Mani Shankar Aiyar rattled by Narendra Modi's popularity

The recent dooms day prophecy by Mani Shankar Aiyar claiming that Narendra Modi is turning us into America's new Pakistan is yet another diatribe clouded by two factors; unfounded Modi-phobia and being stuck in a time warp.

If one were to analyse his diatribe it largely rests on two premises, one that the Non Aligned Movement was the sole reason for all good that happened in the world and in India and two that Narendra Modi has offered India as the staging ground for an imaginary Cold War II.

Let's take the trouble of dispelling both these premises. One would expect that a former IFS officer would have a look at the official MEA debrief on the outcomes of the Modi-Obama visit (available on the MEA website). Among quite a few outcomes, here are three significant ones:

 The signing of the MoU on November 18, 2014 between Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. and the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which would make available up to $1 billion in financing to facilitate expanded cooperation and enhance US private sector investment in Indian clean energy projects.

  Signing of three MoUs between the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan and the US Trade and Development Agency on January 25, 2015 to develop Vishakhapatnam, Allahabad, and Ajmer as Smart Cities with the participation of US industry, in furtherance of the commitment made by the Leaders in September 2014.

 Convening of the High Technology Cooperation Group on November 20 and 21, 2014 to shape a cooperative agenda on high technology goods, including export control-related trade in homeland security technologies, high technology manufacturing equipment including machine tools, defence trade, and fostering collaboration in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and health-related information technology.

How does using US expertise in Renewable energy, Smart Cities (part of the BJP manifesto) and hi-tech cooperation including homeland security technologies qualify as doubling backwards by Narendra Modi? These three are compelling demonstrations of how Narendra Modi is promoting national interest through foreign policy. It is (Foreign Policy) fundamentally an instrument to further National interest. Each of these areas are pertinent to what we need to do improve our energy security, national security and provide superior quality of life to Indians.

The Non Aligned Movement ( NAM) conceptually was sound given the circumstances way back in the 1960's when the world was bipolar (USSR was as mighty as the United States) but there is little evidence of what it accomplished. India was always USSR aligned (all defence procurement then) and Pakistan was aligned to America and yet both were part of NAM. Countries with dubious human rights records like North Korea, Iran continue to be a part of NAM. It never really did have a charter and neither did it dissuade both the superpowers then from anything that they wished to do, all it was reduced to over the years was a platform for weak and in some cases failed states to cry on each other's shoulders. Times changed, the world became unipolar and the Cold War ended. In fact, the theatre of war has been overtly fundamental and religious in nature in recent times, and India is surrounded by hostile neighbours in the form of Pakistan and China. All tactics that can help us thwart and stall the designs of both these countries should and must be used and that is precisely what Narendra Modi is doing.

Undoubtedly, Indians would support this endeavour notwithstanding Mani Shankar Aiyar's juvenile belief that "Aman Ki Asha" will melt the Pakistani Army!

We are as non-aligned as we ever were in the Narendra Modi regime as well. Perhaps India is the only country which has a joint missile venture with Russia (BrahMos); we are leveraging Japan for their expertise in Bullet trains (again part of the manifesto which people voted for!), China for Bilateral trade, Israel for border security expertise and Vietnam for joint petroleum exploration! Modi is wisely leveraging key countries for the expertise and the opportunity that they bring to the table to further India's growth and interest. Baffling to find Mani Shankar Aiyar quarrel with this instead of conquering his Modi-Phobia!

That the US-led Pakistan by its nose to Afghanistan was a function of many aspects, one being the fact that Pakistan was literally hand held by America over the years and that land access to the FATA region was essential to weed out Osama bin Laden. Just what exactly does the United States need India for in the exaggerated scare scenario that Mani Shankar Aiyar is trying desperately to peddle? On one hand, we have the Congress discrediting Obama - Modi bonhomie as optics and the other hand, we have Mani Shankar Aiyar's propaganda that Modi has doubled backwards and mortgaged our independence (and for nothing if he were to be believed)!

The heartening aspect of Modi's leadership is that for once our foreign policy, security policy and trade policies are working in tandem with the sole objective of promoting and securing India's interest unlike the Congress-led regimes and this shift will take India from strength to strengthAn unintended triumph of Modi is that he has got even Mani Shankar Aiyar to talk about Mahatma Gandhi in his piece here and not about Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi!

As we head towards the centennial year of Mahatma Gandhi, the country can be assured that we have in Modi a leader who is singularly focused on securing a future for India and Indians that we have deserved for long.

The cold war has been long over but frost bites still plague Mani Shankar Aiyar! Fortunately, the nation is in full steam ahead with Narendra Modi!


Courtesy Niti Central



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