By Biswanath Saha:
The article on The Hindu on April, 21st, 2014 entitled as “Is India about to elect its Reagan?” by David Cohen, a retired official from the Obama administration, surprised me a lot. Mr Cohen compared Mr Modi with the former President of U.S.A, Mr Ronald Reagan, more specifically ‘Modinomics’ with ‘Reaganomics’ or ‘Reaganism’. Reaganism was a kind of ‘new right’ model blended with certain characteristics of capitalism and some features of socialism, it was in force during his reign in USA. Its UK version ‘Thatcherism’ was named after the late PM of UK, Ms Margaret Thatcher.
The point here is to understand what led America or Mr. Cohen to praise Modi? Initially, USA was against Modi, as his name was associated with 2002. Earlier, it denied visa to Modi for the same reason. But, after the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), appointed by Supreme Court of India and by and large after the media hype about the clear majority of NDA led by Modi in the ongoing 2014 LokSabha poll, America started to normalise its stand against Modi. The following may be the probable reasons for why he suddenly became the hero for USA.
It is a well-known fact that the Congress led UPA favours Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the BJP led NDA favours domestic investors. But Modi is a kind of stature who bats for both, as we have recently seen him urging for foreign investments in Gujarat, while he was on his foreign tour. It implies that Modi’s capitalism is different from that of the NDA’s. Mr Cohen praised ‘Modinomics’ as an Indian version of ‘Reaganomics’ or ‘Reaganism’, i.e. based on free market principle.
America wants to normalise its relation with Modi in the hope that he will favour the FDI of USA to further liberalise India’s economy, as the economy of USA is in a dwindling condition with high per-capita debt, marred by the ‘Eurozone Crisis’ and ‘Global Recession’ which hit USA and the world during the later half of the last decade. Earlier, Indo-US relation was jeopardised during the tenure of UPA II, by the nuclear deal in 2008. So, USA imagined that the ‘VikashPurush’ (Developmental man) will help address the grievances.
BJP’s 2014 election ‘Manifesto’ talkedÂ about the abrogation of the Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which provides Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) a special status. Due to this article, the encroachment of an individual other than those with a domicile of J&K, has been limited. Both India and Pakistan are fighting to solve the dispute over the sovereignty over J&K since the partition of India in 1947. Now, the people of Pakistan are looking for Vajpayee like government in New Delhi, which was quite friendly with Islamabad. But, Mr Modi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – his parent ideology, have been labelled as anti-Muslim and anti-Pak, and its evidence can be cited from the recent speeches of Modi and other leaders of BJP and members of the RSS. Likewise, Mr Cohen said that Modi is as bold against Pakistan as Ronald Reagan was against the Soviet Union. The same hatred of USA against former USSR can be found within Modi against Pakistan, which Washington want to use for their personal benefit. Clearly, the intent of the USA is not to solve the dispute between Indo-Pak over J&K, but to further instigate the problem more severely. So, Washington does not want to ease the bitterness against Modi.
Again, the abrogation of Article 370 will invite more militancy in the valley of Kashmir, sponsored by cross-border terrorism, and funded by the Islamabad based Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI). The ongoing dispute between both the countries has given USA the chance to sell its arms and ammunition in a large quantity, as we know that India is the largest importer of US arms and arsenals in the present day world. So, why will USA want peace between Indo-Pak? USA wants to use the anti-Pak sentiments of Modi and RSS as a tool to indulge them into severe conflicts so that the supply of their arms and ammunition to these countries do not stop. Export of heavy weapons is the main business of the USA.
Universal Civil Code:
One of the agendas of BJP’s 2014 election ‘Manifesto’ is to bring the Universal Civil Code. It implies that there will be no separate law for any religious sects. The legislations of separate laws for Hindus, Muslims and other faiths will be on their departure and a Universal law (common for all) will come into force. This provision is directed towards taking the minority identity away.Â USA’s anti-Islamic attitude leads it to bat for Modi, whose ideology in this context is in direct coincidence with that of USA.
India-Sri Lanka and Jayalalitha:
It is an obvious fact that it is an impossible task for any single party to have clear majority to form the government at the centre. So, as it is believed that NDA (with all its allies) will capture power at New Delhi, one of the major former allay of NDA, Ms Jayalalitha’s AIDMK, will play a significant role in the formation of foreign policy for the next government, though she is distancing herself from NDA due to her personal political gain. Nothing is absolute in politics, rather everything is relative and that relativity is defined by the interest of an individual party or a person. Jayalalitha recently was in a controversy after her decision to release the convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi murder case and her stance against the Sri Lankans on the rehabilitation programme for Tamils of Jaffna in Sri Lanka, but her action also brought her popularity among some Indians.
She will again join NDA, if her political gain centred on Tamil Nadu and Tamil people at Jaffna will not be compromised. She wanted India to vote against Sri Lanka, which demanded a probe into the war crimes and human right’s violation inflicted by Sri Lanka during the war against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) and against the Tamils. The abstention of Congress led UPA government from voting, a motion moved by USA against Sri Lanka in UN Security Council, recently, led Washington and Jayalalitha unhappy. But BJP did not comment anything over the abstention of India in the voting.
USA sees an opportunity in Modi to programme an unhealthy environment for the relation of India to her neighbours through him, as BJP was distancing itself from commenting on that issue which is very dear to Jayalalitha; as NDA needs her, it will keep itself away from being indulged on Tamil issues. This gives Washington a chance to use its theory of ‘Balance of Power’Â in East Asia, as there are few emerging economies with nuclear capabilities.
India is a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic, as the Preamble to the Constitution of India states. So, the dictatorial hegemony of an individual will not be entertained. Whatsoever be the motive of USA behind its generosity towards backing Modi, the youngest country of the world will leave no stone unturned to save the basic framework of the Constitution, and to uphold India’s mutual friendship and integrity with her neighbours. The responsibility of doing so solely rests on the shoulder of the young mass of this country.