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‘The World Does Not See India As Indispensable To Its Interests’

NEW DELHI: Indian diplomacy’s “secret sauce” is fence sitting! India manages to be all things to all men, with the result it is neither influential nor indispensable to the world. These and other descriptions about Indian foreign policy may not be new but Mohamed Zeeshan has brought some fresh insight into it through his book Flying Blind: India’s Quest for Geopolitical Dominance.

Zeeshan is a first time author and this less than flattering portrayal of Indian diplomacy draws from his experience in the United Nations, from his interactions with diplomats both Indian and foreign, and from working in Dubai for high profile finance firms. He believes India needs to shed its defensive cloak and speak out its mind on matters that may not impinge directly on Indian interests but are important nonetheless.

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This ranges from the Myanmar army’s crackdown on democracy and its earlier abuse of the Rohingya. He believes India’s voice must be heard on the conflict in Syria and on democracy and development in Africa. He warns against chest thumping of the kind seen recently and underscores that India must change its view of its neighbourhood as inimical to it. All this and more in Books Corner.