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Roving Periscope: India trying to catch Musk’s EV to reach the UNSC top seat

Roving Periscope: India trying to catch Musk’s EV to reach the UNSC top seat

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: The biggest stumbling block in India’s securing the Permanent Membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been its first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s shortsighted decision to pass on the offer to China instead.

For over 75 years, India has paid heavily because of this strategic blunder of a romanticist leader who fancied himself as a “historian,” wanted to make history, but died in gloom two years after betrayal by the same China in 1962.

That explains why the world smiles when Indian politicians rue their country not getting its due despite being the world’s largest democracy—precisely because of this fact the UN had offered it the high seat in the late 1940s.

India missed the bus and has since been paying fines not only to China but also to Pakistan who have both consistently sabotaged New Delhi’s attempts to climb onto the UNSC’s high table.

Now India is trying to catch an electric car to make up for the loss!

As Elon Musk braces to invest in India for his electric vehicle manufacturing facility, and potentially relocate it from China, Indian diplomacy will face one of its biggest tests.

The issue has garnered so much traction that even the Biden administration is supporting it seriously if only to get even with Beijing.

“The US supports much-needed reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council, to make it reflective of the 21st-century world,” a senior Biden administration official was quoted as saying in media reports on Wednesday, amidst growing calls for inclusion of India as the Permanent Member of the powerful organ of the world body.

State Department’s Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel’s remarks came as he responded to a question about billionaire technology magnate Elon Musk’s assertion that there is no meaning in having the UN without India’s PM seat on the UNSC.

He said President Joe Biden has spoken about this (the need for reforms) before in his remarks to the UN General Assembly.

“We certainly support reforms to the UN institution, including the Security Council, to make it reflective of the 21st-century world that we live in. I don’t have any specifics to offer on what those steps are, but certainly, we recognize that there is a need for reform,” Patel said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Musk advocated for India’s inclusion in the UNSC, saying the current structure of the UN does not adequately represent the world’s most populous nations.

“At some point, there needs to be a revision of the UN bodies,” he had said.

“The problem is that those with excess power don’t want to give it up. India not having a permanent seat on the Security Council, despite being the most populous country on Earth, is absurd,” Musk, 52, had said.

He is expected to visit India later this month and announce his company’s investment plans in the country which is in the midst of parliamentary elections.

India has been at the forefront of years-long efforts to reform the Security Council, saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member at the UN high table, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st Century.

Currently, the UNSC has five PMs: the US, the UK, France, Russia and China. Only a PM has the power to veto any substantive resolution.
Last month, India presented a detailed model on behalf of the G4 nations of Brazil, Germany, Japan, and itself for Security Council reform, proposing that the UNSC’s membership be increased from the current 15 to 25-26, by adding six permanent and four or five non-permanent members.


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