C Kiran -
The British colonialism had apparently came to end in the south Asian region by 1947 ,whereas the virtual colonialism are still existing and are trying to implement and to exercise tactics with different dimensions to keep the region underdeveloped. This is not a hidden fact that since its inception, India is struggling to establish its hegemony in South Asia. To achieve this objective India uses political, economic and strategic influence and pressures over its smaller neighbours to keep them in compliance with its policies. In this regard, India has used money through its intelligence agency, RAW to help like-minded candidates in its smaller neighbours to win in their national elections. Apart from this, India also uses RAW to indirectly threaten the rule of some of the political leaders of smaller countries, who try to reject its dictates. India also signs agreements for defence and strategic partnerships with some neighbours to keep them under its influence and to keep other countries under pressure. Indian organs like RAW, Defense ministry, Home Ministry and persons like Ajit Doval are living the history and further dragging the innocent and secular people towards history. This phenomena is not only limited to Indian people, Indian establishment machineries are enforcing the same to their neighbour hood in their Neighbourhood Fist Policy. India even does water politics, with lower riparian countries, what to talk of its traditional strategy of using trade embargoes and sponsoring separatist movements in other countries along with assisting those through military interventions. Likewise, India sponsors terrorism in its neighbouring countries to disturb their peace and economic progress. Some recent examples of India’s interference in the internal affairs of its smaller neighbours are stated in the ensuing paragraphs.
As published in Nikkei, Asian Review dated 28 October 2018, the Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena recently sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a move seen partly as a reaction to India’s behind-the-scenes politics. As stated in the Asian Review, Wickremesinghe used a trip to India in October 2018 to humiliate Sirisena, presenting the president as the stumbling block hindering a joint plan with India to develop a container terminal at the port of Colombo, when the Chinese are working there on many projects. In this context, Wickremesinghe’s office had released a statement saying Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed “regret” over the delayed plan to give India a say over the development of the Eastern Container Terminal at the port. This indicates that during the visit of the former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, Indian Prime Minister tried to interfere in the internal policies of Sri Lanka. India has also signed a defence and strategic partnership with Afghanistan to increase its military and intelligence footprint there to keep Pakistan under pressure. Also, while India is acting as an impediment in the improvement of Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan, by using Afghan soil, India is also sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan to destabilize its Balochistan province and disturb the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, being built in Balochistan. India’s sponsorship of terrorism in Balochistan is evident from the statements of the US former Defence Secretary, Mr Hegel and former US Commander in Afghanistan, Gen. MC. Crystal, that by using Afghan soil, India was creating problems for Pakistan in Balochistan and the confession of an Indian spy Kalboshan Jadav, in Pakistan’s custody, that he was assigned to destabilize Balochistan.
Because of the assistance provided from India to Awami League in 1971, through its military intervention in Pakistan, Bangladesh Governments, especially the Awami League Government remain under India’s influence. By using such influence and pressure, while India is impacting Bangladesh politics in a major way, it is also acting as an impediment in the improvement of Pakistan-Bangladesh relations. Being landlocked countries, Nepal and Bhutan have always remained under India’s pressures. While Bhutan cannot make its independent foreign and defence policies, Nepal has experienced India’s trade embargoes, whenever it tried to ignore India’s dictates. The latest trade blockade was experienced by Nepal in September 2015, when the main trade route between Nepal and India was blocked by protesters from the Madhesi communities for two months. As reported by the Wall Street Journal dated 26 November 2015, the Nepal’s Government had termed the standoff an “unofficial blockade” by India because it blames its neighbour for supporting the Madhesi people.
Like Nepal and Bhutan, Maldives is also not free of India’s interference and interventions, as was evident from the Times of India dated 23 February 2018 reporting that the Maldives had warned India against taking “any actions”, that could hinder resolving the political crisis that was ongoing on in the country in February 2018 as New Delhi had expressed its deep dismay over the extension of emergency in the island nation. In view of the above discussion, it is quite evident that India wants to control domestic and foreign policies of its smaller South Asian neighbours by using its soft and hard powers, although no country in the region is ready to make its policies hostage to India’s overbearing strategy of dominance. That is the reason that since last some years all South Asian countries are endeavouring to develop closer relations with China as a counterweight. This carries a lesson for India to rationalize its policies with its smaller neighbours. It means US in forthcoming regional geostrategic dynamics of the Asian and South Asian region will operate through power hungry India therefore Modi has been granted with open license from US administration to violate the Human rights, compromise religious tolerance and to undermine neighbours infrastructure polices and developmental objectives.