Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said India does not believe in a world order where a few are considered superior to others and asserted the country's actions are guided by the essence of human equality and dignity that is part of its ancient ethos.
In his address at the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) 2022 held here, he also said India has always seen security and prosperity as a "collective pursuit" of the entire humankind, in which there is no possibility of "island security or prosperity".
"It is my firm belief that if security becomes a truly collective enterprise, then we can think of creating a global order that is beneficial for all of us," Singh said.
The defence minister said now "we require to elevate the paradigm of collective security" to a level of shared interests and shared security.
"India believes in a multi-aligned policy which is realised through diverse engagements through multiple stakeholders so that views and concerns of all can be discussed and addressed for prosperity for all," Singh said.
To talk of the security paradigm, national security should not be considered a zero-sum game, and "we should strive to create a win-win situation for all," he said, adding, "we should be guided by enlightened self-interest which is sustainable and resilient to shocks".
The defence minister also asserted that "a strong, prosperous India wouldn't be built at cost of others. Rather, India is here to help other nations realise their full potential".
"India doesn't believe in a world order where a few are considered superior to others. India's actions are guided by the essence of human equality and dignity, part of our ancient ethos and its strong moral foundation," Singh said at the IPRD 2022.
"Realpolitik cannot be the fig leaf for being immoral or amoral. Rather, enlightened self-interest of nations can be promoted within the framework of strategic morality, which is predicated on the understanding and respect for the legitimate strategic imperative of all the civilised nations," he said.
It is for this reason that when India partners any nation, it is on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect, Singh said.
"Forging relations comes naturally to India as we work towards mutual economic development. It is thus apt that we all explore solutions to the problems such as terrorism and climate change that transcend national boundaries," he added.
Singh also emphasised that dialogue is the only civilised mechanism for resolving disputes and disagreements and creating regional or global order.
He cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's resolute message during the G-20 summit in Bali recently that "the era of war is over".
It was echoed by world leaders, with the G-20 communique mentioning that "now is not the time for war".
"In the times when humanity is facing problems like climate change, COVID-19 pandemic and widespread deprivation, it is essential that we all work together to surmount these mammoth challenges, without being distracted by the destructive seduction of wars and conflicts," he said.
The fourth edition of the IPRD, an apex-level international annual conference of the Indian Navy, began here on Wednesday. It seeks to foster an exchange of ideas and promote deliberations on regionally relevant maritime issues.
Singh asserted that India stands for a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific as it is important for the economic development of not only the region but also the wider global community.
He described enhancing trade and connectivity, capacity building and infrastructure initiatives as time-tested ways of working together, which can act as bridges of friendship and ensure mutual benefit.
The defence minister stressed on the need to leverage them collectively for the common good.
Singh also touched upon the initiatives he announced during the India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting held in Cambodia earlier this week.
In the special session on the culminating day of the three-day IPRD, which was aptly termed as the 'Margdarshan' session, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar spoke about the threats and challenges to India's holistic maritime security and reaffirmed the Indian Navy's committed resolve in preserving the nation's maritime interests.
He added that India is well positioned to be in the vanguard of the several providers of net security within the Indo-Pacific and is increasingly being viewed as the preferred security-partner, especially in the western segment of the region, namely the Indian Ocean.
Kumar also reiterated the Navy’s commitment towards achieving 'Aatmanirbharta' in the defence sector.
On the occasion, Singh also released a book, published by the National Maritime Foundation (NMF) titled 'Coastal Security Dimensions of Maritime Security'.
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