terror in delhi 10/29
Thursday, January 19, 2006
  War on Terror: The Obsessive No. 3
And the numbers game continue. The Associated Press quotes a Pakistani security official:
A Pakistani security official on Thursday said at least three top al-Qaida operatives were believed killed in a U.S. missile strike last week, including an explosives expert on the U.S. most-wanted list and a close relative of the terror network's No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahri.
Related posts: Did Media Fall for False Claims About #3, Do Terrorists Come in Multiples of Three??
 
Comments:
"On Why the Rss Should Have a Foreign Policy"
Organizer
Radha Rajan

Not long ago Shri LK Advani as is his wont, floated the idea that ideology had very little role in governance. Mercifully, there were no takers for the idea within the BJP even if the BJP's 'secular' allies and adversaries held their ears in disbelief. If governance is what governments do then surely there is more to governance than roti, kapada and makan or bijli, sadak and paani, important and fundamental as they are to governance. But Shri Advani's opinion on the irrelevance of ideology in governance is a pointer to the manner in which the NDA government dealt with several critical issues – Ramjanmabhumi, Kargil, Kandahar, jihadi attack on the Indian parliament and the domestic and international fallout over the Gujarat riots of 2002 among others. These were domestic issues with international overtones. The NDA government fared no better on the foreign policy front.

Shri Advani's opinion also pointed towards another growing trend – of the contagion of the process of de-nationalizing the Hindu elite – Hindu businessmen, academics and professionals now affecting Hindu political leaders too. The danger was that it had begun to affect important leaders in the so-called 'Hindu nationalist party'. 'De-nationalizing' Hindu politicians is not a recent phenomenon and the process traveled in two opposite directions – linguistic, minority-religious and casteist sub-nationalism as reflected in the growth of regional political parties and trans-nationalism/internationalism/globalism, call it what you will, in national parties, both of them cloaked in the garb of secularism. And that is why before the malaise of 'secularism' began to take a toll of the BJP's health, the BJP's Hindu nationalism of yore frightened the Nehruvian secularists silly and that is why now Shri Advani's turnaround in de-valuing ideology in governance is equally frightening for Hindu nationalists.

'De-nationalizing' in the Indian context meant de-Hinduising the political consciousness of the Hindu populace in general and Hindu politicians in particular, in a manner such that the people and the politicians alike did not think of this nation as a nation of Hindus or that the territory of the country was critical for the survival of the Hindu religion and culture on its own soil and that therefore this territory and the territories of countries surrounding it should always remain under the influence and control of Hindus. Fears about being labeled 'Hindu nationalists' and fears about being abused for 'militarist and territorial nationalism' restrained the BJP from formulating and fine-tuning their core belief.

A well-defined foreign policy is crucial in governance if Hindus have the vision and are determined to maintain their sphere of control and influence in the region. India's foreign policy in that case, must necessarily have two components – ideology and pragmatism. While ideology defines the character and intent of the objectives of foreign policy, pragmatism is a tactical instrument to attain the objectives. For Hindu nationalists ideology in foreign policy can only derive from the Hindu worldview which will view statecraft driven by Islam, Christianity, capitalism and Marxism as being inherently predatory by nature and therefore a serious threat to the Hindu way of life. But this is placing the cart before the horse. Hindus need state power to implement a foreign policy consistent with Hindu worldview and Hindu interests.

I personally find the idea behind performing the Asvamedha Yagnya absolutely breathtaking. The Asvamedha Yagnya can teach our think tank foreign policy experts, PMO aspirants and wannabe Track II players a thing or two about defining national interests and how to go about securing them. The Asvamedha Yagnya was performed by a powerful king, only upon instructions from his Rajaguru or dharmic preceptor to establish dharma or rule of righteousness as far away and as widely around his kingdom as his capability to enforce it. It was also intended to send a strong signal to the kings of other big and small kingdoms that he intended to keep the entire region traversed by the horse firmly under his influence and control. A king who exercised such far reaching control and influence on the strength of his moral authority and military might was acknowledged as 'Chakravarti'. In modern parlance such a state would be considered a regional or global power.

The King performing the Asvamedha Yagnya had to wait until such time as the Rajaguru was convinced that the King had achieved the stature accruing from high moral authority and demonstrable military strength. In short a King could not undertake this high Yagnya without one or the other. Moral authority alone without the matching military might to enforce dharma could not achieve the objectives of the Asvamedha. Similarly military might without the matching high moral authority would only have reduced the king to an 'asuravijayi' or a maniac super power. The Asvamedha Yagnya was therefore a 'yagnya' and not a lustful march for conquest of territories or plundered wealth.

Sri Rama and Yudhishtra undertook the Asvamedha Yagnya to establish dharma, demonstrate their military might and to reinforce their authority both within the kingdom and in the region. The Asvamedha Yagnya also has this lesson for the de-Hinduised Indian polity – that the King must not only demonstrate his military might but must also signal his readiness to use force to attain the objectives of the Yagnya. In the Jaina tradition, King Bharata of Ayodhya belonged to the Ikshvaku dynasty and was the son of Rishabdev the first Tirthankara. When he performed the Asvamedha Yagnya, one of the kings who incurred Bharata's displeasure was the king of a neighboring kingdom who had to face Bharata in war for taxing his subjects unfairly.

Against this civilizational understanding of what constitutes the basis for international relations and what it means to be a regional power, ideology in contemporary foreign policy must mirror nothing but national interest and national interest derives from national identity. In today's context India must attempt to perform the Asvamedha Yagnya through its foreign policy with the singular objective that India is a Hindu nation and will seek to control its immediate neighborhood and influence the Asian continent to defend Hindu territory and protect Hindu interests. Serious threats to Hindus and their territory is posed by jihadi Islam, evangelizing Christianity, Marxism/Maoism/Naxalism, Chinese and American expansionist intentions and failed, failing and unstable states. All countries in the immediate vicinity of the Indian nation have been overrun by one or more of these threats.

The Arthashastra of Kautilya states that neighboring countries pose the biggest threat to national security and must therefore be considered to be potential enemies always. Chanakya also counseled subjugating them and keeping them under our control. Today there is no such thing as the near or distant enemy. The distant enemy is present in the immediate vicinity of our nation and Hindu nationalists must wake up to the menacing and encircling presence of China and the US in the region which we must seek to control.

If the BJP maintains its umbilical relations with the RSS then the time has come for the RSS to devise a foreign policy which will achieve for us the twin objectives of keeping not only our own territory under the control of the Hindus of this country but also the region in our vicinity. This has become an urgent need given the major foreign policy failures and blunders of the BJP led NDA government. The BJP failed –

To end the Kargil invasion on its own strength. The NDA government (read BJP) ceded to the US all initiative to deal with Pakistan. The NDA failed to signal its readiness to use force

To calculate the damage to national self-esteem when it invited General Musharraf to Agra immediately after the Kargil war.
To deal with the Taliban and later failed to capitalize upon and expand India's considerable influence over important segments of the non-Taliban Afghan polity. It also did not overrule much less resist American intent to keep India out of post-Taliban Afghan affairs

To engage proactively and even-handedly with both the Sinhala speaking and Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka thus once again ceding the initiative for peace to the US, Norway, Japan and the LTTE
To perceive the LTTE as a major threat not just to Sri Lanka but to India, the entire South and South-East Asian region and so never undertook any proactive measure, overt or covert, to eliminate the LTTE's military and Naval capability. It did not even entertain the idea of exerting itself to exterminate the LTTE
To first prevent and then to weed out ISI presence in Nepal and Bangladesh

To treat the Maoists of Nepal as unmitigated evil and thus failed to deal ruthlessly with the Maoists as it failed to deal with the LTTE

To articulate even now that arguments for democracy in Nepal are intended only to weaken the King's resolve to fight the Maoist scourge and that raking up the democracy issue now will only provide the Maoists with the time and space to regroup and revitalize themselves. The BJP has so far failed to understand and articulate that for Hindu nationalists the issue in Nepal is not Monarchy versus Democracy but only the evil of Maoism.

Consequently the NDA has failed to pressure the UPA government to strengthen the King thus ceding the initiative to China and giving China the much needed toe hold in Nepali affairs and in the region where India's will ought to have prevailed

To signal its readiness to use exemplary force against Pakistan and Bangladesh if both countries did not cease to destabilize our border-states and districts and if they did not cease to extend patronage and state support to entities committing acts of terror against the Indian state and her people. The NDA government moved the army to the borders after the Pakistani terror attack against the Indian parliament and kept them there for close to a year but once again failed pathetically to summon the will to use force against Pakistan and yet again ceded the initiative to the Americans.

The NDA government had neither the world view nor the political will to use force to perform a contemporary Asvamedha Yagnya. The UPA government too does not have them because unlike the BJP, it does not even pretend to want to undertake the Yagnya. The RSS must therefore apply itself to devising a foreign policy consistent with our world view and our interests.

The BJP for its turn must cultivate a Hindu understanding of use of force not only to establish righteousness but also to subjugate the enemy. The post-Godhra Gujarat riots was an exemplary lesson of society's initiative and response to jihadi Islam, a lesson that some of the BJP's leaders failed to learn or understand. The Americans however understood only too well and denying Narendra Modi visa to travel to the US was intended to humiliate Hindu nationalists who presumed to teach the world how to deal with Islamic terrorism.

The Americans realized that if they let the message of the Gujarat riots prevail unchallenged then they would be triggering the beginning of the end to their presence in Asia and the Middle-East. And that is why the US wants to retain all rights to deal with Islam or communism with itself. The rest of the world, India in particular, if they refuse to transform themselves into American client states, have the right only to attempt peace with their enemies.

The Chinese have realized that American presence in the regions close to their borders poses the biggest threat to their authority and are not only forging strategic alliances with Russia to ward off the threat but as in Nepal, they are seeking to increase their sphere of influence. American think tanks and foreign policy experts do not shy away from stating bluntly that American foreign policy is only about furthering and promoting not just American self-interest but also American values. Samuel Huntington must be thanked for stating the obvious openly. "The American Creed as initially formulated by Thomas Jefferson is the crucial defining element of American identity. The Creed however was the product of the distinct Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding settlers of America in the 17 th and 18th centuries. If American identity is defined by a set of universal principles of liberty and democracy then presumably the promotion of these principles in other countries should be the primary goal of American foreign policy". The US is seeking to conquer the world for the sake of the American Creed. This is the core of all American foreign policy. It is a predatory lust for power that is devoid of moral authority and powered only by military might. The American state's ruthless ambition to subjugate the rest of the world makes it the classic 'asuravijayi'

China however is determined not to let the US overrun the region. India on the other hand is aspiring to become a Made-by-the-US super power. Sections of the de-nationalized Hindu elite within the Congress and the BJP would like the US to make us King so that we can become its servant. Resisting or challenging US expansionism is not on their agenda and so we find ourselves in a situation where we have a failed state to the West, a failing state on the East, an unstable state on our forehead and one at our feet, the growing menace of international Jihadi and maoist terrorism and the menacing presence of America and China all around us. We have acquired neither the moral authority nor the military strength or the political will to perform the Asvamedha Yagnya. This must top the RSS agenda now.
 
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