Random Thoughts

The Looming Dark Clouds All Over The Horizon of India

Since ancient times the major threats and hordes of invaders have come from the northwest. The recent minor reduction of tensions alters nothing. Already fanatic opposition groups after a meeting in Islamabad have issued a statement, warning Musharraf to mend his ways and abandon USA, to continue supporting insurgents and terrorists in Kashmir. Punjab has barely recovered from its separatist disorders.

Scenario One –The persistent opposition leads to riots, coup overthrowing or assassinating Musharraf and there is a real likelihood of Pakistan's nuclear assets falling into the hands of hard-line Islamic fundamentalists. This raises the specter of nuking India and or attempting to detonate a nuclear weapon to damage American people and assets abroad or domestically or even Israel. Retaliation by India alone or jointly by India, Israel or USA, would still lead to fallout and spread by wind patterns to northwest India with severe and serious human and economic damage.

Scenario Two – Musharraf gains the upper hand over the fundamentalists, but gets nothing of what he wants, which is likely, as India cannot give up any new territory to Pakistan. Recurrence of the fear of nuclear war makes USA now unilaterally pressure India into an untenable position, where if it concedes, there will be a major domestic backlash against the Moslems in India.

Scenario Three – Delays, negotiation and promises continue and India improves its economic and military strength, which as before Pakistan tries unsuccessfully to match, thus severely hurting its economy by excessive defense spending. Down the road its population keeps growing as it is at an economically unsustainable rate, thus increasing poverty, illiteracy, fanaticism and militancy with a resultant much worse nuclear confrontation in a decade or less.

Scenario Four---Some mixture of the above three with the added clincher that with the help of China and USA and a major natural gas pipeline and connections with Central Asian countries, Pakistan's economy improves as its population grows, so do its militancy and intransigence. Thus from India's point, all scenarios are no win.

Now look at the eastern horizon and its stormy clouds. Bangladesh is likely to lose arable and habitable land by global warming and has an uncontrolled and excessive birthrate which has led to illegal immigration by border crossing by over fifteen million people due to the connivance of communist or corrupt politicians who use them as captive vote banks in return for not deporting them. This has led to insurgencies in Assam. Terrorism by Bodos against a relentless flood of migrant Bihari workers continues. The Northeastern states with predominantly converted Christian populations and mixed ethnicities have ongoing unresolved insurgencies and are East Timors waiting to happen. Bengal, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Andhra and neighboring Nepal have Maoists, Naxalites and Peoples' War Group carrying out acts of terrorism and leftist propaganda in addition to the internecine caste warfare in Bihar, Jharkhand and ethnic war by Assamese liberation front groups. Militant, uneducated and criminal Muslim minorities are found in pockets all over the country and periodic religious riots occur in Gujarat, Maharashtra and in the past in Andhra.

On the Southern front significant group of Tamils are supporting the civil war in Sri Lanka, which has been going on for decades and has devastated the country. All the above have to be considered in the lethal light of America's newest Bush doctrine, propounded this time not by a secretary of state but defense, that a preemptive strike on an inimical state, developing or close to developing weapons of mass destruction, is justifiable and proper. This is something that Israel believed, acted upon and may have advised India to do years ago.

There is then little reason to breathe a sigh of relief or to be complacent because a glimmer of light is visible through a faint crack in the roof of the tunnel, when an endless passage of Stygian darkness with unknown demons or multi-headed monsters and animals awaiting us, is still to be traversed. Our guide through this morass has a lot of critical organs functioning marginally and intermittently at best, as revealed by TIME magazine and turned a blind eye to, by the Indian press and populace. Will Galbraith's functioning anarchy, with its irrational religion, ignorant masses and corrupt leaders survive this life or indifferent to its fate, put its faith in the fables of a Phoenix or reincarnation!   


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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