Strengthen the idea of Inclusive India to defeat forces trying to destabilize us

Vidya Bhushan Rawat at deekshabhoomi
Vidya Bhushan Rawat

In the 46th
session of the OIC, external affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was invited and
despite Pakistan protest and boycott, the invitation was not retracted. The speech
on ‘pluralism’ by Sushma Swaraj
was published and BJP’s ministers were
quick to jump that this was a big turn around and successful foreign policy
initiative by the Prime Minister. They gave example that never in the history
of Independent India, we got any invitation from OIC to speak. In fact, Mr.
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad invitation was withdrawn at the last moment in 1969 at the
insistence of Pakistan thus creating an embarrassing condition for the host
country who had invited him and requested him not to attend the summit.

Since then,
India has not accorded OIC any importance but with Modi government’s overdrive
to score political points, India decided to send Ms. Sushma Swaraj while
Pakistan boycotted the preliminary session. Now, OIC has passed resolution
presented by Pakistan criticizing India. While it does not matter much as OIC
has been speaking this language for long but the Indian position was always
ignoring it. Ironically, Pakistan has also been made the permanent member of
OIC’s human rights body. Fact of the matter is that pluralism has never been
strength of OiC member countries, neither are they devoted democracy and human
rights. India’s strength was its strong secular credentials despite all its
weaknesses of prejudices and biases as constitutionally, we are not a
theocratic country.

Today, India
is a power and world listen to it and want to embrace it. All this is not a one-day
work but India’s growth story and success of its institutions now well-respected
world over. Globally, the Indian model of coexistence has been appreciated but
today there is a worry about India and its secular character. We always
believed that political power is based on electoral calculations but
institutions are there to balance things and implement rule of law to save us
from collapse. These institutions are under tremendous strain at the moment, if
we saw how our External Affairs Ministry and Defense spokespersons were under
tremendous pressure then we have to realize one fact that Electronic media in
India has become the biggest curse to our democracy and a powerful threat to
our national integration. It has put enormous pressure on our armed forces and
all their action under public gaze and all their acts are being reported and
discussed from morning till night. It refuses to accept that our ‘Fauzis’ too
are human being who have family and children. In the din of their ‘bravery’, it
creates an unimaginable strain to ‘succeed’ without understanding the dynamics
of region and tough ground situation. While all those who joined armed forces
have to serve the nation and this come with their work profile and they go
there with their head high, they also want to live a life and being loved.

In the last
few days, we have got a number of messages from the family members,
particularly the wives of those died on the line of their duties whether in war
or handling the local crisis. It is well known fact, given the nature of our
society, that the biggest victims of war are children and women. Once the
‘josh’ is cooled and calmed down, the bitter realities of lives take the center
stage. We already know how after Cargill war, a number of young women lost
their husbands though the government tried to compensate it through money to
hide its own failure, the family crisis deepened. The crisis of losing a
husband and losing a son. Now, it was women who were actually fighting each
other. One seeking compensation for her son, while other for her husband. In
many places these came in the court.

Fact: society
is brutal

This society
is brutal. It does not allow a woman to grieve as media is there all the time.
If she marries after some days, media jump that she married leaving her
‘parents in laws’ in lurch. If she not, the life is difficult for her. Many of
the parents in laws, want ‘her’ to marry the younger son against the will and
we all know money becomes the big issue.

Our foreign
policy is under tremendous strain

As I said,
Indian foreign policy is coming under tremendous strain. So is our social
structure, unity and integrity of the country. I am not among those who feel
that Imran Khan has become a ‘peacenik’ because the power is still in the hands
of the army and the agenda to bleed India remain the top of Pakistan’s military
leadership. That is a historical crisis of the Pakistan elite. Though there was
a time when many in India felt that a military leadership was useful for
negotiations with Pakistan and General Parvez Musharraf was the prime example
but the Agra summit between him and Vajpayee was foiled by Advani and hawks
like him otherwise we would have progressed more particularly on Kashmir.

Pakistan won
the perceptional war

In the last
four and a half years this government did not act on the ground but through
propaganda. It allowed to create extremely poor and divisive narrative related
to Pakistan which focused more to cater the Hindutva constituency and made
little impact on Pakistan. The attacks on our security forces increased
manifold during these years but the government and BJP leaders focused not on
governance but on TV channels resulting in we became a laughing stock world
over. I would say, more than the government, it is these channels who have
become huge embarrassment for our security as well as foreign policy
establishment. They feel that they are glorifying our forces but in fact they
are putting immense mental pressure through this war mongering. Pakistan
actually won the perceptional war where hawks there feel Modi government more
suitable their propaganda.

The drama
played out by Pakistan in the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan actually was
to preempt things and not allow the Indian side to score any point but I would
still appreciate the sober way the armed forces dealt with the issue without
giving the media much of a chance to convert it into a tamasha. I think it was
a good strategy not allow media access and platform to create another crisis.
Since Pulwama these fake warriors have been trying to create division and
crisis for the benefit of their political patrons. Like their patrons they too
want to go for a war without thinking of its consequences as well as without
giving our forces to take a decision on their own. This is dangerous and has to
stop. India can not afford to lose even the perceptional war.

Today, you
need diplomacy to put pressure on countries which do not follow basic
principles. A country like North Korea is now realizing the cost of
international isolation and coming for discussion. There are numerous other
ways. No country would survive if it remains isolated. Further, for India, it
would be better to strengthen political movements in Pakistan as well as
strengthen its secular constitutional values. If people of India face
discrimination on the basis of their religious or caste identities or due to
their regional identity, how are we going to counter the propaganda by the
others. It is a serious concern. If you exclude people, communities from the
power structure and political process, you give potential ammunition to your

War take
you nowhere. It destroys.

War only brings
destruction and no solution. We had so many of them and we are still fighting.
We need to seriously engaged with people in the political process and develop a
culturally inclusive society. You can not keep the Kashmir people out of talk
to bring peace in South Asia or between India and Pakistan.

for Pakistan is its Islamic agenda

for Pakistan is its Islamic agenda and Indian wanted to prove their ‘secular’
and ‘democratic’ credentials.
It is important to first bring normalcy in the valley by
strengthening institutions of governance involving political parties and civil
society organizations. There is no other way than talks and talks. These are
political issues which can be resolved through negotiations and open heart.
Once we have done so, it would be easier to convince the world that the
Pakistan need to act against the Islamic terror organizations. It will be
equally important for Indian government to act against the venom spewing
channels as well as the organizations campaigning against minorities in general
and Muslims in particular. You can not win a war by deliberately excluding and marginalizing
nearly 15% of your population. It is time to put this to an end and strengthen
the idea of an inclusive India which alone will defeat all those forces
trying to destabilize us

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

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