External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has asserted India suffered “humiliation” for two centuries under colonial rule and quoted a study stating that the wealth British took from India was close to $45 trillion in today’s monetary value.
“India had two centuries of humiliation by the West in its predatory form it came to India in the mid-18th century. An economic study tried to estimate how much British took out of India, it ended up at many $45 trillion in today’s value,” Jaishankar stated while delivering an address at noted think tank Atlantic Council in Washington DC on Tuesday.
Jaishankar also called for managing Indo-US divergences over India’s approaches to Iran and Russia. “…the task before us, if we are to move in this direction is, one, of course, to strengthen our convergences and there are issues today, very obvious issues to work together, issues like counter-terrorism, issues like maritime security, issues like connectivity. But there will also be divergences and I think part of the challenge would be to manage those. A lot of those would arise in third-country situations like Russia or Iran.”
During his address, Jaishankar shed new light on the constantly evolving and dynamic relationship between India, greater South Asia, and the Western world. The growth of Indian economic influence and emerging multi-polarity of the global economic system underscore a new balance in which “the West needs India, but India also needs the West.”
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Jaishankar asserted that a new, more positive and mutually beneficial compact is forming between what he terms “New India” and the Western world. He argued that a “global rebalancing” of political and economic power is underway and that Western countries should recognize and accept the growing influence of developing countries such as India.
He pointed to the growing importance of the G-20 instead of G-7 meetings is evidence of this broader structural change in global geopolitics and the rapid emergence of a multipolar geopolitical order.
Dr. Irfan Nooruddin, director of the South Asia Center, began the moderated discussion by asking what the implications of seemingly warm relations between US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were for the US-India bilateral relationship in the face of wide-ranging divergences on trade and regulatory approaches.
Mark Linscott, the senior non-resident fellow at the South Asia Center, inquired about the prospect of a US-India trade agreement being finalized in the coming weeks. Ambassador Omar Samad asked about Indian participation in the Afghan peace process and how that relates to future India-Pakistan-Afghanistan relations.
Source: Economic Times