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Archive for category INDIA EXPOSED

Anti-Muslim-Anti-China Article in Japan Times                                                                    By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

It is sad that as part of the Indian venomous propaganda campaign, in his article, published in Japan Times on April 14, 2020, under the caption “The other contagion: Political and religious fanaticism”, Indian writer Brahma Chellaney has shown misconceptions about the Muslims, some Islamic countries, including Pakistan and China in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

Brahma Chellaney wrote: “Just as fascism led to World War II, communism has engendered the greatest global health catastrophe of our time. The Chinese Communist Party, by initially covering up the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, helped unleash the world’s worst pandemic … [China’s]…authoritarianism can ravage the entire world…the pandemic is another extremism—one grounded in religion…Meanwhile, a transnational Islamist movement, the Tablighi Jamaat (“Proselytizing Society”), by holding large gatherings in Malaysia, Pakistan, and Indonesia, helped export the pathogen to multiple countries extending from Southeast Asia to West Africa. This Sunni missionary movement also held a session in New Delhi that helped spread the virus across India. Through its large events, the Tablighi Jamaat—which has long served as a recruiting ground for terrorist groups—has emerged as the super-spreader of COVID-19…the organization will be remembered for the deaths and suffering it caused in many communities. The lesson is that religious fanaticism, like political despotism, is often deadly. Indeed, the blind faith of religious zealots has been a significant trigger in spreading the coronavirus, as Iran’s case underscores”.

 

While, spreading disinformation in line with the fanatic Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ruling party BJP, including other religious extremist groups, the writer has ignored the ground realities.

 

Indian writer should pay attention to the fact that Prime Minister Modi’s extremist party BJP had also got a land sliding triumph in the Indian elections 2019, as, during the election campaign, the Hindu majority was mobilized on ‘hate Muslim’ slogans and ‘anti-Pakistan’ jargons. On the basis of the same slogans, the BJP-led alliance won the 2014 elections.

 

Since 2014 Modi-led BJP was already promoting religious fanaticism and the ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) by persecuting religious minorities, Sikhs, Christians, and particularly Muslims, including even lower cast-Hindus.

 

In his second tenure, the Premier Modi government accelerated the implementation of the Hindutva agenda, especially targeting the Muslims. Indian fanatic rulers’ various moves such as abrogation of the special status of the Jammu and Kashmir to turn Muslim majority into a minority in the Occupied Kashmir (IOK), continued lockdown in the IOK, the martyrdom of thousands of the Kashmiris there, issuance of a notorious map to bifurcate the Kashmir region into two union territories and introduction of new domicile law to further alter the demographic and geographic status of the IOK against the majority of Kashmiris are notable.

 

Particularly, in the aftermath of the elections 2019, news reports have highlighted different cases in which Dalits and especially Muslims were violently targeted by the radical Hindus.

 

In this respect, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said on October 8, 2019: “Bharat is Hindu Rashtra and all Bharatiyas are Hindus.”

 

 

 

India's Nazi's

 

Besides, the Indian Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) further exposed the Modi government’s discriminatory policies. The CAA coupled with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is mainly against Muslim immigrants especially from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. It strips 200 million Indian Muslims of their citizenship.

 

Since December 15, 2019, daily mass protests, even by the moderate Hindus have been taking place across every state in India against the CAA and the NRC, which resulted in killing of more than 200 persons and injuring 800-mostly Muslims by the police and fanatic Hindus. But, the Modi-led regime has not withdrawn the CAA/NRC. Since February 23, this year when clashes started in New Delhi between protesters for and against the citizenship law, Hindu extremists of RSS and BJP have burnt properties of Muslims, including their vehicles and mosques, and compelled them to leave the areas.

 

While Indian rulers have been imposing various kinds of restrictions on the Muslims, coronavirus provided them another pretext to increase their hardships. Top officials of the Modi government and the health ministry claimed that Muslims are spreading this virus. Availing this opportunity, Hindu zealots have set off a series of assaults against Muslims across the country.

 

In this connection, The New York reported on April 12, 2020: “Muslims have been beaten up, nearly lynched, run out of their neighborhoods or attacked in mosques…Hindu extremists are scapegoating the country’s entire Muslim population for deliberately spreading the virus through “corona jihad”.

 

Al Jazeera reported on April 16, 2020, “Indian hospitals segregate Muslim and Hindu coronavirus patients…In what many are calling a case of “apartheid” during a global pandemic…made separate wards for Hindu and Muslim patients. It is a decision of the government”.

 

In this context, under the title “It Was Already Dangerous to Be Muslim in India. Then Came the coronavirus”, Billy Perrigo also elaborated the Indian present drastic anti-Muslim phenomena.

 

As regards the Tablighi Jamaat congregations since the remote past, they have been holding congregations. But, now as part of New Delhi’s biased policies, their preachers have also become the main target of coronavirus epidemic.

 

Indian Constitution which declares India to be a democratic state, safeguarding the rights of minorities has been torn into pieces by the Narendra Modi who has changed it into authoritarianism by targeting the minority groups, particularly Muslims.

 

And Brahma Chellaney who also held China responsible for deliberately preparing and spreading the COVID-19 is no more than disinformation. US-supported India wants to counterbalance China in Asia. So, the writer has spoken in the tone of America which has earlier accused Beijing in this regard.

 

Notably, Lijian Zhao, an official spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on March 12, 2020, that the US Army has brought the coronavirus epidemic to Wuhan from where it originated. US athletes participated in the Military World Games which were held from October 18–27, 2019 in Wuhan.

 

So, Washington’s main aim was to check the rapidly increasing economic influence of China in the Afro-Asian countries. And New Delhi is also against the growing impact of Beijing in the region.

 

At present, China has controlled the coronavirus and lifted lockdown in Wuhan. Even, America is seeking Chinese help to eliminate the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

In terms of the above-mentioned facts, Brahma Chellaney’s article is based upon his misconceptions about the Muslims, some Islamic countries, including Pakistan and China. 

 

 

 

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Indian liberalism is a historical myth that must be countered if we want to understand our society

Indian liberalism is a historical myth that must be countered if we want to understand our society

We continue to believe that what is happening today is simply an aberration and long to return to a past that did not exist.

Mar 09, 2020 · 06:30 am

Sanjay Srivastava

The last few years have been particularly noticeable for remembering dead and ageing parents. Not just any common garden variety ones, of course, but a very specific kind. These are the parents who, apparently, bequeathed a tolerant, liberal and non-majoritarian India to their children. They embraced religious diversity, resisted various forms of bigotry and promoted the values of constitutional morality. They instilled in their progeny the importance of imagining a post-colonial republic where differences of class, caste, religion and ethnicity would be unequivocally erased.

In media articles and social media outpourings, these parents – narrators of a tryst with destiny – are sorely missed. Over the past six years, everything that the immediate ancestors dreamt of has been, apparently, upturned. In around half a decade, centuries of Indian tolerance – the aforementioned parents being its clearest exemplars – has been wiped out.

The romance of Indian liberalism, fed by the ever-nourishing rivers of historical myth-making of recent origin, needs to be countered if we are ever to undertake the task of taking a good hard look at ourselves – and our parents. Liberal ancestor worship does not serve us well. It certainly does not allow for an understanding of the nature of Indian society either over the longue durèe or in the recent past.

The good Muslim syndrome

The most fundamental aspect of our recent past is that our parents were not particularly committed to the values of religious tolerance that they are frequently credited with as a pre-Modi phenomenon. Their relationship with their Muslim co-citizens was premised on a specific set of circumstances.

Firstly, it had to do with Muslims “knowing their place”. Muslims were to act as mascots of Hindu India’s tolerant culture, rather than exercise an identity that might assert equality with members of the majority community. This was the condition of Hindu contextualism where “secular India” was deeply rooted in the values and public symbolism of Hinduism. Our public functions began (and still begin) with lighting lamps, ships were launched by breaking coconuts and we sang (and now sing with greater fervour) Sanskrit hymns at various national occasions as if these were areligious markers of post-colonial identity.

That is the world our parents grew up in and subscribed to: the “good Muslim” was the one who knew his or her place in a society marked by Hindu contextualism. Even Nehru, perhaps one of the very few who might have understood the meaning of genuine multiculturalism, was not able to counter these tendencies.

Eliding caste

Secondly, there was no India of our parent’s generation that seriously engaged with the caste question. Rather, if we have now come to believe that our parents decried casteism – and that its resurgence is linked to the break-down of their culture of liberalism – this is an entirely spurious view, nurtured by a very Indian culture of filial obligation.

Men and women of an earlier generation – the first and second generation of post-Independence parents – were as deeply casteist as their apparent antithetical contemporary counterparts. What was true of the earlier generation was that – like the Left parties – they pronounced that “in their circles” caste was not a problem.

There is a very common refrain among many now in their seventies and eighties that as school-going students, they had no idea about the caste of their fellow students. This does not, of course, prove that India of the 1950s and ’60s was not marked by caste hierarchies. Rather that in our parents’ generation, there was no occasion for encountering it as those among whom they moved were uniformly upper-caste. The comforts of caste-homogenous social circles ensured that there was no necessity of thinking about caste as a problem. This might only have been the case if different castes encountered each other in the same social milieu.

A soft bigotry

The fact of the matter is that neither was our parents’ time one of a golden age of tolerance and constitutional morality nor is it the case that we have now – in a space of six years! – dramatically changed. The first perspective is misplaced filial obligation and the second is a simplistic understanding of social and cultural change.

Our parents practised bigotry of a quiet sort, one that did not require the loud proclamations that are the norm now. Muslims and the lower castes knew their place and the structures of social and economic authority were not under threat. This does not necessarily translate into a tolerant generation. Rather, it was a generation whose attitudes towards religion and caste was never really tested.

The loud bigotry of our times is no great break from the past in terms of a dramatic change in attitudes – is it really possible that such changes can take place in such few years? Rather, it is the crumbling of the veneer of tolerance against those who once knew their place but no longer wish to accept that position.

The great problem with all this is that we continue to believe that what is happening today is simply an aberration and that we will, when the nightmare is over, return to the Utopia that was once ours. However, it isn’t possible to return to the past that was never there. It will only lead to an even darker future. And, filial affection is no antidote for it.

Courtesy -@Scroll.in

 

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Broadening split in India’s Federation By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Since Narendara Modi, the leader of the ruling party BJP became the Indian Prime Minister in 2014, he started implementing ideology of Hindutva ((Hindu Nationalism). Under his regime, persecution of religious minorities such as Dalits, Sikhs, Christians and particularly Muslims, including even of lower cast-Hindus might be cited as instance.

 

In this regard, the Indian Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA), passed by the Indian Parliament further exposed the discriminatory policies of the Modi government. The CAA coupled with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is mainly against the Muslim immigrants especially from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

 

Since December 15, 2019, daily mass protests, even by the moderate Hindus have been taking place across every state in India against the CAA and the NRC, which resulted into killing of more than 100 persons and injuring 800-mostly Muslims by the police and fanatic Hindus. But, Modi-led regime has not withdrawn the CAA/NRC.

 

It is mentionable that more than seven months have been passed. But, Indian extremist government led by the extremist Prime Minister Modi continued lockdown in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). While, Indian fanatic rulers are also escalating tensions with Pakistan to divert attention from the drastic situation of the (IOK), and have continued shelling inside Pakistani side of Kashmir by violating the ceasefire agreement in relation to the Line of Control (LoC).

 

Indian forces have broken all previous records of gross human rights abuses since August 5, 2019 when Indian Prime Minister Modi’s government ended special status of the Jammu and Kashmir by abolishing articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution to turn Muslim majority into minority in the Indian Held Kashmir. Implementing the August 5 announcement, Indian central government issued a notorious map on October 31, 2019. In accordance with it, Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two union territories—Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

 

Besides Pakistan, China also rejected the Indian map. In this regard, China objected to the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories as “unlawful and void”, saying that India’s decision to “include” some of China’s territory into its administrative jurisdiction “challenged” Beijing’s sovereignty. Border dispute between New Delhi and China, which remains unsettled, has increased tension between the two countries.

 

 

 

It is noteworthy that former Soviet Union which had subjugated the minorities and ethnic groups in various provinces and regions through its military, disintegrated in 1991. Learning no lesson from its previous close friend, New Delhi has been acting upon the similar policies in some way or the other.

 

However, India, dominated by politicians from the Hindi heartland—Hindutva have been using brutal force ruthlessly against any move to free Assam, Kashmir, Khalistan, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu and Tripura where wars of liberation continue in one form or the other.

Due to the discrimination against the Sikh community, Sikhs have been fighting for Kahalistan as an independent state.

 

In the recent years, Maoist intensified their struggle by attacking official installments. In this context, Indian media admitted that Maoists have entered the cities, expanding their activities against the Indian union. On 22-23 April 2018, at least 39 Maoists were killed in an alleged encounter with Indian security forces in district Gadchiroli. Maoist uprising is second major freedom movement after that of the Occupied Kashmir. Indian former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called Maoist insurrection, “the single biggest internal-security challenge”, whereas, Home Secretary G.K Pillai had reiterated the magnitude of this threat by saying that the Maoists want to completely overthrow the Indian state by 2050. The Naxalite-Maoists, as they call themselves, are the liberators, representing landless farmers and the downtrodden masses who have been entangled into vicious circle of poverty, misery and deprivation.

 

Tamil Nadu is another area where separatist movements are haunting federation of India.

 

And, the seven states of Northeastern India, which are called the ‘Seven Sisters’ are ethnically and linguistically different from rest of the country. These states are rocked by a large number of armed and violent rebellions, some seeking separate states, some fighting for autonomy and others demanding complete independence. These states which include Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, accuse New Delhi of apathy towards their issues. Illiteracy, poverty and lack of economic opportunities have fueled the natives’ demand for autonomy and independence.

 

As regards the state of Assam, the BJP-led alliance has been targeting the 4 million Assamese Muslims who are being denied Indian citizenship under the NRC. On August 31, 2019, nearly two million people have been excluded from a list of citizens in India’s Assam, raising fears they could be rendered stateless.

 

Undoubtedly, these states have witnessed various sorts of India’s state terrorism, but, did not stop their struggle. Instead of redressing the grievances of the people by eliminating injustices against them, Modi-led Indian regime is depending upon ruthless force to crush these extremist and secessionist movements. Therefore, India’s unrealistic counterinsurgency strategy has badly failed.

 

It is of particular attention that Indian Minister of External affairs Jaswant Singh who served the BJP for 30 years was expelled from the party for praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah [Founder of Pakistan] and echoing the pain of the Indian Muslims in his book, “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence.”

 

Pointing out the BJP’s attitude towards the minorities, Singh wrote: “Every Muslim that lives in India is a loyal Indian…look into the eyes of Indian Muslims and see the pain.” He warned in his book, if such a policy continued, “India could have third partition.”

 

We can conclude that Modi’s “New India”, which is “Meta Nationalism”, is transforming the country into a “fascist and extremist India”, as Modi is intolerant and inflexible to any kind of opposition. So, Prime Minister Narendar Modi’s extremist policies have broadened the split of India’s federation which will disintegrate like the former Soviet Union.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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Hindutva – A Mirror Image of Zionism

Hindutva – A Mirror Image of Zionism

Kamalakar Duvvuru — August 26, 2019

 

 

 

 

On 26th August 2019 The Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai, along with one Indo-Israel Friendship Association, is organising a public discussion on “Leaders’ Idea of Nations in the Context of Zionism and Hindutva” at the Convocation Hall of University of Mumbai. The poster of the event displays images of Theodor Herzl and V.D. Savarkar. This is only an expression of the ongoing relationship between Zionists and Hindutvawadis.

  1. Zionism

There is a misconception that “Zionist” is a synonym for Jew. One can not be a Zionist without being a Jew, and one can not be a Jew without being a Zionist. There are people who still think that Zionism is just Jewish self-determination and not a reactionary colonial ideology.

But this is not true!

One can be a Zionist without being a Jew or without being pro-Jew. A Zionist can be anti-Semitic.

Adolf Eichmann loved Zionism and even said, “Were I a Jew, I will be a fanatical Zionist.” But Eichmann hated Jews. That’s how he eventually became the architect of the Holocaust. But to him being a Zionist and the architect of the Holocaust were not contradictory. To him, Jews living among and with Germans was a problem. So he wanted to solve this problem by exterminating Jews from Germany.

Eichmann’s pre-World War II views were quite in line with two prominent figures in the history of Zionism. The first was Theodor Herzl. Herzl was the founder of Zionism and the visionary who conceived the State of Israel.

But as a cosmopolitan European Jew, Herzl knew he was in a minority. There were millions of other Jews in Central and Eastern Europe who were very much not like him: not cosmopolitan, not well-educated, not secular, not well-connected, not comfortable. These Jews were a problem: they were poor, they stuck out like a sore thumb in their native lands, they didn’t speak the language, they observed strange, primitive customs. Worst of all, they provoked hatred and anti-Semitism due to their alien strangeness: “The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.”

So Herzl, after originally espousing mass conversion to Christianity as the solution to this problem, later turned to establish a Jewish State as a way to solve the European Jewish problem: “Send all the refuse from Europe’s teeming shores to the Middle East.”

Also influenced by rising European nationalism, Herzl dreamed that Jews could take control of their own destiny in their own land. But not in Europe! Because Jews were alien to Europe and Europeans had shown themselves unwilling to absorb Jews. To Herzl, these eastern European Jews were refuse that must be cleaned up in order to permit Europe to enjoy its respective national homogeneities (French, English, German, etc.). Herzl remarked, “We, the Jews, not only have denigrated and are located at the end of the path, we spoiled the blood of all the peoples of Europe…Jews are descended from a mixture of waste of all races.”

With the demagogic politicians (Demagogic politicians are those who try to win people’s support by appealing to their emotions than using reasonable arguments) of his own and more recent times, Herzl shared both contempt for the Jews and affinity with them.

Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of the Revisionist Party which today is the Likud party, said, “Zionism is a colonization adventure, and therefore it stands or falls by the question of armed force.” He further said, “The Jewish people are very nasty people. Its neighbours hate it and they’re right.”

It is very evident that some of the founders of the State of Israel either hated Jews or saw them as a fundamentally alien presence in Western civilization that must be eliminated from Europe (by creating the State of Israel in the Middle East) or by exterminating Jews altogether (as done by Hitler and Eichmann).

The creation of the State of Israel is the Zionist project. It is an idea of Zionism, which is a colonial idea. This can be seen in Herzl approaching England to help create the State of Israel.

Herzl approached Britain because, he said, it was the “first to recognise the need for colonial expansion.” According to him, “the idea of Zionism, which is a colonial idea, should be easily and quickly understood in England.”

Arthur Balfour, the colonial father of the modern State of Israel, is a Zionist. Like Eichmann and Herzl, for Balfour Zionism solved a problem. He hated the Jews. He believed, like much of the then British aristocracy, that Jews were alien to Western Christian civilization. They could never be integrated into it properly. Thus, the best solution was to remove them from the shores of England and transport them to Palestine where they could flourish on their own.

The project of creating the State of Israel served two purposes: it removed Jews from among Europeans in Europe, and it permitted Jews to achieve their own separate national identity.

Another important purpose that was in the mind of the founders of the State of Israel and of the European countries and the US was that the State of Israel would become a “beacon of the West” or the “bastion of the Occident” in the Middle East to checkmate the Arab and the Muslim nations (i.e. the enemies of the West) there. With this colonial mindset, the Zionist founders of the State of Israel and the West created the State of Israel. They instilled the “western racist mindset” in the Jews who settled in Palestine. The settler-Jews started seeing themselves as the harbingers of civilization and the indigenous Arabs as the primitive communities that must be evicted or eliminated (if necessary), just as in the Europe Europeans saw Jews as the underclass and wanted to remove Jews from among themselves either by eviction or by extermination. The settler-Jews became the enlightened or civilized colonizers, and the native Arabs became the underclass in Palestine.

This is the mindset of the present-day Jewish nationalists in Israel. Judaism for these Jews is not a spiritual value, it is a physical manifestation of power in the world. These Jews understand that not all Jews are their “brothers/sisters”. For them, some Jews are weak, very “womanly” and not “manly”, too liberal, too humane, too universalist, who are a waste or refuse.

The western racist and colonial mindset of Jews made them find new allies in Christian Zionists, African dictators, European neo-Nazis. Zionism or Nationalism, as these Jews define, is less a movement dedicated to the common good of all those living in Israel and to ethics and morality, but more a movement dedicated to the self-interests of the Israeli Zionist political leaders, NRI Zionist Jews and their Israeli and Western Zionist patrons!

 

 

 

 

 

The Face of Hindu Terrorists of BJP=The Party of Indian PM Narendra Modi 

 

  1. Hindutva

One of the misconceptions about “Hindutva” is: “Hindutva” is a synonym for “Hinduism”. One can not be a “Hindu” without being a “Hindutvawadi”, and one can not be a “Hindutvawadi” without being a “Hindu”. People in India and outside think that “Hindutva” is Hindu self-determination, and not a reactionary “elite upper-caste Hindu ideology”.

However, the truth is, not all Hindus are “Hindutvawadis”. There are many Hindus in India and outside who do not subscribe to the Hindutva project of “nation”.

On the other hand, one can be a “Hindutvawadi” without being a “Hindu” or without being pro-Hindu. During the “Humanity Against Terror” charity concert in Edison, New Jersey, US, in October 2016 to show support for Donald Trump and raise funds for Kashmiri pundits as well as Hindu refugees from Bangladesh, organised by the Republican Hindu Coalition formed in 2015 by Indian businessmen in the US, including the Chicago-based businessman and founding chairman Shalabh Kumar (who pledged to donate one million dollars for Trump’s presidential campaign), to promote the interests of Hindu Americans with Republican policymakers, Trump said, “We love Hindus (notice, NOT INDIANS).” Trump’s apparent embrace of Hindu-Americans makes sense. Trump, who is islamophobic, is popular with India’s Hindu nationalist bloc, which is virulently Islamophobic.

Though Trump said that he loves Hindus, his policies on immigration prove contrary to his statement. Trump has tightened restrictions on people working in the US on an H-1B visa, a move that works against Indian-Americans (including Hindus), who have been the overwhelming beneficiaries of that system. Two-thirds of Indian-Americans agree with the statement: “Undocumented or illegal immigrants should have an opportunity to eventually become US citizens.”

Trump’s love for Hindus was not visible when a 32-year old Hindu immigrant, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, was shot dead in Kansas by a man shouting racial slurs. Trump broke his silence on this incident only after six days, condemning the attack in a joint session of Congress. His strong stand against immigration forced Trump to be silent about the attack on the Hindu immigrant.

To Trump, just like Eichmann, being a lover of Hindus and against immigration are not contradictory. To him, Indians, including Hindus, and scores of other ethnic communities, living in the US are a problem. So he wants to solve that by tightening immigration policies.
On the other hand, the promoters of the Hindutva project of “nation” share both affinity and contempt for Hindus. This is evident in RSS/BJP’s attitude towards the SCs and STs.

  1. RSS/BJP Claim SCs and STs as “Hindus”

The reluctant outreach of the Hindutva organisations to SCs and STs informs their dilemma about their relationship with the latter. They include them as “Hindus” in order to prevent them from embracing normatively egalitarian religions such as Islam and Christianity so that their number will not dwindle. By this time, the colonial exercise of enumeration on religious grounds had produced a census mentality in which a community’s numerical strength had become synonymous with its power. So the Hindutva brigade can not afford to forgo SCs and STs for the sake of statistics.

  1. RSS/BJP’s Antipathy towards SCs and STs
  2. Reservation Policy

Since SCs and STs own neither land nor other resources, nor are they educated enough to look for government and non-government jobs, the only recourse that is left open for them is social mobility through the reservation.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar understood the devastating consequences of the exclusion of SCs and STs in areas of education, employment and power. So he demanded the rights to representation in proportion to their population in educational institutions, public services and legislative bodies. One of the consequences of such demand was the incorporation of the provision of reservation in educational institutions, jobs and legislatures as articulated in Article 330 of the Constitution of India.

Crimes committed often against SCs and STs reiterate the fact that their rights are more often violated. Since the upper caste people are the law-makers, enforcers of the law, and the ones who occupy the seats of justice, rights are continually denied to the SCs and STs.

For the above reason, Prevention of Atrocities (SC/ST) Act of 1989 and Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 (amended in 1976) are introduced.

Although RSS/BJP consider SCs and STs as “Hindus”, they covertly and overtly oppose the reservations for SCs and STs. Many upper caste people, often RSS/BJP supporters, are hostile to quotas because they believe that reservation takes away their seats in educational institutions and their job opportunities.

Since coming to power RSS/BJP government has focused on making reservation policy for SCs and STs ineffective. From privatisation to bringing Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation and selling government companies to bringing the lateral entry scheme are attempts by RSS/BJP to deny SCs and STs their share. Most of the jobs in India are already private or in the unorganised sector where reservation policy is not applicable.

From denying reservation for SCs and STs to diluting SC/ST Act, RSS/BJP has never hidden its agenda.

Through policies that are detrimental to SCs and STs, RSS/BJP government is fortifying the graded caste inequalities promoted by the caste system.

Caste is an important determinant of social, economic, corporate and political power in contemporary India. The influence of caste on corporate boards and its network is staggeringly against SCs and STs.

A recent study examines the caste diversity of corporate board structures in India based on a sample of top 1,000 companies listed in the Indian stock exchanges for 2010. The average board size of the top 1,000 companies in India was found to be nine members; nearly 88% of them were insiders and 12% were independent directors. The distribution of board members according to caste shows that nearly 93% were forward caste members; 46% Vaishya and 44% Brahmin. The OBCs and SCs/STs have a meagre 3.8% and 3.5% respectively.

Caste-wise Distribution of Indian Corporate Board Member (2010):

Caste Numbers % to Total

  1. Forward caste 8,387 – 92.6 %
    Of which
    i. Brahmin 4,037 -44.6 %
    ii. Vaishyas 4,167 -46.0 %
    iii. Kshatriya 43 -0.5 %
    iv. Others 137 – 1.5 %
  2. Other Backward Classes 346 -3.8 %
  3. SC/ST 319- 3.5 %
  4. Total (a to c) 9,052 – 100.0

The empirical results show that caste diversity is non-existent in the Indian corporate sector, and the Indian corporate board is dominated by forward castes and lacks diversity. Indian corporate boards consist of members based on caste affiliation rather than on other considerations (like merit or experience). It is difficult to fathom the argument that lack of merit is the cause for under-representation.

As long as the task of judging the merit of SCs and STs is in the hands of the upper caste Hindus, there is very little chance of their being declared “merit worthy”.

 

  1. Untouchability

Although there is a law against the practice of untouchability, the practice continues. A study in 2006 by a Human Rights organisation has brought out the existence of more than 124 forms of visible and invisible untouchability practices in the social, economic and political life of SCs and STs.

Ambedkar links the origin of untouchability to beef-eating. In his 1948 work The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables?, Ambedkar contends, “What is the cause of nausea which the Hindus have against beef-eating? Were the Hindus always opposed to beef-eating? If not, why did they develop such nausea against it? Were the Untouchables given to beef-eating from the very start? Why did they not give up beef-eating when it was abandoned by the Hindus? Were the Untouchables always Untouchables? If there was a time when the Untouchables were not Untouchables even though they ate beef why should beef-eating give rise to Untouchability at a later-stage? If the Hindus were eating beef, when did they give it up? If Untouchability is a reflex of the nausea of the Hindus against beef-eating, how long after the Hindus had given up beef-eating did Untouchability come into being?”

Based on an analysis of various religious texts, the father of Indian Constitution argued that Brahmins, who once had no compunctions against the slaughter of animals, including cows, and were the greatest beef-eaters themselves, not only gave up beef-eating but also started worshipping the cow as a deliberate strategy. “The clue to the worship of the cow is to be found in the struggle between Buddhism and Brahmanism and the means adopted by Brahmanism to establish its supremacy over Buddhism.”

In other words, Ambedkar lays the blame for untouchability on the ancestors of today’s proponents of Hindutva ideology and relates it to cow protection, an agenda that RSS/BJP take seriously.

In the “new India,” the Brahminical supremacy is violently enforced through groups of vigilantes known as gau-rakshaks. This has denied both affordable protein food and vocation for many SCs.

  1. K.M. Munshi – A Representative of RSS/BJP

The attitude of RSS/BJP towards SCs and STs has been exemplified by K.M. Munshi.

K.M. Munshi, an ardent Brahmin leader (later in August 1964, Munshi chaired the meeting for the founding of the Hindu nationalist organization “Vishwa Hindu Parishad” at Sandipini Ashram), proposed an amendment to the Report prepared by the Advisory Committee on Minorities that was submitted to the Constituent Assembly on August 1947: “To (a) delete Scheduled Castes from the list of the minorities, (b) include the following addition, “I-A: The section of the Hindu Community referred to as Scheduled Castes as defined 1 of the Government of India Act 1935, shall have the same rights and benefits, which are herein provided for minorities specified in the Schedule to para 1.”” The inner motive for the amendment is best expressed by the words of Munshi himself. He said, “Any safeguard as a minority, so far as the Scheduled Castes are concerned, will possibly prevent their complete absorption in the Hindu fold.” He stated, “Harijans are part and parcel of the Hindu community. Safeguards are given to them till they are completely absorbed in the community.”

When Munshi claims that “Harijans are part and parcel of the Hindu community”, why is he again saying that “Safeguards are given to them till they are completely absorbed into the community”? Are the SCs “Hindus” in reality? If they are “Hindus”, then what is the necessity for them to be “completely absorbed into the (Hindu) community”?

The above seem to be contradictory statements: “Harijans” are Hindus, but at the same time they are not completely absorbed into the Hindu community! Why are SCs not “completely absorbed into the (Hindu) community”?

Being a lawyer, by saying that “Harijans are part and parcel of the Hindu community”, he gives “Harijans” an illusion that they are “Hindus”. By this, he does not want to forgo such cheap, free, obedient and ever-loyal workforce. If the “Harijans” move out of the Hindu community, then the entire edifice of the upper caste power structure will crumble.

So, Munshi is saying, in a way, to SCs: “You continue to be the obedient and loyal workforce for us.”

Secondly, Munshi also acknowledges that the Harijans are not “completely part of the Hindu community.” Anyone with some knowledge of the Hindu scriptures will know that SCs are not recognised as a part of the chaturvarna or the four-fold division of castes and are in fact “outcaste”, technically known in the Hindu scriptures as “Antyajya”.

So the dilemma that is explicit in Munshi’s amendment and later statements is representative of that of RSS/BJP. The caste system is an essential feature of the Hindutva project of “nation”, and without caste, that project will collapse.

RSS/BJP are the strong advocates of the caste system and graded caste inequality. This is evident in the leadership of the RSS.

From 1925 to 2019 (i.e. 94 years), there has not been a single lower caste RSS Sarsanghchalak (Head). The position of sarsanghchalak is decided through nomination by the predecessor. Until as of August 2019, RSS leadership has always been held by upper caste, primarily Brahmin. The individuals who have held the post of sarsanghchalak in RSS are:

  1. B. Hedgewar (1925-1930 and 1931-1940) – Brahmin
  2. Laxman Vaman Paranjpe (1930-1931) – Brahmin
  3. S. Golwalkar (1940-1973) – Brahmin
  4. Madhukar Dattatraya Deoras (1973-1993) – Brahmin
  5. Rajendra Singh (1993-2000) – Upper Caste (First non-Brahmin and First non-Maharashtrian)
  6. S. Sudarshan (2000-2009) – Brahmin
  7. Mohan Bhagwat (2009-Present) – Brahmin

This status quo is more likely to be maintained in the RSS.

  1. The Idea of “Nation” of Hindutvawadis

With caste-based social structure, Manusmriti as the law-book and the upper caste leadership in the “Hindu Rashtra”, the SCs being outside the pale of caste system can not expect to find a place in the political, economic, educational, religious and social arrangements of the “Hindu Rashtra”, and equal human dignity, human value and human rights.

  1. Caste System

Caste system will be strictly implemented in the “Hindu Rashtra”. That means graded caste inequality will be a norm or characteristic of the “Hindu Rashtra”.

The social status of a caste is determined by the Hindu scriptures and has little to do with whether a member of a particular caste holds a job or does not hold a job or nature of job he/she holds, or his/her economic status. Neither a rich SC/ST nor an educated SC/ST is acceptable to the upper caste Hindu as the worth of sharing his/her table. SCs and STs are doomed to being outside the pale to be ever considered an equal with the upper caste in “Hindu Rashtra”. Children of SCs and STs will continue to suffer prejudice in schools, colleges and workplaces.

The caste discrimination will continue to be maintained through endogamy, a sense of caste prestige, and social distance.

Practically, SCs and STs will be forced to serve the upper castes. That means, going back to the “caste vocations” and “caste equations”! Those at the top of the caste ladder will again enjoy the fruit of the sweat and blood of the SCs and STs.

  1. Manusmriti

Caste-based reservation in India started in 2nd century BC. In Manusmriti, the law-book of “Hindutvawadis”, all laws are based on caste and no merit is ever considered. It divides people into upper and lower castes, and “outcaste” on the basis of their birth and not on the basis of merit. Wealth, political power, spiritual leadership, education, ownership of land, trade and all lucrative aspects are reserved for the upper castes.

This will undermine democracy and change the nature of the polity, where a large segment of people will be denied equal human dignity, equal human value and equal human rights. They will be denied equal opportunities for education, employment and political power. Thus, SCs and STs will be deprived of reaching their potential in the “Hindu Rashtra”.

  1. Leadership

The deception and the lie of the proponents of “Hindu Rashtra” will be exposed, when these questions are asked: Who are main proponents of “Hindu Rashtra”? To which caste do they belong to?

The proponents of “Hindu Rashtra” are the strong believers and observers of the caste system. Their strong belief in the caste system is reflected in the caste status of the top leadership. That means, the establishment of “Hindu Rashtra” does not benefit all Hindus, leave alone minority communities such as Muslims and Christians. It benefits only those who are at the top of the caste ladder and class ladder. Their rallying cry for the establishment of “Hindu Rashtra” is to secure or gain power for those at the top of the caste ladder and the class ladder.

This is exposed by their opposition to reservations to SCs and STs, who are considered by them as “Hindus”.

  1. The Reservation Policy does not benefit those who are at the top of the caste hierarchy;
  2. Through Reservation Policy SCs and STs (though Hindus), who are at the bottom of (in fact outside) the caste system, may reach equal positions, and at times higher positions, in employment, education, and economy with those at the top of the caste hierarchy. This will, to a certain extent, undermine the caste system.

At the same time, by implementing the anti-conversion law throughout India, the proponents of “Hindu Rashtra” will stop SCs and STs from embracing normatively egalitarian religions such as Islam and Christianity. Thus, SCs and STs will be kept within Hindu-fold to serve the upper caste!

Therefore, the Hindutva project of “Hindu Rashtra” is by the Upper caste, of the upper caste and for the upper caste!

Since the majority of opposition political parties follow caste and class systems, they do not have a counter-message. Only those political parties and common people who do not follow the discriminatory systems of caste and class can come up with a counter-message and expose the deception and lie of the proponents of “Hindu Rashtra”.

 

References

Ajit. D., Han Donker, Ravi Saxena, “Corporate Boards in India: Blocked by Caste?” Economic & Political Weekly, Vol xlvii, No. 31, 11th August 2012.
Richard Silverstein, “Loving Israel, Hating Jews.”
https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2017/08/06/loving-israel-hating-jews/

Rikha Sharma Rani, “Why Trump Celebrated a Hindu Religious Holiday.” Politico Magazine, 31st October 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/31/trump-indian-americans-gop-215771
Sakshi Human Rights watch – Special Report, Hyderabad, India, 2006.
Surendra Kumar, “Debunking Myths About India’s Reservation Policy.” Dailyo, 17th May 2017. http://www.dailyo.in/politics/caste-system-reservation-quota-ambedkar-merit-dalits/story/1/17238.html
Vikas Pathak, “Hindutva and the Dalit Question.” The Hindu, 9th December 2015. http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-bjps-coopting-of-ambedkar/article7962369.ece
“Israel Consulate in Mumbai Organises Event on Hindutva and Zionism.” Sabrangindia, 23rd August 2019. https://sabrangindia.in/article/israel-consulate-mumbai-organises-event-hindutva-and-zionis

“Forms of Untouchability and Discrimination on SCs and STs.”
http://velivada.com/2016/01/22/more-than-100-forms-of-untouchability-and-caste-discrimination/

https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/Rashtriya_Swayamsevak_Sangh.html

Kamalakar Duvvuru teaches the New Testament with an objective of promoting peace, justice, unity and love. He can be reached at kamalakar.duvvur@gmail.com

 

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Indo-US-Afghan collusion hinders peace by Asif Haroon Raja

Indo-US-Afghan collusion hinders peace

 

Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pakistan’s strained relations with India-Afghanistan

Pakistan’s bilateral relations with its eastern and western neighbours severely deteriorated after Narendra Modi led BJP took over power in June 2014. From 2015 onwards the two arch rivals have been engaged in low-intensity war. The Line of Control and Working Boundary in Kashmir has been kept bloody and on the boil by India. Terrorism in Baluchistan and FATA that had been controlled has been reinvigorated by India. She is resorting to covert war, water terrorism and hybrid war in collusion with Afghanistan. Nefarious activities of the duo are fully backed by USA and Israel.

Indian Prime Minister Modi used anti-Pakistan slogans for rallying the support of radicalized Hindus during the last state elections in India and later for national elections. He blamed Pakistan to hide his internal weaknesses and socio-economic failures. Ashraf Ghani-Abdullah Unity Government in Kabul has also constantly blamed Pakistan to camouflage its failure of establishing its writ in eastern and southern Afghanistan.

Despite the baseless allegations, the Pakistani ruling elite continues with its efforts to engage both the neighbours constructively for regional peace and prosperity and has considered the policy of appeasement as the best option to keep the two antagonists as well as the USA in good humour. Though Islamabad did its best to engage constructively with both New Delhi and Kabul, yet it failed due to Modi’s domestic political priorities and President Ghani’s internal political and security challenges.

RAW-NDS collusion

The bloody terrorist attacks in Lahore in February 2017 followed by another attack on a Sufi shrine in Sindh sponsored by RAW-NDS forced Pakistan to launch Operation Raddul Fasaad to complement Operation Zarb-e-Azb to destroy the terrorist sanctuaries located on Afghanistan-Pakistan border as well as sleeping cells in urban centres and to nab facilitators and handlers. In addition, Pakistan intensified its border management undertakings. The two main border crossings at Torkhum and Chaman were closed and border management improved to prevent infiltration.

In April 2017, Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesperson of the Tehreek-e-Taliban’s (TTP) splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, surrendered to Pakistan Army. He claimed that RAW and NDS were supporting terrorist groups by imparting training and providing funds, weapons, equipment and intelligence to subvert the internal security of Pakistan. Pak Army is now fencing the entire length of western border much to the chagrin of USA, India, Afghanistan, the three states sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. Concurrently, Islamabad is endeavouring to convince the Taliban to hold talks with Unity regime in Kabul.

BJP’s hate-filled politics

The biggest problem while dealing with New Delhi is the prevalent xenophobic domestic Indian political atmosphere. From 2017 till May 2019 elections, Premier Modi used warmongering as a tactic for mustering the support of radicalized hawkish Hindu voters and to win the elections comprehensively. With this objective, his party adopted a vicious policy against the Indian Muslims. 

The BJP’s hate-filled politics against the minorities, particularly the Muslims, due to which lynching of Muslims and low-caste Dalits for eating beef and slaughtering and trading in cattle had risen, adding to the anxiety of India’s 170-million-strong Muslim population, didn’t dent BJP vote bank or the popularity of Modi among near 80% Hindus. Under Modi, several cities with names rooted in India’s Islamic Mughal past have been re-named, while some school textbooks have been changed to downplay Muslims’ contributions to India. The trend of marrying Muslims girls by Hindus is on the increase and so is the process of Hinduization. 

Kashmir imbroglio

Kashmir is the bleeding wound of India where its 750,000 are pinned down since 1990. After the martyrdom of Burhan Wani in July 2016, Indian security forces and the RSS gangs unleashed a reign of terror and employed all sorts of horribly cruel tools including pellet guns to crush the movement. The innocent Kashmiris have been persistently suffering from the brutality of the Indian armed forces. After Pulwama incident, the level of atrocities has increased. Despite the worst type of state terrorism and human rights abuses, the Indian civilian and military law enforcement agencies have failed to restore the writ of the state in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). The demoralization among the lower ranks has set in as was seen in 2004-05 and cases of suicides are multiplying.

Modi has made plans to rob IOK of its special status by revoking Article 370. He also has devious plans up his sleeves to change the demography of IOK by settling Hindu Pundits, Indian retired officers and soldiers and Kashmiri refugees; and also to carry out ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri youth or force them to leave IOK. 

Kulbushan discomforts India

Another major irritant which has greatly upset India is the arrest of Indian Naval Officer, Commander Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav on March 3, 2016, in Baluchistan. He had been working for RAW at Chahbahar since 2003. The death sentence awarded to him by the military court in 2017 has further disturbed RAW and Indian hawks. Kulbushan admitted that he was involved in terrorism and other subversive activities and had established big networks in Baluchistan and Karachi. Indians have been seeking his release but Pakistan has not relented. This could be one reason for India’s constant browbeating tactics and refusing to talk with Pakistan.

Hindutva

The other reason is BJP’s penchant for Hindutva. The resumption of a dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad is not acceptable to the preachers and followers of Hindutva.

India’s leniency toward Hindu terror groups

While India has all along accused Pakistan of abetting terrorism without providing a shred of evidence and has constantly pressed Pakistan to punish the proscribed groups like Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e Taiba and Jamaatud Dawa, allegedly involved in terrorism in India and IOK and has succeeded in blacklisting them, India has always been lenient towards its own Hindu terrorists groups which over 1000.

On June 13, the Bombay High Court granted bail to the accused – Dhan Singh, Lokesh Sharma, Manohar Narwaria and Rajendra Chaudhary, who were in prison since 2013. Four Hindu suspects, who were prime accused in the 2006 terror bombing case that killed 37 people in a Muslim town of Malegaon.

The serial bomb blasts near a mosque had also injured 100 people. Local police initially arrested nine Muslims, accusing them of engineering blasts. But, when the probe was shifted to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), it concluded that the blasts were carried out by the Hindu extremists.

In connection with another terror attack in Bhopal in 2008, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and former Lt Col Srikanth Purohit were arrested in connection with the incident. Both of them are out on the bail. Thakur recently won parliamentary elections, she contested on the ruling BJP ticket, from Bhopal.

Swami Aseemanand (real name Naba Kumar), linked to RSS is an ideological mentor of BJP. He and three other co-accused Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary were blamed for three terror attacks. All four who had confessed their crimes were acquitted early this year by an anti-terror court in Haryana in the February 18, 2007 bombing of the Samjhota Express that left 86 people dead, mostly Pakistanis. Last year Aseemanand was among five men acquitted in the 2007 blast in Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid. In 2017, he was acquitted in the Ajmer Dargah blast case. An Indian court has now ordered the release of four Hindu suspects, who were prime accused in the 2006 terror bombing case in Malegaon.

It has now been amply proved that the much-publicized Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008, was an in-house affair. Till today, India has consistently blamed Pakistan and has refused to open dialogue until and unless Pakistan agrees to keep terrorism over the issue of Kashmir.

Books written on this subject – namely ‘Betrayal of India’ by Elios Davidson, ‘The Attack on Mumbai’ by Vir Sanghvi, and ‘’The Siege’ by Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrien Levy have laid bare the truth that it was a joint venture of RAW-Mossad and CIA to discredit Pak Army and Kashmiri movement and to get Pakistan declared a terrorist state. And yet India has never been questioned. Same is the case with false flag operation in Udhampur, Pathankot, Uri and Pulwama, all engineered to hide the cruelties of India in IOK and to dub the liberation movement in Kashmir as Islamic radicalism duly supported by Pakistan.

Pakistan has ample proofs

With Kulbushan and Ehsanullah have divulged the entire racket of RAW-NDS against Pakistan with its tentacles spread from Iran, Pakistan’s coastal belt to Afghanistan, what more proof is needed to prove that the duo backed by the USA are the real source of instability in Af-Pak region and much-maligned Pakistan is the victim of terrorism.

India’s jingoism

The biggest problem while dealing with New Delhi is the prevalent jingoistic domestic Indian political atmosphere. Premier Modi, during the last year state elections campaign, used warmongering as a tactic for mustering the support of radicalized hawkish Hindu voters. The BJP secured a majority in the important state elections and constituted its governments. The campaign, however, amplified anti-Pakistan feelings in Indian society.

BJP’s landslide victory

Modi led BJP surprised the world by bagging 303 votes in the Lower House of 543. The BJP’s main rival Congress, couldn’t win a single seat in 13 states and five union territories. Congress managed to secure 52 seats only which was an 8-seat improvement over last elections. Rahul Gandhi – the great-grandson, grandson and son of three premiers, even lost his own seat in Amethi, a family bastion but managed to win a seat in Kerala. Congress BJP’s landslide win has crushed the Gandhi dynasty’s comeback hopes. Rahul tamely threw in his towel after the election results were announced.

Modi’s victory attributable to Pakistan bashing

Modi achieved a landslide victory because of his Pakistan rhetoric, aggressive policies against Indian Muslims and Kashmiri Muslims, and lies and false promises and not on performance. He won despite being likened to Hitler, a compulsive liar and a “gutter insect”, alleged corruption in a Rafael defense deal, the desperate plight of farmers, the lackluster economy and humiliations suffered at the hands of Pakistan in September 2016 on account of fake surgical strike, and then in the aftermath of stage-managed Pulwama attack in February 2019. In fact, killings of over 40 soldiers in Pulwama on February 14 incensed the Hindus, escalated Hindu extremism and further bolstered BJP’s votes.

 

 

 

 

The air intrusion in Balakot on February 27 was a complete fiasco since the Mirage 2000s with Israel-made Spyke missiles could uproot few pine trees only, but Modi helped by Indian media claimed it as a roaring success, falsely claiming destruction of Jaish-e-Muhammad camp and killing over 300 militants. He roared, “Wherever the terror groups and perpetrators may hide, our security forces will flush them out and punish them. Every drop of blood of our slain soldiers shall be avenged.”

These high-sounding rhetoric made the Indian public ecstatic and hysteric. Exploiting their sentiments, Modi named himself as the Chowkidar (Watchman) and the only who can defend India and make it great.

 

Indo-Afghan hostility hinders peace  

Surely, the continuity of such collusive nefarious activities of NDS-RAW would not be tolerable for the sake of dialogue process. Although the Afghan Unity Government constantly levels baseless allegations against Pakistan to camouflage its own failure, yet Islamabad is determined to engage Kabul for cordial bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

India has inflicted tens of thousands of cuts on the body of Pakistan and has openly expressed her desire to break Pakistan into four parts, and yet Pakistani leadership is bending over backwards to resume dialogue with India which has been wholly unproductive due to Indian intransigence and deep-rooted hatred.

Will Modi fulfil his promises? 

Now that Modi is firmly in the saddle, will he fulfil his unaccomplished promises? Will he be able to make India Great as claimed by him? Will he be able to tackle the economy and unemployment which has surged up particularly among the women? Will he create a higher number of jobs needed? Can he address wealth inequalities? The agriculture industry is also in an awful state. Drought, low prices of agriculture products and heavy debts have driven thousands of farmers to commit suicide. The country’s waterways are filthy and India is home to 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities. Open latrines and millions sleeping on footpaths are other unresolved problems. Religious minorities – including India’s 170 million Muslims – are terrified and feeling insecure.

Will he continue persecuting the minorities or balm their wounds to integrate the heterogeneous society which is an ethnic museum? Will he exploit his brute majority to revoke Article 370 and make IOK integral part of India, or allow the Kashmiris their right of self-termination? Will he continue to tread on the beaten path of jingoism, whipping up war hysteria and keeping the people mesmerized in a mythical world in pursuit of his mission to make Pakistan a compliant state, and become a world power, or else adopt a saner approach and adopt a reconciliatory approach in the overall interest of South Asia?

India has once again shown her mindset by trying to influence FATF to blacklist Pakistan. China, Turkey and Malaysia thwarted the baleful move. India can never achieve her ambitions by beating war drums and adopting a confrontationist approach.   

It is most unfortunate that the US-Israel-Afghan-India nexus is a collection of spoilers who have chosen the path of hostility, which is bound to lead to catastrophic results. Sudden rise in temperature in the Persian Gulf stoked by the USA has added to the gravity of the situation. Conversely, Russia-China-Central Asian Republics-Pakistan and ASEAN vie for co-existence, peace and collective prosperity and are placing their hopes in BRI and CPEC.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have suffered a great deal on account of wars imposed by outsiders in Afghanistan and making Pakistan a frontline state. Both earnestly need peace. No peace is possible in the region without the resolution of the dispute in Kashmir and end of the war in Afghanistan. Therefore, it’s imperative that Russia, China, Turkey, Iran should play a constructive role in resolving the two issues.

Modi seems to have climbed down the high horse he was riding and has asked Pakistan to rebuild trust and develop enabling environment for progress in ties. This whiff of fresh air has come in response to two letters written by Imran Khan. He, however, once again reiterated that for cooperative ties, it was important to build an environment free of terror, violence and hostility. Coming months will indicate the seriousness of Modi’s apparent desire for re-engagement. 

To conclude, the mistrust hinders constructive engagement. Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan need to appreciate the usefulness of the connectivity between the neighbours for the prosperity of their people. All three should disperse the clouds of distrust and hatred and build trust, bring in amity and cooperation. Enduring peace and stability in South Asia hinge on the resolution of the long-pending dispute of Kashmir and end of the war in Afghanistan.

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, member CWC and Think Tank Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society, member Executive Council Tehreek Jawanan Pakistan. asifharoonraja@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

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