How The Foreign Diplomats Look At Delhi Results

In an article in the Indian Express of today, Vivek Katju presents a very balanced view as to how the foreign diplomats in Delhi, and the world leaders, are likely to look at Delhi result and its aftermath:

 

“But international observers and Modi’s peers will now pause to assess the impact of the Delhi election on the Indian political scene, especially on Modi. They are likely to focus attention not only on what led Modi to stake his reputation against Arvind Kejriwal, who was in no way his political equal, but also, more importantly, on how he would absorb this reverse and move ahead. Will it bring changes to his economic and foreign policies? Will he move to a more collegial style of functioning? Will he seek to curb the sharp rhetoric and actions of Hindutva elements in the Sangh Parivar? If, in the coming months, they conclude that Modi has taken this defeat in his stride and not allowed it to change his economic and development agenda, they will continue to actively engage with him. But they will focus, in particular, on his moves to ensure the maintenance of social harmony. If these happen, the Delhi elections would be considered as no more than a blip in his five-year prime ministerial term.

Kejriwal evokes intense curiosity among Delhi-based foreign diplomats and India-watchers. They would have been impressed with his remarkable ability to overcome crippling political reverses in a very short time. They would also feel his party had the potential to appeal to vast sections across India, depending on its ability to deliver on electoral commitments in Delhi.

But the international community has great interest in a political party’s economic policies, approach to global issues and national security concerns. It is on these matters that countries spar or cooperate. Governance issues that directly impact people’s lives and domestic economic policies win or lose elections but are not of direct interest to global players. But Kejriwal has not spelt out his views on these international matters and would need to do so before the world can form an opinion of him.” (from the article)

 

Read the article here.