Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Courting India for the War on Terror

India could probably do a lot more in the War on Terror, even if much of it is still in its own country. But it appears the West has much to do to win the confidence of Indians. With Indians, it's like "Muslim terrorism. . . Uh huh. . . so what's new?" Rajeev Srinivasan writes:
Muslim violence and terrorism in India have never bothered the British. The Maraad massacre and the Godhra incineration and the ethnic cleansing in Jammu and Kashmir were either ignored or rationalised by them. The recent incident in Jammu, when five Hindus were beheaded and a Hindu woman was hacked to death with an axe, did not excite their alleged sense of 'fair play'. Then should Indians weep for them when they are victimised? Poetic justice, as Indira Gandhi found out: He who rides the fundamentalist tiger is skating on thin ice, to mix metaphors wildly. (Srinivasan)
Not only is there an element of "We told you so," but there is a kind of angry incredulity--"You sucked up to the Pakis, right? Well, good for you, maybe you could use a few more bomgings." Let's face it, Hindus are still upset with the treatment they have received from the West up till, like recently.

Although I'm sure there is heightened cooperation between Western and Indian intelligence agencies since 9/11, India is a democracy, and we can expect that the political decisions India makes will to some extent resemble popular sentiment.

It looks like the West has more to do to bring India on board with them, and it looks like that will mean making up to India somehow. From India's side, that will likely mean gradually taking a stand against Pakistani designs and incursions on Kashmir and the rest of Indian sovereign territory. Until then, expect tepid Indian support for the West in the War on Terror.

Works Cited

Srinivasan, Rajeev. "Terrorism comes to Londonistan." 9 Aug 2005. Rediff.com. 16 Aug 2005. <http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/aug/10rajeev.htm>

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