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‘Take divisive forces head-on’
By Imran Mojib March 10, 2013
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DUBAI: Globalisation is the order of the day and in an interdependent world, a close co-operative network of nations holds the key to success, said India’s Minister of State for Human Resource Development Dr Shashi Tharoor in Dubai on Saturday.

Delivering the prestigious Orwell Lecture on last day of the fifth Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the renowned writer, critic and former diplomat, said the disruptive forces can’t get over the close-knit interdependent forces across the world and we have to strive to achieve this goal.

Citing the examples of the success of entrepreneurs, India’s Bollywood industry, cricket and cultural lineage, he said the time has come to work together and ward off the challenges of disruptive forces.

Speaking on the theme ‘Globalisation, Disruption and the Human Imagination,’ he called for preservation of pluralism. Discussing the speed and scale of the spread of globalisation, Tharoor said the clash of identities is trying to control the world order, but the creative and the artistic impulses must fight the colonisation of the global consciousness by fear.

He said cultural reassertion was as vital as economic development because the creative imagination becomes the most significant influence in globalisation through the spread of universal human values.

Recalling the contribution made by George Orwell, Tharoor said the author of 1984  was the torchbearer of the 21st century democracy.

He pointed out that Orwell’s works not only influenced the writers but artists, musicians and actors as well. He was bang on and much ahead of his time, as who could have predicted in 1948 the world scenario in 1984, Tharoor remarked.

Later, discussing India’s rise in the comity of nations and the challenges in the light of his latest book                  Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century, Tharoor said India’s success on the economic and diplomatic fronts has made its presence in the global arena more significant.

During the session moderated by veteran Indian journalist Anil Dharker, Tharoor examined India’s major international relationships in detail, evoked the country’s soft power and its global responsibilities, and offered his thoughts on a contemporary new grand strategy for the nation, arguing that India must move beyond non-alignment to multi-alignment.

He said that for the past six-decades-and-a-half, India has been positively contributing to the world on various occasions and today it has become a voice to reckon with.

India belongs to every important international forum because of its strong relationship and growing power.

In the 21st century, India has to play an important role on various fronts, including regional security.

Since the economic liberalisation started in India in 1991, the rest of the world stood to take notice of it. The number of world leaders who have visited India in recent times and many others who are expected to visit the country soon, proves the point.

“The world is looking at us for a variety of interests, ranging from political alliance to trade partnerships,” he concluded.

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