To overcome the myopic vision in politics one has to look beyond the immediate surroundings. The nation is undergoing a transition from a prolonged period of suppressed governance under ‘coalition compulsions’ to a single party majority government. It is certainly an opportunity for the country to achieve whatever had to be kept on the back burner under the ‘minimum common programmes’.
In such transition one has to de-link with certain ongoing practices and compulsive bondages which the earlier coalition governments (including NDA) had to live with. Putting a halt on the talks of treason by the separatists and unabated Pakistan High Commissioner’s entertaining them ignoring clear Indian rebuff is one such bold decision. As events unfolded, the Pakistan Government itself was in too fluid a state to arrive at any purposeful decision. The proposed talks could end in non-reconciliatory deadlock.
Modi’s initiative of calling the SAARC country heads, his visits to two of India’s smaller neighbours, Nepal and Bhutan, pronounced the changing trend. PM’s visit to Japan has opened a new chapter and is mutually gratifying; to deepen trade and political relations¬† between the two democracies – one the world’s largest, the other Asia’s oldest and richest. This democratic axis may prove a game-changer in Asia. But the Prime Minister’s acumen of diplomacy is on tougher trial in successive bilateral summits with the leaders of China and the US. His handling these talks will set parameters of future Indian foreign policy.
Modi has wisely placed national interests above personal umbrage by shedding visa-denial humiliations meted to him by Washington. Modi appears keen to reinvigorate bilateral relationships. He shall visit Washington at a time when Obama is beset with crises at home and abroad and appears increasingly under political siege, including from members of his own Democratic Party in the Senate.
Modi will have a more difficult task at hand, given China’s increasing assertiveness on issues like frontiers and its right to build dams on international rivers originating in Tibet. Pakistan itself may need a fresh look very soon. It is with such broader far sighted vision, matured and genuine Indian leadership should stand firmly behind the government keeping internal squabbles under basket. That differentiates ‘nationalism’ from myopic ‘regionalism’.