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New challenges in store for Modi

New challenges in store for Modi
Highlights

Narendra Modi's second term is the most anticipated and awaited event not just in India but around a good part of the world.

Narendra Modi's second term is the most anticipated and awaited event not just in India but around a good part of the world. Global economy and the domestic compulsions of the countries around India place new challenges for Modi now.

Middle East is in turmoil. Pakistan has not changed a bit. China is as aggressive. Russia is cold enough due to its problems with the West. Though India is a key player in Indian Ocean, China is fast emerging as a naval force which cannot be ignored.

The US sanctions against Iran has pulled India too into the vortex of turbulence with significant implications. For India, the prism is different as it has to manage the negative externalities emerging from the rise of China in its vicinity. Chinese power is now intruding into India's traditional sphere of influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.

The growing power disparity between India and China is making the border situation more unstable. China-Pakistan nexus is proving difficult to contain as India gets ready to face a two-front challenge.

China refuses to recognise Indian global power aspirations and has not yielded on key Indian security demands. It has too many prisms to look at. New Delhi has to therefore find like-minded countries to build alternative platforms and narratives so as to preclude Chinese hegemony in the wider Indo-Pacific.

This is where it becomes important for Modi to have cordial relations with the BIMSTEC nations around it. China is eyeing the very same countries too after declaring Pakistan as its all-weather friend.

Russia's growing collusion with China and Pakistan will continue to test the Indo-Russian partnership in the coming years. For a relationship that largely relies on defence and where the economic underpinnings are lagging, the need of the hour should be to have candid conversations about the current state of play in the relationship.

Just relying on sentimentalism of the past won't work anymore as new challenges confront India and Russia and the global geostrategic environment undergoes a profound reordering. Conditions around us have become far more complex and we cannot afford any laxity in any planning.

Domestically, of course, Modi has to keep the masses happy. Some of the policies adopted and programmes undertaken have certainly benefitted Modi and the BJP in the elections like Swachh Bharat and Ujjwala scheme.

Triple Talaq issue too had its say in the result as far as the womenfolk preference in the elections is concerned. But Modi has to look at the other issues too like religious freedom that is vital to his government's image, joblessness to address the key concern of the youth and farm crisis.

These must be taken up on a war-footing for establishing Modi firmer. Universal healthcare scheme and 'Make in India' promises are yet to rise to their full potential. Defence sector needs a relook.

Modernisation of weaponry systems is at a nascent stage. India needs to spend a lot on its Army, Navy and Air Force.

These are just a few challenges. Modi has to tread his path carefully. Too many expectations rest on his shoulders!

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