Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said Monday nationalism was not xenophobia and that liberals were seeking the precedence of mulitlateralism over nationalism. “We are seeing the inversion and immersion of new ideologies. The great problem is however the emergence of supra nationalists in control of MNCs and also liberals who want multilateralism to take precedence over nationalism,” Akbar said during the inaugural dialogue at “The Gateway of India Geoeconomic Dialogue” organised by the Gateway House in Mumbai. He also said that were attempts to equate nationalism with xenophobia. “Nationalism is not xenophobia. It has many positive points to it,” Akbar said.
According to him there was a concerted move to inflict fear among pluralistic societies. It was also difficult to hold a dialogue with those who wield a gun in their hands, he said. “What is impossible is dialogue with those who hold a script in one hand and a gun in the other,” Akbar said adding that talks under such conditions was seen as a sign of weakness. “No one can talk under the shadow of the gun. Those who are doing it do so under weakness and that is a thing that is not respected in the world,” Akbar said.
Bangladesh’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Shahriar Alam, spoke about the need for greater integration among countries in South Asia and to ensure they did not stop talking to each other. It was also important to ensure that the fears of those who felt left behind in the progress of a nation were assuaged.”We need to invest in our youth and ensure that we listen to all segments of our population,”
The need for opening of borders and allowing immigration was also shared by Yves Leterme, the former Prime Minister of Belgium. He said that even though migration had been an area of concern for Europe, migration was part of the solution rather than a problem.“Migration has to be seen as part of the solution rather than a problem… We need immigration under the condition of integration,” Leterme said.
Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravishankar Prasad said that India’s “postulates are banking the unbankable, funding the unfunded, securing the unsecured and pensioning the unpensioned.” Over the last two years, India had added mobile phones subscribers equivalent to the population of France and Italy, he said.