Strengthened Bonds: The Reality of India-Australia Relations

by Harleen Kaur

As ABC News prepares to air a documentary alleging Indian interference in Australian affairs, it is essential to counterbalance this narrative with the robust, positive aspects of the India-Australia relationship. This relationship, built on mutual respect and shared interests, is vital for both nations in various dimensions, including economic, educational, and strategic partnerships.

India and Australia enjoy a flourishing economic partnership. India, currently the fastest-growing economy in the world, has made significant strides over the past decade, rising from the 11th largest economy in 2013-2014 to the fifth largest today. This rapid economic growth presents vast opportunities for Australian businesses. Trade between the two nations has surged, with Australia exporting critical minerals to fuel India’s industrial growth, while India supplies Australia with high-quality goods and services. This economic symbiosis is a testament to the mutually beneficial nature of the bilateral ties. India-Australia bilateral trade (in goods and services) has crossed USD 48 billion, and it’s expected to double to nearly USD 100 billion in the next five years, according to Ms Majell Hind, Consul General of Australia in Mumbai.

Educational exchanges form another cornerstone of our partnership. Thousands of Indian students choose Australia for their higher education, contributing to the intellectual and cultural richness of Australian universities. This influx of talent not only enhances Australia’s academic landscape but also fosters long-term people-to-people connections that underpin stronger diplomatic ties.

In the realm of technology, India’s IT prowess complements Australia’s innovation-driven economy. Collaborative ventures in technology and research drive progress in both countries, showcasing how shared expertise can lead to groundbreaking advancements.

On the strategic front, India and Australia are key partners in ensuring regional stability. India – Australia share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership since June 2020 and defense is a key pillar of this partnership. India and Australia’s partnership is based on a shared vision of a free, open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. A document, issued by the Anthony Albanese government on Wednesday, states that Australia will support India’s key role in the region by enhancing defense cooperation. Australia will also seek opportunities with India to drive bilateral and multilateral cooperation, defense industry cooperation, and information-sharing.

The Indian diaspora in Australia is a vibrant and integral part of Australian society. Indian-Australians contribute significantly to the economy, culture, and social fabric of the nation. From successful entrepreneurs to esteemed professionals, their stories are a testament to the positive impact of Indians in Australia. These individuals bridge the two nations, fostering goodwill and countering any negative narratives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stature on the global stage is another indicator of India’s positive influence. The Australian Prime Minister’s endearing reference to him as “Boss,” and the American President’s acknowledgment of Modi’s global power and desire for his autograph, reflect the high regard in which he is held internationally. Even Muslim-majority countries, recognizing India’s importance, have accorded him the highest respect.

The allegations of Indian interference in Australian affairs appear to be unfounded and politically motivated, especially with Australia heading for elections next year. Such accusations often serve to create unnecessary diplomatic tensions without substantial evidence. India has consistently demonstrated its respect for the sovereignty of other nations, including Australia. This is evident in India’s foreign policy, which adheres strictly to democratic principles and international law.

India’s successful conclusion of a grand democratic election is a testament to its unwavering commitment to democracy. As the world’s largest democracy, India operates transparently and accountably, making it highly unlikely to engage in unlawful activities abroad.

The India-Australia relationship is a model of successful bilateral cooperation, benefiting both nations immensely. Allegations of interference should be viewed with skepticism, especially in the absence of concrete evidence. Instead, we should celebrate the strong, dynamic partnership that continues to grow, bringing prosperity and stability to both countries. Let us focus on the positives and work towards a future where India and Australia continue to thrive together.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Khalsa Vox or its members.

Harleen Kaur

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