India a regional wild bull
India occupies a unique position in the South Asian region by dint of occupying nearly 72 percent of the land surface in South Asia, being a home of 77 percent of the region’s population, and accounting for nearly 75 percent of the regional economic output. It has the third largest Army (1,325,000) in the world and its economy is ranked 10th strongest ($2.0 trillion). Notwithstanding its political, economic and military prowess, India is viewed as a hegemonic power by all her six neighbors – from Bangladesh in the east to Pakistan in the west, from Nepal and Bhutan in the north to Sri Lanka in the south since all the six South Asian States have suffered at the hands of India.
Indian political scientist (late) Dr. Bhabani Sen Gupta wrote in the India Today April 30, 1984, “The Indian elephant cannot transform itself into a mouse. If South Asia is to get itself out of the crippling binds of conflicts and cleavages, the six neighbors will have to accept the bigness of the seventh. And the seventh, that is India, will have to prove to the six that big can indeed be beautiful.” India instead chose to become a wild bull suiting her inner chemistry.
Drunk with power, India would not hesitate to attack a country if it were in her interest to do so and if she felt that the other side was too weak to resist. Indian leaders are staunch followers of infamous Chanakya (author of Arthasastra during Chandragupta rule) and they feel no penitence in implementing the deceitful policies of their Guru to undermine the neighboring countries in pursuit of their geo-economic interests. Believing in the dictum ‘everything is fair in love and war’, they befriend the enemy of the neighbor, carryout false flag operations, create misgivings through propaganda war, anarchy and destabilization through covert operations and put their sins in the basket of others.
RAW is notorious for conducting clandestine operations in the neighborhood. Once India fails to assert its authority through coercion, it then projects itself as the big brother to draw brotherly respect from younger brothers. Its behavior as a big brother however leaves much to be desired. Rather than earning respect by behaving maturely and generously, it behaves arrogantly and expects one-sided respect and concessions. It has believed in the policy of taking all and giving nothing in return. It considers unilateral concessions as its birthright.
By the virtue of its size, economic potential and military power, India claims a regional leadership position for herself, while her South Asian neighbors accuse her of exercising hegemony. Her neighbors that have been repeatedly bitten have reasons to complain. India has frequently resorted to military force in the region and is the initiator of terrorism. It befriended Mukti Bahini in East Pakistan and then treacherously split Pakistan into two in 1971. India ousted the Ranas in Nepal and put King Tribhuvan on the throne in 1950. India pressed him to sign a treaty of peace and friendship that is viewed by many Nepalese politicians as imperialist. India trained the Tamil Tigers to kick-start a rebellion in Sri Lanka in 1983 which raged till 2009. India restored Prime Minister Gayoom’s rule during the attempted military coup in Maldives in 1988. India didn’t spare even Bangladesh which she helped in gaining independence in 1971 and pitched Chakma rebels (Shanti Bahini) against Gen Ziaur Rahman government and subsequent regimes. Hasina Wajid, daughter of Mujibur Rahman is in India’s best books. To please India and hurt Pakistan, she has undertaken farcical trials of aged Jamaat-e-Islami leaders allegedly involved in war crimes during 1971 war and some have been hanged.
In terms of forcible seizure and land grab, India has occupied Muslim-majority J&K (October 1947), Muslim-ruled Hyderabad (1948), Portuguese-administered Dadra & Nagar Haveli (1954), and Goa, Diu & Daman (1961), and Buddhist-ruled Sikkim (1975) through a surfeit of vicious and fraudulent means, often discounting people’s wishes. For instance, an opinion poll by CSDS in 2007 showed that 87% of people in the Kashmir Valley didn’t want to live under India. And yet, India, the so-called largest democracy in our world, has no wish to hold such a referendum in the occupied territories.
In violation of the UN Resolutions and pledge given by Nehru, India stubbornly clings to the occupied territory and claim it as integral part of India. In order to retain her illegal occupation, India has stationed 750,000 occupying forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir and has subjected the hapless Kashmiris to a reign of terror. To keep Pakistan restrained from voicing concern and seeking a plebiscite, India waged a massive proxy war in FATA and Balochistan in 2003 which is still continuing and is now resorting to water terrorism. India has water disputes with Bangladesh and Nepal.
The neighbors see India as an overbearing oppressor and a rogue, which uses her territories to dump poor quality Indian goods while putting unnecessary restrictions to exporting their goods into India. SAARC has not progressed essentially because of India’s efforts to set rules of tariffs in accordance with her wishes and to monopolize the trade. All SAARC members trading with India suffer from trade deficit.
India’s policies remain myopic and short-sighted, if not self-centered and often lethal. She has failed to wipe out the pervasive negative perceptions held by all her regional neighbors. So far, from Bhabani Sen Gupta’s utopian view, India has become a regional wild bull, if not an elephant or even worse. And no one likes such a beast! Truly, the stamp of a regional hegemon is written all over India’s face. As a matter of fact with the resurgence of the Hindutva fascist forces in the national politics of India, she has the potential to become a regional pariah. And that is an ominous sign for the entire region! Just as the United States of America and Russia are hated today in many countries globally for their hegemony, so is India in South Asia.
India being an imperialist power and ruled by 2.8% Brahman rulers wants to become super power of South Asia and a world power. This ambition is essentially driven by the myth of Mahabharata, fanaticized by every Brahman. Not only Brahman leaders behave callously towards the neighbors, their behavior towards minorities in India is also atrocious. Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and even low caste Hindus have suffered a great deal at the hands of Hindu extremists. India’s oppressive policies have given birth to dozens of insurgencies.
Indigenous freedom movement in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) has become a bleeding wound for India and a cause of embarrassment that despite deploying such a large force in a small Valley and using excessive force, rape and torture as tools to crush the movement for over 22 years, it has failed to extinguish the flame of liberty. Maintenance of 750,000 security forces since 1989 in IOK is a huge drain on India’s economy. So is the burden of 700,000 troops employed to fighting dozens of insurgencies/separatist movements in various parts of India.
India considers Pakistan as the lone obstacle in the way of her imperialist ambitions. India’s dangerous plan conceived after 9/11 in 2001 to denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan through proxy war has run into difficulties because of NATO’s and ANA’s inability to defeat Afghan Taliban and ISAF’s withdrawal. Increasing intimacy between USA and Pakistan as well as between new Afghan regime and Pakistan is happening at a time when Indo-Pakistan relations are sailing through choppy waters. This change in the outlook of USA trying to remove the distrust accumulated over a period of time and to rebuild friendly ties with Pakistan is vexing India. Not knowing how to disrupt growth of Pak-US and Pak-Afghan ties, India is continuing to play the terrorism card.
After heating up the LoC in Kashmir and working boundary in Sialkot sector together with abortive false flag operations, RAW in concert with elements within Afghan NDS, is using runaway Fazlullah and Khurasani to carryout terror attacks against soft targets inside Pakistan to cause maximum pain. Attack on Army Public School Peshawar was masterminded by RAW. Now targets of similar nature including DHAs and Askari colonies are listed as future targets. Several terror attacks in Balochistan in quick succession are link of the same chain to build up pressure on Pakistan and force the Army to give a breather to the FATA militants and get deflected towards the eastern border. The US must be firmly told to discipline the wild bull if it is serious in getting rid of the scourge of terrorism. At the same time, Pakistan should impress upon other South Asian States that if they desire to live as independent respectable nations and want to progress, they will have to find ways and means how to tame the wild bull.
The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran/defence analyst/columnist/book writer, Member Executive Council PESS, Director Measac Research Centre, Member Board of Governors TFP. firstname.lastname@example.org