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Minister Jaishankar gives foreign policy perspectives in ‘Why Bharat Matters’

Amid the buzz over his new book 'Why Bharat Matters', External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar signed some of the copies of his book.

Speaking on his book 'Why Bharat Matters' which talks of India's quest to ascend the global hierarchy and New India drawing strength from the country's civilizational heritage, EAM Jaishankar said that he has attempted to take a particular theme and give it "Ramayan-type" relevance.

In an interview with ANI, Jaishankar spoke about how Lord Ram carefully constructed a coalition to take on Ravana and how apart from Lord Hanuman, other characters in the Ramayana such as Angad, who practised diplomatic skills in the face of difficult situations.

Asked whether his book was by an academician, a diplomat or a politician-turned-academician, Jaishankar said it is a mixture of all of them.

"The diplomat in me has, in a sense, you can say, the domain knowledge and the experience which I talk about. The politician in me feels the need to communicate that, as we said, to the everyday world, to the normal, to the samanya nagrik (common citizen), you can say, and in a sense, look, if there are perhaps two sagas, two stories all of us have grown up with, this is really the Ramayana and Mahabharata," he said.

The diplomat-turned-politician said people often use a multitude of metaphors, situations and comparisons in normal lives.
"If I were to talk to you chatting, I may bring up some reference there. So why I used that was also to remind people, look, we are multiple, sort of millennia-old civilizations. When we discuss the world, can we think about doing it on our terms and in our framework, in our construct. So, there was that part of it also, that for me to think of the world as you can see, what I've tried to do is to take a particular theme and to try to give it a Ramayana-type relevance," Jaishankar told ANI.

"So say, for example, I've used coalition building, how Lord Ram very carefully constructs a coalition and what it takes to construct a coalition. It doesn't happen by itself or even in diplomacy, you've heard me say before that the two preeminent examples of diplomats are Hanuman and Shri Krishna. But there are others, Angad, for example, or even his mother, Tara. These are people who, in very difficult situations, practice their diplomatic skills," he added.


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