New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday explained his perspective on 'Bharat' and asserted that Bharat is a 'belief' and 'attitude' rather than just a geographical entity.

"To me, Bharat is actually a belief and an attitude. For me, Bharat has an economic dimension. It has a political meaning. It has cultural, social, I would say even personal expressions. At the end of the day the term, Bharat means don't let other people define you. Try and define yourself. That it has to come from itself because that very term Bharat which is so laden with symbolism actually captures centuries of what we are all about as a people," he said.

The EAM was speaking at the 96th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICC).

He also went on to mention the COVID-19 pandemic and asserted that India responded amazingly and strongly came out of it.

Addressing the event, he stated, "As we reached the midpoint of the last decade, we experienced once in a century happening, the COVID pandemic...But as someone who has travelled even during COVID and has travelled after COVID and has seen how other societies dealt with it. I can say with a lot of pride and with a lot of justification that India actually came out of COVID strong. That we were able to respond to it, and we were able to respond to it in an amazing way."

He noted that the contemporary world cannot just have one or two powers and highlighted that the world is heading towards multipolarity in greater insecurity and more protectionism.

He added, "This is not a world of one power or two power there are many more countries, today, in the fray. And, that in many ways, I mean, while very welcome also makes the world a more difficult place to navigate and manage...Today, we are really looking at the consequences of what happens when trading rules are gamed when competition is unfair...The fact is today, the world is heading towards, greater insecurity and more protectionism..."

He further stated that today the role of business is much broader and it also serves the role of leading the country's modernity and progress

"Business, today is something very much bigger than just business. All of you who are sitting here, in many ways, are actually leaders of modernity and progress. Because when you build the economy, when you build industry, as you expand services, as you propagate and spread technology, it is actually the ideas, the concepts, the projects that you do, the mindsets that you have created as a result. I think that in many ways is actually the engine for India's progress," he stated.

The EAM added that it is in India's collective interest to build deep strengths at home focusing on achieving self-reliance.

"You are also builders of national strength...that is the largest responsibility that must be in your mind. One of our concerns in the post-reform period has been that while we have concentrated a lot on growth...the fact is it is in our collective interest would argue in your interest that we build deep strengths at home. The way in which many other economies, many other economies all of you admire, have done at their homes," Jaishankar added.