Saturday, October 08, 2005

Has India Lost its Soul?

India was one of the founding members of the Bandung Conference, that brought together the non-aligned nations of the world to show that there were independent-minded nations besides the opposing colonising blocs of the Cold War, and a staunch proponent of the Non-Aligned Movement.

It seems today’s Indian government has abandoned that traditional posture and deliberately moved over to the side of the United States.

Tempted by the American offer of advanced military arms and nuclear technology, and I reckon, more importantly, seduced by the US treatment of her as an equal nation, New Delhi has finally succumbed to the materialistic lures and its own hubristic aspiration.

It has voted together with the USA to refer Iran to the UNSC for nuclear proliferation violations.

Does Iran deserve to be voted against? Perhaps.

But no one had ever expected India, of all nations on planet Earth, to do that?

The newly revealed Indian re-positioning of herself to be alongside her new found pal, the USA, spells a new global politico-strategic re-alignment that will worry its old comrade and once-closest friend, Russia, and its neighbour China. Pakistani leaders will undoubtedly be wiping their sweating brows in Islamabad.

The USA is of course manipulating India into its camp as part of its grand strategy of encircling China, whom the Americans view as its most threatening foe of the future. The Americans see China not so much as a military opponent but more as a frightening economic (and thus political) rival and a competitive guzzler of non-renewable energy resources. Militarily powerful USA doesn’t want to relinquish its current pre-eminent global economic and political position.

Precisely in fear of the US encirclement strategy, China has been striving hard to win India over as a friend and had made several amicable overtures to New Delhi over the past 5 years. Just when it thought it has neutralized India as a potential threat in its south-western flank, the American made an offer to the Indians that the latter couldn’t refuse.

While the offer of advanced military weapons was certainly tempting just by itself, the Americans pressed the right button by offering nuclear technology hitherto denied to all save the most trusted allies, and lavishing extraordinary attention and special treatment which the Indians have longed desired – the Indians have always wanted the recognition of its global position that it enviously sees China enjoyed. The American wooing through the correct combination of ostentatious 'trust' and 'attention' for India has finally captivated the latter's political heart.

As an example of India's strife for its appropriate placing on the international political rankings, it recklessly rejected any tsunami aid in the aftermath of the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami crisis, that it could ill afford not to accept. It even sent aid in a 32-ship naval flotilla to Sri Lanka, Maldives and Aceh to demonstrate it was no insignificant 3rd world nation. The American current wooing of India brings a sense of glorious pride to New Delhi. It has been the right tactic that finally tipped the Indians over to the side of the USA.

Its former PM, the late Jawaharlal Nehru was the global political giant who provided the 10 principles of the Non-Aligned Movement. What will his poor departed soul say?

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