Monday, 19 August 2013

Mughal Modi

“If 20 or 25 per cent of Muslims vote for the BJP in Gujarat, then why not throughout India?” So asks Narendra Modi.

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. (In their colloquial spoken forms, Urdu and Hindi are in any case interchangeable.) 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.

We must be as wary of domination by any of the Asian tigers as by any other of them. Long-ago membership of the British Empire has cultural implications on both sides; there is a reason why the Chinese food in Britain is Cantonese. But it has nothing else.

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