New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has said Bharat is a mindset which encapsulates all the changes that have been taking place in the country over the last few years.
He made this point when asked about the mainstreaming of the name during an interview with NDTV Editor-in-Chief Sanjay Pugalia.
“I consider Bharat a mindset, an approach,” Jaishankar emphasised in the course of the interview that followed the publication of his book ‘Why Bharat Matters’ (Rupa).
“What I think is, in terms of culture, self-confidence, delivery, our way of thinking, if you count it all, then if we have to describe the concept in short, the word Bharat conveys the message,” the minister and veteran diplomat said.
The name Bharat, used in the Constitution to describe India, made headlines last year during the G20 Summit when the dinner invite to the foreign leaders attending the summit, sent in the name of DroupadiMurmu, described her as the ‘President of Bharat’.
Moving on to the issue of India’s frayed relations with Canada, Jaishankar said that country’s “politics gave space to separatism”.
Canada ignored India’s request for sharing information about any concerns they may have and instead made allegations in public against India over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June 2023, Jaishankar told NDTV.
On the larger point of the direction of Indian diplomacy, he clarified that “India is non-West, but not anti-West”.
Zeroing in on South Asia, Jaishankar pointed out that India’s ties with its neighbours is not transactional. He drew attention to the fact that it was New Delhi that had started the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and had forged friendships based on this sentiment.
“Sri Lanka is an example of the neighbourhood policy … the world talked about Sri Lanka but India helped,” Jaishankar told NDTV, recalling the weeks of economic and social crises that had engulfed the island nation in May 2022, sparking violence that claimed lives and made headlines worldwide.
Addressing the growing global concern over China’s influence in the world, Jaishankar, who had served as India’s Ambassador to China (2009-13), declared: “We must compete with all, not just China.” India does not need to be scared of China, he said, adding that it has the capability and confidence to compete with the country.