Visakhapatnam

‘Illiberal populism drivingdemocracy into retreat’

Amit Dasgupta, former Indian ambassador to the Philippines

Amit Dasgupta, former Indian ambassador to the Philippines  

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Democracy was being driven into retreat by illiberal populism in many countries, including the U.S, said Amit Dasgupta, former Indian ambassador to the Philippines.

Addressing a lecture titled ‘Contemporary Challenges to Diplomacy’, jointly organised by the Centre for Policy Studies and Visakhapatnam Public Library, in the city on Tuesday, he said, “Donald Trump, who has discarded the liberal order and is accused of ushering in an unpredictable and treacherous world order, heads the list of arrogant and authoritarian world leaders like Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kim Jong-Un,” Mr. Dasgupta said.

On whether there was a possibility of improved ties with Pakistan after the horrific Pulwama attack, Mr. Dasgupta said it was possible if India held talks with China in this regard.

“Diplomacy needs to reinvent itself to meet new challenges in this age of technological changes in dealing with relations between nations. Diplomacy is based on perception and perception depends on the speed of communication,” Mr. Dasgupta said.

Modern diplomacy

Presently teaching in Australia, Mr. Dasgupta, dwelled on the nuances of modern diplomacy. “A small message can produce an immediate and intense effect in a distant land and might go viral in a short span of time. Traditional diplomacy has given way to new methods of communication, since Joseph Nye introduced the concept of soft power in the early nineties,” he said.

According to him, terror occupies a huge space in public discourse, with other issues like climate change, depletion of natural resources and over-utilisation of material resources also being important issues.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:00:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/illiberal-populism-drivingdemocracy-into-retreat/article26518539.ece

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