Famous political thinkers agree that a number of internal factors like the quantity of population, system of government, geographical location, economic output, and more, play a key role in formulating the foreign policy of a country. However, this thesis is unfounded in India where extremist Hindu entities, led by the BJP, and the fanatic Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, control internal policies while molding external policy according to self-interests at the cost of India.
In this regard, the Indian Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA), further exposed the discriminatory policies of the Modi-led government. The CAA, coupled with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), is mainly against Muslim immigrants especially from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Despite criticism from human rights groups, foreign leaders, the UN and moderate Hindus in wake of violent protests that killed hundreds of persons—mostly Muslims by the police and prejudiced Hindus—Modi’s regime has not withdrawn from the CAA or NRC.
Now, Indian internal policies are totalitarian. Various developments like the unprecedented rise of Hindu extremism, persecution of religious minorities such as Sikhs, Christians and particularly Muslims, show that the Hindu fanatic groups have been promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism in India by propagating the Hindutva ideology.
Meanwhile, in September, last year, India’s parliament passed three controversial agriculture bills which left the peasants at the mercy of corporations –resulting in nation-wide farmers’ protests.
Since the Indian Parliament abrogated articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution strict military lockdown in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) continues unabated. Despite the deployment of more than 900,000 military troops there, it is the Kashmiri freedom fighters that continue the war of liberation.
India, dominated by politicians from the Hindi heartland, continues the use of the Hindutva ideology to use brutal force mercilessly against any move to free Assam, Kashmir, Khalistan, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Manipur –all places where wars of liberation are being fought. These states are rocked by a large number of armed and violent rebellions, some seeking separate states as others fight for autonomy. In the recent years, Maoists accelerated their struggle by attacking official installments and India’s counterinsurgency strategy to crush these movements has badly failed.
In regards to Indian external policies, Modi is following aggressive policies especially against Pakistan and China. For the purpose, Indian forces have intensified shelling inside the Pakistani side of Kashmir by violating the ceasefire agreement in relation to the Line of Control (LoC).
Tensions also increased between India and China when the Indian government bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories—Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to be ruled by the federal government. China objected to the split of Jammu and Kashmir as ‘unlawful and void’, saying that India’s decision to include some of China’s territory challenged Beijing’s sovereignty. As such, the border dispute between India and China remains unsettled.
On May 5, last year, tensions further escalated when India occupied various areas, adjacent to the Line of Actual Control (LAC). In response, Chinese forces moved into the regions along the eastern Ladakh border and vacated the disputed territories.
Modi’s war-mongering strategy has increased the country’s defence budget. New Delhi also continued purchasing arms and weapons from the Western countries, particularly the US and Israel. However, his extremist policies—overt and covert intervention through Indian military and RAW in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka—have been backfiring on India.
Notably, the Indian Minister of External affairs, Jaswant Singh, was expelled from the party for praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah and echoing the pain of the Indian Muslims in his book after having worked for the BJP for 30 years.
Pointing towards their attitude towards the minorities, Singh wrote, “Every Muslim that lives in India is a loyal Indian…look into the eyes of Indian Muslims and see the pain.” He warned in his book, if such a policy continued, India could have third partition.
It is mentionable that the former Soviet Union, which had subjugated the minorities and ethnic groups through its military, disintegrated in 1991. Even its nuclear weapons could not save its collapse. The major cause of the disintegration of the former Russia was that its greater defence expenditure exceeded to the maximum, resulting into economic crises inside the country.
Similarly, Modi’s internal and external policies in the country will spark financial crises, acute poverty and the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic has broadened the split of India’s federation, much like the Soviet Union.
The writer focuses on international affairs and is the author of the book, “US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations”. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.