Mandate for Indo-Pak peace settlement
By Moorthy Muthuswamy, April 2004
A coalition will take over at the helm in New Delhi after the elections. General Musharraf of Pakistan has been putting pressure on the Indians to seriously talk about Kashmir. He appears to strongly demand a composite dialogue that focuses on resolving Kashmir conflict by July-August. At the moment there exists no analysis as to what kind of a mandate exists for any regime in power now to undertake a far-reaching "peace settlement" with Pakistan. This paper takes up this issue in a greater detail.
The things I mention here may not be palatable for some. Nevertheless, this should not be the reason for ignoring this analysis. India has managed to box itself in a precarious strategic situation by ignoring meaningful analysis such as this.
First of all, if anyone thinks that Kashmir issue is the root cause of the Indo-Pak conflict, they couldn’t be more wrong. In my previous publication (When are India and Pakistan ready for peace?)
I had discussed the roots of the conflict and concluded that this has little to do with Kashmir but everything to do with the existence of an "infidel" India.
Transition leadership situation
The emerging India has seen Indians competing successfully in several areas, including software industries at the international level. This sector is creating wealth as well as people with ability to solve problems. However, governing the country continues to be poor due to the limited quality of people embracing politics. This is also true with journalism and media. India has largely been a dysfunctional democracy for these two reasons -- when two key pillars that can make a democracy work are so under-performing (more on this later).
The current leadership in New Delhi has shown far more sensitivity and initiative in dealing with Islamic fascists than their opposition predecessors. Nevertheless, we must also discuss its shortcomings in evaluating whether it can act to promote/safeguard India’s long-term interests.
None of the top leaders at the national level, including the current regime in New Delhi, have shown the ability to provide leadership in defeating Islamic fascism that controls Kashmir and is now spreading to the rest of India. A good measure of the leadership lies is pointing out the attributes of religious fascism (The woes of Jammu and Ladakh) in order to mobilize the nation and solve this problem once for all, starting with the removal of Article 370. Quite to the contrary, there is talk of enhanced autonomy to Kashmir without the understanding that this fascism relishes on autonomy and isolation and thus will continue its dance and get subsidies from the rest of India and its Hindu majority. The religious fascism plays a prominent role even under a democratic Pakistan. Fascism dominated Kashmir valley is no different. Under these circumstances how can one have confidence in a leadership’s ability to negotiate with Pakistan over the very Kashmir? Conclusion: The older generation Indian politicians are unable to "compete" with religious fascists who control Pakistan and those who strongly influence Kashmir.
It can be stated that India is now undergoing a transition period and is in the process of replacing its aging and "developing-world" category leadership with those that represent its new emerging and "developed-world" side. A legitimate question arises whether its current political class that represent yesterday’s India has the "mandate" to take far reaching decisions on its future by the way of "peace settlement" with Pakistan. All of this implies that India should first get a leadership that represents its emerging face – that can compete -- and then deal with Pakistan. This is the real secret to India overcoming Prithiviraj syndrome (Prithiviraj, Again?).
Worse than Prithiviraj’s blunder
Among the topics India and Pakistan have already agreed to discuss as part of the composite talks in August, there is no mention of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing conducted by Pakistanis in South Asia since 1947, while the "rights" of Muslims in India, including Kashmir, is given prominence. This should tell readers that India is all set to make its greatest civilizational blunder, far worse than that of the ones made by Prithviraj Chauhan. Let me elaborate.
The aftermath of the partition of India in the name of Islam in 1947 saw India having to accommodate 85% of the population in 75% of the land, thanks to Pakistan sponsored non-Muslim ethnic cleansing from all Muslim majority areas of South Asia. This shows that Pakistan owes India land (New Ideas for a New War). It is notable that Pakistani part of Kashmir is virtually cleansed of non-Muslims, while Muslims constitute majority in the Indian part! None of the recent governments have raised this issue of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing by Pakistanis! What kind of settlement these regimes could undertake with a Pakistan when Pakistan has been allowed to paint itself as a victim and India the aggressor, -- when the reality is exactly the opposite? How unfair and ridiculous can the situation get?
Big picture lost?
Indian politicians across the board have mentioned the need for peace with Pakistan. The issue for India in reality is not peace but how to roll back and defeat Islamic forces that are continuing to assault it from within and without. As India needs to act decisively against these forces entrenched within, how could at the same time peace with Pakistan be maintained - as Pakistan would oppose any such moves on religious grounds? On the contrary, Islamic forces will only increase their assault within India as they know that India couldn’t act against them decisively if it wants to maintain "peace" with Pakistan. This idea of Indo-Pak peace is a no winner for India (Soft Borders with Pakistan: A Certain Suicide).
The regimes in New Delhi have failed miserably to send the right message: India is the last land for non-Muslims to live in security and dignity in South Asia. There is nothing communal about this statement, but makes most Indians understand in simple terms the big picture security threats they face and makes it possible for India to fight back effectively – given the 1947 partitioning of India in the name of Islam and the subsequent non-Muslim ethnic cleansing from the Muslim majority areas into India. This gives India the moral and civilizational right to send to Pakistan the fascists who do Pakistan’s bidding in the name of Islam and sponsor terror within India.
Understanding democracy in the Indian context
Private companies and individuals without the government or political interference initiated the recent upsurge in the emerging India. This should be seen as an attribute of the traditions of Hindu majority’s willingness to learn and compete, rather than an attribute of the democratic mode of governing. India is in many ways a classic case of dysfunctional democracy, a country that is poorly governed. The inability to elect able leaders, to institute economic reforms, bring stability by crushing insurgency, improve infrastructure, or uphold the rule of law are manifestations of this dysfunctionality. In reality, these attributes of the Indian democracy remain among the biggest obstacles for moving forward as a nation. India is no exception, wealth creation and not democracy, has uplifted all of those nations that have moved from the developing world to the developed world category. These ideas are further discussed in my earlier publication (A New Paradigm: Civilization through Wealth Creation).
Recently, the Indian defense minister George Fernandez remarked that if NDA comes back to power after the elections, it would impose the Presidential system in Bihar due to the anarchy brought by the elected Rabri government. A parallel question arises who is to save India if some ill-advised concessions, by an elected central government, are being made to Pakistan that can portend India being destroyed civilizationally?
It has become clear that based upon what we just discussed such a possibility does exist. Hence this calls for the only institution that is fighting the religious fascism, Indian military, to be involved in decision-making. More than the Indian politicians, who feel compelled to appease minority religious fascism -- due to majority disunity, the Indian military knows its enemy.