Will the US Congress pay heed to Modiâ€™ speech, themed, â€œA Strategy to Live and Let Live.â€
By Robinder Sachdev
Last week marked the 60th anniversary of President John F. Kennedyâ€™s famous speech on foreign policy, titled â€œA Strategy of Peaceâ€ which he delivered at my alma mater, the American University in Washington, DC, on Monday, June 10, 1963. That speech is considered as one of the epochal speeches in world affairs of the 20th century, and is a must read for all students of international relations in top universities in the United States.
Much water has flown down the Potomac in last 60 years. The world of today is confronting unprecedented and un-imaginable situations. The Covid pandemic, followed by the Russia-Ukraine war and its ripples, is birthing the emergence of a new world – and a New World Order. In computer jargon, we may say that world is re-booting right now as we speak, and that the future of the world, pardon the clichÃ©, is truly at an inflexion point as we speak.
READ: Prime Minister Narendra Modi State visit to the USÂ (June 21, 2023)
In full disclosure – It is my considered opinion, and in fact am writing a book centred on this thesis, that our world is already in a 3rd world war, which has started on February 24, 2002. Plus, that there is a 4th world war in the horizon in the Indo-Pacific region, and then after that a 5th world war back in Europe. All within the next 10 years. More on this, some other time, or please await my book!
Therefore, with above dangerous state of world affairs in background, and at a time when time bombs are ticking in each of present and future scenarios across planet Earth, there is a historic responsibility on shoulders of PM Modi when he rises to address a joint sitting of the US Congress tomorrow, on Thursday, June 22, 2023.
Now, what can he say that will inspire the US Congress and world leaders to make a radical course correction in face of the obvious train wreck facing humanity? What could be the title and content of his speech that will influence generations of youth and world leaders of the 21st century, and etch a place in history? Kennedyâ€™s 1963 speech was titled â€œA Strategy of Peaceâ€ – what could be the title of Modiâ€™s speech in 2023?
Of course, I am no speech writer to the PM of India, but I can take humble editorial liberty to speculate the theme and message of his address to the US Congress tomorrow afternoon. I anticipate and advocate that the core theme, and title, of PM Modiâ€™s speech in 2023 to the US Congress be known by future generations as â€“ â€œA Strategy to Live and Liveâ€ – unless of course, the Indian government gives this speech a certain official title, which again I estimate shall be along the above lines.
Right now, the simple question that 8 billion or so folks on planet Earth need to ask each ourselves and our near and dear ones, is existential. Have our ancestors and biology struggled and evolved through past 10,000 years so far, only to arrive at a juncture in the 2020s wherein in next 20-odd years we the present-day living beings on planet Earth will turn this Mother Earth into flames and ashes?
All signs in the world of today indicate that various groupings of nations and ideologies are marching forth with full conviction, or completely mesmerized in their own righteousness, to dominate or annihilate the â€œotherâ€. There is a fast-diminishing scope for any big picture effort or narrative, foreign policy paradigm by any of world powers, or global institutions, to nudge and inspire the global commons to co-exist. All world leaders seem to be hell-bent on destroying the â€œevil otherâ€ in the next 10-20 years.
The only way out of this darkness and hell is if all human species, and nations, learn to live and let live, and to co-exist with each other, and with Mother Nature. Worryingly, the odds of some such common-sense gaining ground and shaping human behaviour are ranged mightily against a non-dark future. We need loud, in fact shouting, voices that can wake-up humanity from walking into damnation with eyes-closed.
It is the earnest hope of your column today that PM Modiâ€™s address to the US Congress tomorrow will stimulate reflection and acute realization amongst the august audience and spur the good folks in attendance to become change leaders who will shape a world that lives by a coda of â€œThis is not the ear of wars. This is the era to live and let live.â€ Or, else we are toast.
(Robinder Sachdev is the president of the Imagindia Institute)
READ: Modi visit will likely be a huge party of wealthy NRIsÂ (June 19, 2023)
READ: Can India become Americaâ€™s ordnance factory?Â (June 16, 2023)