We speak often of the Hindu religion, of the Sanatan Dharma, but few of us really know what that religion is. Other religions are preponderatingly religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatan Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived. ….. It is to give this religion that India is rising. She does not rise as other countries do, for self or when she is strong, to trample on the weak. She is rising to shed the eternal light entrusted to her over the world. India has always existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity and not for herself that she must be great”. —– Sri Aurobindo, Uttarpara Speech, May 30, 1909
We want to have cooperation in technology, education, security and climate change with India. No major problem can be solved without India. India is such an important partner,” said the Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office, Dr Tobias Lindner, when he visited Bharat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently visited Europe and got a rousing welcome from leaders with expectations for a constructive global role. “When rules-based order was under threat in Asia, the advice we got from Europe was to do more trade”, was the answer of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar when he was questioned over Bharat not discontinuing trade relations with Russia. These three occurrences indicate only one thing – a confident Bharat is rising and carving out a central space in the emerging world order.
The present era is of ignominious uncertainties for everyone. Why does everyone see Bharat as a hope amidst this age of instability and misperception? The old Europe that defined the global value system is diminishing fast. The American system that defined the post-War International system, in a way, has been the extension of the same Euro-centric worldview. Modern International Relations and diplomacy are governed by the American parameters of a ‘stable world order’. Both bipolarity and unipolar globalisation are proving inadequate to solve the issues of peace and prosperity.
The only outcome of market globalisation advocated by the US is the rise of China. With authoritarian rule, China successfully implemented State-controlled capitalism domestically to capture the supply chain. The regulations and institutions advocated by American globalisation have been manipulated to overthrow them in the name of ‘Chinese characteristics’. The COVID-19 crisis and the aftermath have dramatically exposed the Dragon’s machinations; hence revisionist China is seen as a global threat. Terrorism, environmental degradation, economic disparities, a cycle of wars and mechanisation of human relations are the manifestations of the wrong fundamentals advocated in the name of modernity through different varieties of capitalism and communism.
In such a scenario, Bharat is the only country that has the potential to provide a third way. The civilisational state always had the capability to drive the alternative. While balancing the interests and principles together, Bharat is now trying to present a civilisational approach in the present context. It no longer bothers about the Western certification on free speech, human rights, food security, etc.
The historical experience of amicable management of diversities is Bharat’s greatest strength. Prime Minister Modi showcased that through the gifts presented to his counterparts from the Nordic countries. Bharat is not just articulating the idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (Familial Globalisation) as much bigger and greater than Market Globalisation; it is backed by action on climate change, healthcare, blue economy and clean energy. Our familial approach toward humanity during the COVID-19 crisis was exemplary. The spiritual and cultural edifice of nationhood is no longer seen as antithetical to innovations and inventions. Being the oldest existing repository of knowledge, Bharat has a Dharma to give to the entire humanity. As Sri Aurobindo said in his famous Uttarpara speech, ‘to shed the eternal light entrusted to her over the world’ and ‘not to trample on the weak’, Bharat is rising. That is precisely why the entire world views us as the saviour of humanity.