External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday that India has become more relevant in the world today because of its soft power (cultural power) and is counteracting the values and systems imposed on itself. He said that democracy, pluralism, fraternity and work culture are the pillars of soft power of India.
Jaishankar was addressing the release ceremony of the book ‘Connecting through Culture’ in English book ‘Connecting through Culture: An Overview of India’s Soft Power Shakti’ on Wednesday. Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan was also present in the event. The book is a compilation of articles, edited by Dr. Vinay Prabhakar Sahasrabuddhe and Dr. Sachidanand Joshi.
On this occasion, the External Affairs Minister said that some countries and institutions, considering themselves as contractors of democracy, decide what form and methods of democracy should be. According to the criteria set by her, she gives decisions that which country or country is not meeting the certain standards of particular democracy. Jaishankar said that we have to respond to such efforts.
He said that it is a reality in the contemporary world that some countries and institutions try to impose their values and lifestyles and their standards on others. Cultural power is in some ways more effective than economic and military power. It has become a medium to dominate the world. He said that as far as India is concerned, it presents its positive image to the world through soft power. The next step in soft power is to increase its influence. Its extreme form is to dominate and impose one’s point of view on others.
Without naming any country or institution, Jaishankar said that even about democracy, India is given advice under a certain thinking and strategy. He called it a clever ploy to establish supremacy.
The External Affairs Minister said that after 75 years of independence, rebalancing is going on in the country today to set things right in various fields. Such rebalancing is also being seen in international politics and new power centers are emerging.
Jaishankar defined soft power in the context of colonial slavery and said that such an intellectual discourse was run in the country that the British had done good to India by ruling India. We are grappling with this idea to this day. Similarly, such a model was put in front of different countries that globalization means westernization. The External Affairs Minister rejected such arguments and said that India is on the path of modernization and at the same time has fully cherished its heritage.
It is noteworthy that institutions like Freedom House of Western countries questioned the democratic system in India and declared it a partially free country society.