New Delhi: Bogged down by internal and external security threats, India could revert to its pre-independence status of splintered territories if divisive trends are not firmly arrested and reversed, a defence analyst has said.
Naxalism and insurgency affected “more than 40%” of India’s territory, while psychological fragmentation over language, religion, caste or region had spread due to vote- bank politics, “resulting in overwhelming regional pressures in determining our foreign policy”, Capt (retired) Bharat Verma said in an editorial in Indian Defence Review.
Painting a grim picture of the security situation in and around the country, he said the writ of state governments were being “rolled back towards their respective state capitals by Naxalites” while the entire land border was facing different threats.
“Despite India’s pretensions of an emerging great power, its influence is shrinking — both internally as well as on its external periphery,” he said.
Observing that these negative and divisive trends need to be immediately arrested firmly and reversed, Verma said India could otherwise face the prospect of “reverting to its pre-independence status of splintered territories, principalities and fiefdoms ruled by feudals and their private militias who may well seek outside military support to subjugate their kith-turned-adversaries”.
Maintaining that the external strength of a nation was dependent on internal cohesion, the Editor of the defence journal suggested amends in foreign policy.
“Looking at Israel solely through the prism of Muslim population, Sri Lanka through Tamil prism or Bangladesh (illegal migration problem) through political prism, are self-imposed constraints that inhibit India’s growth and influence,” Verma said.
Elaborating on the threat perceptions emanating from all sides of the country’s borders, he said the difference between China and India was that the former built roads beyond its borders and the latter’s roads stop short of reaching its borders.
Regarding the belief that Pakistan “finally wants to talk peace” with India, Verma said such a view was “absolutely flawed” as Islamabad’s policy of “jehad and exporting terror worldwide after 9/11 have come home to roost”.
While the Maoist threat from Nepal remained despite their participation in the democratic process, the threat of the Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka, whose air attack could not be monitored by the Indian forces, has not been met with by bringing them to talks with Colombo, Verma said.