[Answered] Analyze the role of India as a “bridging power” in the context of global diplomacy, as highlighted in the ninth edition of the Raisina Dialogue. Discuss how India’s foreign policy aligns with its ambition to be a “Vishwamitra” or friend of the world.

Introduction: Give a brief context to the question

Body: Highlight India’s role as a bridging power and align of “Vishwamitra” concept with India’s foreign policy

Conclusion: Way forward

Recently, at the ninth edition of the annual Raisina Dialogue, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar called India a “bridging power”, a country seeking common ground through a “multi-vector” policy, and playing the role of a “Vishwamitra” or friend of the world.

India’s Role in Bridging Power

  • Bringing the Global North and South into Balance: India is well-positioned to play a mediating role due to its historical connections to the developing world through the Non-Aligned Movement and its expanding economic alliances with wealthy nations. India seeks to establish common ground for collaboration with the Global North while advocating for the interests of developing nations.
  • Indo-Pacific Focus: The Raisina Dialogue emphasizes the growing significance of the Indo-Pacific region, where India seeks to counterbalance China’s growing influence. India champions partnerships like the Quad (India, USA, Japan, Australia) and promotes a rules-based order for the region.
  • Leadership in Multilateral Forums: India’s active participation in forums such as the G20, BRICS, and the UN positions it to promote dialogue and consensus-building. India uses these platforms to voice the concerns of the Global South and to push for reforms that reflect a more equitable world order.

Concept of “Vishwamitra” as per India’s Foreign Policy

  • Development Partnership: India helps other developing countries, especially those in Africa and South Asia, by providing support and capacity-building initiatives based on its own development experience. This increases goodwill and makes India more powerful internationally.
  • Soft Power Projection: India’s diverse cultural legacy, which includes Bollywood, Ayurveda, and yoga, serves as an effective instrument for soft power diplomacy. Fostering these aspects helps to create goodwill toward India and strengthens ties with other countries.
  • Value-Based Diplomacy: India places a strong emphasis on the principles of democracy, pluralism, and adherence to a system of norms. These ideas appeal to a wide range of countries and enable India to establish a network of partners that share its values.

Conclusion

With its growing economic might, strategic position, and autonomous foreign policy approach, India has the potential to be a major bridge power. In a world where superpower tensions are rising and the international order is becoming more dispersed, this function becomes even more important.  India’s actions are guided by the “Vishwamitra” concept, which emphasizes cooperation, balancing relationships, and standing up for the issues and goals of the developing world.

 

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