Of late, we Indians appear to be a little desperate to sit in the Security Council of the United Nations and that too at the high table. That means that India should be elected as a permanent member. Right now there are five permanent members from Day One in 1945 and some of them are rather reluctant to let an outsider enter the exclusive and powerful club.
USA,UK,France,USSR(now read Russian Federation),and the People's Republic of China are the permanent members of the Security Council. These countries had fought the Second World War as allies and had defeated the Axis powers, namely Germany, Japan and Italy. There was no question of the defeated powers sitting as arbiters of future disputes. India was still in bondage of UK when the UN charter was approved and implemented. Now in the 21st century the scenario is quite changed. India has been having its independent existence for more than six decades and economically is now a force to reckon with. The future generation of Indians is academically bright and even the President of the United States keeps encouraging American students to study and excel in science and maths lest "hungry Indians"overtake American. Quite a left- handed compliment but still an acknowledgement of India's emergence as a world power in the near future.
India has a great future. But what about the present? Well, not much to write home about. India's immediate neighbours like China, Pakistan hate her diplomatically. Nepal used to be close to India once upon a time. Now the story is different. China has replaced India due to its economic and military might. Burma is under China's influence and Sri lanka is still debating. To sum up, one can say that India cannot bank on its neighbours for vote and support to enter the Security Council as a permanent member with the power of Veto.
Immediately after independence in 1947, India made a serious attempt to distance herself from the erstwhile colonial powers like England, France or future powers like USA. India did not wish to join the Communist block either. So, India and other newly independent countries formed a non-aligned bloc so that they have a voice in the comity of nations. Later in the day, when the USSR withered away and only USA ruled the roost, the meaning of non-aligned melted away. Therefore, an urgent requirement for India to be elected to the security council as a permanent member.
In this game of upmanship, India has rivals too. Germany is a leader of Europe and an economic power. She was down at the end of war but not out. Now she lays her claim to the toy. Brazil from the Latin America is not to be overlooked. Pakistan may not compete for the seat but will certainly contrive to do damage to India's candidacy.
All said and done, India stands a good chance in collecting African votes with its philanthropic work. It may take time. Friendship is to be cultivated over a long period. Once any two nations are friends, they will stand together through thick and thin. The friendship between China and Pakistan has been a lasting one and has withstood the test of time. Unfortunately, both the countries harbour ill will for India because of historical reasons.
It may be reiterated that friendship can never be bought as it is not available on shelf in the international market. An attempt to do so will expose the players at the shoddy game and bring a bad name to both.
India may be able to shell out some money to the needy African countries but in this sphere too will find it difficult to compete with China. Indeed China is already a permanent member of the Security Council and will, therefore, not be interested in running for the election. However, China may be interested in canvassing for a rival of India just to ensure that India does not make it to the goal. After all, China and India are rivals in Asia and a gain for India may be construed as a loss for China. China can always count on the loyalty of Pakistan in showing India the door.
Where does India go from here? India may count on the support of rivals of Germany, Brazil and not forgetting Japan. Japan is an economic power to reckon with and as an ally of America’s, it has their support and backing. But it does not help India in any way.
India has to make a place for itself. India has to stand on its own feet. It means that the country needs a good governance, security and prosperity. With a view to achieving the noble aim as listed heretofore, corruption must be banished from Bharat that is India and the black money stashed in foreign banks must be brought back and utilised in making motherland strong, secure and prosperous.
When India has her own standing in the comity of nations, it will be able to garner support of other nations who need India’s leadership. Under the changed scenario, India may not find it difficult to get elected to the Security Council as a permanent member with the right to exercise power of Veto. Let us wait for the congenial environment when the day dawns and the morning dailies shriek with the headlines and the electronic media puts forth Breaking News “ India elected to Security Council”.
By Chitranjan Sawant