A look at the past defence policy decisions has inspired a great sense on part of the ruling establishment in New Delhi, profusing a certain degree of enthusiasm and a chance to engage with the core constituents of domestic politics charmed, manoeuvred and manifested in national security and territorial integrity.
Coalesced upon populism, polemics and hype as the finest basis for a Realist paradigm of Machiavellian masculinity underlined in the tenets of exercise of power, authority, order and coercion as the legitimate expression of the sovereign.
Politicking is thus an act of enhancing and enriching physical prowess, hegemony, dominance and strength at par with other states competitive well versed in modern warfare.
The ruler should be mindful, cunning, deceitful and tricky in knowing about the rules of the game and should be in a position to exploit the weaknesses of the enemy state as per the 16th-century political treatise The Prince written by Niccolo Machiavelli. It is in this context that an attempt to decipher the behaviour of the modern nation-states will be made by underlying the strategic significance of their role functions and posturings in regard to our neighbours viz a viz- Pakistan and China.
Why the frequent skirmishes, clashes and brawls at the LAC and LOC do make upping the ante easier in the face of ratcheting of rhetorics finessed in the nuclear and military might of India, Pakistan and China in the region. Settlements, negotiations and deliberations being the buzzwords for if,s and but, conductively depending on the circumstantial situation for any purposeful resolution or for a third party external intervention.
India after the re-election of Modi has seen a different ball game together in dealing with the errant neighbours in consonance with their political currency and capital. The foreign policy being made redundant and subservient to the whims of the political outlook and orientation of the ruling establishment. Thus, dissipating the commanding abilities of the organs of the state to act and grow in a manner of their own choice as the foreign policy will and remain a perenially vexed subject for us the Indians given the unpredictability involved with our neighbours.
What we need is a graded, coherent and comprehensive policy approach in entering into any kind of engagements or disengagements with them but this shouldn’t be seen impacting our social, economic, historic or cultural ties as it has been made now. MFN denotes Most Favoured Nation status accorded by one state to another in international trade.
The trade term means the country which is the recipient of this treatment must nominally receive equal trade advantages as the “most favoured nation” by the country granting such treatment ( trade advantages includes low tariffs or high import quotas). Both India and Pakistan withdrew this status which they had accorded to the other following the incidents at Uri and Pathankot in 2016 followed by surgical strikes in September 2016.
In the wake of brewing hostilities, it became impossible for both the countries to enter into any form of exchanges severely impacting the people to people contact at one level. Similarly, the onslaught by Chinese PLA troops on the Indian patrolling parties claiming twenty Indian lives in the Galwan Valley near LAC has lead to a lot of outburst and outcry in many of Indian towns and cities.
Loud calls being made to boycott Chinese goods, products, services and all by ordinary laities lacking farsightedness of diplomatic foreign policy. Resentment is though natural on part of any individual and person but one should be equally practical looking at the vast trade volumes and pacts we have with China. How can the government completely shun away with it?
Plus, will we be able to locally produce the goods on a large scale keeping our supply and demand chain in focus. The logic of the question should definitely prevail upon us but our due defiance to it makes us act contrary by awarding a chance to the regime in exposing our vulnerabilities. I believe that even though the NDA regime might slow up the pace of some projects and agreements with China it won,t entirely give upon it under any compulsions.
Offering impetus to their claims in domestic politics in winning the mandate as they have been doing since if we were to look at the March 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections held in the backdrop of national security and sovereignty. As I have argued in the very beginning, there have always been assertions, counterclaims with the soft pedigree of Territorial Integrity and National Security associated with the meteoric rise of the BJP and Narendra Modi at the centre owing to our strong fundamentals to hierarchical, autocratic and authoritarian belief and value system.
Thus, democracy becomes disquieting whereby the privileges, pride and prestige of a few become paramount as systematic efforts in undoing the foreign policy aspect from the core domestic constituents should be the priority of our state leaders. There ought to be clarity on the state’s role as a doer in terms of doing welfare by bringing special guarantees for the poor and at the foreign policy level by acting as an arbitrator in resolving the conflicting and competing clams viz the international players.