BJP’s shift in Foreign Policy: Panchsheel gives way to Panchamrit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The two-day national executive council of the ruling BJP saw the party proposing two crucial resolutions, a political resolution and the second on the foreign relations pursued by the Modi government shifting from the previous governments.

The Panchsheel policy of foreign affairs proposed by Jawaharlal Nehru of the Congress is now paving way for the new Panchamrit policy proposed through a foreign affairs policy of the BJP government. Under the new panchamrit policy, the BJP as a party proposes five elements Suraksha (security), Samvaad(dialogue), Samriddhi(economic progress), Sanskriti( culture) and Sammaan( dignity) instead of the Panchsheel doctrines followed in the past.

The party proposed a dynamic shift in the foreign affairs policy to be adopted by the Modi government. While Modi has been on an external affairs overdrive travelling abroad and visiting over 14 countries, the foreign tours undertaken by the Prime Minister and the external affairs minister have helped India build dialogue with several nations in the recent past.

Buoyed by the same, the proposed new Indian foreign policy now may see India getting into a new role of playing a proactive role against terror. Specifically on Pakistan, the proposed resolution spelled out to the government to move in the direction of dialogue only if terror stops. “All outstanding issues with Pakistan can be resolved through bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence,” said M J Akbar, spokesperson BJP who further added: “We have laid out a clear policy for fielding peaceful and friendly relationship with Pakistan, predicated on an end to terrorism.” But the question is whether India can don the mantle that the western world has been expecting it to for several years.

While the Non Aligned Policy adopted by India for over six decades in the past had seen India stay away from getting into conflict zones in the West Asia and Middle east , but the proactive role that the new foreign policy envisages could see India getting dragged into the conflict.

Elaborating the role , M J Akbar said,” The rise of the ISIS is a concern and the BJP resolution proposes  to ensure that Indian government is trying to build consensus at Global level to ensure that there is a united forum to end terror”. But the question remains that in the present scenario and having been one of the earliest victims of terror  ,can India afford a stance which will see India get dragged into conflict directly ?

The other big challenge on which the foreign policy remains silent is the question of equality of social and religious freedom for minorities. The recent attacks on Churches,the religious intolerance displayed has seen several nations raise questions on the international arenas. Will the party discuss and propose solutions to that is something that the government may need to answer.



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