Why Indiaís Future Is Bleak
By Moorthy Muthuswamy, October 1999
(The writer publishes frequently in Indian American and Indian newspapers. He has a doctorate in Nuclear Physics from State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA. He came to United States in 1984 after completing Mastersí Degree in Physics at Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India)
Economic development is among the primary concerns for India. Compared to many of the Asian countries that have had significant economic growth, Indiaís track record in this area remains rather poor. It is worth noting that China achieved its astonishing economic growth due to a competent economic vision and political stability, two critical factors missing for India.
Recent success in the area of software engineering is an indication of Indiaís potential as a player in international markets. However, without making the much-needed strategic infrastructure investments and educating its people, there is a little chance of India breaking out of its current economic status.
In response to Kargil, the new BJP led government has announced a whopping 20% hike in military expenditure. In addition, the Indian government announced that it would raise 50 new battalions of Border Security Force and Central Reserve Police Force to foil Pakistan's "proxy war". During the last 15 years, Indian government has spent by many estimates about $25 billion dollars fighting proxy war waged by Pakistan. This figure does not include security expenses of state governments and private corporations. The above figure also does not include the need to keep a huge military to tackle this terrorism.
At the same time, the extent of terrorism continues to worsen, including Kashmir, Northeast and the rest of India. To quote the Finance Minister Sinha, "Now India has to fight on several fronts--on the Line of Control against the Pakistan- backed intruders, on the diplomatic front and also internally to foil ``the secessionist designs'' of the ISI, besides the economic front where steps if not taken effectively might prove disastrous".
At this rate, projections show only a worsening situation. It is clear that money for fighting Islamic terrorism is going to come at the expense of economic development. No wonder, there is a steady increase in fiscal deficit. How long can this be allowed to continue?
Kashmir, according to the Home Minister Advani, "is literally bleeding us". Back in 1989, many of the Kashmiri newspapers urged the minorities to leave or get killed. Islamic terrorism achieved a major victory in Kashmir when it drove out/killed/raped minority non-Muslims. Many of the killed were first "listed" in local Mosques all over the valley. Unfortunately, these activities have enjoyed wide spread support among Kashmiri Muslims. These elements were never made accountable for these genocide acts.
In the nearby Jammu, Hindu civilians are being massacred by Islamic terrorists, among them many foreign, "Islamic volunteers". In response, the government set up armed village defense committees comprising of Hindus and Muslims. In most Jammu Muslim areas, the Muslims not only declined to be part of these committees, they objected to Hindus being given arms to defend themselves, a clear cut desire of non-Muslim extermination in India. There is once again a pattern as in Kashmir of Jammu Muslims aiding and sheltering these terrorists. These are indeed grave realities.
Recently, a truck transporting apples from Kashmir to Delhi turned over. Out came, in addition to apples, grenades, ammunition and assault rifles! The bombings in Coimbatore and Bombay and the stock piling of ammunition are serious reminders that no part of India is safe.
Now comes the news that for the first time Muslim youths from UP are being trained in Pakistan for subversive activities. In the taped conversation during Kargil released by the Indian government, Gen. Musharraf talks of Pakistanís ability to "regulate" terrorism in India at will! Most dangerously, these are all indications of Indiaís doom.
Given that Muslims of Indian sub-continent have two Islamic nations almost exclusively for themselves, it is sad and unfair to note that non-Muslims are not safe in their own country! If this can happen to them in Kashmir it can happen every where. In the recent times, this type of extermination and ethnic cleansing occurred in Pakistan and Bangladesh as well. Where can Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists live other than in a secular India?
The Muslim population has at least doubled since independence to about 17%. In 1947, when Muslims asked for a partition they constituted 25% of the population, a statistics worth reminding. Added to this is an unabated infiltration from the neighboring Islamic Bangladesh.
Muslims in India are near bottom levels in most evaluation measures such as incomes and education levels, as is the case in many nations. Worse, there is a global pattern of "jihad" approach to dealing with the rest as in Yugoslavia, Russia, Timor, Philippines and Israel.
Indian intelligence agencies fear that next on the terrorist lists are strategic institutions and industries. Such attacks will lead to the flight of multinationals including those in the software industries.
The intend is clear, that is to destroy Indiaís economic viability, so that it can no longer defend itself. The grave implication is that without eradicating Islamic terrorism, economic growth, development and the very survival are in jeopardy. The successive Indian governments have continued to lose India piece by piece to this menace. Islamic terrorism if past is any indication, will crush India. That is why it must be eradicated by all means.
With the misplaced idea of respecting the "feelings" of a minority, the media in India is not discussing the issues related to Islamic terrorism fully. There are very few discussions on possible measures to comprehensively address this survival issue. Most frequent advice given in the Indian media to the government is to keep "vigil".
The list of institutions and installations that are kept under vigil is increasing ever so rapidly. This approach is recipe for an imminent and a rapid economic disaster! These ineffective measures and the unabated expansion of Islamic terrorism are the primary reasons for my contention that Indiaís future appears bleak.
Also, most importantly, without prior discussion of possible measures by the media, the majority populace may not be prepared to go along with them, even if the government is ready for an implementation.
Just to give an example of possible measures, the solving Kashmir problem may involve the following steps: declaration of emergency; massive campaign by the government about the threats faced from Islamic terrorism; followed by a quick and large-scale transfer of non-Muslim population to Kashmir; Shooting of those found involved in terrorist activities against this transferred civilian population.
At the same time, the illegal Muslim Bangladeshis should be forced across the border. Non-Muslim Bangladeshis need to be spared as they are threatened in that Islamic country.
Demographic genocide of non-Muslims in India must not be allowed to happen. In light of the division of India in 1947 and ethnic cleansing of Non-Muslims in Pakistan, Bangladesh and in Kashmir now, for a foreseeable future Muslims canít be allowed to have more than one child, to reduce their population to about 8% that existed in 1947.
This is a corrective and not a discriminatory step, taking into account their historical high growth rates. Even in Kerala, where the Muslims are not educationally and economically disadvantaged, they still have much larger families, despite the government urging small families across the over-populated country! Put together, these are indications that stern measures are needed. In none of these suggested measures, progressive and patriotic Muslims are in any way intentionally harmed.
However, an increasingly desperate India will have little means to distinguish between the good and bad. Just as an India that is attacked by Pakistan canít worry about the innocents in Pakistan at the expense of a defeat, patriotic Muslims in India will find themselves in the crossfire. Therefore, they have the responsibility to ensure that fundamentalist mullahs do not hijack (as in Kashmir) the Muslim masses.
Pakistan is yet to be made accountable for ethnic cleansing and exterminating in particular of Hindu and Sikh minorities since 1947. These acts establish Pakistan as a criminal that deserves a severe punishment.
It is no secret that aided by oil rich Arabs, Pakistan has made the "self-determination" of the Indian Muslims--meaning, take over of India piece by piece and extermination of minorities (as in Kashmir) as its most important national priority. Therefore, every effort should be made to permanently weaken it.
A strategic initiative has to involve demanding/occupying at least 1/3 of its real estate (no subjects) for driving out minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh in 1971 and now Kashmir. Why has India so far not raised this demand at talks with Pakistan when Pakistan wants India to hand over Kashmir? This is indeed mind-boggling!
These types of measures fit in nicely in the context of secularism and human rights. They ensure that non-Muslims have a land to survive--the most fundamental human right of all. Law abiding people regardless of religion are not targeted, while terrorists and their supporters are made accountable.
If the democratic setup is not suited to addressing Islamic terrorism, then emergency is the way to go. The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that survival issues get precedence. It is a useful reminder that many of the Asian Tigers reached prosperity through strong governments that were not democratic but ensured political stability.
Decisions are not easy when non-Muslim population is faced with a fight for survival. I must add that these are the types of problem solving approaches America would employ as well. Needless to say, America would have never allowed the problem to get out of hand, as India has.
Unfortunately, successive Indian administrations have not shown problem solving skills in tackling this situation. In fact, we now have an India that is bleeding profusely. Many believe that the NRI, who are shaped into competence by thriving successfully in a country such as the US are well-placed to save India.
The dawning of the information age has not only opened an economic lifeline for India, it has given raise to a medium (Internet) that has brought together Indians far and wide. These days, the NRI are more quickly informed of developments in India and else where, thanks to the Internet.
Apprehension about Islamic terrorism cuts across language, economic, regional, caste and religious lines. I contend that NRI can come up with a comprehensive strategy of eradicating Islamic terrorism and actively guide India into implementing it. As a first step, the NRI with their resources are in a position to place advertisements in Indian media to force the Indians to face the Islamic terrorism related issues and resolve them. The advertisements must discuss fully the options available. This should lead to a much-increased awareness, and the entire society can be mobilized to tackle this menace.
Do we, the NRI have a vision to save India from this imminent destruction? This ancient Indian civilization is likely to die without getting a chance to show what it can do in the 21st century. If India loses this fight, the slaughter of non-Muslims in India will be unprecedented.
The time is quickly running out for a country we once called home. Many of the articles posted here discuss various aspects of this menace and within the context of human rights and secularism, discuss how this threat can be addressed.