Monday, 18 February 2013
A Special Relationship?
In considering the rise of India, we must be mindful that we are no longer dealing with India as we have known her.
The Hindu nationalist BJP is now about as likely as the Congress Party to be the principal party of government. Within and allied to the BJP are violently fascistic elements such as the Shiv Sena and those who massacre Christians in Orissa. Leadership is passing to Narendra Modi, who is heavily implicated in Gujarat’s anti-Muslim pogroms in recent years.
Modi is banned from entering the EU, the US, and other relatively civilised places. However, last November and on David Cameron's express instructions, he was paid court to by the British High Commissioner to India.
Well, of course he was. If, say, apartheid South Africa, or Ian Smith's Rhodesia, or Mussolini's Italy at least before the alliance with Hitler, were still in existence, then it would be an object of uncritical neoconservative adoration and obedience. Hindutva, the ideological roots of which are entirely Western, would be treated in exactly the same way, and where it is already being attempted, on the backs of hundreds of millions of people, it increasingly is being so treated.
The BJP is increasingly seeking to join forces with political Islam around such causes as the strong nationalism that has always been expressed by the Darul Uloom Deoband, the conduct of Waqf Boards, and the recognition of Urdu as one of the “authentically” Indian languages to be promoted at the expense of English. However, the BJP has little or no understanding that patriotism must include economic patriotism.
The hope that the Sikhs, prominent in the Indian Army, will remain a bulwark of the old culturally Anglophile, politically pro-American Indian elite is not assisted by the realisation that the staunchly Sikh SAD relies on the BJP to deliver its majority at State level in Punjab, and therefore supports the BJP at Union level.
If there is a third force in India, then it is made up of Far Left parties, it is led by the party that followed Mao when he broke with the Soviet Union, and it includes the successors of Subhas Chandra Bose, who raised an army in support of the Japanese during the Second World War.
All in all, India’s nuclear weapons, like those of Israel and perhaps also those of the United States, should be regarded with no less trepidation than those of Pakistan or North Korea, and with considerably more so than those of China, Russia or, purely hypothetically, Iran.