More than six decades ago, India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru chose to refer the Kashmir issue to the UN. After five and sixty years, the problem is far from resolved. If anything, it has been a perpetual thorn in the side in India’s relations with Pakistan.
Looking in hindsight, it was an obvious mistake to refer an issue that could have been dealt using military means to an institution created by a handful of western nations to further their own interests. Whatever it may claim to be, the truth is that the UN is a body created by victorious nations in the Second World War to preserve their hegemony over the world. How else can anyone justify a handful of nations holding the power to veto any resolution put to vote at the UN Security Council?
Anyone who has followed the latest talks on climate change would have realized how developed nations- historically the biggest contributors to climate change- have demanded that all nations assume equal responsibility in acting against climate change. Having developed their own economies with little concern for the environment, the developed nations want developing countries to equally shoulder the burden of undoing the damage to which they are the biggest contributors.
There is of course, the World Trade Organization, supposedly an organization to promote free trade. Nonetheless, the fact that they are WTO members did not prevent some developed nations from seizing consignments of pharmaceutical products exported from one developing country to another on the grounds of violation of intellectual property laws, even though the goods were only transmitted through their countries- a clear violation of international law.
In an age when the long established world order is rapidly changing, the hitherto powerful countries are doing everything within their powers to preserve the hegemony they have long held, which is perfectly understandable as everyone looks to further his own interests. For the better or the worse, that’s the way the world runs.
Under the circumstances, the time has come to consider whether international institutions can protect India’s interests. If not, it would be worthwhile looking at alternatives outside the existing framework. For the first time in its history, India is in a position to make the rules of the game. We are aware of it. Its time we also realized it.