IASbhai Editorial Hunt
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EDITORIAL 57:“India in the post-pandemic world“
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL/EDITORIALS FOR UPSC CSE MAINS 2020
Sujatha Singh is Former Foreign Secretary
India in the post-pandemic world
The manner in which the country deals with the crisis will determine its place in the future world order
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Economy
The role that India plays in the post-pandemic world order will be determined by how we deal with the crisis now, and how we emerge from it. Discuss -(GS 3)
In this article you will understand the importance of leadership post pandemic scenario . Lets dive in !
- Yes, we all know that the world we once knew has gone, perhaps forever.
- What has not changed though, is human nature itself.
- The way we react, as a species to the unknown, or to an existential threat, on a scale not experienced in recent times, to something that we cannot quite comprehend as yet, in its entirety.
A LEADERSHIP ROLE
- The pandemic has added heft to arguments of foreign policy analysts across the entire spectrum of strategic thinking, from nationalists and anti-globalists, to advocating a more robust multilateralism and a leadership role for India in mobilising international cooperation.
- I believe, however, that before we get too involved in the contours of a post-pandemic world, we first need to think about where we are headed as a post-pandemic India.
- Yes, there will be a churning as nations scramble for advantage in the world order as the pandemic recedes, but I think we need to be more concerned at this point of time with the social and economic churning under way within our own country, accentuated and magnified by the COVID-19 crisis.
THIS, IN TURN, DEPENDS ON CERTAIN FUNDAMENTAL FACTORS —
- The quality of leadership, the quality of administration at all levels, (Centre, State, district and village),
- The robustness of institutional frameworks,
- The quality of health care,
- Our social coherence as a people.
Admittedly, the manner in which some of these have functioned recently, does not engender great confidence.
- The COVID-19 epidemic has mercilessly highlighted our shortcomings and our failures, even as we pride ourselves on being the world’s largest democracy and its fifth largest economy.
- It has highlighted our age-old fault lines of caste, class and creed.
- There are still too many inequalities, and too many of us who have been left behind, on whom the effects of the lockdown have been the most severe, compounding the economic distress of recent years.
- Or at least to plan for it, and to raise the resources to back these plans with adequate funding, regardless of the fiscal deficit that will follow.
- In its absence, we run the risk of social disorder, as witnessed in Bandra (Mumbai), Surat (Gujarat) and other parts of India where our poor are in lockdown.
- Growing perceptions of injustice and of the government’s indifference to their plight could well lead to widespread outrage that would be difficult to control.
- They are fundamental to our socioeconomic transformation, which in itself is an imperative.
- Also, if India is to be in any position to make use of opportunities that emerge in the reordering of the global economy as the pandemic recedes.
ON THE GLOBAL STAGE
- It is important that we participate in international efforts towards finding a vaccine and ramp up capacities to produce it in the quantities needed, both for our own people and for the world.
- On the international front, nations will continue to strive for strategic advantage in furthering their interests and constrained by realpolitik in striving for the common good.
- If we wish to play a leadership role and to present a vision for a more inclusive world defined by international cooperation, then we need to back it with our own example, on the domestic as well as the international fronts.
- I believe that in any post-pandemic world order that emerges, regardless of whether it is U.S.-centric or China-centric, there is no scenario in which India, a universe in itself, and home to one-sixth of humanity, will not occupy a place.