Ever since its independence, in 1947, India has been plagued by a score of insurgencies, some for autonomy and others for homeland. Per force, a large chunk of the Indian armed forces is perpetually deployed on ground to deal with insurgents. But their success against insurgents has been patchy, though quite expensive in terms of losses of men and material.
Given insurgents’ particular ethno-linguistic backgrounds and their lasting abhorrence for caste-specific Brahmanism these enterprises are invariably indigenous and therefore self-sustained; they are expected to continue till they achieve their goals. So if the Modi government feels this albatross around New Delhi’s neck rather heavy there must be some other thing more than normal, and that is said to be its leadership’s mounting concern over its dwindling popularity.
One year on, its electoral commitment to turn the page on the failed economy of Congress-led government remains a pipedream – while its traditional rival, Pakistan, is about to break into an era of economic prosperity and acquire strategic centrality by stitching up the Economic Corridor with China. Narendra Modi and his team desperately need a diversification, and that they find in bringing back to life the long dead Akhand Bharat by using the RSS-BJP weapon of choice, jingoism. Modi said the CPEC is “unacceptable” and the RAW stepped up its subversive work around Gwadar in Balochistan.
Instead of denying its role in breeding terrorism in Pakistan this aspirant for the UN Security Council membership had the audacity to own up the sinister activities of RAW. Then Narendra Modi went to Dhaka to tell the world that but for India’s active help and participation there would have been no Bangladesh. And the latest in that scheme of things is the reported India’s commando raid inside Myanmar, with a message to Pakistan that ‘we can do this with you also’.
Even this raid was real or fake, the arguments for and against are equally balanced. The Myanmar government says Indian commandoes must have carried out this anti-insurgent operation within its own territory. The principal leadership of insurgents, NSCN (Khaplang), too says the Indian claims are “completely false” it is an effort on the part of the Indian forces to “save their reputation”. But on the other hand, the hype given to the raid episode is quite abnormal; it is aimed at putting on ‘display the Modi government’s new-found aggression’ and a message to Islamabad ‘you can be the next target’.
And that is where the Modi clan has bitten much more than it can chew. Pakistan is not Myanmar; it is a nuclear power, fully geared to meet aggression, on limited scale or across the broad spectrum. Any Indian “misadventure” would get a “befitting response”, the top brass of Pakistan army tells India. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is here to stay, irrespective of what India or anybody else thinks of it.
It is for the people of Myanmar to feel concerned if their military rulers were in league with India in that violation of their country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity. And there is no reason why the Indian leadership, both civil and military, should be oblivious of this. It is therefore quite obvious to many here that this unusually hyped threat is just one more scarecrow against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Yet, this is enough of a cause that Pakistan should raise this bellicosity on the part of the Modi government at all regional and international forums. In this war of words Prime Minister Modi and his ministers have committed two grave violations of international law. One, they have confessed committing acts of sabotage in Pakistan. Two, they have owned up territorial violation of neighbouring country, Myanmar.
The text appeared in the Editorial of Business Recorder today.