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India That is More Bharat

“A nationalist outlook will naturally produce a nationalist diplomacy, and it is something that the world will need to get used to.” ~ Dr. S. Jaishankar

An Illustration on Why Bharat Matters

Illustration by The Geostrata

Israeli scholar Shlomo Sand famously remarked, “I don’t think books can change the world, but when the world begins to change, it searches for different books,” and as we are looking at the crumbled world order and changing balance of power, it looks like the world has begun to change. Likewise, the recently published 'Why Bharat Matters' by Rupa Publications and authored by India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, could be the one book that the changing international milieu is looking for at this moment.


Divided into 11 chapters, the book covers issues ranging from the state of the world to how foreign policy affects the common people and from people, the Quad, and dealing with China.

What makes this book unique, when we compare it with other books in the field, is its drawing of a corollary with the stories from the ancient Indian epic of the Ramayana, which also makes it a captivating read.

The book begins by portraying the mosaic of challenges confronting the modern world, grappling with economic upheavals, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine conflict, turmoil in West Asia, and intensifying power struggles between the great powers. Against this backdrop of volatility, the author navigates India’s global position and future prospects.


Dr. S. Jaishankar presents an illustration of the evolution of Indian diplomacy, emphasising that diplomacy cannot exist in a vacuum devoid of personalities and relationships.

It underscores that diplomacy is not a mere transactional process but rather a dynamic interplay of chemistry and credibility. Drawing on these themes, he offers insight into the influence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Indian diplomacy, which ushered in a new era after 2014. Further, Dr. Jaishakar defines this as Modi-Era diplomacy, characterised by a people-centric approach and active participation in shaping the global agenda for the common good.

Historically, in academia, the concepts of foreign diplomacy and statecraft often derive their references from the epic of the Mahabharata. Interestingly, as mentioned earlier, the book incorporates various allegorical references and metaphors from the Ramayana.

This highlights the importance of our ancient scriptures and a novel tendency to relook at our cultural heritage through the prism of diplomacy and foreign affairs.


Dr. S. Jaishankar’s book serves as a means to bridge the longstanding gap between foreign policy and the common people. Diplomacy, often perceived as distant, is made more accessible to the average Indian through the pages of this enlightening publication.

"The triggering event of King Dasaratha’s boons is an example of an unintended decision leading to unanticipated consequences. This is also illustrated by the fact that Ravana does not even imagine the ultimate results of his abduction of Queen Sita."  Even in the contemporary era too, we are not immune to global uncertainties and turbulence. The repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict have transcended national boundaries, exerting influences that extend from employment opportunities to quality of life to national security. 

For all the talk of globalization and common good, nations still calculate unsentimentally what is to their particular advantage. The world may be changing but, in some respects, the more it does, the more it remains the same.”

Amidst the ongoing global changes and the realignment of power among major players, the current world order is eagerly awaiting transitions and a shift towards multipolarity. Additionally, the world has become increasingly interconnected, tech-centric, and borderless, redefining power dynamics. Dr. Jaishankar reiterated the idea of a more capable India, one that is confident in its values and beliefs and draws its conviction from its rich culture, heritage, and traditions.

He emphasises that as a nation rooted in civilization, Bharat must confront this disordered world effectively as “India can only rise when it is truly Bharat.”

Dr. S. Jaishankar highlights the significant advancements made by India in the past decade, propelling it towards the status of a rising power. By drawing inspiration from Kautilya’s Mandala theory, he elucidates the strong foundation of India’s neighbourhood-first policy, which forms the core of the mandala. Furthermore, he highlights the extension of India’s neighbourhood to Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and the Gulf through the ‘Link West’ approach, as well as the increased engagement in Africa and Central Asia.

He highlights the non-linear and diverse nature of contemporary diplomacy, with numerous variables at play.

Additionally, the book also suggests that as India strives to establish itself as a rising power, it has successfully enhanced the breadth of its interaction through efficient global diplomacy.


Dr. S. Jaishankar’s book sets the tone for India's ascent as a rising power as Bharat enters the Amrit Kaal, a quarter-century dedicated to not only achieving developed nation status but also becoming a leading global power.

He reinforces the idea of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas' in Indian foreign policy, aiming to actively contribute to resolving regional and global issues, thereby emerging as Vishwa Mitra to the world. Overall, the book makes for an astounding read for professionals in international relations and common people alike, making it one of the most important books written in this decade.





comprehensive review!


Bridging the gap!


Jay Kalra
Jay Kalra
Jan 26
India can only rise when it is truly Bharat.”

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