Editorial: Modi At G-7 Raised India’s Profile

Editorial: Modi At G-7 Raised India’s Profile

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Monday, June 17, 2024, 04:23 AM IST
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PM Narendra Modi | File

Trust Jairam Ramesh to utter cheap jibes, reflecting the mindset of the bosses whom he serves as the media in-charge of the Congress Party. Last week, when Prime Minister Modi left for the G-7 Summit in Italy the uncultivated mind claimed he was going to the Summit to ‘salvage his diminished international image’. He went on to sing paeans to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who he claimed was the star attraction at an earlier G-7 meeting in Germany. The highly educated Ramesh clearly chose to ignore the irony of comparing an unelected prime minister with Modi. The latter might have returned to power with fewer seats than before, but still enjoyed the trust of the people whereas a meek bureaucrat was alwayss nominated to whatever political post he might have held post-retirement. Going by his logic there were a couple of leaders of the G-7 countries who seemed to be well on their way out and ought not to have attended the Summit. Again, calling Modi ‘ek tihai prime minister’ proves that the Congress has yet to recover from the blow it suffered from its rejection by the voters for the third successive time, failing to get into three figures. By Ramesh’s logic Rahul would be ‘ek chauthai Opposition leader’. Let us not dilate further on the frivolities of Jairam Ramesh.

The summit serves the wider national cause insofar as it allows the participating leaders to strike personal relationships, to move forward collectively on global issues and on the sidelines to try and resolve bilateral issues. Personal contacts help in removing misunderstandings, tamp down tensions and generally induce a cordial relationship. Whatever transpired at the brief and an unscheduled one-to-one powwow between Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau certainly cannot be bad for lowering tensions between the two countries over the killing of a Khalistan suspect in that country. There were hot words exchanged between the two countries over the killing. If the Modi-Trudeau meeting helps restore a semblance of normalcy in the bilateral relationship it would be for the mutual good of both countries. There were other such brief encounters between the Indian Prime Minister and the US President Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The meeting with the latter confirmed that the talks on the Indo-UK free trade pact were on course, likely to yield an agreement after the new government was in place in UK following the July 4 election. The two leaders agreed to boost defence ties while the French President assured help in India undertaking a higher percentage of local manufacturing of military hardware. There were other spheres of mutual cooperation such as nuclear, communications, defence, nuclear power, et al. (Someone of Ramesh’s mindset might argue that there was no point talking to Macron since he too was most likely to lose the snap presidential poll called for next month. But let us not take further notice of the childishness of the Congress media in-charge.)

The Summit held in the backdrop of the unending wars in Ukraine and Gaza dominated the official agenda. A warning was sounded on China for supporting Russia in manufacturing war materiel for use against Ukraine. China was also criticized for its unfair trade practices, subsidizing its automobile exports to the EU countries with hidden and not-so-hidden subsidies to manufacturers. The US and EU found increasing unity on China’s aggressive trade practices. On Ukraine the G-7 leaders reiterated the commitment to help it rebuff the Russian aggression which posed a serious threat to the security and peace of the wider region. Notably, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky met Modi, seeking the latter’s help in stopping the Russian aggression. It is significant that despite India refusing to join the western countries in condemning Russia, Zelensky and a few other western leaders have sought his good offices for ending the war. Modi politely turned down Zelensky’s invite to attend the peace summit of world leaders he is hosting in Switzerland. Of course, the summit took up the perennial issue of climate change and the Iranian efforts to manufacture the nuclear bomb. Pious words were said on the growing threat of an environmental apocalypse but there was no sign of the big spoilers putting money on the table for actions to mitigate the threat. In all these issues taken up at the Summit India had a deep interest and its participation at the highest level was absolutely necessary, frivolities of the Congress spokesperson notwithstanding.

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