Sunday, January 2, 2011

India not yet ready for permanent UN seat

India has been clamoring for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council – to join ranks with the five 'major powers' viz. US, UK, Russia, France and China. But as an Indian, and a proud one, I believe that India is not yet ready to take on that role. We should instead focus on our domestic affairs and set our house in order before taking on the role of the world police.

And I’m not just referring to the recent wave of appalling corruption deals that have come in the spotlight.

We have a lot of internal issues to resolve. Starting with Kasmir, a nuclear flashpoint, and border disputes with China we are also under a major Maoist menace. These are in addition to the threat of terrorists based from Pakistan.

On the international relations front we have an ambiguous stand on many issues. The current issue with Iran, for example. We stopped payment to Iran for oil, citing UN sanctions, and Iran responded by refusing to sell oil to us. We immediately had to backtrack.

We are a relatively young nation. We have time to take on a major global role. Our leaders are unfortunately obsessed with the term ‘global power’ using it in every other context to say we have become one. Two recent examples were the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony and the visit of US President Barack Obama. All our leaders who made a speech were seen saying “now India has become a global power, we have proved it to the whole world”, and so on. Who we really need to prove it to are the common people of our country and not any Western political leaders.

We need to prove that we are a ‘great power’ to the millions of people who struggle with poverty inside our country. Our leaders should focus within our country first and foremost. Of course we cannot live in isolation and issues all around the globe affect our economy, politics and decisions. But, the thing to remember is only if we have a great democracy, great political leaders and greater vision and greater integration, will we become a truly great nation.

We can prove it to the world later after we have proved it ourselves first.

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