The G-7 needs to be more open and less exclusive in an increasingly interlinked world
India, a special guest to the G-7/G-8 since 2003, has also maintained its independent course, especially on political issues. It is significant that the G-7 outreach communiqués that included the guest countries, did not make the same references to China as the main document, and MEA officials clarified that Chinese aggression was not raised at the outreaches, which focused on the pandemic, climate change and democratic freedoms. India voiced concerns about some clauses in the joint communiqué on Open Societies which condemned “rising authoritarianism”, net shutdowns, manipulation of information, and rights violations — areas where the Modi government has often been criticised itself. Addressing the session on Open Societies, Mr. Modi said that India is a “natural ally” to the G-7. In the present, the Government will be expected to walk the talk on its commitments at the G-7 outreach, especially in the areas of information clampdowns, given that India had the largest number of Internet shutdowns in 2020.
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