It was surprising to hear some vox populi videos that the greatest achievements of the government were in international affairs. One would imagine that considerable effort has gone into it, mostly on TV news, to build this consensus. Some digital news websites have produced videos highlighting cringe-worthy instances of how TV anchors have “conclusively” proven that world leaders rush to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for advice on how to solve important international matters. It turns out that this build up has been according to plan. The G20 was a critical part of that game plan.
Sankarshan Thakur in his inimitable style, in a Telegraph column, has punctured the claim that the G20 presidency is a great honour. It is worth reiterating that the presidency of the G20 is a rotating one. Now, that in itself might not be a great revelation for the cognoscenti, but it might require repeating at every occasion possible, given the daftness of those echoing such views. Most people cannot be blamed for being numbed into thinking that the presidency is the greatest foreign policy coup for this nation. That’s what “news organisations” are mouthing day in and day out.
Thakur, reminds us that, the rotating presidency was to be India’s, in 2020, but was postponed to this year on the request of India. Ostensibly, “India was to assume the presidency of the G20 towards the end of 2020” to coincide with the country celebrating its 75th year of Independence. For some inexplicable, a subsequent request was made to allow India to assume the (rotating) presidency of the G20 in 2023. Timed to coincide with the Lok Sabha elections slated for 2024, with, what looks like, an attempt to burnish Mr Modi’s image as the undisputed leader of world leaders.
Even as the G20 falters, and is threatened with irrelevance, the assuming of its presidency seems to have benefits for the Modi government, at least now.