This Wednesday night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go to Indonesia for an important diplomatic mission. He returns to New Delhi that evening on September 7 after a brief 24-hour visit. Indonesian President Joko Widodo invited the trip to Jakarta, which serves as a warm-up for India’s hosting of the G20 Summit on September 9–10.
On September 7, PM Modi will likely attend the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit (EAS), both of which will be held in Jakarta. To accommodate PM Modi’s early departure, Indonesia, which is presently serving as ASEAN’s chair, changed the summit’s schedule.
The theme of the ASEAN Summit this year is “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,” which reflects Indonesia’s vision for the community as a significant centre of economic growth. According to ANI, these sessions will give India and its Southeast Asian counterparts a chance to assess each other’s progress and plan future areas of cooperation.
It is important to note that the 20th ASEAN-India Summit is the first occasion for a gathering of this kind since the two nations’ partnership was upgraded to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2022. These improved ties denote a better level of cooperation in many areas, from security to trade.
The East Asia Summit is equally important since it gives India a forum to talk about regional and international concerns alongside eight other conversation partners and ASEAN countries. It serves as a platform for multilateral dialogue, which is essential to upholding stability and promoting cooperation in the Asian area.
This visit’s main objective will be to foster economic cooperation. The ASEAN-India Economic Ministers only recently met in Indonesia in August. A speedy evaluation of the 2009-signed ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement was the main item on their agenda. Both parties have agreed to a quarterly negotiation schedule with the goal of finishing the trade agreement’s full revision by 2025.
The upcoming visit by PM Modi to Indonesia will not be his first; he was there in 2018. At that time, a New Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was launched between India and Indonesia, upgrading their bilateral ties.
This agreement sought to improve collaboration in a variety of fields, laying the groundwork for the prosperous diplomatic and economic ties that exist today between the two countries.
India: Spark over G20 summit from ‘President of Bharat’
The official invite for a banquet hosted by the President for the dignitaries attending the G20 summit mentions India as “Bharat”. Image credit: Twitter/@dpradhanbjp
Narendra Modi was referred to as the “Prime Minister of Bharat” in an official pamphlet about the PM’s visit to Indonesia.
The “Prime Minister of Bharat” was referred to in a document that the BJP’s spokesperson Sambit Patra issued on Tuesday evening discussing PM Modi’s trip to Jakarta.
The Indian Express reported, The Opposition INDIA bloc, which includes the Congress, TMC, DMK, and AAP, claimed the government’s decision to send the G20 Summit dinner invitation in the name of the “President of Bharat” rather than the President of India was an attempt by the “rattled” BJP to “divide people,” “distort history,” and be connected to the creation of their alliance.
India: Opposition responses
Congress minister Jairam Ramesh responds to the ‘President of Bharat’ invite. Image source: Twitter/ Jairam_Ramesh
Later, the Congress added that the government was “confused” to its list of accusations. “Look at how muddled the Modi administration is! The 20th ASEAN-India summit was attended by the Prime Minister of India, Ramesh remarked. All this drama is a result of the Opposition banding together under the name INDIA.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Arunag Thakur dismissed as “rumours” the rumour that the special session of Parliament had been called during September 18–22 to implement a name change from India to Bharat, especially in the Opposition camp, saying,
“I think these are just rumours which are taking place. All I want to say is that anyone who objects to the word Bharat clearly shows the mindset.”