Right from the beginning, Narendra Modi has always been very confident about his policies for foreign countries. During his swearing-in ceremony, he tried to convey a message that he is determined to take away the path of foreign policy from his predecessor Manmohan Singh. He had called all the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries’ Prime Ministers in his oath-taking ceremony. It was believed by many that Modi puts India’s interests in foreign policy at the center.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has always criticised Nehru’s policies, alleging that India’s interests have been neglected. After World War II, in the world of two poles under the leadership of Russia and USA, Nehru adopted the path of non-alignment for India.
With the growing influence of China in the Indian Ocean, the present government of India, along with the USA, Japan, and Australia, forwarded the quadrangular security dialogue. PM Narendra Modi also traveled overseas and such efforts showed that India’s position in the changing global system remained.
The Modi government tried to show that it would not be suppressing terrorism and extremism. Even in neighboring Bhutan, when China started construction work on the Doralam border, India sent its troops.
But the question remains that, is everything right on the foreign policy front? If there is an assessment of India’s foreign policy in neighboring countries and South Asia countries, then there are many shocks. Like the rest of the governments, India does not share a good diplomatic relation with Pakistan.
“The relations with Pakistan have certainly been bad for all the governments, but these governments are some Confucius. There will be no talk of Pakistan or there will be no clarity on this. They had a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, but did not let them run properly. On the one hand, while on the other side, Pakistan’s Intelligence agency ISI is calling in Pathankot on the other side. National security advisors from both countries also meet and meet in foreign countries. If there was a surgical strike, then such a propaganda was done as if Pakistan was harmed,” said former diplomat and JD leader Pawan Verma.
“There is a strategic lack of foreign policy in the current government. We are running on adhock policy. We are reactive when we should be proactive. There is a special lack of strategic thinking with Pakistan. The manner in which China is impacting is clear that we are facing diplomatic failure. In the country of Chanakya, diplomacy is going on without any strategy. There was not so much suddenness in the Maldives. The background of everything is already prepared, but what was India doing? Our influence with the Maldives has ceased,” says Pawan Verma.
Many critics say that due to the absence of geopolitical foresight in India’s foreign policy, its influence is not in the same way in its own neighborhood.
“The BJP, which criticized the policies of the Congress itself, seems to be failing badly. Modi Government is putting everything on the stake for the United States, but the US does not allow oil to import from Iran. Russia is not willing to buy weapons. Russia, which gave India the technology in defense, which he uses himself, but is looking at a variety of disadvantages about this relationship,” Said a senior journalist Bharat Bhushan.
Since becoming Prime Minister in 2014, Modi has gone to Sri Lanka two times. When Hambantota port was handed over by Sri Lanka to China, the Modi government had been criticized that it failed to stop China’s influence in Sri Lanka.
Even with Nepal, relations between the four years of Modi’s rule have been spoiled. In 2015 due to India’s informal blockade, Nepal struggled for a long time due to lack of necessary supplies. During this period, Nepal’s politics showed a kind of anger against India and sympathy with China.
Nepal joined China’s ambitious plan One Belt One Road All countries except Bhutan have joined the project in the SAARC countries. It is believed to be a great blow to India.
“There is a statement of India’s army chief on diplomatic side too. There are administrative hazards in the government somewhere. You can not bypass the Ministry of External Affairs in formulating a strategy. Ministry of Foreign Affairs is being neglected. What I do know is that Sushma Swaraj is neglecting her ministry. The current government’s foreign policy lacks strategy and foresight,” says Pawan Verma.