Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mumbai menace, a psychological perspective

Dr S M Rahman

India has undergone a psychological transformation and is getting
awfully boisterous as it rubs shoulders with super powers, and in the
present Post-Cold-War context, USA indeed is a hyper-power. India has
been elevated to be its strategic partner. The latent purpose is to
augment its clout in both, the military and economic spheres and blow
it to a proportion that it is able to challenge and serve as a
counter-weight to China. The image of being at par with China – a
grand rival in the geo-strategic arena gives it a false feeling of
grandeur. USA has earmarked India for a prestigious position to be
the surrogate power of USA, which now comprises Afghanistan as well.
A similar role was earmarked for Israel in the Middle East.

The subsequent defeats of USA in Iraq and Afghanistan, besides the
phenomenal victory of Hezbollah in Lebanon, have shattered the US
dream of restructuring Middle East and expansion of Israeli
territory. US strategy has now seemingly shifted towards Afghanistan,
in which India has been inducted as an important player and quite
naively Bush administration feels that it will contribute to
the "final" victory. When the chips are down, India would never
venture to confront China.

In order to justify India's belligerent role, Afghanistan, which has
traditionally been part of Central Asian region has now been
proclaimed by USA to be a part of South Asia, which is already
suffering from the coercive power syndrome, due to the territorial
size India possesses. Practically every neighbour of India has
experienced the pain and agony, due to the empire-building
propensity, India has inherited from British colonialists. Henry
Kissinger, in his paper presented to the three-day high level
conference held at Beijing (September 4-6, 1996) on China and Asia in
the 21st Century, said: "India emerges into great power status. It
can be expected to return to the policies of the British Raj which
were after all conceived by the Indian civil service under the
Viceroys located first in Calcutta and towards the end of British
rule in New Delhi. It will seek an influential if not dominant role
in the arc extending from Aden to Singapore."

Kissinger's contention proved right except that it was more towards
outright dominance and control. Except for Pakistan, which refused to
play second fiddle to India, all other South Asian countries
succumbed to its pressure. Skim was annexed; Bhutan totally
subservient, Bangladesh, its own creation, very soon revolted to its
exploitative measures and is not ready to kneel down to its
imperialistic demands. Sri Lanka is an eloquent testimony that
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelan, the LTTE, perhaps one of the worst
breed of terrorism, has been trained by the Indian Army. Nepal and
Maldives have gone through their own traumatic experiences. The
creation of Pakistan, left two options for India, to accept it in
good grace and reconcile to the reality, even feel relieved that the
subcontinent was only divided into two – India and Pakistan.

Z A Bhutto in his book "The myth of Independence" has rightly said
that it would have been broken into several more pieces. His
contention was not unfounded. F. Saleem, a statistically oriented
journalist, maintains that "the house-grown militant entities have
spread like wild fire all through India's 2973.190 sq km of land now.
According to South Asian Terrorism Portal at least 231 of the Indian
608 districts are currently afflicted at differing intensities by
various insurgent and terrorist monuments." There are different
breeds of terrorists in India – the right, the left and outright
separatists. The left breed of terrorists are perhaps the most brutal
ones like People's Guerilla Army, People's war groups, Marxist
Communist Centre, the Communist party of India, Janashake and so on.
The break down, as provided by F. Saleem is indeed alarming. In
Assam, there are at least 35 known separatist groups. In Manipur
there is Peoples Liberation. In Meghlana, Peoples Liberation front of
Meghlana. In Nagaland alone the insurgent groups are operating. In
Punjab 12, in Tiripura 30, Mezoram has 2, besides Arunchal Dragon
Force in Arunchal Paradesh. With so many terrorist groups operating
within India, the Indian Prime Minister dubs Pakistan as the
epicenter of terrorism. There is an attributional error, to blame
Pakistan for every event that happens. No time is lost in attributing
the locus of causality to Pakistan and not look inwards which is
required of a mature individual or a nation. Externals distort
realities and Internals are dispassionate self introspectionists.

This is the chronic malady that India suffers from a strategy of self-
deception. India is keen to project Pakistan in as many shades of
dark as possible and the "India's shining image" is self gratifying.
But realities have the inherent tendency to bounce up and destroy all
myths and deceptions. The `Parliament attack episode which was
attributed to Pakistan, ultimately came to surface that, it was an
indigenous operation. Ilzaam ham un ko daitey they Kasur apna nikal

(We always attributed blame to you, but the fault ultimately
surfaced, and it was ours) Of the two decisional choices, India
adopted a recalcitrant approach to overwhelm Pakistan, with its
massive weaponry including high profile weapons of Mass Destruction.
Quaid-e-Azam had a peaceful orientation. He thought that partition of
the sub-continent would start off on a paradigm of peace and inter-
existence and that they would burry the past. He said it while
leaving for Karachi to lay the foundation of Pakistan: "The past must
be buried and let us start afresh as two independent sovereign states
of Hindustan and Pakistan. I wish Hindustan prosperity and peace." He
thought that they would live like peaceful neighbours – Canada and

Dr Rajendra Prasad, a veteran congress leader, held a different
view: "Distrust which is the basis of the proposal is bound to grow
and any hope that after separation things will settle down and the
independent states will soon become friendly, will have been built on
sand." V.P Menon's famous contention: "Divide in order to Unite" is
the overriding factor in the Indo-Pak Relations and there is still a
lurking hope that some day Pakistan could collapse, and beg to be
reintegrated into the Indian Union, is as self-defeating as
ridiculous. Similarly for Kashmir, against all moral commitments, the
great democratic leaders like Nehru reneged on the promises and
commitments and that militarily they would sustain the occupation.
This again is a very naïve appreciation of history and also the minds
of the Kashmiris in the Indian Held territory. Six to seven lacs
Indian soldiers, are unable to stiffle their voices. Despite 60-70
thousand casualties, the Kashmiri issue as patently vibrant as it was
several dictates back. The will of the people cannot be suppressed
for very long. The liberation struggle has created several
organizations, which unfortunately have been dubbed as terrorists in
orientation. Freedom struggle can in no way be equated
with `terrorism'. Could George Washington be labeled `terrorist'?

After the cold war, USA, which was supposedly an ally of Pakistan, is
now all out to support India. It is totally blinded to the stark
realities of how pitiable is the plight of people living below the
poverty line, caste hatred culminating into colossal human rights
violations. The atrocities against the minorities, the lower caste
Dalits, besides Christians and Muslims are of incredible proportion.
Had Pakistan not felt the looming threat to its existence, democracy
would have taken much deeper roots and it could be salvaged from the
pitiable plight of being a praetorian state and now it is on the road
to democracy, India never wants democracy to flourish, so that
Pakistan's global image remains tarnished. The language and temper of
India is markedly belligerent against Pakistan.

It is mainly because it sees that Pakistan is under pressure on its
western orders. It is opportune time to pressurize Pakistan from the
eastern side. The Mumbai affair is a ploy and part of strategy, which
is aimed at breaking the `Will' of Pakistan. The redeeming factor is
that India has conscientious objectors like Arundhati Roy, who has
written a very objective article: `9 is not 11 Nov isn't September
(Daily Time 13 Dec 08) she said: "It's hard to understand why those
who steer India's ship are so keen to replicate Pakistan's mistakes
and call damnation upon this country by inviting the United States to
further meddle clumsily and dangerously in our extremely complicated
affairs. A super power never has allies. It only has agents." She
further explains why war rhetoric is so rampant in India. "On the
plus side, the advantage in going to war is that it's the best way
for India to avoid facing up to the serious trouble building on our
home front." This is India's diversionary technique. But to those who
are close watchers of Pakistan know that Pakistan is always at its
best when a threat comes from the eastern border. The unity which
otherwise appears fragile in Pakistan, suddenly shoots up to an
incredible limit. So never provoke Pakistan with the threat of
war. "If you are scared to go to the brink, you are lost." (Forster

http://pakobserver. net/200812/ 21/Articles03. asp

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