Civilizational Context to India's Leadership in Global Order
| Pooran Chandra Pandey, Founding CEO, DOC RI, Germany - 17 Sep 2018

Civilizational Context to India's Leadership in Global Order

by Pooran Chandra Pandey, Managing Project Director, DOC Research Institute, Berlin, Germany


Berlin [Germany], Sep 16, 2018: The New Age saga especially the times in the 21st century has clearly marked a new era leading to emergence of a new global order. These changes have become much more nuanced and visible in recent times with many changes shaping a new future of many nations in Asia, in particular to a new shift in a multi-lateral order where dialogue and collaboration seem to architect a new era for nations that largely remained muted. New opportunities on the horizon due to geopolitical shifts globally have ironed out a niche for emerging economies of Asia and India.  

Since the structural adjustments that India embarked on in 1991, a new pathway for its newest opportunities opened up in context of social-cultural, economic, political, and security aspects to re-define its role in emerging world order and enable it to continue its peaceful rise in Asia as a test case for other nations both in the region and beyond to consider and emulate.  


Indian civilization is regarded as the citadel of Asian culture well depicted through Ajanta paintings, the Indus Valley Civilization or the land revenue system, leaving an indelible mark on the systematic evolution of our society. Its heritage in terms of its contribution to age old philosophical systems, its craftsmanship into Ayurveda, Yoga, Siddha, Naturopathy just to name a few continue to offer a system of medication to the world at large. India is also a country that played a host to four great religions of world namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism with its distinctive foundations laid a down a path to achieve both physical and metaphysical world. The country also has several templates where rise of peaceful methods to emancipate its people right through its contribution through Yoga to international community continue to build its unique civilizational foundations. 


Role of India through the ages based on its contribution to peace, non-violence, purity of spirit, Yoga and concept of lokkalayan has stood the test of times. Our modern polity has close links with our ancient Janpadas and Mahajanpadas. Arthashastra offers a governance code while there are ample evidences of sangathi (a form of democratic council ). Our thriving democracy epitomises how a political institution should be governed. People’s government, a merit based bureaucracy, responsible public institution, fair judicial system, modern and soulful education and scientific temper continues to inspire one and all providing a civilizational context to much contested frameworks in today's times. .

India also established, instituted and made our constitution functional, institutionalizing “Sarva Dharma Sambhava”, replacing a popular view around clash of civilization to that of a dialogue among civilizations, through preaching of Lord Buddha and showing the world as to how nations can rise and prosper through dialogue, mutual trust and harmony. Basic idea of  “Vasudeva Kutumbkam” continues to guide humanity in pursuit of its goals and achievement of its values,


India's emergence in a new global order is largely seen through its stable economy, rising gross domestic product, new policy frameworks and a new thrust on the youth besides employment generation with equal focus around natural resources, climate change and alternative sources of energy. India emerged rapidly from a low rate of growth in 1991 to a fast paced economic development through a host of policy measures that continues to defy standard framework of development debates in other parts of the world. Due to its realistic policies, country also defied 2008 global economic crises due to its well regulated banking systems and a high level of domestic savings. .

India's role in contemporary economic order is quite significant ranging from multilateral institutions like IMF, WB, ADB or formation of new economic and sectoral institutions like New Development Bank, International Solar Alliance, and its lead role in AIIB to provide a new domain and framework to provide support to  other developing nations especially LDCs. This philosophy is well rooted in India's civilizational context and needs to be consider in accordance. 

Seamless integration of India in emerging trend of globalization is a key opportunity that it can combine with its fast paced ongoing economic growth and demographic dividend. India's consistent endeavors to support its neighbors and allies both in the region and beyond professes its commitment to equal and fair global and regional balance. Various government and private sector initiatives around Make in India, Skill India and Clean India efforts are getting local, regional and global traction that will transform India's positing in emerging global order. 


India conveniently connects Europe and Middle East with Asia Pacific, often burdening it with responsibility of burdening to establish an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Historically, India’s presence in South-East Asia, attested by its cultural footprints, lay a foundation for upcoming obligations. 

India's deep democratic traditions and strong civilizational foundations continue to inspire the Middle East with a sound political system for peace and democracy. India’s role in Asia Pacific involving Australia, USA and Japan will determine the contours of regional stability. A new 'Indo Pacific' word in diplomatic circles highlights the role that India would aim to play being guided by principles of trust, rule based order and multilateralism. India's role at the UN and at international levels clearly shows its continuing focus on peaceful ways for pursuit of a global order to that of a rule based reforms of the UN. Its peaceful pursuit of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and its civilian use gives a much needed thrust to its civilizational roots that continues to strengthen its traditions and culture. India's thrust for a global just, rule based regime, multilateral spirit in trade and development, its contribution to peace keeping operations and commitment toward a peaceful and a dialogue based principle in resolving thorny geo-political matters stand the country in a good stead.  


Needless to say that opportunity come along in tandem with challenges due to India's socio-economic and cultural backgrounds and its heritage roots that go far back in time. The very scale and size of challenges here can contrast sometimes the opportunities that are available to it. 

Some of the challenges that India may foresee countering and effectively overcoming could be of various types with varying scales, however, these can conveniently be classified into social, economic, political and security related both domestic, regional and global. At the home front, the challenges may include human development, coverage of people under effective health security programs, strides in scientific and technological areas, providing education education to all eligible sections, and countering ill effects of societal divide based on mistrust and doubt.  

India's shuttled diplomacy around climate change, biodiversity, sanitation, terrorism, rules based framework, contribution to the world peace through missions in some of the most difficult areas and situations including in Sudan and Liberia, lending its support to democracies in the region and beyond, and ensuring that India develops in a way that it takes into consideration its neighbours

India's position in the global order is getting re-shaped and re-defined. The moment comes at a time when economic success of nations is being seen as a real indicator of their growth and performance. In case of India, it is predicted that its leadership in new global order would be shaped alternatively, unlike popular belief, by its closely held values, deep ethos and age old culture in a civilizational context.   

(Writer of this article Shri Pooran Chandra Pandey is Managing Project Director 

Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, based at Berlin, Germany)


Civilizational context; India's Leadership; Global Order; Pooran Chandra Pandey;  Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute; DOC; Berlin; Germany; India; Emerging economies of Asia and India;   


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