As Modi government finishes its first few months stint, it is time to review and analyse the days of Modi-led government during the last three months. Though it is a short period, the government has put forth some of its performance on the foreign policy features, though on bringing black money back in first 100 days remained elusive even for Narendra Modi.
It was, otherwise, a positive move when Modi showed an initiative to invite South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders during his oath-taking ceremony. The very first move showed Modi’s interest to lead India forward with taking along SAARC countries with it. Not only with SAARC countries, it has also shown interest in improving relations with ASEAN countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar.
BJP President Amit Shah revealed in a report that it is after a long time a Prime Minister is ruling the country with a clear foreign policy. He said that Modi has made it clear that there is nothing above the interest of our boarders or country; if the country’s interests are not served, then there can be no talks.
Modi’s visit to different countries to enhance the bond with them has given a clear idea of his government’s enthusiasm for SAARC. Modi has given priority to the need of strengthening the bilateral trade with these countries.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has mentioned that engagement with ASEAN is an important Indian objective, and not simply an avenue to check Chinese influence, while her visits to Myanmar and Bhutan.
Modi, during his BRICS speech, spoke in favour of greater interactions at the provincial and city level that showed a sign of his interest in expanding ties beyond capital cities. He noticed to establish linkage between cities that were being neglected in the past. The memorandum of understanding signed between Kyoto and Varanasi is an example.
Modi paid attention to give importance on making historical linkages between India and other parts of the world. It was clearly understood when he presented Prime Minister Abe with a book about Swami Vivekananda, titled ‘Vivekananda and Japan’. Modi’s invitation to Japanese companies asking them to join India as a “competitive low-cost manufacturing hub” has also drawn attention of many. Modi said that “India is one of the most competitive markets in the world and there is no better place than India for Japanese investors.”
However, visits of significant dignitaries from other countries such as Australia, China and Britain have pointed out a positive sign in investment in the country.
Though three months of five years is hardly enough for any judgement on the performance of Modi government, it gives us an idea where the country is heading to. Modi’s upcoming meeting with US President Barack Obama and his address to UN General Assembly in New York in late September is expected to pave way in strengthening and deepening India-US strategic relationship and it gives a hope to grow economic ties with India.