“Live With It”: India’s Candid Response To Western Criticism Of Its Russia Policy
Here are ten strategic observations connected with External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s candid response to the West.
Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar gave the West a much-needed reality check by candidly telling them that they must simply “live with it” in response to their criticism of his country’s principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict. In his exact words:
“I am not running a foreign policy for the demands of other people. (My foreign policy) is for what is in my country's and my people's interest. I believe that India's interests are well served. (We) advocate sovereignty and want the conflict to end. And I think that is the right thing to do. Had I done what the US said, I would have been of no use to anyone including myself…Sometimes, I have lived with things that you (West) did. Now, Live with it (India's foreign policy).”
And the US-led West’s Golden Billion will indeed “live with it” since India has masterfully emerged as the kingmaker in the New Cold War between that bloc and the jointly BRICS- & SCO-led Global South of which it’s a part after becoming indispensable to the balance of influence between both.
Readers can review the following detailed analyses to learn more about how this came to be:
The rest of the present piece will share ten strategic observations connected with the EAM’s response:
1) The Golden Billion Always Put Its Regional Interests In South Asia Above India’s…
India will never forget how the Golden Billion failed to put substantial pressure on China following the summer 2020 clashes over the Galwan River Valley, abandoned Afghanistan to the Taliban in summer 2021 without consulting Delhi in advance, and remains reluctant to take its side on the Kashmir Conflict.
2) …So There’s No Reason For India To Put Theirs Above Its Own Vis A Vis Russia
Accordingly, it wouldn’t befit a proud millennia-long civilization-state like India to ignore the Golden Billion’s repeated snubbing of Delhi on issues that it considers to be of top importance to its national security and unilaterally concede on its objective interests vis a vis Russia just to get in their good graces.
3) Russia Never Criticized Or Pressured India…
Despite “The Twists & Turns Of Russian-Indian Ties Over The Past Few Years” from 2017-2021, Russia never criticized or pressured India, and the emotional element of their decades-long strategic partnership remains unbreakable at all levels from President Putin down to the average Indian.
4) …Unlike The Golden Billion With Its Latest Campaign
The preceding observation contrasts with the US’ aggressive attitude towards India, both historically and especially recently after the start of Russia’s special operation, with State Department spokesman Ned Price even vowing in August that the US will continue meddling in India’s relations with Russia.
5) India Will Never Break Off Mutually Beneficial Ties…
Russia never criticized or pressured India since it knew better than to expect its partner to break off its mutually beneficial ties with Moscow’s American rivals, yet the US wrongly expected that it can successfully coerce India into breaking off its mutually beneficial ties with Washington’s Russian rivals.
6) …And Such Ties Aren’t At Anyone Else’s Expense
Whether it’s India’s cooperation with the US on military exercises and the Quad or its continued energy trade with Russia and pioneering of the North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC), its mutually beneficial ties with those two rivals aren’t at the zero-sum expense of either.
7) A Distinctly Indian Approach To International Relations Is Emerging…
Described by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh as enlightened self-interest and strategic morality, these dual guiding principles of Indian grand strategy are quickly becoming associated with that rising Great Power’s distinct approach to International Relations.
8) …That Could Easily Become A Model For The Entire Global South
The success with which India has applied the preceding principles in defending its objective national interests from foreign pressure establishes the conceptual basis for assembling a new Non-Alignment Movement (“Neo-NAM”) among its peers in the Global South.
9) The Bi-Multipolar Impasse Is Now Broken…
The prior bi-multipolar impasse of the global systemic transition, which was characterized by practically every international event being to the benefit of either pole of the Sino-American superpower duopoly, was finally broken after India successfully defied China and the US from 2020 and 2022 respectively.
10) …But True Multipolarity Requires More Work
Nevertheless, the aforesaid transition’s final form of more complex multipolarity (“multiplexity”) is an ongoing work in progress that still remains far away from the present and will require major multilateral cooperation among its peers across the Global South over the coming years in order to complete.
As was argued throughout this analysis, India’s defiance of the Golden Billion’s demands to unilaterally concede on its objective national interests vis a vis Russia was a game-changer in contemporary International Relations since it represented the moment when multipolarity truly became irreversible.