India, having taken over gavel from Indonesian President Joko Widodo, has not only taken the biggest ever opportunity to lead the world from the front but also enabled itself to emerge as a world leader besides bringing G20 nations on one common platform when it comes to addressing global issues, be it elimination of terrorism, saving environment, facing global recession, bringing nations out of the economic crisis or even ending conflicts between countries that are at war affecting global peace.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after having settled very sensitive domestic issues like abrogation of Article 370 that had become a bone of contention, destruction of enemy camps in hostile nations proving India’s mettle, enlightenment of fellow country people to adopt hygiene, development of massive infrastructure and giving a right direction to the country, elevated himself to now address global issues through this platform whose theme is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” meaning “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.
Another best thing about this G20 presidency is that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will also blink on international maps for hosting some meetings, if a nod comes from the Union Government. If the move matures, India will be able to expose before the world nefarious designs of Pakistan and also establish that people of this UT believe in peace and prosperity. There is every chance of this summit being held in SMVDU or SKICC convention centres but the government is also exploring the possibility of playing host in picturesque Gulmarg, sometime in September next.
Given the opportunity, Jammu and Kashmir will definitely be able to attract foreign investment in tourism, adventure sports, agriculture or even health sectors. If this matures, Gulmarg will become India’s Davos, a mountain resort town in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland where World Economic Forum (WEF) holds its annual meeting and world leaders descend there. By making Jammu and Kashmir important, presumption of our UT being disturbed will be done away with.
Coming to the global impact of India’s presidency, one must know that G20 nations comprise two-thirds of the world’s population and 75 per cent of international trade is done between these nations. US president Joe Biden, while being a supporter of India, has categorically said that he is looking forward to supporting what he termed as his friend Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during India’s presidency of G20. Both these leaders have also resolved to adopt human-centric globalisation.
This is for sure that a new India is in making and the credit for it goes to the most transparent, effective, answerable and credible Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Since India is emerging as a world leader and playing host to G20 nations, the opposition must also rise above self or petty politics and support this programme in the best ever manner it can. About two hundred events have been planned for 50 Indian cities and this is a golden opportunity to be a support to the move, that’s making India a nation to reckon with.
India, in years to come and especially through these proposed meetings, will also be strengthening international support in varied social and economic sectors including energy, trade, digital economy, employment, anti-corruption and women empowerment. These are certain vital areas that every country wants to address as well. Started as G7, leaders of other developed as well as developing nations were also involved in these meetings aimed at addressing the economic crisis that had emerged way back in 1997 as well as in 2008. Ever since then, G20 leaders have been meeting annually to address global issues.
Now that India has taken over the reins of G20 nations, the challenges that it faces include ensuring sustainable development for all nations, food and housing for all besides giving best education and healthcare facilities to all and also providing potable water and sanitation in the fast-developing urban areas, for all of which international cooperation is needed. India is definitely going to be carbon neutral in the shortest possible timeframe and this is what’s expected from other G20 nations as well who will also be asked to do away with combustion engines and move towards renewable sources of energy.
Employment is going to be the biggest challenge before G20 nations and resolution of this issue will be seen in days to come. India has already resolved to crack its whip on terrorism and is doing so as well. Digital transaction is one such measure that’s going to nail black money and money that is used for terror activities. We are already moving towards digital-information-technology, open access software and utilising space as the next frontier but what’s needed is how we are able to strengthen global partnership with the IMF, WHO, the World Bank and the WTO.
This G20, a forum for international economic cooperation, plays a vital role in building global architecture and good governance on all major international economic issues. Founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis, it started pulling in other developing nations as well and today it comprises of 19 countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States and the European Union (EU). Since the prime agenda of G20 nations is universal sense of oneness, India has given it a very apt theme – ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’.
India in 2023 is poised to lead from the front and with its vast experience, also ready to present a model before the world that’s sustainable and environment-friendly. Since the basic theme revolves around humanity, the prime concern of providing food, fertiliser and healthcare facilities will definitely be made to rise above political considerations to help humanity. We are concerned about weapons of mass destruction and India, in the coming year, is sure to engage countries that are threatening world peace and humanity.
Coronavirus pandemic and geopolitical tensions besides economic slowdown have already affected food and energy prices and India is determined to address these issues but playing a major role in bringing an end to war in Ukraine or dealing with China would remain a challenge, for which our Prime Minister is well equipped and has already showed a way by asking both Russia and Ukraine that this is not the era of war. Narendra Modi has also already talked to Chinese President Xi Jinping and now it’s for China to respond in a positive manner, especially when the host nation is welcoming G20 nations with open arms. Modi has already made a beginning and a little way forward might bring in desired results in next one year.
The G20 nations have already recognised India’s composite culture and appreciate the richness and cultural diversity of our country. This is a big opportunity for India to showcase its socio-economic and cultural powers and bring together world bodies to work in unison and make this planet worth living for ages to come. Prime Minister Narendra Modi very recently unveiled the Logo, Theme and Website of India’s G20 Presidency, that is aimed at drawing inspiration from the vibrant colours of India’s national flag. India has used its national flower lotus in the logo sending a message of growth. Below the G20 logo is “Bharat”, written in the Devanagari – a script known as ‘Script of the divine city’ that came from Devanagara or the ‘city of the God’.
The theme “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” has also been drawn from the ancient Sanskrit text of the Maha Upanishad that guides us all to respect every life on Earth be it that of human, animal, plant or microorganisms. India, in addition to the website of G20, has also launched a mobile app “G20 India” which will keep us all updated with all the activities of G20 nations and the outcomes of their meetings being held across the length and breadth of the country.
There are people, especially opposition leaders, who are dubbing India’s G20 presidency as an opportunity for 2024 general elections. These people must not indulge in such petty politics and realise India’s potential that has enabled it to take the gavel from Indonesia to lead G20 nations for 2023. There will be several occasions when opposition can play their constructive role effectively but this opportunity must be seized to showcase to the world how strong and effective India is in resolving global issues or bringing G20 nations on a common platform to end conflict, save the planet and work for humanity. Jai Hind!
(The writer is Bharatiya Janata Party J&K Executive Member)