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India is fast emerging a country to reckon with globally and “only option” left for it in present scenario is to grow only

Ranchi, Apr 9: India is fast emerging a country to reckon with globally and “only option” left for it in present scenario is to grow only.

“We are in a state of flux and India whether wants or not is bound to play its part. In the context of fast changing global scene, India though wants to behave neutral, would not be able to do so for ever”, according to Mr Rajiv Sikri, former secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Mr Sikri was delivering a lecture on “Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy” organised by Centre for Human Rights and Conflict management as distinguished speaker at Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ) today.

Mr Sikri from his more than three decades of experience in diplomacy who also authored several books on the subject, feels that India with its rich history and vastness is “seen as a benign today but not essentially true forever”.

The former ambassador asserted that it would be a country of concern for others.

Mr Sikri during his hour long lecture touched upon countries like United States, Russia and neighbours like Bangladesh, Srilanka, Mynamar, Bhutan, Pakistan and China.

He said the relations with the US improved but “we cannot support them whole heartedly as the US government also does not extend whole hearted support to India in key matters where we want backing”.

Regarding Russia, he felt that it was a “time tested” relation. “Russia may no longer be a super power but it is not to written off”, he said adding in several key areas both in terms of infrastructure development or bilateral issues India had been receiving vital support from Russia.

A secure neighbor is critical and for that India needs to exercise more, he said and brought home the point that a bit of “close and regular” contact with neighbours like Srilanka, Bangladesh, Mynamar, Bhutan etc are need of the hour.

Regarding Pakistan, he said it is very difficult neighbour for it has both military and nuclear power.  Many in Pakistan are still under the impression that they had ruled India for centuries until the British came and took away their command. “Pakistan still nurtures the tendency to invade India”, he said.

On China, he felt India needs to develop border infrastructure, be more vigil and if needed be “aggressive” to assert its position. The former diplomat feels that India is in an advantageous position.

We need only that political will and strong leadership, he said.

Vice chancellor Prof A N Mishra welcoming the distinguished speaker said it is always an interesting topic to see as to how India should play at international level to gain more prominence.

Deans, faculty members, students and officials were present on the occasion.