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India’s Role


The tables seem to have turned. While terrorists in India are being eliminated with clinical efficiency, the sponsor of terrorism, Pakistan, is facing a wave of attacks by its own Bhasmasurs. It is natural for India to feel vindicated as it has always pointed out the folly in Pakistan’s self-destructive ‘security policy’. Only those who run the Pakistan Army and the ISI have benefited while the nation has slipped into economic decline and perennial ethnic disputes.

Yet, Indians should not celebrate as though it is some kind of victory in the sports field. History is witness that rulers who ignored the threats from the North-West and focused, instead, on personal rivalries, overlooked the larger civilisational threat. The invaders did not respect the Indian values of restricting the power struggle to the field of battle, but assaulted the entire populace. They were driven by totalitarian beliefs Indians had no understanding of and could not counter for a long while.

This is being repeated today. Extending to the West are Afghanistan and Iran, countries that are unashamedly and determinedly challenging the modern day value system through radical fundamentalism. While Pakistan used this for what it thought was its purposes, it still belongs in essence to the sub-continental culture. However, the threat is leaking in from its western borders and making its internal situation worse. Owing to the foolishness and maladministration by the ruling elite, the nation may succumb to the fundamentalists. And India will be faced by a consolidated fanatical force that runs as deep as Iran and beyond.

It makes sense, therefore, to help Pakistan in every way possible to become a viable democratic and moderate nation, even if it retains a theocratic ideology. Some believe that Balkanisation of that country would be beneficial to India, but that is again unlikely. It should serve, instead, as a buffer that ultimately would be drawn into a common ethos that can be extended beyond in the future. One needs only to think of the plight of the minorities and the women in Iran and Afghanistan, who need powerful forces to rescue them. That should be India’s role. It is a civilisational battle that has to be won for everyone’s benefit.