Decoding A Diplomatic Visit
Reality may be perceived in different ways. The stark contrast between opinions expressed by pro- and anti-Government media in India and the UK on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s April 21-22 visit to New Delhi shows how the same event could be viewed in a different manner. Both India and Britain have expressed satisfaction over PM Johnson’s meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi… however, a section of British political experts is of the opinion that as PM Johnson has lost his popularity in Britain, his message to the South Asian nation is not morally or diplomatically justified at all.
Experts believe that the visiting British premier might have sent a strong message to India, which did not criticise Russia for triggering a war against Ukraine. Instead, India has decided to strengthen trade ties with Russia. They also believe that PM Johnson would have reminded India of the duty of a Democratic State to respect Human Rights. Human Rights have been violated by Russia in Ukraine, and the common people of Ukraine have suffered terrible losses due to Russia’s imperialist attitude. Hence, London, seemingly, cannot digest New Delhi’s Russia policy.
Meanwhile, the Indian mainstream media consider the recent visit of the British PM as a diplomatic success of Prime Minister Modi. The positive outcome of PM Johnson’s visit has made it clear that the Indian Diplomacy is on the right track, in spite of New Delhi’s decision not to criticise the Kremlin for launching attacks on neighbouring Ukraine. In fact, India’s stand on the Russia-Ukraine War has no negative impact on New Delhi’s ties with London and Washington DC. On the contrary, the diplomatic importance of India has been recognised at the global stage.
As expected, the critics of PM Modi have expressed a completely different view. According to them, India’s diplomatic relations with other countries would have to suffer because of the Modi Administration’s decision not to criticise Russia’s unjust invasion of Ukraine. With PM Johnson becoming politically endangered in his own country, his message to India is irrelevant.
Meanwhile, the Modi-Johnson meeting was important for a different reason. In his first major official visit to a foreign country in the wake of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War, the British Prime Minister has made it clear that India is still of considerable geopolitical importance. The main reason for this importance is China. Countries, like Britain or the US, are not in favour of ignoring India because of the great rise of China, keeping in mind the Politics and Diplomacy of Asia. Whether it is the South China Sea or West Asia, the alliance with a democratic country, like India, is crucial for them to deal with the Chinese aggression.
It is also a fact that the West is well aware of the age-old friendly ties between India and Russia. It seems that Britain, the US, France, Germany, and other neo-nationalist political societies in Europe have no problem in dealing with issues related to Human Rights while safeguarding their respective National Interests. It is easily understandable why PM Johnson has attached so much importance to a Nationalist leader, like Narendra Modi, by going on to mention that there is no other country to advise India on Democracy. For the British Prime Minister, the Chinese hegemony now poses a bigger threat, than the internal challenges of Indian Democracy. Before leaving for London, Prime Minister Johnson was heard mentioning: “India’s position historically on Russia is well known and they are not going to change that.“
The British PM’s recent visit to New Delhi, in a way, has proved that the Russia policy of his Indian counterpart is quite successful.
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