To Pakistan, China and Sri Lanka must have new perspectives!

There is a widespread feeling in India about how things are going in politics and economics.
Even in economics, things are not going in the right course.

The government under Dr.Singh, in the phase UPA-II, is somewhat confused as far as its approach to many key issues.

In reviving and revitalising the economy, India is neither clear as to the magnitude of the American economic crisis.2.As for reviving and revitalising the agriculture sector, the government is totally confused nor the state of the agriculture sector and the food economy give rise to many anxieties.

A latest Reuters report notes that Indian agriculture suffers for lack of any significant investment. Agriculture’s share has shrunk to 17.5 per cent of the GDP and India’s staple foods, rice, wheat, sugar, tea and coarse grains output is declining and India might soon become a major food importer!

Indian agriculture universities, 50 of them, about 21,000 agri graduates and yet most of them, why almost all of them seek for jobs in government or banks!

Apart from what has happened this year, the drought and now the worst monsoons we have a Prime Minister and we see that the PMO is not at all giving any leadership to the economy, in particular to the agri sector, to rural India, to the poor.

The elections, both the Lok Sabha and the Assemblies saw a record number of moneyed men, mostly new type businessmen, who made the money in many government contracts, in AP and Maharashtra in particular and the rise of the Reddy Bros, now Madhu Koda are not exceptional cases. No, not at all. There is a clear trend. Now the media is very corrupt, as we have seen in AP and Maharashtra, two of the largest states.

The Congress might have won elections here but the underlying political message has some deeper implications for the quality of the polity and the clarity of the underlying political ideology.

Does the PM care? Doesnt he know on what sort of polity he is presiding over?
Has he any personal stake? Nor, the Congress President?

Now coming directly to the polity, I am afraid it is my duty to call everyone to the sort of future we are heading to.

Our neighbourhood is getting worse. Pakistan and China are going to give us more trouble, as the situation in those countries deteriorate further. Of course, India can solve other countries problems but then they too don’t leave India alone. Pakistan has become a more and more dangerous place and India needs, in my opinion, a thorough new approach. To keep repeating and letting the media, both the print and the visual fed by our own paranoia and obsession with pursuing the Mumbai terrorists is just not enough.

We have to help Pakistan, in whatever manner, we are capable of, and yet we must  move forward and help to restore democracy in Pakistan. As of today, President Zardari seems to be the best bet for India. The man doesn’t seem to have any kink in his mindset. So too, somewhat the Prime Minister.

We have to defuse the tensions there.

So too China. China is also too paranoid about Tibetan leader Dalai Lama. Surely, the Prime Minister must get Barack Obama to get engaged with the Tibetan issue. We have to move into the American public opinion and make the Dala Lama issue a truly international one, not just an Indian one.

The third most important issue in my opinion is the Sri Lankan issue. President Rajapaksha is now in some crisis situation as the former army chief is likely to contest the coming Presidential elections. More ominously, on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils.

If the Opposition parties, more of the pro-Ltte and other Tamil national parties join the controversial elections, the Sri Lanka government fears a Kosovo-type fate may await the Sri Lankan future and the country’s unity.

Kosova, we may remind our readers, faces the threat of a breakdown. The latest The Economist magazine (see The Economist, October 24th, 2009, page 57) carries a brief and yet a precise detailed account. Bosnia might face an internal crisis on the issue of autonomy for its different racial groups. Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Montenegro, and Croatia fell apart from a former Yugoslavia. Now Bosnia was divided into two parts. A Serb entity and a federation of Croats and Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) The two entities cannot agree, Bosniaks in Sarajevo want a more centralised state. Serbs in one part, Banja Luka want more autonomy and even full independence.

A very similar situation might pose itself in Sri Lanka, fear its friends.

Before Kosovo also got autonomy and then declared unilateral independence. Who will guarantee Sri Lanka’s unity and integrity. The Sri Lanka former army general, Sarath Fonseka, had declared in his letter to Rajapaksha that on October 15 the Sri Lankan government even asked Indian government to keep its troops on alert on any possible coup. Coup from whom? From the army! There is the new  danger to politicise the army by fielding the General to contest against a civilian President. Certainly India must forewarn the Sri Lanka Opposition parties and also forewarn the Indian parties in Tamil Nadu for playing any such mischief in the neighbouring country.

Leadership in a democracy, in particular for the leaders in Indian democracy, a big country and a big democracy with highly sensitive and even vulnerable small neighbours, we have to be a bit pro-active and the public opinion and even civil society  groups must alter the government in New Delhi to take such pro-active roles. Leadership roles of some vision and depth of commitment for the stability of the  region in the prevailing international scenario.

The question is: is India in such a pro-active mode? If not, we must take such a mode. It is a historic commitment for India. Anyone, there are too many players in Sri Lanka and also inside Tamil Nadu to play up the feelings of intense chauvinism and help or push things for Tamils or some sections to declare unilateral independence for the Tamils!

So, who can give guarantee to the Sri Lankan dilemma?

Certainly, India must stand by for  Sri Lankan unity and integrity and Sri Lanka won’t believe even China. India has such credibility also in the eyes of the world.So, India must move carefully in all directions, more so towards our neighbour.

I had shared my thoughts and fears and the lack of any serious perception and enunciation of policy from New Delhi.

Pranab Mukerjee’s visit to Colombo and his highly diplomatic  speech gives that much and not that far!

Photo Courtesy :

We welcome your comments.

Post Navigation