Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani has said that as a response to global conditions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme is precisely the catalyst India needs to step up and strengthen self-reliance across all sectors – be it vaccinations, defence, or semiconductors.
In his thoughts on the recent visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, he said that it is clear, in this uncertain time, that there is little alternative to effective, confident self-reliance and that we are now onto this era of self-reliance.
“As we go through this process there will be pushbacks – and we will run into controversies in other parts of the world. So be it. Many will try to stop us building semiconductor plants. Many will dissuade us from investing a larger portion of our GDP in defence. Our principles will come under criticism. What we must keep in mind is that many of those who set targets for emissions reductions for India are also those that shy away from acknowledging the disproportionate responsibility borne by a small number of developed countries for the climate crisis. In other words, it is far easier to talk than to walk the talk,” he said.
“India is right to focus on self-reliance, while also seeking to provide an alternative to a world in need of alternatives. If there is a rejigging of the world order, it needs to be one that is based on respectful multipolarity. The world need not be flat. Not when flatness really just means that the world has been forcefully flattened,” Adani said.
“Instead, let’s seek a more stable world order built around countries that are self-confident, self-reliant and willing to speak to each other in terms of mutual respect rather than coercion and condescension. This is the paradox we must solve!”
“I must admit that the very large presence of India at the WEF, even in these times, was reassuring. It showed that India is no longer shy about asserting itself in the global arena. It was a sign of our growing confidence. It was a sign of our belief in the India story, and I am glad I was in Davos to experience this for myself!” he added.
Adani said this state of global affairs has forced us to confront the resulting realpolitik directly rather than hide behind a façade of global cooperation.
“On one side, we are too connected now, bound together by trade and the brute logic of the supply chain. But on the other, a combination of the pandemic, followed by the war in Ukraine and the effort to limit climate change, has exposed the limits of global cooperation,” he said.
Adani said that international alliances and pacts are mutable, built on slippery foundations of self-interest. Indeed, many of the most economically developed nations on the planet are scrambling to find alternatives to a world they have largely brought about, recognising belatedly that in the quest for hyper efficiencies they have become too reliant on some nations to meet manufacturing needs and too reliant on others to meet energy needs.