Tuesday, July 27, 2021

India’s winning ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiatives

Editorial

India’s vaccine maitri initiative has been winning laurels all over the world and would contribute a lot in the coming days in generating goodwill for the country.

It is soothing to note that most of the countries of the world have had positive words for India on its role in the battle against Covid-19.

While the WHO officials have stated it expressly that the world would have to depend on India’s vaccine manufacturing infrastructure for winning the battle against the pandemic, many smaller countries have named India for its benevolence and responsible action.

There have been very few moments in history when India has won all round laurels for its foreign policy initiatives. The arena of international affairs is fraught with partisan considerations and self-interest driven measures. India’s policy measures based on its age-old mantras like ‘vasudhaiv kutumbkam’ and ’sarve santuh niramaya’ are proving successful because these are not rooted in self-interest and blatant partisanship and naked profiteering.

It is heartening to note that India’s foreign policy has gained a sturdy traction as well as a clear focus during the last few years.

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There is no dearth of critics who would be inclined to point out that not everyone in the country has been vaccinated yet and that it would be better for the country to focus on its citizens first before sending vaccines to other countries.

However, a narrow view of everything does not serve the country well in the long run. The truth is that India’s decision to take the first initiative in leading the fight against the international pandemic has proven successful in ways more than one. It has helped it gain stature in international arena and has also given it an opportunity to prove its drug and vaccine manufacturing capability.

China would have wished to replace it in its world-saviour role. It had everything going for it, a vast manufacturing base, lots of financial heft as well as motive to dominate the world affairs.

Yet, India outsmarted China by following its simple age-old mantras of treating the entire world as one family and of wishing good health for everyone.

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India should continue its positive and large-hearted foreign policy push. The goodwill generated by its vaccine-matri should be treated like a long-term capital that will never be eroded.

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Narrow-minded foreign policy measures never work in the long run. Without much of an investment, India has left China’s foreign policy and debt-driven help behind in success. And this must continue.

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