January 2019 \ News \ DIPLOMACY—COMMENT
India and Australia Need to re-craft an old relationship

India-Australia relations are a classic example of unrealised potential and a tragic tale of consistently missing opportunities, despite multiple areas of strategic convergence and shared interests. It is almost as if apathy holds back both countries from trying to break new ground in a significant manner. This has been frustrating and disappointing ...

By Amit Das gupta

President Kovind delivers an address at a lunch hosted by Victoria Governor Linda Dessau at Government House, Melbourne, on November 23, 2018

Both countries, tragically, blind-sighted themselves into believing that a more substantive and engaged relationship would not impact their futures. The cricket-curry-Commonwealth (3Cs) diplomacy that many Australians spoke of demonstrated how palpably the relationship was lacking in depth and substance but, more importantly, how neither country saw any pressing strategic interest in taking it to the next level.

This perception was dramatically disrupted by Prime Minister NarendraModi, through his four-city visit to Australia in November 2014 and the bold joint statement that outlined the vision of a vastly expanded bilateral and strategic engagement. It was India reaching out as never before to a very surprised Canberra that had not anticipated the extent with which Modi reached out to the government and the people of Australia.