In an interesting post in The Huffington Post, Philip Seib, Professor of journalism and public diplomacy and director of the Center on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California, remarked that India lacks a comprehensive Public Diplomacy strategy. Philip was also a participant at the "Public Diplomacy in Information Age" conference in New Delhi last week. Philip says about India,
"In many respects, this exotic, chaotic country remains geopolitically undefined. It possesses nuclear weapons and aspires to a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. It has a population of well over a billion, and its work force is steadily becoming better educated. It has a hostile neighbor - Pakistan - to the north, and a powerful competitor - China - to the east. More and more, India is a significant player in world affairs, and yet it lacks a consistent profile that it can present to the rest of the world."What is implied is that India is yet to come up with a compelling and coherent narrative that is consistent across all its communications to global audiences. He also says,
"A visitor to India is certain to be impressed by the energy and determination of people here. Channeled through education and economic development, these qualities are gradually transforming the country and, coupled with the great size of the population, place India at the threshold of international leadership."I could not agree with Philip more. In fact, I had written on my blog last year about the lack of a coherent strategy. Read these:
"A Public Diplomacy Strategy for India"
"Towards a broader understanding of India"
However, these are early days for India's policy establishment and as the conference showed last week there is a commitment to become strategic.