Former ambassador to Denmark, renowned journalist and Rajya Sabha member HK Dua has described India's action of "forcing" Italy to return its marines for trial in a case relating to the murder of Indian fishermen as a "major diplomatic success" for the nation.
Citing this as an example, Dua said the country's foreign policy was taking new shape and India must choose "different elements" for different regions of the world, including North America, European Union, Africa and Asia, to mark its presence in world politics.
He was talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the 107th annual convocation of Khalsa College, Amritsar (KCA) here of Sunday. He bestowed 407 degrees and 91 medals to students in the presence of commissioner of police Ram Singh, who was the guest of honour, and Khalsa College governing council (KCGC) president Satyajit Singh Majithia, vice-president Charanjit Singh Chadha and honorary secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina.
Dua said India was emerging as a major economic power despite some hiccups in its growth story, and its foreign policy must change accordingly. On the media's eroding credibility, he said there had been visible damage to the media's image, but it was still expanding and he hoped that "inner voices" would emerge and the media would resort to self-introspection.
Dua ridiculed the "ongoing environment of cynicism when all around there was talk of nothing positive happening in India, which was not a fact". "No doubt, we have not been able to meet expectations. But India is a vast country with problems of population, casteism and illiteracy. We must have confidence and work harder to achieve our goals," said Dua.
He expressed concern over the growing menace of drug addiction in Punjab and warned that the situation should not escalate to the level of north-east states where the drug problem had infested the society at large.
Dua announced to provide grants for the new girls' hostel coming up on the college campus from his MPLAD funds.
Earlier, Satyajit Singh Majithia welcomed Dua and recalled his services as a distinguished journalist, eminent scholar and political commentator. Principal Dr Daljit Singh read out the annual progress report of the college, highlighting its achievements in academics, extra-curricular activities and sports.