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S Jaishankar at RNG Lecture: ‘Who doesn’t want good neighbours, but holding feet to fire important’

Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture: Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Pakistan, Article 370, India's withdrawal from RCEP, and the need to challenge the status quo in an ever-changing global order.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 15, 2019 7:18:14 am
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, ramnath goenka memorial lecture, RNG lecture, Express group, external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India news, indian express External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar at the 4th RNG Lecture Thursday (Express Photo)

Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture: Delivering the fourth Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture in New Delhi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Thursday called for “an honest review of our performance” in the seven decades since independence in a “visibly changing global order”.

“National development is at the heart of any assessment, and it is difficult to quarrel with the view that there has been significant progress, but not enough,” the minister-diplomat said. “Borders remained unsettled… and past handling of Pakistan raises several questions,” he added.

In conversation with C Raja Mohan, Jaishankar lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “bold moves” in dealing with Pakistan. Admitting that the issue has been dealt with in the tenure of every Prime Minister in India, Jaishankar said “holding feet to fire is important.”

On the government’s ‘Look East policy’, Jaishankar emphasised on the inclusion of a multi-polar Asia at the core of a multi-polar world, adding that India needs to follow an approach of working with multiple partners on different agendas. “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas is today as relevant in foreign policy.”

READ | Real obstacle to India’s rise not barriers of world but dogmas of Delhi: S Jaishankar 

Jaishankar also spoke on India’s recent withdrawal from the RCEP agreement, and the 1972 Simla agreement, which, he said, “resulted in both a revanchist Pakistan and a continuing problem in Jammu & Kashmir.” He was speaking on the topic “Beyond the Delhi Dogma: Indian Foreign Policy in a Changing World”.

The first three RNG Memorial Lectures were delivered by then RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, then President Pranab Mukherjee, and outgoing Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

Live Blog

External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar delivered the fourth RNG lecture at New Delhi. Read in Tamil, Bangla 

Highlights

    21:45 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Who is S Jaishankar

    The appointment of Jaishankar in June was the first instance of a Foreign Secretary, who had retired in 2018 after three decades of foreign service, being given the Foreign Minister’s job. Since then, he has emerged as the most articulate voice of India’s foreign policy agenda — and someone who has been able to explain the country’s domestic complexities to an international audience.

    Jaishankar is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College at the University of Delhi. He has an MA in Political Science and an M. Phil and Ph.D in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

    20:29 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Jaishankar on Pakistan: Who doesn't want good neighbours, but holding feet to fire important

    Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi on "bold moves" in dealing with Pakistan, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said "we shouldn't be in denial". "Who doesn't want good neighbours," he said, however adding "holding feet to fire  is important." Citing the FATF pressure on Pakistan over terror activities emanating from its soil, Jaishankar said the country needs bold moves to deal with the neighbouring country. 

    20:23 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Jaishankar on trade friction: 'In this country, there is desire to see a problem, exaggerate it beyond belief'

    Speaking on trade issues with the Trump administration in the US,  Jaishankar said "we wouldn't be alone to run into challenges vis-a-vis the US, adding that "in our case, it is vastly overstated". 

    "Normal trading countries will have trade frictions," he said, adding that "in this country, there is a desire to see a problem and then exaggerate it beyond belief". 

    20:16 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    RNG Lecture: Jaishankar in conversation with C Raja Mohan

    Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, is in conversation with C Raja Mohan, Contributing Editor, The Indian Express, and Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. 

    (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

    20:14 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Jaishankar on Article 370, NRC: My reputation is not decided by a newspaper in New York

    Speaking on the government's move to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said it is a "matter of ideological debate and liberal fundamentalism at work."

    "My reputation is not decided by a newspaper in New York," Jaishankar said over criticism of the government's move by foreign press. 

    20:12 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Shouldn't be so faint hearted, world not coming to an end: Jaishankar on economic slowdown

    On Economic slowdown in India, Jaishankar said "we shouldn't be so faint hearted.  Two-quarter slowdown doesn't mean the world is coming to an end. We have been through that before." 

    19:58 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Past handling of Pakistan raises many questions: Jaishankar

    "Our past handling of Pakistan, a society which we are supposed to know well, also raises many questions. These are not exactly hypothetical situations and are cited to underline the contention that emergence as a leading power requires great pragmatism," Jaishankar said. 

    19:51 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    In India, nationalism led to greater internationalism: Jaishankar

    "Putting India First may be another way of capturing a strong and pragmatic policy outlook. This suffers from a comparison with other nations who have chosen to be more self-centered. In India’s case, nationalism has in fact led to greater internationalism."

    19:50 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    India still in early phase of major transition in foreign policy

    "While the previous phases of foreign policy each have a neat description, it is harder to categorize the current one. Part of the challenge is that we are still in the early phase of a major transition. The contours of even the near future are not yet clear. One solution is to anchor it on Indian aspirations and to speak of our goal of emerging as a leading power." 

    19:42 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    No agreement better than bad agreement: Jaishankar on RCEP

    Jaishankar on India withdrawing from the RCEP agreement: "On the one hand, we should not go back to the old dogmas of economic autarky and import substitution. But at the same time, embracing the new dogma of globalization without a cost-benefit analysis is equally dangerous...No agreement at this time was better than a bad agreement. It is also important to recognize what the RCEP decision is not. It is not about stepping back from the Act East policy."

    19:41 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Simla agreement resulted in revanchist Pakistan, continuing problems in J&K: Jaishankar

    "There was also little awareness in the 1950s that we were dealing with a battle-hardened neighbor to the North. Or of the strategic significance of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. This approach to world affairs continued even thereafter. Thus, in 1972 at Shimla, India chose to bet on an optimistic outlook on Pakistan. At the end of the day, it resulted in both a revanchist Pakistan and a continuing problem in Jammu & Kashmir."

    19:36 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    In seven decades of foreign policy, many borders remain unsettled: Jaishankar

    "Seven decades of foreign policy offer a lot of lessons.  A dispassionate assessment of our performance would note that while we ourselves have done well in many respects, some competitors have done much better....Defence preparedness was improved and one of the key accomplishments of diplomacy was to enable access to multiple sources of equipment and technology. However, the fact remains that even after seven decades of independence, many of our borders remain unsettled. In the economic sphere, we may look good when benchmarked against our own past. It seems a little different when compared to China or South East Asia."

    19:32 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Sabka sath, Sabka vishwas today as relevant in foreign policy: Jaishankar

    Jaishankar speaks at the 4th RNG lecture: "India’s diplomatic agenda has broadened considerably, as indeed have its partners in those endeavours. We share with the international community the objective that a multi-polar world should have a multi-polar Asia at its core. India needs to follow an approach of working with multiple partners on different agendas. Obviously, they would each have their importance and priority. But Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas is today as relevant in foreign policy."

    19:27 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Look East policy summarized the changed Indian approach to world affairs: Jaishankar

    "The dissolution of the USSR and the emergence of a “unipolar” world characterized the fourth phase. It encouraged a radical rethink in India on a broad range of issues. And it shifted focus to safeguarding strategic autonomy. The Look East policy summarized the changed Indian approach to world affairs, which also saw adjustments in its position on Israel.  This is a period where India reached out to engage the US more intensively, yet did so while protecting its equities in critical areas."

    19:26 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    1971 to 1991 one of greater Indian regional assertion: Jaishankar

    "The third phase, from 1971 to 1991, was one of greater Indian regional assertion. It started with the decisive dismantlement of an India-Pakistan equivalence through creation of Bangladesh, but ended with the IPKF misadventure in Sri Lanka....It was a particularly complex phase as the US-China-Pakistan axis which came into being at this time seriously threatened India’s prospects The collapse of USSR, its close ally, and the not unconnected economic crisis in 1991 compelled us to look again at the first principles of both domestic and foreign policy."

    19:24 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    1962-71 a decade of realism and recovery: Jaishankar

    "The second phase from 1962-71 is a decade of realism and recovery. India made more pragmatic choices on security and political challenges despite a paucity of resources.  It looked beyond non-alignment in the interest of national security, concluding a now largely forgotten defence agreement with the U.S. in 1964. External pressures on Kashmir mounted in this period of vulnerability."

    19:23 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Indian foreign policy since Independence: Jaishankar explains the 6 phases

    Dividing the Indian foreign policy since Independence into six phases, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said each division is a response to a different global strategic environment, starting from 1946-62 that could be characterized as an "era of optimistic non-alignment".

    "Its setting was very much of a bipolar world, with camps led by the United States and the USSR. India’s objectives were to resist the constraining of choices and dilution of its sovereignty as it rebuilt its economy and consolidated its integrity. Its parallel goal, as the first of the decolonized nations, was to lead Asia and Africa in a quest for a more equitable world order."

    19:19 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Lack of response to 26/11 different from Uri and Balakot: Jaishankar

    Foreign Minister S Jaishankar at 4th RNG lecture: "India’s record includes dark moments like the 1962 defeat against China. Or tense ones like the 1965 war with Pakistan. There are enough dichotomies in our past to generate a spirited debate on successes and failures...Two decades of nuclear indecision ended dramatically with the tests of 1998. The lack of response to 26/11 is so different from the Uri and Balakot operations. Whether it is events or trends, they all bear scrutiny for the lessons they hold."

    19:16 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Dogmas of Delhi real obstacle to rise of India: Jaishankar

    Foreign Minister S Jaishankar at 4th RNG lecture: "It is only by recognizing change that we are in a position to exploit opportunities. The purposeful pursuit of national interest in shifting global dynamics may not be easy; but it must be done. And the real obstacle to the rise of India is not anymore the barriers of the world, but the dogmas of Delhi."

    (Express Photo by Neeraj Priyadarshi)

    19:11 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Falling back on past unlikely to help with future: S Jaishankar

    Foreign Minister S Jaishankar at 4th RNG lecture:  "We are at a moment in world politics when many of our long-held assumptions no longer hold true. If the world is different, we need to think, talk and engage accordingly. Falling back on the past is unlikely to help with the future."

    18:58 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    Watch LIVE: Minister-diplomat Jaishankar to deliver RNG lecture

    External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is set to deliver the 4th Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture in New Delhi. Watch LIVE: 

    18:55 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    The stage is set for 4th RNG Lecture

    The stage is set for the fourth Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture in New Delhi. External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will speak on the topic “Beyond the Delhi Dogma: Indian Foreign Policy in a Changing World”.

    (Express Photos)

    18:34 (IST)14 Nov 2019
    MEA S. Jaishankar to deliver 4th RNG lecture shortly

    External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will deliver the 4th Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture at 7 PM Thursday. Jaishankar will speak on the topic “Beyond the Delhi Dogma: Indian Foreign Policy in a Changing World”.  Stay tuned! 

    The appointment of Jaishankar in June was the first instance of a Foreign Secretary, who had retired in 2018 after three decades of foreign service, being given the Foreign Minister’s job. Since then, he has emerged as the most articulate voice of India’s foreign policy agenda — and someone who has been able to explain the country’s domestic complexities to an international audience.

    Jaishankar is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College at the University of Delhi. He has an MA in Political Science and an M. Phil and Ph.D in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University. A 1977-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, he served in Embassies in Moscow, Colombo, Budapest and Tokyo, as well in the Ministry of External Affairs and the President’s Secretariat.

    He was Foreign Secretary from 2015-18, Ambassador to the US from 2013-15, Ambassador to China from 2009-2013, High Commissioner to Singapore from 2007-2009 and Ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2000-2004.

    After retirement, he joined the corporate sector and was President - Global Corporate Affairs, at Tata Sons Private Limited, from May 2018. Jaishankar, 64, received the Padma Shri early this year.

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