Shining India is losing its shiny finish

rape in indiaBy Asif Haroon Raja

Shining India is losing its shiny finish and its rapidly surging economy has begun to plummet. The ruling Congress is roiled in mega corruption and sex scandals and so is the Indian military. Rape is in high fashion with New Delhi in the lead. Senior Army officers are involved in sex scandals and corruption. Besides frequent cases of rape, wife swapping and group sexes were reported by Indian media in January 2013. Sexual harassment of females serving in Indian armed forces is on the rise, and so are cases of indiscipline in Army. Heavy consumption of alcohol, obscenity and liberalism promoted by Bollywood and Indian media are some of the reasons behind excessive sex crimes.

India is also involved in drug trade in a big way. Drug money is utilized to finance covert operations against neighboring countries. International criminals and drug mafia dons are cultivated by India with the help of Israel. CIT X is training agents for covert operations in Pakistan since 1999. Poppy is grown in Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and UP. Dharamsala has become the leading drug centre in Himachal Pradesh. Indian drug barons have close contacts with Afghan drug traffickers. 25% of Indian poppy is diverted into illegal markets worldwide. India has become the 5th largest poppy growing country in the world. Apart from drug trade, India is also involved in nuclear proliferation and is clandestinely supplying nuclear material to Iran and several other countries. In addition about 100 left-wing Hindu terrorist groups are engaged in terrorism in India. Their ire is mostly directed against non-Hindu minorities.

Disparity between the tiny rich class and the great majority poor has widened markedly and poverty levels have scaled new heights. Out of its 28 States, 17 Indian States are faced with insurgencies and separatist movements because of unjust and oppressive policies of ruling elite. Maoist movement in Nepal supported by RAW eventually came home to roost. Inspired by Nepalese Maoist forest dwellers who took over forests, the forest dwellers of Naxalbari in West Bengal launched their movement and took control of forests. Maoist insurgency which has now snowballed into an existential threat to India’s integrity. Maoists now inhabit area called Red Corridor’ stretching from West Bengal to Karnataka State in southwest. They are active in 220 districts in 20 States – about 40% of Indian Territory. They are now posing threat to major urban centres including New Delhi.

Seven northeastern States of India called seven sisters are rocked by violent rebellions. These include Assam, Arunchal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.  Besides insurgency in Tamil Nadu and freedom struggle in Kashmir, Punjab was wracked by Khalistan movement in 1980s. Nagaland insurgency is the oldest since 1947 followed by Manipur in 1964. Over 1500,000 security forces equipped with draconian laws of TADA, NSA, JKPSA, POTA and AFSPA are battling with the insurgents and using brutal force. They have been given a license to kill suspects without fear of accountability. In occupied Kashmir, over 100,000 Muslim Kashmiris have been massacred since 1989. But the world has turned a blind eye to India’s massive human rights violations.

Hindu extremism is constantly on the rise and so is Pakistan bashing. Crave for making secular India into a bigoted Hindu State has surged in Hindi belt in Central India, which is at the cost of Indian Muslims suffering acutely at the hands of Hindu zealots. Narendra Modi, the architect of Gujarat pogrom of Muslims in 2002, is the choice man of BJP. In his bid to capture Hindu votes, he has upped the ante by rousing the emotions of Hindus through his hate-filled speeches against Pakistan. With an eye on coming elections in June 2014, Congress leaders are also in competition and trying their best not to lag behind BJP and other Extremist political parties’ bellicosity. They too are hurling invectives against Pakistan.

In all election campaigns in India, Pakistan becomes the whipping boy, but with Modi’s arrival on the centre stage of Indian politics, sabre-rattling against Pakistan has become more spiteful. Indian Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh has also joined the fray because of not so secret alignment of Indian military with BJP. Sizeable numbers of retired senior officers from three services have joined BJP and none have opted for Congress for they have seen the writing on the wall. They see BJP as the rising star and the Congress devoid of a leader a fading star. This trend has confirmed the news of nexus between BJP, military establishment and military intelligence.

As a consequence to abhorrent caste system, rising Hindu bigotry and terrorism, loosened moral fibre, excessive love for materialism, burning urge to make India a world power and to carve out mythical Mahabharata coupled with so many other societal ills, India is fast losing its shine and its economic indicators are falling into negative. Foreign investments that were gushing in like a flowing river have slowed down. Lavish lifestyle of the elites, wastefulness in government departments and insatiable urge to buy highly expensive latest state-of-arts weapon systems and technology from international markets has curtailed economic growth, depreciated rupee value, escalated balance-of-payment, shot up inflation, reduced manufacturing growth and made the industries sluggish. India has always taken pride in its art of diplomacy but it has suffered a setback in this field as well.

Aspiring to win membership in exclusive group of five in UNSC, India got the shock of its life when it couldn’t secure a seat among non-permanent members of UNSC. In 2010 elections, India had managed to win a seat by the skin of its teeth. It floored Columbia by just one vote and the crucial vote was cast by Pakistan. India’s fortuitous entry had given delusions to India that all the obstacles in the way of its selection as a permanent member in next elections were cleared.

In the backdrop of India’s massive human rights violations against all religious minorities in India and in occupied Kashmir, India should not have been allowed entry in UNSC in 2010. Besides its aggressive designs against militarily weak neighbors, India has a track record of supporting aggressions against sovereign States by former Soviet Union and USA. It supported Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the US occupation of Afghanistan in 2001 and remained non-committal when Iraq and Libya were invaded. Since 1991, India has been slavishly hanging on to the coat tails of USA and backing its foul acts. It supports the unjust international world order based on capitalism which is pro-rich and anti-poor.

With so many disqualifications, one wonders on what basis India considers itself a rightful choice. Till 2025, India stands slim chances of securing a non-permanent berth in UNSC. As regards its wish to attain permanent membership, Pakistan would oppose it and China would veto it. Who knows by then China attains super power status. India’s quest for seeking meaningful influence in Afghanistan in post 2014 period has also run into snags since prospects of negotiated political settlement are getting bleak and Pakistan is emerging as a key player.

How can there be democracy in India where there are people declared as untouchables, treated worst than dogs, caste based discrimination continue unabated despite abolishment of caste system by Indian Supreme Court, all minorities are unsafe and oppressed, two-thirds Indian States are up in arms seeking their due share, human rights are abused and State terrorism is resorted to freely as a means to suppress dissent, foreign policy is aggressive and defence policy expansionist. Unless Indian leaders do not give up their delusional grandeur plans, tone down their belligerence and become God fearing, none would be able to prevent the fragmentation of artificially knitted Indian Union.

The writer is a retired Brig and a defence analyst.

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