Indian Communists Pursue Separate Foreign Policy
The hallmark of a powerful nation is bipartisan foreign policies and especially in contiguous regions where its national security interests are most at stake. In the case of India under the Congress-led Government the opposite is more seen in operation. In Nepal where notwithstanding the Nepalese Maoists win in the Constituent Assembly elections, the Indian Government, its Foreign Office diplomats and its National Security officials should have been more noticeable one finds that the leading Communist Party, the CPI(M) has dispatched its senior leader Sita Ram Yechury to Kathmandu to assist the Nepalese Maoists in the formation of the Government at a time when Nepal's political parties are refusing to assist in Government formation.
When it comes to Nepal there should be no doubt in any one's mind irrespective of any political affiliation that India's national security interests stand greatly endangered if a Nepalese Maoist Government assumes office. This stands amplified in the earlier Column. It therefore becomes a policy imperative for India that India speaks with one voice on Nepal. The CPI(M) as the main coalition partner of the Congress Government cannot be seen as having a view different from that of the Indian Government.
It was reported in the media some weeks back that India's National Security Adviser had reportedly made a statement that India finds it difficult to trust the Nepalese Maoists and therefore by inference that a Nepalese Maoist Government in power would be problematic for India.
If that be the official perception of the Indian Government and very rightly too, as this was the line espoused in this Column for over a year, then the visit of the senior Indian Communist leader to Nepal at this juncture can be faulted for reasons more than one.
Nepalese politics today are in a state of flux following the Nepalese Maoists getting the majority of the seats so far. Having given the Nepalese Maoists 'space' in Nepalese politics at Congress Government's behest who were under pressure for the same from the Indian Communists parties, notably the CPI(M), the Nepalese political parties are now expressing reservations of sharing political power with the Maoists. The Nepalese Maoists are fully aware that they cannot provide effective governance in Nepal without the support of Nepal's mainstream political parties. If they care to defy this political logic then it is quite likely that the Nepalese people's denouement with the Maoists would not be long in coming.
The Indian Communist senior leader seems to have gone to Nepal for the precise purpose of political easing of the Nepalese Maoist Government into power. And herein lies the political rub for the Congress Government.
When a senior leader of the main coalition partner of the Congress Government visits a country at a politically critical juncture and that too to a country like Nepal where coming of Maoists to power endangers Indian national security the picture that is conveyed all over the world is that he is for all practical purpose the official emissary of the Indian Government.
Are we to take it then that the visit to Nepal of Shri Yechury has the tacit approval of the Congress Prime Minister and that the tacit approval extends also to create political conditions for moving into office of a Nepalese Maoist Government
If the above is discounted then the next picture that strikes the mind is that India's leading Communist Party, the CPI(M) despite being the leading coalition partner of the Congress Government is following an independent foreign policy agenda which is prejudicial to India's national security
It is unimaginable that an Indian political party and that too a member of the ruling coalition should be following the foreign policy agenda which could only serve the national security interests of those adversarial to India.
In the last four years India's foreign policy has been allowed to be held hostage by the Indian Communists because of the political compulsions of the Congress Government to stay in power. It neither behoves the Congress Party nor India as a nation state aspiring to be a major power.
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Dr. Subhash Kapila
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