ENTERING THE NEW MILLENNIUM
The new millennium has opened new vistas for India vis -a – vis the big powers in the world. The year 2000 saw two big powers extending their hands of friendship anew. In the bipolar world i.e. before the fall of communism in Russia India was closer to the USSR. The country was rather left to the centre. We had copied a number of things from Russian Administration. Five year planning was one of them. Nationalizing a large number of basic industries, banks, Insurance sector and starting financial set ups like Unit Trust of India was all on the Russian pattern. Steel, Heavy Engineering Plants, Coal, Petroleum products all were at the mercy of the Central government. Postal services, telegraph, telephone, railways, nuclear plants and dams were already, managed by the government. Even the declaration of glasnost and perestroika by the USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 and further dissolution of communism in Russia did not bring any changes in India at the time as the government was still run on Nehruvian pattern.
India was rather committed to Russia and had alienated itself from the USA. For a number of years Russia had a control over the governance of Afghanistan. The forces against Russia were friendly to Pakistan. Thus on the one hand Afghan liberators on the other hand USA had good relations with Pakistan which supported the rebels against Russian dominance. As India was friendly to Russia USA did not favor India in any sphere. The States favored Pakistan in South Asia .India was rather in a confused state as USA covertly favored Pakistan even on Kashmir issue.
As Israel was supported by USA India did not keep any contacts with that country and did not shake its friendly hand whenever it was extended to India. Since India is a proponent of secularism in the world it always sided with the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat because Arafat belonged to the religion of the biggest minority community of Muslims in India. India just wanted to prove its support for the Muslims.
In the unipolarnwolrd USA has become the world leader in many respects. After a big setback Russia too has gained ground. Both the big powers have realized that Pakistan which has not developed any industries and is generally ruled by the Army Generals can’t be relied upon. USA asserted that if Pakistan does not return to a permanent democratic administration it won’t be in position to assist it. Pakistan secured the support of China which is covertly not liked either by USA or Russia.
The approach of new millennium has brought the two big powers closer to India. It has been substantiated by a six day visit of the USA President William Jefferson Clinton and Hillary Clinton to India in the year 2000. They remained in Pakistan only for a day. It was followed by again a six days unofficial and three days official visit of Atal Bihari Bajpayee, the Indian Prime Minister to the USA. The things didn’t stop here.
Liberalization has opened the flush gates of foreign investments in India. India has a population of more than 20 crore upper middle and middle class people. It is quite a big market for all the commodities that have an entry in the world market. If we require foreign investment they require us. The foreign investors have targeted even the rural market. India is no more a close society.
We have proved our caliber in computer software and E-commerce in the world. Indian scientists have a grip over the internet and computer software in the USA.It has rather been established that if we want the assistance of the eight big powers in the world they too want us and our huge market which is eight times bigger than that of Australia. If we continue in this way India will be the biggest and strongest world power by the year 2025. Our entry in the third millennium is a good omen.