Well, some peaceniks back home who messed up (or designed mischievously) our foreign policy to suit their domestic purposes, may find fault with the present dispensation at the Centre headed by Narendra Modi’s BJP-led NDA. I, for one, as a citizen, feel that Modi’s spontaneous statement soon after the attack of the innocent Israelis by the most dreaded Hamas terrorists at a Musical Night program is justified, as he happens to be advocate of world’s war against terrorists. His strong resolve to fight terrorism of all forms across the globe by uniting all peace-loving nations, the statement looks obvious.
However, he also did not mince words that any disputes between the Palestinians and Israelis should be resolved amicably through negotiations.
As usual, our Opposition and their tail-bearers tried to make a hue and cry. People of this country are not fools to forget how the six-decade rule of the Congress at the Centre, screwed up the so-called foreign policy unveiled by the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, whom I singularly hold responsible for all mess ups that followed.
Yes, from partition to complicating the J&K issue by taking it to the United Nations, to his fool-hardy or stupid ‘Hindi-Chini bhayi-bhayi’ by handing over the UN membership offered by the US to China.
As if this was not enough, his daughter who managed to succeed after the suspicious death of Lal Bahadur Shastri at Tashkent, continued with the same stupid foreign policy, simply to protect her party’s domestic interests. What were those interests people were well aware of but could not dare raise their voices as while the majority of those ‘intellectuals’ were bought over in return for some plum posts or honors, then her intolerance over criticism from the Opposition, led to clamping the emergency in the history, now remains a permanent blot on India’s so-called biggest democracy.
Coming to foreign policy, as she blindly followed her father’s footsteps, she too could not strike a balance. Added to that the Congress party’s over-dependence on the left parties – CPI or CPM – whose interests either lay with the then USSR or China, since they were funders for their survival – never bothered to look West for prospects of India. Nehru-Gandhi dynast’s interests were only how to remain in power, but not the overall interests of the country per se. That resulted, in the country remaining as a developing nation for the past six decades.
This was evident from all the yardsticks that are used to measure a country’s growth trajectory.
And successive governments since independence were also unable to resolve its border disputes (some of them were mischievously left behind by the Colonial Britishers while leaving) resulting in frequent conflicts. The reason, yet again, is for their domestic politics. If the dispute with Pakistan was due to its appeasement of Muslim community members, whom they only considered to protect for its ‘vote bank politics,’ then with China, to please their Left brothers. That ‘indecision’ became responsible for becoming a stumbling block for the nation’s overall growth. Congress has no ideology per se – Left or right or centre or even socialistic! The policy or ideology it inherited from the Britishers was to ‘divide the society’ and benefit from it to remain in power.
This includes Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi, who chose to oppose Israel in its conflict against the Palestine over Gaza Strip.
In sharp contrast, when the rightist BJP government, took over the reins at the Centre, it brought in a dramatic turnaround of the country’s foreign policy by inducting one of the most seasoned diplomats S Jaishankar. And, the results could be seen by everyone, how he managed to ensure the country overcame crisis after crisis, beginning with isolating Pakistan and China from the internal comity of nations either in important resolutions in international forums like United Nations over cross border terrorism or the neighboring countries harboring terrorists and allow it to breed too, or trying times like Covid, to handling the ‘expansionist’ China’s maneuvers holding out threats quite often. Whether in improving ties with OIC members or the US or European block, Jaishankar did play a stellar role under the able guidance of none other than the most ‘level headed’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
And his role even in striking a balance while the US troops chose to leave Afghanistan or later on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, our new foreign policy, appears working wonders, in the best interests of the country. This fact was even acknowledged by former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who said his country should learn from India how to protect the country’s interests best.
Although I am not a foreign expert, as a responsible Indian citizen and journalist, I am certain that India is making the right moves at crucial times keeping the country’s interests utmost. Even the case of supporting Israel over an attack by Hamas terrorists is justified as they killed innocents and did not even spare women whom they raped and reportedly killed 40 infants.
Thanks to independent India’s shortsighted foreign policy it is also evident from how some misguided youth of Jamia Milia University students are holding protests, or others elsewhere in the country. And, the media houses which are advocating for strong action against such protests too justified and it should be nipped in the bud, before spreading it to other areas. That too when Modi is working hard to promote the ‘world is one’ philosophy or “Vasudaiva Kutumbikam’ concept, there is no place for negligible people holding the designated terrorist groups and holding dharnas in India.
I reiterate that Islamic terrorism, which is on the rise, and every nation across the globe is facing it, should be dealt with an iron fist, and the Modi government too should come down heavily as it matters nothing to them as far as electoral gains or losses are concerned. Precisely, that’s what I wish to drive home the point in saying India should act as tough as possible like Israel in dealing with intruding terrorists as well as their supporters within the system. If the Gaza strip has become a nightmare to Israel, then for India, the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) has become the breeding as well as training ground for international Islamic terrorist groups. The time may come for what Israel is doing now in Gaza to clean up; India too might have to do so.
The advantage for India is that people in the POK are apparently yearning to merge with India than with Pakistan.
None should expect only the government at the Centre to do so, but also those in poll-bound states should act decisively while voting, if their land is allowed to be used by the supporters of international terror groups for organizing protests and expressing their solidarity, to send a strong message that they would not endorse terrorism at all costs. Only such a step by the Indian electorate can make the nation strong – economically and militarily! But people will be serious when Lok Sabha polls take place in looking towards Modi to save India from foreign enemies and play cautious roles before pressing the button on the EVM.