The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has said that India never was an aggressor and attacked any country despite being known as Vishwaguru once upon a time and always believed in the philosophy of “Sarve Janah Sukhino Bhavantu”.
Addressing the gathering after releasing a book titled ‘India’s Ocean Neighborhood: Narendra Modi’s Strategy Initiatives’ written by academician and Chancellor of Central University of Kerala, Prof. S.V. Seshagiri Rao in Hyderabad today, he said that the book was a timely treatise on the multi-dimensional importance of the Indian Ocean region for India, particularly in terms of national security and economic growth.
He said the book brought out several initiatives taken by the Indian Government with a long-term vision to protect India’s maritime interests and strengthen the security in the wake of a hegemonic threat to the region.
The Vice President lauded the efforts of government under the leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi for promoting India’s interest at the global stage and for leveraging diplomacy effectively.
Saying that history tells us that India once had a dominant presence in the Indian Ocean region, Shri Naidu opined that time has come for India to recapture its past glory and assert its role on the world stage.
India was now being recognized and respected by the world for its reforms, economic growth and development, he said and referred to the support India was receiving in its bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
The Vice President said that an initiative such as the International Solar Alliance initiated by India brought 121 countries together to work for and efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and also to promote sustainable development. He said that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declaring 21 June, as International Yoga day was a great recognition given to India and its ancient art form Yoga.
Shri Naidu urged the younger generation to read the book written by Prof. Seshagiri Rao to understand the importance of ocean security. Even to pursue the philosophy of ‘Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu’, ocean security was vital, he added.
Following is the text of Vice President’s address (Please find the attachment)
The book India’s Ocean Neighbourhood: Narendra Modi’s Strategy Initiatives is a timely treatise on the multi-dimensional importance of the Indian Ocean region for India, particularly in terms of national security and economic growth.
It mentions how the NDA Government led by Shri Narendra Modi took several initiatives with a long-term vision to protect India’s maritime interests and strengthen the security in the wake of a hegemonic threat to the region.
With the Indian Ocean continuing to play a vital role, the relations with Mauritius were further strengthened and development of infrastructure in far away oil rich Agalega Island was taken up by India. In 2016, steps were initiated to develop Chabahar port of Iran to extricate the land-locked Afghanistan from the stranglehold of Pakistan. The logistical agreement signed with Oman in 2018 facilitates the use of port of Duqm by Indian Navy and Omani airbases by Indian Air Force.
As regards, maritime boundary, the book points out that India has maritime boundary with seven countries and unless it was decided upon we cannot exactly delineate the EEZ and Continental Shelf. While India entered into maritime boundary treaties with Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar through bilateral negotiations, the maritime boundary issue with Bangladesh was referred to International Tribunal and India had lost the case. As a result India had forfeited nearly 20,000 sq.km of EEZ in Bay of Bengal. The maritime boundary with Pakistan is yet to be settled because of Sir Creek boundary dispute.
The book also focused on the geographical advantages of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep archipelagoes as potential strategic assets.
I am glad that the government also initiated a 10-year naval infrastructure development package for the Andamans.
History tells us that India once had a dominant presence in the Indian Ocean region and the time has India to recapture its past glory and assert its role on the world stage.
I would also like to compliment Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi for effectively leveraging diplomacy to protect India’s interests. As a result of the intensified diplomatic efforts led by him, India is being recognized and respected world over. The flow of foreign investments also has increased in the wake of the economic reforms initiated by the Government.
India also has jumped to the 77th place in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index and our economy is the fastest growing lafge economy in the world today.
It might be relevant to mention here that in a profile written in the Time magazine, the former US President Barack Obama had described Shri Modi as “reformer-in-chief”.
Indians getting elected to multilateral fora and International bodies such as International Court of Justice and others is an indication of the growing popularity of the nation on the global stage. Many countries have expressed support to India’s bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council..
Shri Modi also played a prominent role in promoting the International Solar Alliance, which brought 121 countries together to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and promote sustainable development. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declaring 21 June, as International Yoga day was also a great recognition for India and its ancient art form Yoga.
It should be remembered that India always believed in the philosophy of ‘Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu’ and never attacked anybody although it was known as “Vishwaguru’ once upon time.