Narendra Modi Win in Regional Perspective
By Zaheerul Hassan
Former tea seller, 63 years old extremist Hindu Narendra Modi sworn in as 15th Indian Prime Minister in spectacular ceremony at New Dehli. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif heads of SAARC states, Indian elite and Bollywood film stars among 4,000 guests at ceremony in Delhi.
He won overwhelming victory in India’s general election 2014. His conservative Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) won 282 of the 543 but due to existing allies BJP led coalition likely to occupy 340 seats in India’s lower house . No party has won by such a margin since 1984. The young voter made difference and 66% voters ca sted their votes in General Elections. Until a few years ago nobody can believe that the little-known chief minister of the western state of Gujarat would be future Indian Prime Minister and his economic and cultural reform in Gujrat would harmonize the voters.
In fact, rising corruption graph, nepotism, increasing unemployment, poor governance, widening gap between rulers and masses, anti Pakistan approach and extremism behaviour towards Muslims were major factors which have been exploited by BJP against Congress. The Congress Party led by Ghandi family has governed India for 18 years out of the past 67 years, scored only 44 seats, whereas Aaam Admi Party won only four seats of the parliament. According to the political experts the landslide victory was unaccepted and the results were historic. In this connection Anil Padmanabhan wrote in local newspaper “Mint”, “it is evident that the Indian voter has delivered an epochal verdict,\”.
Anyhow, besides abiding by election promises like; uprooting corruption, bringing revolution in country’s economy and creating job for the unemployed youth, Mr. Modi would be facing number of challenges on national and international fronts.
On domestic front, he has to wipe of his forehead, which has the label of extremists Hindu. He should know that Indian Muslims are around 14% of the population. They are very well aware of the facts when Narendra openly supported extremists Hindus on the issue of Babri Mosque and resultantly 2000 innocent people were killed and many injured. The extremists Hindus just after Modi’s victory have started demanding that “Fajar Azan” should be banned all over India. It means that days are not far away when Muslims either migrate or will go for separate Muslim state. It also reflects that extremist Hindue has the desire to convert India as pure Hindu state.
Controlling 123 independent movements would be another major concern since Indian security forces are terribly fighting against Maoists, Tamils, Sikhs and Kashmiri liberators. In this regard, he has to carry out negotiations with the nationalists for resolving the issues.
He has to exercise command and control over the outspoken Army Chief who was appointed by Congress Party against BJP desire. Conspicuous differences have been noticed between Indian Army and RAW during Manmohan Singh regime when Lt Col Prohit charged for exploding Samjota Express.
Talking about international front, relations with neighbouring China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lank are not very much cordial. Kashmir Problem, water and border issues, Siachen Conflict, Pancheshwar Multi-Purpose Project (PMP), supporting LTTE, BLA, BNA and terrorism are main issues which have to be resolved by newly elected BJP. The other major issue for Modi would be to contest for permanent seat in UN Security Council in the presence of Pakistan and China. For this India needs to improve upon his credibility with regards to security of nuclear plants. In this account more than 52 Uranium theft cases have been registered in the local police stations, stopping human rights violation against minorities and relations with its neghbouring countries. Notably, the U.S. administration denied Modi a visa in 2005, but President Barack Obama has now invited him to the White House.
Mr. Nawaz Shrif intelligently played while accepting Indian invitation of attending swearing in Ceremony and carrying out bilateral talks on next day. At this occasion as a goodwill gesture Pakistan and Sri Lanka released dozens of Indian fishermen jailed for straying into their territorial waters. On the other hand, Israeli fan newly appointed Foreign Minister Sushma Swarajthe just after taking over the office proved her traditional rivalry while targeting Pakistan. I think she should have shown maturity and display good gesture like Pakistan. “It was conveyed that Pakistan must abide by its commitment to prevent its territory and territory under its control from being used for terrorism against India,” Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh told a news conference.
China, US and other regional states have well received this meeting between Prime Ministers of two old nuclear rivals but unfortunately, However, PM Modi did not move an inch back from the old Indian stance over Kashmir and other issues. It would have been better that Modi instead yelling and lingering on with the old issues of Mumbai should have taken step forward to improve upon the issues particularly with Pakistan. In fact, both Pakistani and Indian ruling elite now have enough public mandates and has an opportunity to get away with the conflicting regional politics and come forward to resolve the issues for the betterment of their respective public.
With regards to global war on terror, New Delhi has been entrusted Afghanistan building role by UN but, she started using Afghan territory for fomenting terrorism in Pakistan while taking the advantage of investing funds. In this context, the dossier covering proofs of Indian interference in Balochistan were handed over to Former Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh by then Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in July, 2009 at Sharm El Sheikh.
India has established 14 intelligence detachments along western border of Pakistan. Will India continue with the policy of bleeding Pakistan through terrorism when 32000 US troops leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014? It would be a million dollars’ concern for Modi’s government. It is notable that as per US Exit Strategy, Washington in the next two years might be leaving behind around 9000 soldiers in Afghanistan. If Taliban come into power, then probably India has to restrict her role in building Afghanistan.
Increasing Chinese influence in regional context always remained a concern for Delhi government. She has border dispute and fought war in 1962 which resultant to Indian defeat. Since then, these border disputes never resolved. China’s frustration at India’s harboring of the Dalai Lama has further tensed the relationship between two countries. India also alleged China for string of bases, ports and airfields to encircle India in South Asia or India’s oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea. Whereas the real situation is contrary to it since India and US have executed a joint venture, i.e. “Containing China”. Several talks have been held to improve the relationship in last 15 years but ended up with “Status quo” between two countries.
New Delhi is very much allergic from Chinese, policy of having close ties with other regional countries. She considers that Chinese moves in South Asia are compromising her strategic interest of leading Asia. “China has built a port in Sri Lanka and is involved in upgrading another in Bangladesh, besides military and civil assistance to long-time ally Pakistan, thus heightening Delhi’s anxieties of being boxed in. Thus, it is evident from the discussion that India has to forget the policy of replacing China from Asian leadership, if she really needs better relationship with Beijing.
Indo-Bangladesh relationship might not be enjoying that level of confidence as it was during Congress regime. PM Hasina Wajid will now likely to raise voice over Farraka Dam, Teesa River and border dispute. Therefore, very tricky era of Indo-Bangladesh relationship would be starting during BJP rule.
In short, Modi government should show seriousness in resolving regional and local issues as promised in the election. He must know that India has its frontiers with two nuclear states and any misadventure can lead her to disaster. India has to forego the policy of “Main na Manoo”.
Kashmir being flash point between two nuclear states need to be addressed immediately and given top priority in all future agenda. Kashmir will never accept any solution shorten than UN resolutions 1948 and 1951