George Bernard Shaw once said, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” India has finally progressed from a slow moving economy to a nation with a solid infrastructure that supports growth. With globalization and urbanization, India has now got out of its comfort zone and is taking ownership to build a better world in conjunction with other nations. Previously, the focus was more on what India would gain out of a contract but now the focus deals more with how India will affect the world.
After a decade of the Congress Party’s government, the Indian people elected the opposition, Bhartiya Janta Party. BJP’s leader Narendra Modi promised change and found a new direction for a better India. He was elected in March of 2014. As soon as he was elected, Modi travelled to Canada and the U.S. His goal was to change India externally by making foreign international alliances. These changes promised something beyond agriculture and defence, previously supported by the Congress.
Though Narender Modi for his Prime Ministerial candidature speech didn’t mention foreign policies, he emphasised ‘Illegal immigration,’ a concern of citizens in both India and Bangladesh. In 2014, Bangladeshis entered Assam and other states within India illegally. The illegal immigrants have been moving to the south of India, to find work as unskilled labourers. Most of the Bangladeshis are Muslim but India wants a mixed culture of Hindus and Muslims. Illegal immigration upsets this balance.
Being the first Post-Independence-born Prime Minister of India, Modi has a different perspective. He asked the External Affairs Ministry to focus more on trade deals and investments instead of geopolitical initiatives, such as illegal immigration.
This change in focus from internal relations to external is what has changed India. The Bhartiya Janta Party outlined three main agendas to help improve foreign affairs. One example is improving relations with immediate neighbours to bring peace and tranquility to help development in South Asia. Modi also promised to introduce a concept called ‘Para diplomacy.’ This means each state and city in India would have the liberty for special relations with countries or federal states or even cities of their interest. Modi also wants to bring in bilateral relations between different countries like in Europe.
When Narender Modi got elected, he planned to visit the United States of America and Canada to improve relations. The trip to Canada resulted in a contract worth $1.6 billion and focused on a wide range of sectors, including aerospace and defence, education, energy, mining, infrastructure, sustainable technologies, information and communications technology.
This change in government has brought a positive change to the world. The message has been put out there for the whole world to know and appreciate that with the election of Narender Modi peace and economic stability is India’s main focus. Let’s hope that this will make our world a better place to live.