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Pot calling the kettle black: EAM Jaishankar accusing Global North of double standards

By Chandra Vikash* 

While addressing a Ministerial Session on Saturday 23 September 2023 in New York on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly session titled ‘South Rising: Partnerships, Institutions and Ideas’, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that economically dominant countries are leveraging production capabilities and those who have institutional influence have weaponized these capabilities. He also cited an example of Covid-19 and stressed that it is still a world of double standards."
Jaishankar was speaking at this event hosted by the Observer Research Foundation, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, United Nations India and the Reliance Foundation, a part of the conglomerate which largely finances the ORF which set up a centre in America in 2020, that is headed by the Hon. Minister's son Dhruva Jaishankar.
This happened 3 days after the Climate Ambition Summit also in New York on Wed 20 September. Antonio Guterres made the historical opening remarks that will be noted as a defining moment that brings the Development era since the Second World War to an abrupt end. In no uncertain terms, the UN Secretary-General said:
"Our focus here is on climate solutions – and our task is urgent. Humanity has opened the gates of hell. Horrendous heat is having horrendous effects. Distraught farmers watching crops carried away by floods; Sweltering temperatures spawning disease; And thousands fleeing in fear as historic fires rage. Climate action is dwarfed by the scale of the challenge. If nothing changes we are heading towards a 2.8 degree temperature rise – towards a dangerous and unstable world.
"The path forward is clear. It has been forged by fighters and trailblazers – some of whom are with us today: Activists refusing to be silenced; Indigenous Peoples defending their lands from climate extremes; Chief Executives transforming their business models and financiers funding a just transition; Mayors moving towards to a zero-carbon future; And governments working to stamp out fossil fuels and protect vulnerable communities.
"And they need global leaders to take action. Action to reduce emissions. The move from fossil fuels to renewables is happening – but we are decades behind. We must make up time lost to foot-dragging, arm-twisting and the naked greed of entrenched interests raking in billions from fossil fuels. The proposed Climate Solidarity Pact calls on major emitters – who have benefitted most from fossil fuels – to make extra efforts to cut emissions, and on wealthy countries to support emerging economies to do so. Many of the poorest nations (the Global South) have every right to be angry. Angry that they are suffering most from a climate crisis they did nothing to create. Angry that promised finance has not materialized. And angry that their borrowing costs are sky-high. We need a transformation to rebuild trust."
Not only was the government of India, the self-proclaimed voice of the Global South (it hardly represents even the voice of the people of India) was not only missing from this important summit, the External Affairs Minister even fails to obliquely acknowledge and comment on what Guterres said. Jaishankar in turn focuses in his speech on how to get even more financial resourcing for his fatcat cronies in diabolically deceptive ways - debt, SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) resourcing, climate action resourcing, digital access, nutrition and gender.The stark reality is that Modi regime has drained the coffers empty, the people are far more debt-ridden and inflation-stung than a decade back; rupee is on a downward spiral; India has been faltering badly on climate action and on nutrition. On gender, a late electorally-minded Women's Reservation Bill is another jumla. The only saving grace is digital access, which is needed for a cashless economy in line with the Global North agenda, to be followed by digital currency with programmable expenditure.
As any astute observer would tell you, Mr Guterres is far more credible and trustworthy in his utterances than the career diplomat mouthing homilies when he is actually begging for more money for his crony sponsors.

Weaponization of Everything

Incidentally, this is not the first time that Dr Jaishankar was referring to the weaponization of institutional influences.
Delivering a lecture at the IIM Calcutta on 2nd of November, 2022, S. Jaishankar, India’s Union Minister for External Affairs, said that there is a larger change today underway in international affairs that is very important to comprehend. “This emanates from the weaponization of everything. In recent years, we have already seen how trade, connectivity, debt, resources and even tourism have become the point of political pressure. The Ukraine conflict has dramatically widened the scope of such leveraging,”
Dr. Jaishankar was then speaking on the topic of “India and the World”. In a marvelous speech with historic proportions, he mentions 10 reasons why India is now taken seriously even as we are moving towards becoming a leading power.
  1. Handling of the Covid crises – Cowin portal, vaccine production and exports etc. (Disclaimer: I am unvaccinated and to the best of my knowledge this was a massive and unprecedented medical-politico conspiracy and should soon be public knowledge, as the lid blows off.)
  2. Robust economic recovery and the digitally enabled socio-economic delivery on a massive scale at a time when the global economy continues to face serious headwinds
  3. A growing economic relevance to the world reflected in greater FDI inflows, greater manufacturing, stronger exports and embrace of startups
  4. An independent foreign policy in an increasingly polarised world, one that also speaks for the Global South
  5. An innovative diplomacy that has introduced new concepts and platforms, without according a veto to others on our choices
  6. A resolute national security policy that has seen us standing up to daunting challenges in border areas, even during the Covid period
  7. A determination to look after our own abroad – Operation Ganga in Ukraine, Operation Devi Shakti in Afghanistan
  8. A willingness to look out for others and often serve as a first responder in humanitarian or disaster response situation, especially in our own neighborhood
  9. Contributing to global betterment through initiatives in solar energy, disaster resilience, maritime security and counter-terrorism among others
  10. A perception that India as a civilizational-state is finding its place once again in the global order
He further added that the combination of changes in our political standing, economic weight, technology capabilities, cultural influence and the success of the Indian diaspora is moving India today into a higher orbit. Nearly 2 years later, in September '23 and in the 10th year of the Modi regime at the Centre in Delhi, he is still cribbing and cringing at the dominant countries and accusing them of 'double standards. I would strongly urge him to look within where the fault really lies. 

Four Questions on the 'double standards'

Here are four questions for India's External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar in the context of his accusations against the Developed/Global North of 'double standards' and the treachery and deception involved in the 'weaponization' of institutional influences that are supposed to serve the people of a country at the national level and humanity at large at the global levels.
Q1: Isn't the Centre under the current Modi regime doing the same to the states within the Union of India - 'weaponizing' its institutional influence through agencies such as Enforcement Directorate, CBI, Income Tax, the Election Commission and buying out the media through its corporate cronies?
“There is a growing sentiment in the world, and the Global South in a way embodies it. But there’s also political resistance. Those occupying positions of influence are resisting pressure to change. They (Global North / Developed countries) will mouth the right things, but the reality is still today, it’s a world very much of double standards."
Q2: Isn't 'mouthing the right things' to mislead people but not practicing them - precisely the definition of a 'jumla'. Why should Mr Modi, who is famous for his jumlas, have all the fun ? What moral right have you earned over the past nearly 10 years to preach to the world what you don't practice within the country?
"Speaking about the Global South and India's G20 Presidency, the minister highlighted how India was ‘the voice of the Global South’ and how it steered the global conversation back to global growth and development issues."
Q3: How tone deaf Mr. Jaishankar! The other day the UN Secretary-General effectively warned that Development has ''opened the gates to hell'. Does he want the Global South to follow the Developed Global North to enter the same bloody hell?
"In his Europe’s mindset comment from last year, where he said that “Europe’s problems are the world’s problems but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems", EAM Jaishankar said that "particular statement had a particular context" while also listing five big problems which is troubling the entire world, ANI reported."
Q4: Isn't the Modi regime guilty of the same crime that you accuse Europe of? - The Modi regime's mindset is that Modi's problems are India's problems but India's problems are not Modi's problems. Isn't that double standard?
Isn't this clearly a case of the pot calling the kettle black?
---
*Founder-Mentor, MaaS Movement Pvt Ltd

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