Is India fit for UN Security Council Permanent Seat?

Shehla Naz

Subsequent to World War II , nations opposed to the Nazi-Fascist axis congregated in San Francisco with an eye to secure next generations from the evil of war and consented to establish the United Nations (UN). Major powers who played major role in the war against the Axis powers i.e. France, UK, US , USSR and China were privileged with exclusive status of veto-wielding big five at UN Security Council (UNSC) , premier decision making body of UN. UNSC is the most important organ of UN which decides the issues of war and peace.

It is composed of 15 members ;five veto wielding permanent members and ten non- permanent members elected for two year terms on the basis of regional distribution. Since 1945, UNSC has been reformed only once, in 1963, to expand the number of non-permanent members from six to ten. It is generally perceived that UNSC does not reflect the basic realities of a world. While, global geopolitics have changed enormously, process of UNSC reforms remains in abeyance. Repeated unilateral actions by some UN member countries has even raised questions about its relevance and credibility.

Since 1955, India has been striving to get permanent representation at the Council. Among other claimants include Japan, Germany, Brazil and two countries (though undecided) from the Africa. France, UK, and Russia have been supporting India but verbal support has so far not been translated into any tangible action.

India is essentially enticed by the Permanent seat to increase her international stature in the global arena, to have a greater say in the global geo-politics and aspiration to tailor the decisions at UN according to her will while using veto power etc. Setting aside Indian motives for desire to have a UNSC permanent seat also raises apposite question whether India deserves it. Current five UNSC permanent members are the great powers and in possession of common traits like all have robust nuclear forces, modern militaries , are the security providers through extra-territorial military presence, frontline technology innovators, large foreign aid donors , have high volumes of global trade and active economies and relatively have high standards of living. India’s case rests on different arguments .For instance it counts herself as responsible and peace loving state, boasts of a large population, a longstanding democracy , contribution in UN peacekeeping missions and a trillion dollar economy etc

But Indian assertions are inconsistent with the ground realities. Indian actions are not compatible with the concept of peace. India obsessed with success and power has absolute lack of empathy. Its psychosis rests on the desire to restore India to the glorious days of Asoka, actualizing the irredentist concept of Akhand Bharat (reunification of India ) and the entrenched hatred for Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular. Political part being in power, BJP’s Hindutva ideology is incongruous with rational behavior. US approach of using India as a counterpoise against China has given impetus to Indian jingoism.

India is also an immature nuclear state .Earlier, India’s Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s statement that the force was ready to call Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” and cross the border to carry out any operation if asked by the New Delhi government validates this assertion. It also raises questions over the possibility of Indian inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG).

India has been consistently violating LoC involving the dangers to impair the regional peace and stability. India is involved in gross human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan released Indian pilot as peace gesture to de-escalate the situation.

This effort was also appreciated by the international community. But Indian immature approach mired by emotionalism is a perfect recipe for disaster for the region. India is not at peace with all its neighbors. Except Bhutan it has deteriorated relationship with about all the neighbors.

Forget about Pakistan, let us talk about Nepal, Myanmar, Sri lanka, Bangladesh or even with Maldives. China has already winning in this game with huge investment in above motioned countries. While Doklam stand-off happened no south Asian nation spoke for India. Except Bhutan every country in the region is ready to embrace CPEC leaving India alone to fight her mêlée on own. There is need to ponder while a country is unable to remain in tranquility with its neighbors how it could play a role of responsible UNSC permanent member giving respect to all the UN Member States.

Undisputedly India is not at present a global power and even is not likely to gain a status of major global player very soon. In case India is granted a permanent seat at the UNSC, India will never be flexible to resolve its conflicts with either of its neighbor being too powerful to accept any coercion or incentive to work. Kashmir issue will never be resolved through the UN. Just imagine if India gets the Veto power itself, then what would be the fate of Kashmir?.

Let alone Kashmir, Pakistan will not be able to get any dispute like Sir Creek, Siachen, Baglihar Dam/water issues resolved on the basis of equality or justice. Even India through different diplomatic maneuvers will not let Pakistan become economically and politically a strong and progressive state. In short narrow national interests of India presented as altruistic aspirations can not change the fact that India does not fulfill criteria for UNSC veto power.