Dalveer Bhandari
Dalveer Bhandari

There is an unbridled euphoria in Indian diplomatic circles, as also in the Executive and the Judiciary since the time news broke that Dalveer Bhandari has been re-elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) bench. Taken from any angle, it is a major victory for New Delhi as it comes at a time when political equations are undergoing upheavals one too many all over the world, and India, under Narendra Modi, is attempting to redraw the foreign policy, including in reaching out to hitherto deemed hostile nations.

India has every reason to celebrate the historic win as it was accomplished despite an overwhelming backing for his British opponent Christopher Greenwood, who was deemed the clear favourite till the hour of reckoning ensconced Bhandari firmly in the seat. The mood is quite expectedly quite sombre all over Great Britain. The major setback to its calculations is best reflected by The Guardian, which despised the development in no uncertain terms while pointing to ‘a humiliating blow to British international prestige and an acceptance of a diminished status in international affairs.’ It indeed is, considering the dubious distinction London has earned.

It is the first time in 71 years that there shall be no Briton on the ICJ bench. All other permanent members have representatives, which is pretty normal for any international body that comes under the umbrella of the United Nations.  The verdict is more magnified for Great Britain as in the post-Brexit period its influence on worldly matters is taking a silent beating, which comes in stark contrast to the rise of the Indian approach, which encompasses most Third World nations. In fact, Britain’s individuality began sliding from the time it expressed reservations over continuing in the European Union; and when Euro became the common currency. In a way, there are many who look up to New Delhi to voice their concerns on the global platform. 

The latest coup will add to its image and help in making the world see India more reverentially. After all, as the biggest democracy and as a champion of the under-privileged nations, New Delhi has always been consistent in its diplomatic affairs, be it Pakistan, Tibet or Russia, notwithstanding Modi’s vibes with Donald Trump.
One cannot discount the fact that the Indian Prime Minister has done his homework remarkably well.

His foreign jaunts may have drawn flak back home, particularly with the Opposition crying foul, but the same are yielding positive returns. The re-election of Bhandari clearly highlights this optimism and establishes Modi as a leader who commands awe among diplomatic corps. This should do a world of good to India and its efforts to reshape the world order whereupon the monopolistic stranglehold of the five permanent members of the Security Council will not be binding in their totality.

There is every reason to believe that following the icing on the cake that comes courtesy of Bhandari, New Delhi will go all-out calling for reforms in the UNO and to garner support for its bid to become a permanent member in an expanded Security Council.