Knee jerk diplomacy

diplomacy.jpgThe Indian diplomacy is full of uncertainties. Despite possessing brilliant and clear cut foreign service officers, it suffers from multiple injuries. An investigation into the causes for the repeated failure of the diplomatic missions tell a true tale. There is a tight control of the political class over the day to day diplomatic functionings.  In order to make the crucial department of the government efficient it is important to provide them the required teeth. With the continued iron grip of the impractical politicians the diplomatic community persists to carry the futile tag unnecessarily. One is confused over who will clear the mess?

The failure of P. Chidambaram to get elected to the Chairpersonship of IMF steering committee, withdrawal of Somath Chatterjee half way from the election of the Inter Parliamentary Union, defeat by South Korea in the bid for 2016 Asiad games, historic exit of Shasi Tharoor in the U.N Secretary General contest, continuous failure to secure the permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council point towards the colossal defeat of the Indian diplomacy. The full throated international voicing on any and every issue happening around the world has not given India yet a single mileage in the international arena.

Impractical and highly emotional handling of sensitive matters have backfired in the past. From over trusting Chinese government in the fifties to offering unsolicited  support to the USA in the post 9/11 phase, the Indian diplomacy has travelled a long unlearnt journey. When the Indian government was on the high pitch elevation and shouting Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai! the Chinese were secretly building barracks in the Indian territory. All the good intentions of striking a good rapport with the neighbhour evaporated when the Chinese army intruded and captured miles of north eastern part of India.  This was the first rude shock for the peace loving nation with the pigeon holding Prime Minister Pandit Nehru in the sixties. Then the Pakistan army continued to pose formidable challenges militarily in the northern most tip of the country. While it is attempting to shake and break the territorial integrity of India through hard and soft means, it is also speaking the language of peace on the other end.

A historical analysis of the Indian diplomacy projects a dismal picture. To turn around the bad situation into a fruitful progress, certain measures are needed urgently. One, total autonomy should be provided to the diplomatic community to identify and address the crucial international issues. Two, no undue interference of the political class in the micro foreign policy management issues should be encouraged. Three, no emotional overtones while dealing with sensitive foreign policy matters. Four, media and public relations management of the diplomatic circuit should be strengthened. Five, an independent committee of experts on foreign policy matters with ex officers, academicians and public representatives should constantly monitor and guide the existing set of functionaries.

Regular refresher courses and upskilling of the officers need to be conducted to keep the diplomats abreast with the changing reality. The onus is on the Indian government now to upgrade its human resources management in the diplomacy circle to achieve a honorable position in the comity of nations. In the absence of an efficient management of the foreign policy, India will continue to suffer from defeat after defeat. A total pragmatic approach is the prerequisite to succeed in the highly competitive world. From winning a UN seat to achieving a global position in the trade to bidding for Olympic games host to securing the terrorists sitting across the border, the Indian diplomacy needs to charge up. Abandoning the knee jerk attitude is the first step in the direction of achieving a sounding success in the diplomatic front.        


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