Jaishankar said that India’s relations with China are uncomfortable, but we are fully capable of managing them. The foreign minister, who was scolding Europe, was seen following in the footsteps of India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Jaishankar’s tone, while addressing a conference in the capital, Bratislava, was very strict. He made it clear that Europe has to be taken out of the mindset that its problems are the problems of the whole world, but the problems of the world are not the problems of Europe. If the problem is yours then it is only yours but if it is mine then it is ours.
‘The world doesn’t go the way you want it to’
European countries are constantly persuading India to criticize Russia for its attack on Ukraine. Europe argues that in future India may face a challenge like China, for which it will need global support. Jaishankar had an answer to this argument as well. He said, ‘Let me join one struggle because it will help me in another struggle… That’s not how the world works. We have many problems with China which have nothing to do with Ukraine nor with Russia.
‘Europe remained silent on many developments in Asia’
The External Affairs Minister said that whatever happened between China and India happened long before Ukraine and China need not take precedent in this matter from anywhere else. Europe kept silent on many developments in Asia. Our position on the Ukraine war is very clear that we are in favor of an immediate cessation of hostilities. The foreign minister said that we do not send people to buy Russian oil. We send them to buy oil. You buy the best oil in the market, we say that.
When Nehru stopped speaking of Europe
Jaishankar washed Europe fiercely and Jawaharlal Nehru did the same thing in 1948. Pandit Nehru said in the United Nations General Assembly on 3 November 1948, ‘I want to say that we are equally interested in the solution of European problems, but I also want to say that the world is much bigger than just ‘Europe’ ‘You will not solve your problems thinking that the world’s problems are primarily European problems.’
(with agency input)