JALUKBARI, June 6 - A conference on India�s �One Belt One Road� (OBOR) challenges was held at the Gauhati University recently under the aegis of the Centre for South East Asian Studies, GU.
The conference was inaugurated by Ram Madhav, director India Foundation and a prominent BJP leader and the keynote address was delivered by Jaydev Ranade, prominent security analyst and former additional secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India. The meeting was chaired by Dr Mridul Hazarika, Vice Chancellor, GU.
In his welcome address director of the centre Prof Nanigopal Mahanta described the �One Belt One Road� as the fifth phase of socio-economic development in global arena. He argued that OBOR is different from colonialism, welfarism, communism and the present process of globalisation under the leadership of the West. The OBOR attempts to build an economic trade corridor and an inter-connectivity network in Asia, Europe and Africa. He argued that OBOR is a China solution for global economic revival and Chinese hegemony.
Ram Madhav in his address argued that India�s decision to be or not to be in the OBOR is defined by her own national interest. �It is not based on sentiment. It is not that India is opposed to the Chinese initiative of economic development and India is already in partnership with China like Shanghai Corporation, Trans Partnership, etc. Any mega initiative must be based on dialogue, transparency and mutually accepted principles. But OBOR is a Chinese solution to the world�s economic problem without taking the stakeholders into confidence. Many of the initiatives of OBOR like China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had started much before, which questions India�s sovereignty in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. So OBOR has been imposed and not developed on the basis of consultation and negotiation. So any criticism that India will be isolated can be defined as a �majestic isolation�, like that of Everest.�
Jaydev Ranade opined that the OBOR is going to be China�s hegemonic project serving that country�s ambition of becoming a global power. He was of the view that BCIM is not helpful for India as the entire trade transaction will be dominated by China and Bangladesh and Myanmar stands nowhere in this economic competitive market. Ranade also raised the point that this gigantic project on OBOR would infringe India�s sovereign right over Kashmir. Borders are being used as pawns to legitimise Pakistan�s and China�s claim over India�s territory.
GU VC Dr Hazarika in his presidential remark highlighted the various facts of OBOR and the inherent contradictions involved in it.