For the last few years India seems to be obsessed with the ambition of becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council; some times together with the other aspirants to the high table, Japan, Germany and Brazil, some times acting alone, India has been seen to be openly canvassing for this. It knows only too well that organizational reforms in the United Nations are very difficult and time consuming, after all there are so many players in this game, but still it anxiously waits for a visiting head of the state to make the ritual reference to India’s suitability and deservingness for a permanent seat on the Security Council and breathes easily after it is done. One can not fathom out how such a representation on the Security Council will help India in finding solutions to the problems facing its people, of poverty, of lack of education, of ill health, of corruption, of communal disharmony, of lack of employment opportunities, of terrorism, of Maoist extremism, of air and water pollution, of uneconomic agriculture, et al. Even in pure security terms, the power to exercise a veto is not going to subdue a hostile Pakistan or a constantly prickly China.
Rather than running after the mirage of veto carrying membership of the Security Council, if the government concentrates on tackling the problems of governance our country will be much more secure. If it resolves that just for five years it will be single-minded in its approach to making India a powerful country from within and on its own inherent strength and does likewise, the rest of the world will take notice and will not require much persuasion to come to agree to India’s ambition. As against this, if we keep on desiring without deserving it first, we will compromise our national prestige and not even get what we want.