Meenakshi Lekhi took over as minister of state in the ministry of external affairs Photograph:( AFP )
Meenakshi Lekhi has highlighted India's policy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam calling for more cooperation amid the COVID-19 pandemic and also hit out at China.
In her first interview after taking charge as minister of state in the ministry of external affairs, Meenakshi Lekhi has highlighted India's policy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam calling for more cooperation amid the Covid pandemic and also hit out at China without taking names. Speaking to our Principal Diplomatic Correspondent Sidhant Sibal, Lekhi in her trademark style said, "Some people have the expertise of making the viruses and others have the expertise of making vaccines."
Amid the Covid pandemic, India has sent out vaccines and medicines like HCQ to the global community. Lekhi, along with Rajkumar Ranjan Singh took charge as MoS MEA on Thursday. India's foreign ministry has seen the biggest expansion in terms of ministers. It now has one cabinet minister - Dr S Jaishanker, who is heading the ministry, and three ministers of states which include V Muraleedharan.
WION: What will be your key focus at the MEA which of course deals with India's relationship with the world?
Meenakshi Lekhi: So far as our focus is concerned - our focus is the same. We believe in the principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam and the world is one big family and to deal with global pandemic to help people around, to help India also in the same process.
We need to be with each other and this kind of interdependence will lead to the survival of human beings. Else we're all doomed, not just as a world but as a race. And some people have the expertise of making the viruses and others have the expertise of making vaccines - we believe in the second, we're the ones who rather work on making vaccines.
WION: You are MoS for culture, MoS for MEA, will we see a convergence?
Meenakshi Lekhi: There is a convergence that is why the two ministries have been assigned. The fact is that India's culture, India has given a lot to the world when it comes to science, technology, knowledge, philosophy, everything we have contributed a great deal and we have never been one that has been usurping other's knowledge.
On the contrary, we have been sharing knowledge. So that will be our principle, that will be our stake in the entire conversation around it. The second aspect is that the global pandemic has shown the world that cooperation is the only way for the human race to survive and cooperation in every field is what is needed and we look forward to work on it.
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam is one hell of an idea which our ancestors gave us and PM Modi worked very well during his tenure and tried to build bridges where bridges are required to be built and in this entire process, we have not only benefited when India needed support but also got support.
Also when others needed support we gave them support. And that is the whole idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam and this is the principle - pray and work for world peace and we work for everyone's well being.
WION: You have been a lawyer and have strong views on social causes, will we see a reflection of that at the MEA?
Meenakshi Lekhi: Whatever is the job requirement, you will see that happening and I have people like Dr Jaishankar guiding our way through. We have PM Modi who is constantly supervising and monitoring the kind of work that is needed in external affairs also in culture. So the two inspirations we have, I am sure I will work well and it will be a huge learning experience.