Let’s start with India. India has been struggling for decades and hasn’t been able convince the rest of the world that India is a liberal democracy. This is essential if democratic values and human rights are to be preserved in the new democratic global order. India is being surrounded by countries on the brink of collapse like Sri Lanka and Pakistan, as well as China, an economic superpower on its northern borders. This is raising the possibility of dictatorial hegemony that could have far worse consequences than those living in western countries.
India’s failure to compete for soft power is disastrous. The Indian political leadership has been shockingly silent about the atrocities that China has committed against Tibetans and Muslim minorities. China is actively involved in grabbing additional land in the Himalayan region, increasing the chances of a conventional war. India must make its home attractive to all minorities. India must also welcome Sikh refugees from Pakistan and Afghanistan, who are facing severe persecution. It should also give equal opportunities to its Muslim population to take part in democratic exercise and gain a fair share of economic, social, and cultural participation.
America is not without its mistakes.
The Supreme Court of America has effectively ended the constitutional right for young American mothers to have an abortion. This will be seen historically as one of the biggest steps backwards towards improving women’s rights. How is it possible for Supreme Court judges to politicize women in the face of progressive attitudes in the UK and the European Union, where women have the right to make their own decisions about their bodies? Europe is safe for abortions. Women can choose to have an abortion in the case of unwanted pregnancies or rape while they are completing their education. They are also able to decide to have an abortion if they feel unprepared to accept the responsibility that comes with being a parent. Europe has seen a rise in adoption cases due to better rights for women. Children often have mothers who want them and are not forced to have children. These cases have drastically decreased. It is alarming to learn that the US will soon introduce new restrictions on or bans on abortion in half of its states.
America has more important things to do that passing laws to make it harder for women to have equal rights. A global battle for a new order is underway. India and America need to win the war of opinions. China offers infrastructure to poor countries in exchange for access to low-cost energy and rare resources that can be used to increase its production of goods. This makes China comparatively stronger and we may soon have to live with a global order that is based on Confucian values, not democratic.
For the last 30 years, we have lived in a world order that has been dominated by the US. However, due to disastrous foreign policy errors in Afghanistan, the Middle East and now Ukraine, the US is now encouraging the bond between Russia, China and the US, which will be detrimental to the survival of democracy in the world.
The threat from China is not being recognized by American policymakers. China has steadily increased its military power and is winning the battle for hearts and minds in Africa.
Both Europe and America must champion women’s reproductive rights and be open to sharing wealth, knowledge, life-saving drugs and vaccinations.
People living in the global South are not happy to hear that they have a huge surplus of vaccines but lack the willingness to share them with the South. Particularly America is losing sight of a future in which it might be deposed by China, leading to a significant loss of democratic rights.
America must make sure that it does not become more polarized before entering the contest. It must also strengthen relations with India, as it is an alternative to Asians. There, progress in economic wellbeing can still be achieved without compromising freedom of speech.
Both India and America must embrace the diversity within their borders, respect women’s rights and fix their houses before they can embark on the next cold war.
India and the United States, being the oldest and most developed democracies, must combat racism and inequality, reduce forced marriages, and protect women’s reproductive rights. India and America have done a poor job of explaining to the world how freedom of speech and basic political, economic, and social rights are unique and desirable.