India hesitant to share responsibility: Jairam Ramesh

India wants to be recognised as a great power, but it is “reluctant” to “share responsibilities” that go with the recognition of being a pivotal power and the recent trade and climate negotiations are examples of it, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh today said.

Ramesh alleged that domestic politics were one of the reasons that does not allow India to assume the responsibilities of recognition of a great power. “My experience in the system over last 25 years is we demand to be recognised as a great power without necessarily wanting to assume the responsibilities that go with the recognition of a great power. I have seen this repeatedly in the manner in which we do our trade negotiations. I have seen this most recently in the manner in which we have done our climate change negotiations.

The former Union minister was speaking at a launch of a book ‘Why India Is Not A Superpower (Yet)’ authored by Bharat Karnad, one of the leading security experts. Ramesh said economy wise India has witnessed a growth of 7 and 1/2 per cent of growth rate between 2004-4014 and if it continues with the same with pace then it can become soon become the second largest economy. He, however, added that military power is not the only criterion to be recognised as a great power. It is a”narrow definitions” of being a great power, he said.

Ramesh also took jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their comments on scientific inventions dating back to Vedic age. “If plastic surgery was known 5000 years ago, if missiles were developed 4000 years ago then we are culturally the greatest power. And it can only become greater as successive Indian Science Congress’s unearth more and more evidence of our great achievements,” he said. “Culturally, we are a great power. We have been a great power. We have never aspired to occupy other regions. We are always trying to occupy the mind space of other regions, not the physical space. But culturally we are the greatest power,” he added.