How Delhi Talks to the World

Question : “Discuss the evolving nature of India’s diplomatic vocabulary and its significance in shaping foreign policy discourse. Also, analyze the role of opposition parties in engaging with foreign policy issues, highlighting the challenges and opportunities in India’s quest for a more assertive global role.


  • Evolution of India’s diplomatic vocabulary over the last decade.
  • Gap between India’s international rise and domestic discourse.
  • Need for political parties, especially the Opposition, to engage more in foreign policy discussions.

Significance of Discussion on Foreign Policy by Political Parties:

  • Limited attention to foreign policy in election manifestos.
  • Recognition of India’s rise in the international hierarchy is crucial.
  • India’s objective international possibilities depend on acknowledging its changing position.

How Opposition Parties Can Fight Incumbent Government on Foreign Policy:

  • Little political gain in questioning India’s rise.
  • Opposition should take credit for India’s transformation.
  • Persistent resistance to acknowledging India as a major power.
  • Reminding the nation of the tasks needed to reduce the gap with leading powers.

How India’s Foreign Policy Lexicon is Becoming More Assertive:

  • Transition from defensive to self-assured diplomatic language.
  • India’s growing economy contributes to more self-confidence.
  • Concerns about emulating Beijing’s “wolf warrior diplomacy.”
  • Emphasis on national interests and global ambitions without appearing overly aggressive.

The Need for Rethinking Strategic Autonomy Policy:

  • Strategic autonomy concept inherited from post-colonial insecurity.
  • India’s growing power challenges absolute strategic autonomy.
  • Greater responsibilities and opportunities come with India’s rising power.
  • Decline in references to strategic autonomy, replaced by terms like “leading power” and “net security provider.”

India Needs to Behave Like a Great Power:

  • Shift from preserving autonomy to contributing to regional and global security.
  • Great powers shape international order, manage conflicts, and regulate global commerce and technology.
  • Opportunity for India to leverage its growing weight in the international system for security and prosperity.

Strategic Autonomy Must Not Become an End in Itself:

  • Pursuit of autonomy should not overshadow setting concrete goals.
  • Need for a clear national security strategy and articulated foreign policy objectives.
  • Opposition’s role in debating pathways to achieving national goals, such as becoming a developed nation by 2047.

The Duty of Opposition on Foreign Policy Issues:

  • Responsibility of the Opposition to engage in foreign policy debates.
  • Congress’s role in leading discussions on foreign policy.
  • Importance of integrating domestic and external imperatives in foreign policy discourse.


  • India’s foreign policy lexicon reflects growing self-assurance.
  • Opposition should shed old shibboleths and engage more in foreign policy discussions.



US Abstention on UN Resolution Regarding Gaza

Question : Examine the significance of the US abstention on the recent UN resolution regarding Gaza, highlighting its implications on US-Israel relations and the broader dynamics in the Israel-Palestine conflict.


  • UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding ceasefire in Gaza (March 25, 2024).
  • The resolution passed 14-0, with the US abstaining.

US Vetoes and Current Vote

  • US has previously vetoed 3 UN resolutions demanding ceasefire in Gaza.
  • Current resolution also demanded aid access for Palestinians and release of hostages.

Criticisms of US Abstention

  • Symbolic gesture to appease voters against Israeli actions.
  • Non-binding resolution and continued US aid to Israel reduces its impact.

Significance of US Abstention

  • US has been Israel’s strongest supporter in international forums.
  • Vote reflects growing disagreements between US President Biden and Israeli PM Netanyahu.

Israel’s Reaction

  • PM Netanyahu reacted strongly, cancelling a delegation visit to discuss a ground offensive in Rafah.
  • Rafah is already overcrowded with refugees and a ground offensive would be devastating.
  • Netanyahu rejected Biden’s “red line” against a ground offensive.
  • He also denied the two-state solution for Israel-Palestine.

Israel’s Isolation and Need for Course Correction

  • Before the conflict, Israel had better relations with the region and international community (Abraham Accords).
  • Current actions are isolating Israel.
  • Israel needs to listen to its allies and pause hostilities.
  • Netanyahu’s actions may prioritize personal interests over national interests.


  • Israel should not ignore the US message on the Gaza ceasefire.


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