Tuesday, July 18, 2017

India is on a path to decline and that is why China is challenging it. By Sushil Aaron

NB: This is a good article, especially on how the BJP/RSS is weakening India. But the author's observation that the Chinese government 'takes social science seriously' is questionable. The Chinese Communist Party runs a brutal ideocracy - the tyranny of an ideology. The RSS is trying to do the same in India, but has not yet succeeded. The CPC does not allow freedom of thought and social criticism - we have only to observe the circumstances behind the judicial murder of Liu Xiaobo to see how ruthlessly they crush those who dare criticise its totalitarian monopoly. This is a sign of a brittle regime, that can sustain itself only by greater doses of repression. The lesson to be learned by peace-loving citizens of both countries is that democracy and freedom of the mind - as opposed to militarism and ideological conformity - are crucial to human betterment. DS

If challenges in the economy, education and skills weren’t enough there is now an active attack on India’s social cohesion, the one thing that held the country together despite all its problems. The BJP’s rule has seen a spike in hate speech directed at Muslims, leading to their targeting and lynching. The Indian Muslim is being constantly represented as a hate figure, with a view to snap the associational life between Hindus and Muslims. All this corrodes social life and undermines economic productivity - a divided and fear-ridden country is hardly in a position to pool its energies and talents to tackle present and future challenges.

The India-China military standoff near Sikkim continues. The rhetoric from both sides is very revealing of their states of mind. India is adopting a conciliatory tone but China is uncompromising. India will be “patient and peaceful” in dealing with its neighbours, says the Narendra Modi govern-ment; commentators emphasise Delhi’s moderation and maturity. China insists that withdrawal of Indian troops from the disputed Doklam area is a precondition for dialogue. Chinese experts are not mincing words. Victor Gao, a former diplomat and once an interpreter for Deng Xiaoping, has said any other country in China’s situation of seeing foreign (Indian) soldiers on its territory would send troops to drive them out. He says the longer India keeps troops in Doklam the more likely a military confrontation is.

The reaction in Indian media to the standoff with China is markedly different from what tensions with Pakistan usually provoke. Television channels are not dishing out angry hashtags about Beijing as they usually do about Islamabad’s misdemeanours. The Indian establishment clearly wants to avoid a confrontation. In Delhi’s muted reaction and Beijing’s belligerence there is perhaps a tacit acknowledgment in both capitals that the reason China is being aggressive is because India now is the weakest it has been for years.

China wants to symbolically establish dominance in Asia and it has chosen a moment when the contours of India’s path to decline are fairly well-established, three years into Modi’s rule. This is the lesson that Delhi should take away from this standoff, that not only is India militarily not in a position to challenge China now (short of a nuclear exchange), the direction that the BJP is taking the country undermines India’s capabilities as a power and leaves it in no position to deter China’s aggression for years to come. This is the time to starkly assess India’s situation, let go of the positive spin the BJP government puts out, and view India as how its adversaries would… read more:

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