Sunday, June 07, 2015

Khalistanis & Nagas Flaring Up Together

The govt in J&K has bowed to the demands of Sikh protesters who want to celebrate Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale as their Sant:

And on the heels of the massacre of army jawans in Manipur, now suddenly another attack in Arunachal Pradesh:

As per my previous post mentioning Jagganathan's article, it's not hard to imagine that various insurgencies (Khalistan, NorthEast, etc) could be reviving again as part of Pak-China collusion, now that the Chinese patron is seeing India as an increasing threat due to the 'Look East' policy.

Hopefully the govt will avoid any major blunders, and will even rope in allied powers to put a check on overseas sponsorship. Unlike the 1980s when the Cold War was peaking, at least this time the interests of US, UK, Canada should tilt differently.

During the 1980s, when Cold War proxy Pak faced a 2-front threat (Soviet Army on Afghan border, Indian Army on Indian border) they naturally chose to tie down the Indian side by fomenting multiple insurgencies in India (Khalistan, Kashmir, NorthEast, Naxalites, etc). Likewise, now that China is facing a more assertive India on one side and a growing South China Sea conflict on the other side, Beijing may similarly see benefit in tying down the Indian side by the same insurgency-support strategy that worked so effectively for Pak in the past.

Finally, if China does take a serious turn towards fomenting insurgency in India - even indirectly via Pak - then we should be willing to return the favour right back to them, because we'd have nothing to lose. The Chinese have yet to learn the lessons of Westphalianism.


non-carborundum said...

It is hard to accept that Sikhs can any longer be considered an ally of Hindus. The anti-Hindu rhetoric and actions are all too pervasive to hold on to any such notion. Further, years of propaganda has finally succeeded in turning Sikhism into a monotheistic religion much like Islam and Christianity. This is a sad truth that Hindus must nonetheless accept and move on.

san said...

I think that high participation rate of Sikhs in national security institutions would prove you wrong. But parochialism will take some time to die out, and industrialization will be a key catalyst for that. Remember that the Samurai of pre-industrial Japan also wore their hair in knots and lived by their own independent martial code. When Japan modernized under the Meiji Reformation and came under a more centralized govt, there was much fighting as the Samurai warlords rebelled against what they saw as an attempt to subjugate them. But eventually they adapted and some even went on to found key industrial houses, becoming captains of industry. BJP should be wary of repeating Congress blunders, and should focus more on industrialization and economic reform. When you are caught in a current, you should swim at a right-angle to it, instead of wasting your energy fighting with it.

Pagan said...

@San, Industrialization and economic reform by themselves won't make our lives better. Two decades of liberalization has left India more polluted and filthy than ever. Discouraging cars will be considered anti-reform and anti-industrialization but if there is one country in the world that cannot afford to choke on cars, it is India.

Here is a Punjabi farmer's comment on his experience in Africa:

One thing which this article couldn't explain is that we have lived some of the best years in Africa... One can't live so close to nature as we lived. No pollution, No hurry burry life, Eco green life, all what we ate pure organic...It was just like Living a life as our grandfathers used to live. Africa...we didn't forget you. Its just a matter of time.

If we can make clean air and water a criterion for our economic reform, a lot of NRI's would also say "it's just a matter of time".

Sujeev said...

Gotta agree with Non-Carborundum.I work with Sikhs in the trucking industry in Ontario, and their attitude towards Hindus is similar to that of muslims.

They absolutely refuse to acknowldge any connection to Hinduism.

Their loathing for Hindus is palpable, and I have to deal with it every day.

If this is the case in Ontario, I can only imagine how it is in British Columbia, where the Sikhs are much stronger.

san said...

Africa doesn't have India's population density, nor do they have Pakistan and China both breathing down their necks with territorial claims. Even Africa is going to have to industrialize, as India will have to, just as the developed countries did before us. Farming is the least value-added work, and manufacturing is far more productive per unit of land. Any factory generates far more jobs than a farm does. Otherwise, who's going to be able to afford to buy what farms produce?

Pagan said...

An economic policy based on self-respect will not overlook the costs of development -- schoolchildren with irreversible lung damage and lifelong health issues. Unless we are excited by the opportunity it presents to pharma companies and to healthcare providers.

san said...

You associate industrialization with smog. And starving unemployed people are healthier than employed people with lung irritation, according to you. I feel that industrialization can be done in a rational way - Japan and Korea are highly industrialized, while having the longest lifespans in the world. Why don't you compare Indian lifespans with Japanese ones, and then tell me who's more better off. I also don't see industrialization as a dead-end, but rather as a stepping stone to even higher development. There's nothing pastoral or idyllic about keeping people trapped on farms. We'd better learn to follow the same steps of development as everybody else has before us, instead of dreaming up clever-by-half fantasies. There are no special cushy shortcuts.

san said...

Sujeev, don't confuse exile politics with that of mainstream Punjabis. That being said, it's more prudent of Modi to focus on pragmatic governance with policies that highlight and emphasize economics, security, etc rather than sects.