Superpower or accountable and responsible power

There is a talk of a superpower or a major power. I think the best definition of a super power is as given by Deng Xiaoping at the UN in 1974.  He said: “What is a superpower? A superpower is an imperialist country which everywhere subjects other countries to its aggression, interference, control, subversion or plunder and strives for world hegemony.”

I wonder if anyone who rules a country which is a superpower really enjoys the role. He will be envied, not admired; hated, not loved; feared, not admired. While the people will be nice to him in front of him, but talk bad things behind his back. If he were ever to fall sick, people will probably pray that he dies and not that he gets well soon.

So, what is the alternative? In a meeting that I had attended, Bhayyaji Joshi, the Sarkaryavaha of the RSS provided the alternative. He said Bharat should aspire to be an accountable and responsible power, and not a super power. The leader of such a country will surely be admired and looked up to. 

There can really be two or maximum three superpowers. When there are two, there will always be a competition to see who has the better weapons to strive for world hegemony. And each will try to cajole other nations to align with him. In this way, there is an enmity between the smaller countries in the different camps.

If there are three superpowers, then there is a situation as described by George Orwell in his book 1984. A feature of this situation is that two powers will align to suppress the third. And there is an ever changing alignment, and the enemy of yesterday becomes a friend today, and vice versa.

In contrast, every nation can aspire to be an accountable and responsible power, without feeling being threatened by anyone. In fact, every nation will help another to reach the aspiration.

A concept of superpower entails tensions and strife. A concept of accountable and responsible power entails harmony and peace.


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About the Author

Ashok Chowgule
Working President (External), Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bharat.