Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the foremost guiding principle in India's foreign affairs is the country's national interest.
In an interview with Financial Times, PM Modi addressed various issues including governance, foreign policy, economic development, and the democratic ethos of the nation.
Here are the major highlights of PM Modi's interview:
1. Vision for India's Future and Confidence in Electoral Victory
In his recent interview, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his optimism about India's future and his confidence in securing a third term in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
He emphasised the changing aspirations of the Indian people, stating, "Today, the people of India have very different aspirations from the ones they had 10 years back."
PM Modi highlighted the nation's readiness for a significant leap forward, with the public seeking to expedite this journey under the leadership of his party, which he credits for bringing the country to its current state.
2. India's Growing Global Influence and Foreign Policy
PM Modi discussed India's evolving role on the global stage, including its non-alignment policy and strengthening ties with major powers like the United States and Russia.
He outlined India's foreign policy, rooted in national interest and the complexities of contemporary geopolitics.
PM Modi also highlighted that India's approach to international relations is guided by country's national interests.
“Our foremost guiding principle in foreign affairs is our national interest,” PM Modi said.
“This stance allows us to engage with various nations in a manner that respects mutual interests and acknowledges the complexities of contemporary geopolitics," he added.
3. Economic Growth and Infrastructure Development
The Prime Minister highlighted significant economic and infrastructure developments under his leadership.
He pointed to India's transition from being one of the "Fragile Five" to the world's fifth-largest economy, emphasising the doubling of airports, expansion of metro lines, and increase in medical colleges.
PM Modi also mentioned multinational companies diversifying their operations into India, indicating a potential replication of China's economic growth trajectory.
4. Employment and Economic Challenges
Addressing concerns about unemployment and economic challenges, Modi cited data from the Periodic Labour Force Survey, which indicates a decline in unemployment rates.
He acknowledged the need to address issues like corruption, administrative hurdles, and the skills gap among youth.
PM Modi emphasised the importance of creating an environment in India that attracts global talent and investment.
5. Commitment to Democracy and Inclusivity
In response to concerns about the health of Indian democracy and the treatment of minorities, Modi stressed the intelligence and commitment of the Indian people to values like diversity and democracy.
He dismissed talks of amending the constitution as meaningless, asserting that transformative steps have been achieved through public participation without constitutional amendments.
Modi also addressed the economic success of religious minorities like the Parsees, using their prosperity as an example of India's inclusive society.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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