India’s vote at the UN shows that there is no such thing as the Modi doctrine

Talk Point slide with the question and a picture of Putin (L) and Modi (R)
Graphic by Siddhant Gupta

ThePrint asks:

After openly backing Israel, why is Modi’s India voting at UN like a Congress government?

India’s vote at the United Nations shows that it joined hands with two of its worst enemies, Pakistan and China, to vote against two of its best strategic partners in modern times: the United States and Israel. India cannot stand by its dependable allies at critical times. During the Cold War, India always engaged in diplomatic monkey balancing at the UN to keep the Non-Aligned Movement members happy. Since Narendra Modi came to power, Indians expected that he would shape the nation’s foreign policy and some writers began speaking of the Modi doctrine.

But India’s vote at the UN shows that the Modi doctrine doesn’t exist. India is directionless even in neighbourhood where Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and others are falling into the Chinese sphere. It was not expected of Modi government to vote against the US and Israel, especially since the prime minister paid a historic visit to Israel last July, forging a strong and durable India-Israel strategic relationship.


Read other perspectives on this issue:

Arun Singh, former Indian ambassador to the US


Jerusalem was a holy city for Jews for several centuries before the birth of Islam. Muslims stopped facing Jerusalem in prayer after the Victory of Mecca. It remains a holy city for Jews, Muslims and Christians. Muslims do have spiritual claim on Jerusalem and are not prevented from praying in Al-Aqsa mosque. It is an issue between Israel and the Palestinians who have consistently refused to accept a two-state solution and Israel’s right to exist.

By voting for a resolution co-sponsored by Turkey and Yemen, India sided with a non-principled coalition of countries which routinely engage in bashing America and Israel at the UN. One understands that Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia contend to lead the Muslim world and vote against Israel at the UN. But what is India trying to get? Among the 128 nations voting against are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has consistently denied membership to India despite that it has the second or third largest Muslim population.

Earlier this month, Arab ambassadors in New Delhi met with Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar and asked for a stand on Jerusalem. These Arab diplomats have prevailed on us. Tomorrow if there is a vote on Kashmir at the UN, most of these Arab countries and Pakistan will vote against India. In fact, the OIC organised a photo exhibition and conference in Jeddah on 9 November to highlight India’s “atrocities” in Kashmir. At the minimum, India could have learned from our neighbour Bhutan, which abstained from voting. India’s vote also reveals that this nation of 1.3 billion people doesn’t have a sense of its place in the world.

Tufail Ahmad is Senior Fellow for Islamism and Counter-Radicalization Initiative at the Middle East Media Research Institute, Washington DC. He tweets @tufailelif

9 COMMENTS

  1. A westernized proxy may say both that Muslims stopped facing Jerusalem and Palestinians and Israelis peacefully coexists! Wake up tufailji! Atleast we’re happy that Modi stood ground and not wreck once and for all relationships! Don’t you threaten! We’ve survived Pakistani wars then and we can now! (Whole world knew who helped whom)! Because of your joker the world has become chaotic! Jerusalem was, is and will be holyland for monotheistic abrahmic religions and hive not to be messed unto

  2. We the Muslims living in India don’t agree with your jaundiced views. Modi has acted in the broader interest of India by voting against Zionist federation. India as a matter of principle must also take active interest in safeguarding Muslim concerns at international level given its status of being world’s largest Muslim country as well. Philosophy & hatred propagated by 18th century warrior scholars employed by British East India company to divide Indians on the name of religion to strengthen their rule has out lived its impact. India has been natural alley of countries inhibited by Muslim in Asia since times immemorial be it Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey et al. So vote against US hegemonic arrogance is absolutely right action done.

  3. I see what you are doing here. Trying to provoke Modi into doing something daft just by saying the policy is what Congress previously followed. Good try. But really silly reasoning. Israel treats India like a defense market, and India should treat it as potential seller, and negotiate precise deals with it. There is absolutely no need to be stand-offish and do something stupid just to look different, and have an identity of his own. Also, sometimes atleast India should do what is morally right. Daily business and politics we play it clever by half anyway. Do right by Palestine. Israel doesn’t need you to do wrong anyway. It’s self sufficient.

  4. There is only one reason to do the right thing. Because it is right. Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people since the First Temple of Solomon, Palestinians are flotsam and jetsam left behind as waves of Islamic invasions from before the Crusades to the Mamelukes to the Ottomans withdrew and are there because of the kindness of the Natives. Jerusalem is as integral to the Jews as Kashi is to the Savarna People of Dharma.

  5. Jerusalem was a holy city for the Jews several centuries before the advent of Islam. It is the eternal capital of God Adonai. Possibly the flash point for the entire world. Personally I feel that America and Israel are dependable alies than the Islamic world and deceiving countries like China and Pakistan

  6. I completely endorse India’s vote in the UN against the US motion to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It was both principled and wise and showed the world that though we are a friend of both the US and Israel, we are not their lackey. Our stand was right and proper and showed the self respect, self confidence, and wisdom we have always projected in the international arena. It has served us well so far. There is no need to change what is working. Besides, they need us more than we need them. It’s we who are in the market to buy…and they have goods to sell. But so do their competitors…

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