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Why India?

The UN Security Council is an effort to create order amidst the anarchy of international relations. As the post cold war world confronts new challenges, faces exciting opportunities and awaits the emergence of a new world order. It is only fitting to analyse the need for reform and greater global representation of the Security Council. Does India deserve a place? Over the next two weeks we shall observe the issue from myriad angles and get in as many voices.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2003 14:24 IST
PTI

The UN Security Council is an effort to create order amidst the anarchy of international relations.It does so by institutionalising power relationships. That is its great strength. It is the only body, which brings together major powers in close proximity, which also becomes its formidable weakness.

The record of the Security Council maybe mixed, the Iraq war may have undermined its authority, and the power of some of the members may have waned, but there is no gainsaying the fact that collectively the permanent members, and individually as nation states, these countries have played a major role in shaping the world history since the last 50 years.

Emergence of a new world order

The post Cold War world confronts new challenges, faces exciting opportunities, and awaits the emergence of a new world order. It is therefore only fitting that at this juncture the option of enlarging the permanent membership of the Security Council should be considered. An enlarged permanent membership shall accommodate the aspirations of a greater number of people, break the stranglehold of the big five, and recognize the emergence of new as well budding superpowers.

And when this enlargement happens, will it be possible to ignore India - the second most populous nation in the world, which also happens to be world's largest democracy? Alsooneof thetop ten economies in the globe, with the potential to become the third largest in the next thirty years? Not to forget the fact that this country also has one of the largest armies in the world, and is a nuclear power to boot.

Can weignorethe Maharaja?

India's case gets further strengthened when one considers the fact that it is one of the founding members of the UN, and has enthusiastically participated in all initiatives and organs of the organisation, ranging from peace keeping to public health, and from the WHO to ILO.

It has been steadfast in a host of initiatives that blend the moral with the practical: Gandhian non-violence with a touch of Kissinger-like pragmatism.

Leading player of the pack?

India has always found itself a front-runner in a host of international activities. Be it vociferously supporting decolonisation, apartheid and racial discrimination in Africa and Asia or leading the Non-Aligned countries into a full-fledged movement of asserting an alternative voice in the global paradigm.

Why India was not given a seat is now a matter of the past and best left for historians to analyze. What is pertinent is that the world is changing, India is changing, and world's perception about India is also changing. Politically, for most developed democracies across the globe it is very agreeable that we are neither a theocratic military dictatorship nor a totalitarian government.

Accommodating myriad voices

And over the years we have been involved in a process of nation building that seeks to accommodate the aspirations of its entire citizenry. Our democracy may have its flaws but its dynamism and vibrancy remains unquestionable.

In the economic arena, within fifty-six years of independence, India has displayed substantial dynamism, even if we are only a few notches behind our Chini Bhai. And by any objective assessment, India is slated for success since it has primarily relied on a self-reliant, domestic industry-led method of organic economic growth rather than China's primarily FDI and export driven advancement.

Trusted international ally

Added to it, India's importance as a stabilizing force, and as a bulwark against terrorism in South and Central Asia is being increasingly recognized. Doubts about India's nuclear ambitions have settled down. The emergence of India as a major player in the software and IT enabled services sectors has raised India's economic profile, and it is now being seen as an economic superpower in the making.

Finally, in a world torn by ethnic and religious conflicts, India, for all its flaws, is showing the world that it is possible for people of different religions, regions and ethnic backgrounds to live together.

As a result of these, and other factors, countries such as France, Britain, and Russia have officially extended support to India's bid for permanent membership. The US has not officially committed itself, but there is enough reason to believe that the US administration and intellectuals are sympathetic to India's cause.

And thus India

And as India's stock is going up in the eyes of the world, reform of the UN Security Council is a perfect context within which most of Indian successes could be legitimized.

We want to discuss, analyse and examine India's case for the permanent membership to the UNSC over the next two weeks. We shall scrutinize the Security Council, present the point of view of the P5 and summarize India's case.

As part of our endeavour to promote India's bid for the Security Council and exert pressure and influence on the policy makers, we request you to participate in an online petition, which will then beforwarded to the followingofficials concerned: Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, representatives of the Permanentfive nations in the UN,Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Indian Prime Minister and Vijay Nambiar, our permanent representativeat the United Nations in New York.

We look forward to your support and invite you to join this online movement!

Sign the petition »

First Published: Nov 12, 2003 14:35 IST