By K.N. Pandita
We are in a difficult phase of our post-independence history. In economic terms, we had hardly emerged from a brief period of economic growth when recession overtook us ad with vengeance. The rupee is collapsing against the dollar.
The Prime Minister, himself an economist, attributes economic recession to world economic scenario, and particularly, to the somersaults of US economy. He is disposed to link it to the economics of oil.
There is the opposition and their fellow travelers who bring the onus to the doorsteps of the ruling coalition, its soft paddling with corruption and mismanagement.
While making a statement on economic scenario in the parliament, the PM held the opposition responsible for disrupting sessions and indirectly contributing to country’s economic downslide. Accusations and counter accusations continue and a consensual approach to solving the difficult situation has not been forthcoming.
On social plane, political parties, especially the mainstream parties, are less worried about the falling moral values and consequential degeneration of Indian polity into a cesspool of corruption, abuses and absence of direction.
But it is the security scenario that is sounding the siren of danger and to which we particularly want to refer.
On domestic plane, nearly sixty-five terrorist and insurgent organizations are active in no less than eight states besides Jammu and Kashmir, which has entered the third decade of armed insurgency and secessionist movement.
Most of the terrorist and insurgent organizations are externally sponsored, abetted and supported. Each of them has its approved agenda of subversion. But they converge on the sole objective of bringing about disintegration of the Indian State.
More prominent among these are the Islamic extremist organizations essentially based in Pakistan but with extensive networks in our country. Their public posture is that the Indian State is oppressive against Muslims in India including J&K. But essentially, the overarching motivation is the religious duty of good Muslims of giving practical shape to the Islamic concept and prediction of world wide Islamic caliphate. Jihad against the infidels is the power engine generating energy for this movement.
The Khalistanis also supported from abroad, dream of an independent Sikh State. Punjab as a Sikh dominated state makes no sense to them as it remains part of Indian Union. Jihadis and Khalistanis are making a common cause.
There are separatist groups, big as well as small, in the Eastern India working on the thesis of separation from the mainland if not on religious count, but surely on ethnic and linguistic count and above all motivated by local aspirations for absolute power not necessarily through democratic process.
Then we have the Naxalites and the Maoists in specific regions like Central and eastern regions of the country. They are also supported clandestinely by external agencies and have formed armed legions of unemployed youth.
Security scenario on our borders with Pakistan to our west and Chine to our east and north is disappointing. The two neighbours are in a nexus. The common strategy is to keep the border alive so that Indian army and security forces get distributed thinly over entire country. This makes the ground conducive to massive incursion at vulnerable points. India’s encirclement is complete with Chinese presence in Gilgit and Baltistan to the north, Sri Lankan seaport to the south and Gawadar port to the west in Indian Ocean.
Pakistan has updated the strategy of unprovoked firing along the LoC and now also along IB to provide cover to the infiltrating jihadis who are assembled in thousands all along the vulnerable points on their side of LoC. These jihadis are provided with highly advanced fighting equipment besides advanced training in subversion.
China is using its master stroke of iron fist in velvet gloves. While it wears a smile when talking to the Indian counterparts on non-lethal issues like trade, tourism, health, sports etc. it has not failed to contrive no fewer than 159 incursions into Indian territory along the border in the east and in Ladakh. The tactics is to force India spread out its security forces along a long border and thus reduce pressure on Pakistan.
But apart from this overall picture, the most seriously threatening scenario is presented by the vested interest in some of the vitally important political parties within the country. This is to serve the vote bank politics.
Imagine the deep inroads of communalizing terror to serve vote bank interests. Samajwadi Party ruling Uttar Pradesh has raised doubts about the arrest of IM activist Bhatkal, the person involved in the killing of more than 200 innocent citizens in bomb blasts in no fewer than seven cities of India. Bihar has refused to conduct interrogation of Bhatkal just because he has a Muslim constituency in Darbanga.
Many Parliamentarians, union and state ministers, MLAs and many so-called human rights organizations or activists within the country have been identified as sympathizers of terrorists and secessionists. They are outside the grip of law because they function under the mask of secularists and sympathizers of Muslim minorities. To them people like Afzal Guru are heroes to be divinized.
Not surprising, sections of Indian media, both print and electronic, are easily pandering to the interests of militants, secessionists, separatists, insurgents and communalists. They vie with one anther in scoring a point on projecting Hindu communalism as the main culprit. Their role in disinformation and distortion of facts of history has remarkable efficacy.
This section of media is basking in the warmth of petro dollar booty floated from the Gulf States. Rulers of the country have framed financial code as vulnerable and fragile as to leave all routes open for importing illegal money through hawala and other channels. Everybody in the trade is having a nice day.
Political parties in India, including the national mainstream party called Congress, have degenerated national politics to vote bank politics in which money and muscle power combine to do the spoils. Enormous scams like the 2G Spectrum or Coalgate or Commonwealth Games are somehow finding links to moles in the party. The ruling coalition is unwilling to streamline accountability chapter for the powerful while social movements aimed at curbing corruption get battered and bruised under state power.
Democracy in the country has been eroded to the extent of a phenomenon in which we have only a decision making but not accountability structure. India has been oscillating between egoistic and supercilious governance, amusingly both under the rubric of democracy. How true is the axiom of political punditry that by and large people get the government they deserve. A billion people of this country deserved their own and not imported governance.
The solution of the impasse lies in Indian civil society rising up to the great responsibility it has in providing the right type of leadership, nationalist, forceful and determined and not a governanc by proxy.