India alone has the power to rein in China, Farid Zakaria also said a big thing about Modi's third term

Ananya Shroff
6 Min Read

New Delhi : India-born American journalist and well-known geopolitical expert Fareed Zakaria has described India's big and important role in the new emerging world order. In one of his interviews, he said that India's role becomes very important because it is the only country in Asia that can compete with China. It can rein it in. In an interview to TV news channel NDTV, the senior journalist also praised the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that PM Modi can attract the common man as well as bring a wave of modernization. He also gave the example of the success of Digital India for this. In the interview, he also talked about PM Modi's possible third term. In his new book 'The Age of Revolutions', Fareed Zakaria has talked about the revolutionary changes taking place in the world, the rise of many countries and the challenges arising from it. In the interview, he said that the rise of China is the basic truth of international politics and India has become very important because it is the only country in Asia that can 'compete' with it.

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… then PM Modi's third term will be historic

Fareed Zakaria said about PM Modi's possible third term that it will give him more weight than other global leaders. The third term will give him democratic legitimacy which many global leaders do not have. He said, 'This (third term) will give Prime Minister Modi a certain kind of moral and political strength.' He said that if PM Modi gets a third term, it will be very historic. He said that PM Modi is very popular and many people in the country listen to him.

Praising Prime Minister Modi, Zakaria said that he is unique in a way. He is able to work both internally and externally. He said that Trump is also a popular leader, but not as much as Modi. Zakaria said that the urban population in America is very large and a large part of it thinks that Trump is not right for them. Zakaria said, 'But Prime Minister Modi is able to simultaneously appeal to the common man and the wave of technology-based modernization that is going on in India. That is why I think he is so successful politically…he is very smart politically.' Referring to the digital revolution in India, Zakaria said, 'As a poor country and a latecomer in technology, India chose the best path it could have taken.'

'India is the only country in Asia that has the strength to compete with China'

Responding to a question, Fareed Zakaria said, 'The rise of China and the return of Russia have become important new features of the current world order. Both of these pose a direct challenge to the existing rule-based international order. In this context, India becomes very important because India can in a way balance or counter China. It is the only country of this size and scale that has the ability to balance China in Asia for a long time.'

Explaining how important India's role is in the world order, Zakaria said it can also provide a balance in terms of maintaining the rules-based international order, which it has historically been a supporter of. “The emphasis on state sovereignty, the emphasis on decision-making through bodies like the United Nations. So in this new world, India can play a very positive and constructive role. There is tremendous goodwill for India in the United States and Europe,” he said.

'India has an important role in the new world order but there are challenges too'

Zakaria also talked about the challenges that India will have to overcome. He said that to take advantage of this situation, India will have to face challenges on two fronts. Talking about the two challenging fronts, Zakaria said, 'One, it has to grow economically. China is still five times bigger than India economically. India is still a poor country in terms of GDP per capita. It is $2,700 per capita, which makes it the poorest country in the G-20. So, to carry its weight, it has to continue to grow economically and, frankly, a little faster. A poor country like India needs to grow at 9%.'

On the second challenge, Zakaria said, “India must remain committed to the rules-based international order.” He feared that there will always be a danger that countries like India may abandon some rules for narrow and short-term temporary gains. Zakaria said that in the new world order, India has the ability to make and set rules. It can shape the agenda, make rules, but to do so it must remain committed to the rules-based international order.

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