29 September, 2020

The Shy Caliphate

To lead, surging new India needs to reclaim its forgotten Islamic identity

PTI
The Shy Caliphate
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

No country assumes a global role simply by its membership in the United Nations. It is only by distinguishing itself from other nations that a state can achieve a global leadership role. And this distinctiveness cannot be defined merely by wealth or power, but rather by an idea. Today, India is widely hailed as an emerging economic and military power, but is no longer associated with any distinctive idea, which means that it must follow the lead of others.

There was a time, of course, when India, without money or muscle, managed to stride the world’s stage as a leader of the anti-colonial and non-aligned movements. These projects allowed India to exercise a leadership that had real international consequences, including the transformation of the UN, which Nehru forced to take decolonisation seriously by exercising leadership in the General Assembly. But before non-alignment, anti-colonialism, socialism, non-violence and even revolutionary anarchism, it was Islam that provided India with an idea, permitting her to exercise global leadership. Yet, this idea became...

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