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The Modi phenomenon

It was Nato’s provocative endeavour of extending itself to Russia’s doorstep that thrust Ukraine into a devastating war. Now India – along with Australia, Japan and the US – has formed the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) along Nato’s lines as a bulwark against China.

The inherent danger remains the major focus on a Nato-style military alliance as several security agreements have been signed apart from conducting joint military exercises. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has denounced the Quad as “an Indo-Pacific Nato trumpeting cold war mentality and stoking geopolitical rivalry”.

The Quad is carrying out provocative forays in the South and East China seas. In July last year, a US aircraft carrier trespassed into Chinese territorial waters near the Nansha Islands. The USS Benfold, a guided missile destroyer, did the same off the Xisha Islands and had to be warned off by Chinese forces.

Analysts have criticized these extreme provocations and warn of ramifications that could thrust the whole region into a devastating war. Sudheendra Kulkarni, the former chairperson of the Mumbai-based Observer Research Foundation, asserts that “the Quad’s hidden agenda to create an Asian Nato is dangerous for Asia and the whole world”.

Despite these warnings and India’s ever so fast slide into Hindutva-inspired genocide, a criminally complicit West continues pandering to Modi. This, in turn, is taken as carte blanche as an emboldened Modi now wants India to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Addressing the 75th UNGA session, this misplaced sense of entitlement was evident as he demanded: “How long will India, with its unique contribution to the UN, be kept out of its decision-making structures?”

Last week, despite overwhelming evidence, an Indian court acquitted 69 people in the 2002 Naroda Gam riots in Ahmedabad that saw the murder of 11 Muslims. Of the 86 accused that remained free on bail, 17 died during the 21-year-long trial. The acquitted included Maya Kodnani, an RSS adherent, Bajrang Dal’s Babu Bajrangi and VHP leader Jaydeep Patel.

Kodnani was also accused and later acquitted in the Gujarat massacre case that saw over 2,000 innocent Muslims perish. At the behest of Modi, Kodnani, then a BJP MLA, was one of the leaders that led the marauding mobs. According to a report on the massacre, a 30-year-old pregnant woman’s belly was cut open; the foetus was pulled out and hacked to pieces and the unfortunate mother was brutally murdered. Kodnani is a gynaecologist and Modi, in a macabre move, awarded her the ministerial portfolio of women and child development.

Recently, the ‘BBC’ tried to air the film ‘India: The Modi Question’, a documentary about Modi’s direct role in the Gujarat massacre. The Indian government invoked emergency laws and blocked it, followed by a spate of raids on the BBC offices. In another move, Modi’s multi-billion dollar crony, Gautam Adani, took over NDTV, a Modi-critical news broadcaster. The hostile takeover saw NDTV founders Prannoy and Radhika Roy leave the management board and its president Suparna Singh resigned along with other senior members.

International oversight agencies have consistently voiced their concern over the plight of Muslims and other minorities in India. Before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s recent visit to India, Human Rights Watch wrote to him and asked him to raise this crucial issue. Blinken, in turn, praised India amidst oxymoronic hyperbole about the shared values of their two largest democracies. Similarly, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese ignored Director Human Rights Watch Elaine Pearson’s advice to “be unequivocal in raising human rights concerns with Modi during his visit to India”. Instead, the Australian PM chose to declare India “a top-tier defence partner”.

The mollycoddling of Modi has been constant since his unfortunate prime ministerial ascension. In 2020, Hindu mobs killed 40 Muslims in New Delhi and injured hundreds. Australia’s Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, leading a trade delegation to India, kept praising India while discussing means to enhance mutual trade. Australia’s 2022 campaign trail saw frontrunners Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese don saffron scarves with Hindu symbols used by India’s right-wing parties, while garnering votes from the Indian diaspora.

This dichotomous infatuation was also evident when Australian High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell visited the RSS Maharashtra headquarters to meet RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and profusely applauded RSS activities. In July 2019, German Ambassador Walter Lindner also visited the RSS office. There, he bizarrely posed by the photos of RSS founders Hedgewar and Golwalkar, both declared and devout admirers of Hitler and Nazism.

No wonder Narendra Modi has come to epitomize this duplicity championed by the Washington-led cabal. The criminal carte blanche emboldens Modi to continue atrocities with impunity. With little to show in terms of economic progress or development, Modi has made Hindutva the all-consuming face of Indian nationalism. Paul Brass, an eminent political scientist and an authority on India’s politics, details a top-down analysis. He notes that violence against Muslims and Indian minorities has been carefully plotted, instigated and executed at the highest level by the BJP and its Hindutva cohorts.

Dr Gregory Stanton, the chairperson of Genocide Watch, warns that India ticks all the boxes of a Muslim genocide. Unfortunately, the plight of Indian minorities might get even worse. This is the prospect of Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of UP, stepping into Modi’s shoes. He can be defined as someone who makes Modi look like a statesman and a man of peace.

India, its Quad partners, and the West tread an ominous path wrought with immensely dangerous ramifications. A recipe for disaster, it is as implosive for India as it is a security nightmare for the whole world.

China and India, both nuclear powers, are home to nearly one-third of humanity and ominously share borders.

Given Nato’s grim role as an enabler of the Ukraine war, provocations of the Quad with Modi as their unfettered agent provocateur, could tragically lead to a destructive conflict that shall pale all other wars into insignificance.

Email: miradnanaziz@gmail.com

Mir Adnan Aziz, "The Modi phenomenon," The News. 2023-05-01.
Keywords: Political science , Political issues , Security Council , Democracies , Wang Yi , PM Modi , China , India , NDTV , UNGA