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India as ‘Vishwa Guru’: As G20 Summit ends, PM Modi’s vision of India’s place in the world in sharper focus

As the G20 concluded on Sunday and Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed over the presidency to Brazil, there was recognition of the efforts India made to arrive at a consensus on a joint communique. The theme for India’s G20 presidency was “Vasudhaiva Kutambakam — One Earth, One Family, One Family”.

In his speeches over the years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken about India taking on a leadership role in global affairs as “vishwa guru”, given its population and scale of economy, and this was on display in the last two days. In his opening remarks at the Summit, the PM said, “At the place where we are gathered today, just a few kilometres away from here, stands a pillar that is nearly two-and-a-half thousand years old. Inscribed on this pillar in the Prakrit language are the words: ‘Hevam loksa hitmukhe ti, atha iyam natisu hevam’. Meaning, the welfare and happiness of humanity should always be ensured. Two-and-a-half thousand years ago, the land of India gave this message to the entire world. Let us begin this G20 Summit by remembering this message.”

Here are excerpts from Modi’s speeches on India’s place in the world:

Chandrayaan-3 mission

India is on the Moon… We reached the spot where no one had ever reached before. We did what no one had ever done before. This is today’s India… This India thinks in a new way and spreads the beam of light in the world even after getting into the dark zone. In the 21st Century, this India will solve the biggest problems of the world.

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Today, the whole world is acknowledging the significance of India’s scientific spirit, our technology and our scientific temperament. Chandrayaan is a success not only for India but for the entire humanity. The region that our mission will explore will open up new avenues for the missions for all countries.

There was a time when India did not have the required technology and there was no support either. We used to be among the “third world” countries, standing in the “third row”. From there, today India has become the fifth-largest economy in the world. Today, from trade to technology, India is among the countries standing in the first row.

BRICS Summit in South Africa, 2023

To make BRICS a future-ready organisation, we have to make our societies future ready. Technology will play an important role in this. In India, we have created the Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing platform to provide education to the children of remote and rural areas … Bhashini, an AI-based language platform, is being used in India to remove language barriers. The CoWIN platform has been created for vaccination. Public service delivery is being revolutionised through Digital Public Infrastructure … Diversity is a great strength of India. The solution to any problem in India comes out at the test of this diversity. That’s why these solutions can be easily implemented in any corner of the world. In this context, we will be happy to share all these platforms developed in India with BRICS partners.

Independence Day address, 2023

The world has begun to think in a new way after the (Covid-19) period. And I firmly believe that just as after the Second World War, the world formed a new world order, I can clearly see that a new world order, a new geo-political equation is rapidly progressing after (Covid-19). You will take pride that the world is seeing the capabilities of my 140 crore fellow citizens in shaping the changing world. You are standing at a turning point. During the (Covid-19) period, the world has seen our capabilities in the way India has propelled the country forward. When the world’s supply chains were disrupted, when there was pressure on big economies, even at that time, we had said that we have to see the development of the world.

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Today, India is becoming the voice of the Global South. India’s prosperity and heritage are turning into opportunities for the world today. With India’s participation in the global economy and the global supply chain … I can say with full confidence that the current scenario in India today has brought a guarantee of stability in the world.

I assure you that in the coming five years, Modi guarantees that the country will be among the top three world economies.

No-confidence motion debate, 2023

Today’s India neither comes under pressure nor accepts pressure. Today’s India does not bend before anyone … When the common man of the country starts believing in the country, it also inspires the world to believe in India. Today, since the world has trust in India, one of the reasons is that the people of India have increased their self-confidence.

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Joint Session of US Congress, 2023

When I first visited the US as Prime Minister, India was the 10th-largest economy in the world. Today, India is the fifth-largest economy. India will be the third-largest economy soon. We are not only growing bigger but we are also growing faster. When India grows, the whole world grows. After all, we are one sixth of the world’s population. In the last century, when India won its freedom, it inspired many other countries to free themselves from colonial rule. In this century, when India sets benchmarks in growth, it will inspire many other countries to do the same.

On G20 during Parliament Winter Session, 2022

The manner in which India has made a space in the global community, the manner in which expectations with India have increased and the manner in which India is increasing its participation on global platforms, it is a huge opportunity to host the G20 Presidency at such a time.

G20 Summit in Bali, 2022

India has now set out with the goal of making a developed India … But this goal of India is not only for us. We are not selfish people and we do not have these kinds of values. Today, the world has expectations from India in the 21st Century. India considers these expectations as its responsibility and we are determined to move forward for the betterment of the world. Today, when India prepares the road map of ‘Amrit Kaal’ for its development, it also includes the economic and political aspirations of the world.

World Economic Forum, 2022

A strong democracy like India is a beautiful gift (to the whole world), a bouquet of hope. In this bouquet, we Indians have an unwavering trust in democracy. The multilingual, multicultural environment in which we Indians live is a great power not only of India but of the whole world. This strength teaches not only to think for oneself in times of crisis, but also to work for humanity. During the Corona time, we have seen how India, following the vision of ‘One Earth, One Health’, is saving crores of lives by providing necessary medicines and vaccines to many countries. Today India is the world’s third-largest pharma producer; it’s a pharmacy to the world. Today, India is among those countries of the world whose health professionals and doctors are winning everyone’s trust through their sensitivity and expertise.

While following the path of self-reliance, India’s focus is not only on easing the processes, but also on incentivising investment and production… We are moving ahead with the spirit of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’.

UN General Assembly in 2021

Today, every sixth person in the world is an Indian. When Indians progress, the development of the world also gets a boost … When India grows, the world grows. When India reforms, the world transforms … Science and technology-based Innovations in India can greatly help the world. Both the scale of our tech solutions and their low cost are unparalleled.

Independence Day address, 2019

India has to play a vital role in reinstating world peace. We cannot remain silent spectators in the global environment … In any part of the world, an act of terrorism should be regarded as an attack on humanity … We want India to play a crucial role in the war against terrorism. India should unite all forces to expose those who give shelter to terrorists, those who encourage terrorism and those who export terrorism.

ET Global Business Summit, 2019

What happened in the past is not in our hands, but what will happen in the future is firmly in our hands. We often lament missing the industrial revolutions in the past, but today it is a matter of pride that India is an active contributor to the fourth industrial revolution. The extent and magnitude of our contribution will surprise the world. I am also confident that India may have missed the bus during the first three industrial revolutions, but this time, it is a bus India has not only boarded but will also drive.

Independence Day address, 2018

In this era of global economy, the entire world is looking at every development in India, big or small, with deep interest and hope and expectations … There was a time when the world used to comment about red tape in India but now they talk about a red carpet … There was a time when the world counted India among the ‘fragile five”. They were concerned that India was pulling down the world economy, but now their tone has changed as India has become a multi-trillion dollar investment destination.”

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The same set of experts who had earlier dubbed India as a “sleeping elephant” are now saying that “sleeping elephant” has woken up and started running. Economists and international institutions are saying that India will provide momentum to the world economy for the next three decades and will spur the growth of the world.

Today, India’s stature at international fora has risen greatly. India’s voice is being heard in every organisation of which she is a member. India is playing a crucial role in shaping the discourse and providing leadership to these organisations.

Gujarat rally after BJP’s Lok Sabha win, 2019

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This huge victory has brought along greater responsibility. We need modesty, discipline and politeness to digest this victory. I see the next five years as a crucial and important time not only for Gujarat but also for the entire world. This is an opportunity for another renaissance that will make India a vishwa guru.

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