By Sajjad Shaukat
Although India has been supporting the forces of separatism especially in Pakistan and Chinese Tibetan regions, yet it has rapidly been exposing itself towards self-destruction.
On one side, New Delhi which increased its defense budget up to 34 percent in 2009, and is planning to raise it by 50% to almost $40 billion in the near future, also signed the pact for civil nuclear technology with the US in 2008 has been importing latest arms and ammunition from Israel, America, Russia, Germany and other western countries. On the other side, provincial and regional disparities are widening in the country by the day as majority of Indians live below the poverty line, lacking basic facilities like basic health care, fresh food and clean water. While yielding to acute poverty, the daily suicide graph is on the rise.
In the past, India which incurred huge amounts on advancement of its nuclear weapons and successfully tested missile, Agni-111in May 2007, has been extending its range. On July 27 last year, India launched its first nuclear-powered submarine.
For the last 25 years, India has been providing its military and intelligence agency RAW with huge funds in order to support insurgency, separatism and lawlessness in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhuttan, Sikkim and China. Although these covert activities vary from country to country, yet the same intensifies in case of Pakistan. In this respect, a well-established network of Indian army and RAW has been working to destabilise Pakistan by supporting insurgency in the Kyber Pakhtunkhwa and separatism in Balochistan. New Delhi has been spending huge money to train and equip the militants who have been entering Pakistan on daily basis and have been conducting suicide attacks in our country, and assaults on our security forces.
Indian anti-Pakistan plan has also been endorsed by a 72-page white paper handed over to its Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the aftermath of Mumbai carnage. The paper, titled, War on Terror: The Agenda for Action advised New Delhi to “exploit the divisions within Pakistan and expose its weaknesses in Balochistan, FATA and Azad Kashmir” including building of pressure on Islamabad especially by the US.
However, India has been endangering the regional peace by dreaming to become a super power in wake of modern world trends like renunciation of war, peaceful settlement of disputes and economic development. In this regard, New Delhi has been paying no attention to its internal multi-faceted crises which have become serious, threatening the Indian union.
It is notable that the former Soviet Union which had subjugated the minorities and ethnic groups in various provinces and regions through its military, disintegrated in 1991. Even its nuclear weapons could not save its collapse. One of the important causes of the disintegration of the Russian Empire was that its greater defense expenditure exceeded to the maximum, resulting in economic crises inside the country. However, militarisation of the Soviet Union failed in controlling the movements of liberation, launched by various ethnic nationalities.
On the other hand, while learning no lesson from its previous close friend, India has been acting upon the similar policies in some other way.
Under the mask of democracy and secularism, Indian subsequent regimes dominated by politicians from the Hindi heartland—Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) have been using brutal force ruthlessly against any move to free Assam, Kashmir, Khalistan, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu and Tripura where wars of independence continue in one or the other form.
Recently, Maoists intensified their struggle, attacking official installments in the major Indian cities. In this context, on October 31, 2009, The New York Times wrote, “India’s Maoist rebels are now present in 20 states and have killed more than 900 Indian security officers…India’s rapid economic growth has made it an emerging global power but also deepened stark inequalities in society.”
India’s prime minister met with Naga separatists on March 2 this year in an attempt to end one of the South Asian nation’s longest-running insurgencies. The meeting could not succeed because India is offering wide autonomy to the group though it has already rejected the separatists’ demand for an independent homeland in northeastern India. The Naga insurgents began fighting more than 50 years ago.
As regards the Indian-held Kashmir, since 1947, Indian forces have intermittently been employing all the possible techniques of military terrorism such as curfews, crackdowns, sieges, massacre, targeted killings etc. to maintain their alien rule. However, under the new puppet regime in the occupied Kashmir, Indian brutalities keep on going against the current phase of Kashmiri uprising. Nevertheless, by neglecting all the ground realties, New Delhi has been advancing towards a self-destructive path.
Post-Napoleonic era in Europe proves that it is not possible to suppress the independence wars through military terrorism. In that context, Prince Metternich, emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire did what he could to subjugate the alien peoples by employing every possible techniques of state terrorism. According to Indian historian, Mahajin, Matternich had to admit that he was fighting for a useless cause, and the empire disintegrated, resulting in the independence of Italy, Bulgaria and other states. In the recent past, despite the employment of unlimited atrocities by the President Milosevic, collapse of the former Yugoslavia could not be stopped.
Every entity of South Asia is well-aware that even under the rule of Congress which claims to be a secular party, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Shiv Sina and Bajrang Dal have missed no opportunity to communalise national politics of India. Although violence against the other communities has been used by Hindu fundamentalists as a normal practice since partition, yet anti-Christian and anti-Muslim bloodshed in the last decade coupled with the dissemination of Hindutva has increased. Besides previous genocide of Muslims and destruction of the Babri Mosque, more than 2500 Muslims were massacred in 2002 in the BJP-ruled Indian state of Gujarat. On September 13, 2008, the communal riots in Uttar Pradesh killed more than 200 Muslims. In one of the most tragic incidents in Assam, Hindu extremists burnt alive six members of a Muslim family. Similarly, assaults on Christians and their property have continued by the Hindu mobs in Orissa, Assam, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. In this respect, at least 60 Christians have been assassinated in the recent past by Hindu fundamentalists in the state of Orissa. Other minorities of India are also target of Hindu terrorism.
It is mentionable that ideology of Hindu nationalism prevails in every field at the cost of other minorities groups. It is even supported by Indian defense forces clandestinely. This fact could be judged from the event of April 6, 2008 when in the house of Bajrang Dal fundamentalists in Nanded, a bomb went off. The investigations proved that the militants belonging to the Bajrang Dal were found in the bomb-making and attack on a mosque in Parbhani in 2003. Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra arrested a serving Lt. Col. Srikant Purohit along with other army officials, indicating that they were helping in training the Hindu terrorists, providing them with the military-grade explosive RDX, used in the Malegaon bombings and terrorist attacks in other Indian cities. ATS further disclosed that Lt. Col. Purohit confessed that in 2007, he was involved in bombing of Samjhota express, which brunt alive 69 Pakistanis. Leaders of the Indian extremist parties, Shiv Sena, BJP, VHP and RSS are now pressurising the Congress regime to release the culprits.
Indian fundamentalism and mistreatment of religious minorities could also be assessed from some other development. After serving the BJP for 30 years, Jaswant Singh was expelled from the party for praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah and echoing the pain of the Indian Muslims in his book, “Jinnah–India, Partition, Independence.” While 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.”
Nonetheless, the artificial union of India which is maintained through militarisation of the country by incurring too much expenditure for importing arms, for subjugating minorities through force, for crushing wars of liberation with brutal tactics and for sponsoring insurgency in Pakistan, China, and other regional countries, is bound to result in self-destruction.
Sajjad Shaukat is a regular contributor to www.oly.com.pk He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations