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‘India’s strategic culture has to be based on Indian epics…The Mahabharata and The Ramayana’: EAM Jaishankar explains diplomacy

Source : Asian News International (ANI)

'India’s strategic culture has to be based on Indian epics…The Mahabharata and The Ramayana': EAM Jaishankar explains diplomacy
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New Delhi [India]: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday highlighted the importance of the great epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana while explaining diplomacy.

Speaking at an event in Pune for the release of his English book “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World,” which has been translated into Marathi as ‘Bharat Marg’, he said, “The biggest diplomats in the world were Lord Krishna and Hanuman… If we look at Hanuman, he had gone beyond diplomacy, he went ahead of the mission, contacted Sita and set Lanka on fire too.”

He described Lord Krishna and Lord Hanuman as “greatest diplomats.”

Explaining strategic patience, he gave the example of Lord Krishna forgiving Shishupal several times. Krishna made a promise that he will forgive 100 mistakes of Shishupala, but at the end of the 100th one, he would kill him.

It demonstrates the importance of one of the most important qualities of a good decision-maker.

Jaishankar compared Kurukshetra, where the Mahabharat war took place between the Kauravas and Pandavas as “Multipolar India.”

Strategic autonomy is the ability of a state to pursue its own national interest and preferred foreign policy without being constrained by other states.

India has pursued the policy of strategic autonomy ever since its independence during the bipolar cold war (1947-1991), unipolar times (1991-2008) and multipolar times(2008-present).

This strategic autonomy is not an isolation nor an alliance. It has to be recalibrated as per the security environment to ensure India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are maintained.

Speaking about “strategic deception”, Jaishankar gave the example of Lord Krishna creating the illusion of a sunset.

Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu was killed brutally by many warriors from Kaurava’s side. To avenge his son’s death, Arjuna vows to kill Jayadratha (who was the main culprit) by the next evening, and if he fails, would commit suicide by jumping onto a burning pyre.

Kauravas take this opportunity and hide Jayadratha till evening so that Arjuna will fail and kill himself.

As the sun sets, Jayadratha assumes that Arjuna lost the challenge and appears in front of him. Then Krishna asks Arjuna to quickly shoot and arrow and it cuts Jayadratha’s head.

He also laid stress on “reputational cost” saying that Pandava’s were better than Kaurava’s.

Jaishankar lamented over the geographical limitations of India to choose its neighbours.

“It is a reality to us….Pandavas could not choose relatives, we can’t choose our neighbours. Naturally, we hope good sense prevails” said EAM Jaishankar when asked if “rogue nation (Pakistan), who happens to be nuclear power, the neighbour will be assets or a liability.”

Pakistan has received backlash from the global community for its inefficiency in combatting terrorism. It needs to mend its ways in order to have other countries aid it in times of distress. Pakistan now has very few allies, out of which Turkey is not in a position to help Pakistan, and China never gives grants but only loans.

Speaking about rules-based order, he said, “Karan and Duryodhan are violating rules-based order.”

Karan and Duryodhan’s friendship did not benefit either of them or their families. It didn’t make any positive impact on society.

Moreover, it devoured their lives and caused massive destruction, irreversible damage and abysmal suffering to their kith and kin.

Two explosives, when together, definitely propel each other. In the process they not only threaten the safety of surroundings but also wipe out each other, speeding up the destruction.

Friendship of two persons, predominantly evil in disposition, can only end up harming each other and the entire society around them.

China’s efforts to reclaim and militarize disputed outposts in the South China Sea, its willingness to use coercion and intimidation along with other provocative actions undertaken to enforce its expansive and unlawful South China Sea maritime claims, undermine the peace and security of the region. Beijing has offered no coherent legal basis for its expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea.

A rules-based order may generally be understood as a shared commitment by States to conduct their activities in accordance with an existing set of rules.

The rules-based order is underpinned by a system of global governance that has developed since the Second World War.

Jaishankar also explained “tactical adjustment” by giving examples of Yudhisthira lying about Ashwathama’s death.

Dronacharya was the commander-in-chief of the Kauravas and he was fighting so ferociously for 5 days that the Pandavas could not check them.

Pandavas made a game plan to play a trick on Dronacharya by making a false statement to be made by Yudhisthira as Dronacharya would only believe Yudhisthira and none else.

In this instance, Krishna knows Drona’s only weakness is his son Ashwathama. So, he asks Yudhisthira to spread the word that Ashwathama is dead, which led to Drona’s death.

Jaishankar also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making him the External Affairs Minister.

“Being the foreign secretary was the limit of my ambition, never even dreamt of becoming a minister” says EAM Jaishankar. Thanking PM Modi, points, “not sure any PM, other than Narendra Modi would have made me minister.” (ANI)



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