witnessed new security challenges posed by China in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean […]

Year 2023 is all set to be over, and the world is eagerly waiting for the new year to explore new opportunities. This year remained extravagant from global affairs’ point of view. Amid the rivalry between the US and China, the world witnessed new security challenges posed by China in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, while the US kept increasing its power through strengthening NATO and the Western bloc. Russia-Ukraine war intensified, and another theatre of war opened in the Levant region after Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October. Most of the European nations including powerful Britain and Germany faced economic setbacks this year. North Korea kept flaunting its sophisticated arsenals while South Korea and Japan chose to bandwagon behind the US. Chinese ministers vanished in thin air while Xi faced serious economic and political challenges at his home-front. Still, he remained busy with promoting Chinese expansive policy in the name of its belt and road initiative. Alleged Chinese balloons in the territory of the US escalated tensions between both the nations. However, after skipping significant opportunities to meet and hold a bilateral talk with Biden, Xi finally met him on the sidelines of APEC summit held in San Francisco. The US faced a constitutional crisis over the issue of increasing debt ceiling. After days of showdown between the republicans and democrats over the issue, the US Congress finally approved the debt ceiling bringing a sigh of relief for the global financial market. Major political drama unfolded in Pakistan this year. Arrest of the ex-PM of Pakistan, Imran Khan, created a riotous situation. Later, Pakistan dissolved its parliament prematurely. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner Group, a Russian private army, went missing (though many claim he is dead) after having a tiff with Putin. A brawl between India and Canada started when Trudeau, despite knowing the history of Khalistan movement in India, alleged that Indian government has a role in killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar (read: wanted Khalistani terrorist), and now and the year is ending on the bitter note of Khalistani attack on Swaminarayan Temple in the US. The 15th BRICS summit was held in Johannesburg, South Africa this year. Apart from adopting the historic Johannesburg II Declaration, the member nations also announced and welcomed six new permanent members of BRICS.

Amid violent conflicts, international summits and diplomatic meets, world politics remained complex yet dynamic.  And I have no inhibitions to say that the year belongs to India. India initiated a new chapter of positive ‘kutumb’ diplomacy in the world by spreading its core philosophy of ‘VasudhaivKutumbakam’ and successfully hosting G-20 summit in New Delhi. It also achieved historic inclusion of African Union into G-20 as a permanent member and reiterated its vision of democratising mighty multilateral platforms to provide breathing space to global south.
In two days of G-20 summit, India not only successfully convened the three sessions on Earth, Future and Family, it also taught the world to adopt the Gandhian way of self-reliance, peace, non-violence, cooperation, democracy and collaboration. International media featured India as a true global leader for bringing the nations of the two worlds on the same stage seamlessly, democratizing the mighty platform of G-20, making it people’s G-20 and coming out with much awaited Delhi Declaration document without a single footnote (read: dissent). This has happened in the history of G-20 for the first time. India’s vision for ‘one earth, one family and one future’ reflects in all eight chapters ranging from strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, accelerated progress of SDGs, green developments, multilateral institutions of 21st century to technical transformation and digital economy, international taxation, gender equality and empowering women and girls, financial sector, countering terrorism and money laundering, and creating an all-inclusive world.
India also hosted the SCO summit this year in New Delhi in which defence ministers of the member nations gathered to discuss various challenges and opportunities.
Indian Defence Minister warned China in the summit and the other member nations supported Indian concerns for global peace and security.
India-US relations also scaled the new heights of success.
After completion of the much awaited ‘state visit’ by Indian PM this year in June, both the nations came up with incredible announcements in the key areas of security and defence, economy, education, science and technology etc.
Indian PM Modi also officially visited France in July this year and graced France’s Bastille Day (National Day) celebrations on 14 July as the guest of honour along with the Indian contingent. Both the leaders of India and France, reinstated their commitment to promote policies for creating a suitable environment for greater technology sharing, co-development, and co-production. PM Modi’s visit to Abu Dhabi this year took the bilateral relationship between India and UAE to the next level.
During this recent visit of Modi to the UAE, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Bank of the UAE signed two significant memoranda of understanding (MoUs).
India also proved this year that hard work and perseverance never fail. After failure of Chandrayaan 2 in 2019, the determined scientists of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) did not leave any stone unturned to find the gaps and closing them holistically to come up with mission Chandrayaan 3. This time India not only achieved a soft landing on Moon and became the fourth nation following the US, Russia and China to place its flag on Moon, it became the first nation to land near the important south pole of Moon, which is an unexplored area and of immense significance to the players of space technology.
This is new India, a Vishwaguru, a Vishw-mitra and it teaches the world that though global politics would remain everchanging and complex, collaboration is the key to positive growth.

(The author is Professor, School of International Studies, JNU)