Harsimran Kaur On  May 20, 2024, In Book Review, Why Bharat Matters By S.Jaishankar – Non Fiction

Rating: 4/5

Why Bharat Matters By S. Jaishankar Book Review

Foreign policy initiatives are often seen as elitism where top echelons of government whirr a series of associations, some concretizing strategic benefits, and some often ripple in whataboutery turning the invidious into implacability.

Why issues of Foreign Policy have never been a subject of intense discussion among the common man? Are only issues of unemployment, poverty and food supply a sepulchral distress; often an uncanny slugfest burls from the loudspeakers during elections?

Foreign policy interactions are a Dai quiri of the dilettantes unaware of the squall of the middle class and their innuendoes; we all feel it, isn’t it? But, somewhere a formidable foreign diplomacy goes a long way to benefit the country as a whole. It’s high time the dismissal of it from the precincts of it day to day living is woken from the slumber!

What is Foreign Policy? It is prescriptive, extrapolating the wider dimensions benefiting the country. In a way, that the heuristic-self finds a reason to engage with other countries making the citizens believe that expounding on the security and integrity is as important as cutting an edge around the domestic issues.

Today, ‘Bharat Matters’ due to the conscientious International diplomacy!

Unequivocally lucid and efficaciously put down, ‘Why Bharat Matters’ by S.Jaishankar puts India on the global map, with an impassioned intention to signify India’s contribution in edifying the circuitous ‘North-South’ & ‘West-East’ divide. It’s not that we are eluded from the polemics and animadversions but today; we have convalescenced from the national rhetoric of being the cat among the pigeons.

  • We are braver in lifting the gauntlet to arrive in the multipolarism pouffe. 
  • We are strong enough to call spade a spade.
  • We now pontificate less on past debacles and concentrate more on our strengths.
  • We now believe in ‘India First’ policy; a clarion call to the International community to be vary of creating a ruptured aneurysm in the sovereignty and integrity of our country.

Thus, today Bharat matters, and out External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar pinches the air in triumph elucidating how the green shoots have grown into a hedgerow;

  • To deal with International temperaments can often be ad nauseam! It’s important for a country to agglutinate its intent and idiosyncrasies firmly. It sends a voice across of being inviolable and sangfroid. But, a salvo, sometimes necessary, falls in captivity. S.Jaishankar is importunate to address China’s illusionist demeanor:

“I have unequivocally told my Chinese counterpart that relations can’t improve if mutual agreements are violated. You don’t want to fight and do trade at the same time.”

            Also responding to Biden’s xenophobia remark, he ineluctably spoke,

“India has always been a unique country. It is a society open to different people from different societies.”

  • The Neighbourhood Policy’, ‘The Land Boundary Agreement’ relies on responsible diplomacy. Can the world forget the ‘Vaccine Maitri Initiative’ during Covid times? ‘Operation Ganga’ & ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ acted as a cause celebre, and changed the entire narrative of ‘India in caboodle’. The export of the limited quantities of essential goods to Maldives is a fine example of ‘Neighbourhood First’.
  • National interest is of paramount importance. It arises from the national sentiment to protect oneself from rude affairs, irredentist claims on sovereignty, despicable terrorist repulsions and misadventures esoteric blame game;

‘The recent ‘Pannun insidiousness’ has brought India again to twirl around ‘getting fundamentals right’. How would a country assess a situation where its sentiment of tolerance is being vindicated? Which way should it go? To openly criticize the ‘Sikh Extremism’ that holds a strong pole in a foreign land, arguing their stance of being bedeviled by puritanical pernickety, or the government collaborates with Canada to disinter the malfeasance right on the home turf.’

Time will tell how diplomacy can be sensitized to the aggrandizement of a nation!

In perceptible erudition, S.Jaishankar takes help of the ‘Epic Ramayana’ to extrapolate the nuances of sentiments that work contemporaneously for the larger benefit of the humanity.

The ‘rising powers’ have been strategically compared to ‘Raavan’ who carried with him unpardonable arrogance. These powers too need to override vulnerabilities by leaving their haughtiness behind. The ‘QUAD’ metonym finds relevance in the munificent ‘Bharat Milap’. If Ram and Bharat had allowed to prosper the judgmental acrimony, the kingdom of Ayodhya would have rotten under the blazoned ground. But that was not to be! A bigger purpose waited; minds, albeit different in assessments do find a sole aim to hold the hat together. 

The author still remembers and takes pride in the sacrifices made by ‘Patel’ & ‘Ambedkar’ to provide India a soul & spirit which today inspires the current regime albeit with an eye for more detail. He finds value in ‘Jatayu’ and ‘Sampati’ of Ramayana for their insightful assiduousness that the past leaders carried with aplomb.  

So, why Bharat matters today?

  • It has smartly maneuvered out of the civilizational debate and focuses more on behavioral incense of other nations to create a sanctified ground for its integrity.
  • One finds India dependable. ‘Climate Change’, ‘Countering Terrorism’, ‘G20 Presidency’ and the ‘Covid Vaccine Initiative’ makes your hat doff in admiration. 
  • India dares to speak! It stresses on International humanitarianism whether it’s the Russian-Ukraine conflict or the Gaza crisis or the claims of sovereignty of the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The power battle with US, Russia, France and the UK has not diminished but gradually with initiatives such as QUAD, Indo-Pacific, BRIC, the liability of being a non-complaint nation has taken a back seat.


Establishes India/Bharat as a force to reckon with!

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