Facing increasing pressure from the West to take a stand against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said on Wednesday, 27 April, that India will engage with the world as "who we are" rather than how we are perceived and that the country cannot please everyone by becoming a "pale imitation of what they are".
Speaking at the 7th Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, Jaishankar said, "We have to be confident about who we are. I think it's better to engage with the world on the basis of who we are rather than try and please the world by being a pale imitation of what they are."
The two-day Raisina Dialogue 2022, a gathering of global leaders and policy makers, was attended by EAM Dr S Jaishankar, President Ram Nath Kovind, and other dignitaries.
The summit was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, 25 April.
Democracy Is the Future: Jaishankar
The EAM asserted that it is time for people to put behind the notion that India needs to get approval from other nations or allow others to define who they are.
Jaishankar said India is shaped by the choices it made in the past and believed in the "gut sense" that democracy is the future.
He said, "There was a time when in this part of the world, we were the only democracy. If democracy is global today or we see it global today, in some measure, the credit is due to India."
Jaishankar said India needs to be practical about how it leverages the international environment and put weight behind the country's hard security, as it failed to do in the past.
He said, "If I were to pick a single thing we have done, a difference that we have made to the world in the last 75 years, is a fact that we are a democracy."