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'India should aim to be a soft power instead of superpower'

August 16, 2007 15:01 IST

India should aim to become a soft power instead of a super power, former UN assistant secretary general Shashi Tharoor said.

"By soft power, I imply a power based on cultural values, social values, political values and foreign policy values," Shashi Tharoor told the BBC Wednesday night.

To be a soft power, India should focus on its real strengths -- rich and diverse, social, political and cultural values," he said, emphasising that plurality, diversity, and respect for all, gave a unique identity to India.

Asked why the US, which projects itself as a friend of India, did not want it to be a permanent member in the UN Security Council, Tharoor said that US being a super power would never want India to be seen in the same light.

When asked why he could not become the UN Secretary General, he said "being a large country with attractive values does not augur well amongst the other bigger nations."

Tharoor, when asked about serving as a minister in the India cabinet, said he was ready to serve if it is offered to him.

"I am ready. I'd also like to say that I've worked for India and for the world, but I've always worked abroad. However, if I am asked to serve, I'll definitely take up the

opportunity," he said, adding however, no such offer has been made.

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