India did not agree with Trump’s “Me First” approach : Swaraj

Vastavam web: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today warned that the world was reeling under a storm of protectionism and said India did not agree with American President Donald Trump’s “Me First” approach on the issue.India, she stressed, believed in the concept of “We, Us and Ourselves”.”I was sad when President Trump, in the UN General Assembly, said his slogan was Me First,” the external affairs minister said.

She was referring to Trump’s speech at the United Nations in September last year when he had said, “As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first.”Swaraj was delivering the first Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Memorial International lecture on ‘Soft Power Diplomacy: Strength of India’, organised by the ICCR.

After Trump’s speech, Swaraj said she had a meeting with ministers of Latin American and Caribbean States.”I said India does not have the tradition of (following the policy of) Me First. I said my speech will have (the concept of) Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah,” she said, quoting a sloka from the Vedas that translates into “May everyone be happy”.”When everyone is happy then everyone will have the provision of food and security,” she said.

The minister said India believed in the policy of assisting other countries, especially those who required a helping hand. Swaraj said Indian culture, yoga, classical dance, movies, cuisine and Information Technology were a “treasure of soft power”.

Narrating anecdotes about the craze for Indian films abroad, the external affairs minister said the passion was not restricted to Hindi cinema but extended to regional language films such as ‘Bahubali’.

“Chinese President Xi Jinping wanted ‘Dangal’ to be screened at the BRICS Summit at Xiamen. The Indian ambassador in Mongolia wanted the movie dubbed in Mongolian as wrestling is the national sport of that country. When I met Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh of Mongolia , he said he wanted to be an actor in Bollywood. To this, I quipped we need handsome leaders in politics too,” she said.Swaraj said during bilateral meetings, foreign delegations proposed that the Bollywood industry shoot in their countries as it boosted tourism.