Since the election of Narendra Modi as India’s Prime Minister, New Delhi has appeared determined to create “Brand India” by harnessing its soft power resources. This was very much on display at the meeting Modi had with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung, during the latter’s visit to New Delhi late last month.
Over the last couple of years, India has been seen stamping its presence in the league of global leaders by the strength of its economic power.
If anything, its increasing influence as a global soft power is even more impressive than its 'hardware' achievements, be it in terms of armaments or automobile production. From Bollywood to new-age gurus, from yoga to basmati rice, Brand India has earned itself international recognition. It's all dressed up and ready to sit at the high table with the rest of the global grown-ups.
With India’s ascendance in global affairs, its Foreign Policy establishment has to necessarily increase its international footprint. This can be done by fostering better trade and economic relations and at the political level through public and cultural diplomacy.
As India asserts itself within the ever-evolving global power dynamic, India is having a vibrant discussion about public diplomacy and nation-branding, and how to engage in channels of public diplomacy as a means to project its emergence. One such platform for this discussion is found in the India Future of Change initiative.