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Familiar moorings: on foreign policy re-orientation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, three of India’s most important partners in Southeast Asia, could not have come at a more important moment in Indian foreign policy positioning(स्थिति/स्थिति निर्धारण).In the past few months, the government has shifted considerably(विशेष रूप से/बड़े पैमाने पर) in its signalling, with Mr. Modi visiting China and Russia for informal summits with Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, respectively(सम्मान से/प्रतिष्ठा से). The fact that these visits have taken place at a time the U.S. administration has sharpened(गतिवृद्धि करना) its aim at China and Russia with sanctions and threats of a trade war suggests Mr. Modi is also attempting(प्रयास करने से/आज़माना) to moderate India’s strategic(महत्वपूर्ण) posturing(तेवर) on the global stage, and striving(प्रयास/झगड़ना) for a more balanced approach in what it increasingly(तेजी से) sees as an uncertain world. India has also maintained its commitment to relations with the U.S. in order to build a “free and open” Indo-Pacific region, maintain the “international rules-based order”, and work together to combat terrorism and terror financing — as they have done more recently at the UN and the Financial Action Task Force. Meanwhile, India’s membership of both the Quadrilateral( चतुर्भुज ) (with the U.S., Japan and Australia) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (the Russia-China-led grouping of Central Asian countries, whose summit Mr. Modi will attend this week) is also an indicator of the new balance that New Delhi seeks.

It is significant(महत्वपूर्ण/सार्थक) that in Singapore Mr. Modi chose the platform of the Shangri-La Dialogue of defence leaders of the Asia-Pacific region to emphasise(प्रमुख बनाना/जोर देना) Indian “strategic autonomy”. In his speech on the concept of the “Indo-Pacific” he referred to India’s relations with Russia, the U.S. and China. Given his government’s particular distaste( विचलन/अरुचि )for the term in the past, it is telling that Mr. Modi appeared to be channelling some of the “Bandung spirit of 1955” that led to the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement, when he praised(की सराहना की) Singapore for teaching the world the importance of making “free and fair choices” and “embracing(संमिलित करना) diversity(विविधता/परिवर्तन) at home”. “When nations stand on the side of principles, not behind one power or the other, they earn the respect of the world,” Mr. Modi said as he unveiled(अनावरण किया) a seven-point vision for the Indo-Pacific region. While warning the world about the possible return of “great power rivalries(प्रतिद्वंद्विता /विरोध)”, he emphasised the importance and centrality of the ASEAN in the concept of the Indo-Pacific. The “principled” vision Mr. Modi projects is a departure from the transactionalism and pragmatism(हस्तक्षेप/उपयोगितावाद) espoused by many in South Block over the last few years. However, it may also be a return to familiar moorings of Indian foreign policy, necessitated(जरूरी/मजबूर करना) by what the Prime Minister identified as the “shifting plates of global politics and the fault lines of history”.

Important Vocabulary

1.Considerably(विशेष रूप से/बड़े पैमाने पर)
Synonyms: appreciably, far, greatly, markedly, noticeably
Antonyms: insignificantly, little, slightly, unappreciably, unremarkably

2.Positioning(स्थिति/स्थिति निर्धारण).
Synonyms: arrange, locate, put, stand, stick
Antonyms: displace, refuse, remove, disarrange, disturb

Synonyms: conation, conatus

4.Distaste( विचलन/अरुचि )
Synonyms: antipathy, aversion, disgust, displeasure, dissatisfaction
Antonyms: admiration, delight, esteem, fondness, happiness

Synonyms: affect, attitudinize, display, fake, masquerade
Antonyms: withhold, be truthful

6.Rivalries(प्रतिद्वंद्विता /विरोध)
Synonyms: antagonism, clash, conflict, contest, duel
Antonyms: accord, agreement, calm, harmony, peace

Synonyms: disdain, airs, assumption, cockiness, conceit
Antonyms: humility, meekness, modesty, reality, realness

8.Necessitated(जरूरी/मजबूर करना)
Synonyms: constrain, entail, require, ask, behoove
Antonyms: calculate, check, delay, disallow, discourage




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