India Has Not Punched Above Its Weight In A Long Time: Shashi Tharoor

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Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament (INC) and Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs talks to BOOM Founder-Editor, Govindraj Ethiraj on the geopolitical challenges facing India today.

India like any other country is vulnerable to geopolitical challenges, says Shashi Tharoor. Impact of falling oil prices has helped the Indian economy so far, boosting revenues and helping to meet fiscal deficit targets. But the oil slump has had a negative impact as well. The drawback of falling oil prices is being felt by Kerala in the form of declining foreign remittances. A bigger challenge the state now faces is how to absorb expatriates in the domestic labour force.

Tharoor also points out that technological disruptions impact labour economy. While one cannot stop innovation, the policy-makers of the day have to plan for a technology-driven future.

On the foreign policy front, Shashi Tharoor opines that India's recent relationship with Nepal has been unnecessarily tense while relationship with other neighbours is more along the lines of a status quo.

He, however feels that on the global front, India has not punched above its weight in a long time. It is crucial for India to take a step further and be actively engaged in foreign policies. Tharoor believes India is as capable as any developed nation in lending a voice to help solve global problems. India can be influential from cyber to outer space. But sadly, India's voice is lost among the many voices of developing countries.

He notes Prime Minister Modi’s diplomatic efforts but feels that these efforts have been sporadic, country-specific and reactive. “We are yet to hear a global vision on what India wants the world to be and how India will help in creating such a world”, concludes Shashi Tharoor.

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