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Victory of Modi In India

Issue June 2019

Victory of Modi In India

Siddhi B. Ranjitkar


The political party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept the parliamentary elections held in India in May 2019 winning 330 seats more than required for the majority to form a government. So, Mr. Modi is returning back to power for the second term. On the other hand Rahul Gandhi resigned from the party chief of the Congress for the defeat in the polls even though the Congress had done better winning 50 seats than what it did in 2014 winning only 44 seats. However, Rahul took the responsibility for the poor performances of his party, and he resigned on the moral ground. Surely, it would make the leader of the Nepali Congress shameful, if he were to have a bit of political moral. The Nepalese leader refused to resign even if his party performed worst in the elections held in 2017.


Even though Modi did not keep his election pledges made in 2014 he could win the elections with the added majority. He presented himself as a strong leader that could save the country from the enemy intruders; his economic policy was for the long-term development, and for keeping the country on the right track of development he said while in the election stumps. He was not for religious politics and caste-based politics rather he was for creating an inclusive society; he convinced of these matters to the dalits and Muslims. He repeated what he had said in the election stumps again after the election victory. So, most of the dalits (historically untouchables) and Muslim forgave him for what his political cadres had done to some of the dalits and Muslims in the past, and they voted for his party: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).


In the election stumps, Rahul could not present himself as a strong man saying he would uproot the corruption, and he would take actions against any corrupt politicians or bureaucrats or businesspeople no matter who they were, and he would lead the country to the two-digit economic development, and he would teach the lessons to Pakistan what Modi could not; he would create the jobs that Modi could not. He could not firmly say that he would not create the chaos in the business community overnight making the banknotes illegal and introducing new ones without much preparation causing tremendous troubles to the common folks, as Modi did, and finally, he would create the jobs that Modi could not. He could not convince of such words to the Indian voters, and he could not present himself a strong and reliable leader to lead the country.


With the victory of BJP in India, Modi is returning back as a new prime minister once again, Nepalese political gurus have been making varieties of guesses.


Some said that Nepalese Hindu fundamentalists had been emboldened by the victory of BJP in the elections hoping BJP leaders would assist the Hindus in Nepal. However, this thought of the BJP Hindus assisting the Nepalis in making Nepal once again a Hindu nation would be nothing but illusion if anybody were to notice what Modi had said after the election victory. He said, “He would not be politicizing the religion.” This statement of Modi would certainly be enough to disappoint the Nepalese Hindu fundamentalists, who would fight for a Hindu State with whatever assistant from whoever with any weapons they could grab.


Some other BJP leaders also said that what Nepalis wanted to make Nepal a Hindu state or a secular state or what constitution they wanted to promulgate were entirely the business of Nepalis it was neither of BJP nor of Modi; so they would not indulge in the macro-management means they would not going to tell Nepal and try to impress the Nepalis what to do or what not to? So, BJP leaders have no business concerning the internal affairs of Nepal and Nepalis.


Our Madheshi brothers who had a great hope in Modi, who had actually assisted our brothers at the time of promulgating the Nepalese Constitution in 2015 would surely be frustrated very much with the statements of the BJP leaders, as the BJP leaders wanted to leave the business of Nepal in the hands of Nepalis.


Thus, the BJP leaders after five years of governing the vast democratic country like India, and having faced the defeat in the State elections not so long ago, had shown the delicate political maturity. Probably, none of the BJP leaders would come to Nepal and they would talk about a Hindu State, as they did after the parliamentary elections in 2014 and Modi himself would abstain from imposing any sorts of embargo on Nepal, as Modi had learned a great lesson from the unfortunate blockade he had imposed in 2015 causing untold sufferings to the 30 million Nepalis, and the Nepalese prime minister did not bend to him rather Modi had to give in and lift the embargo and invite the Nepalese prime minister to India.


This unwise decision on imposing embargo on Nepal pushed Nepal too far to the north, and the northern neighbor welcomed Nepal with the open hands and hearts giving Nepal a transit route and seaports for the Nepalis to travel abroad and for the Nepalese goods to reach to the foreign destinations even though crossing the Tibetan plateau would not be so easy and profitable in the foreseeable future. All these things happened thanks to the Modi’s six-month sanctions on Nepal in 2015.


With the new majority in the House of Representatives, hopefully, Modi would treat Nepal as a good neighbor and a partner for the development in the South Asia if not in the world unlike in the past when most of the Indian prime ministers and leaders treated Nepal as a junior brother not even a partner.


Nepal and India have an open border. Our people means both Nepalis and Indians could move in either side of the border without any hindrances, and work without any troubles. This is a great advantage for both Nepal and India and both countries need to take more benefits from such an open border. However, both the countries need to keep a watch on who come and go so that the unwanted foreign terrorist-minded people could not sneak in through the open border.


The first thing Modi would need to do after taking over the reign of the second term would be to accept the report the eminent persons’ groups of both Nepal and India had prepared after two years of dialogue and studies both the Nepalese and Indian groups had made, and ultimately they prepared this final joint report. However, Modi had not taken a trouble to consent to even take the report not to mention to see it and implement of the recommendations made in it. This report is for either amending the Peace and Friendship Treaty between Nepal and India of 1950 or replacing it with a new one. Most of the Nepalese intellectuals have complained that the 1950 treat has been an unusually highly beneficial to India.


To the inaugural and the oath taking ceremony held in New Delhi in 2014, Modi had invited the head of States of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries. He had even dropped in Pakistan on his way back home to ease the tension between India and Pakistan. All his efforts did not work at all, and Modi totally withdrew from the SAARC, and he shelved it for the time being trying to isolate Pakistan from the rest of the South Asian countries. How far it did worked remains to be seen but the SAARC summit did not hold for years.


Equally Modi did try to improve the relations with China, which has been galloping fast to catch up Americans, and he had had several rounds of talks with the Chinese leaders but the results had not been so satisfactory so that both the countries could work hard to achieve the fast socio-economic development in this vast resourceful and potential for the fast development region.


Rather Modi sent the Indian troops to Doklam on the border between Bhutan and China to stop the Chinese widening the roads without even informing the Bhutanese authorities about it. Anyway, Bhutan has entrusted its foreign affairs and defense to India so India did not need to consult on such matters, and India could treat the Bhutanese border with China as its own.


Poor Bhutanese had to watch and see whether the two giants would be going to a war on its border. Fortunately for both the giant countries and for a tiny country Bhutan as well, the two monster countries did not fight, and India returned its army back to the barrack from Doklam, and the Chinese continued their work on road-widening, and Modi visited China.


Then came the American concept of the Indo-pacific region obviously to challenge the ever growing Chinese influence in this region. The greatest threat to the interest of the Americans in the trade route in this area must have been felt probably was when the Chinese took over the seaport China had built in Sri-lanka for smooth management. The American experts believed that 70 percent of the world trade passed through the channel between India and Sri-lanka. Obviously, Americans did not want to see the Chinese monopoly on this sea route there. So, they started off talking about the debt trap the Chinese had set up in Sri-lanka, and warning the people elsewhere in the world of the same debt trap.


However, India had been reluctant to be the part of the axis of the Indo-pacific so far. American foreign minister even invited the Nepalese foreign minister to persuade him to be the part of the Indo-pacific, and then offered a huge financial assistance to Nepal. However, Nepal had not taken the bait.


The American president had been engaged in the fierce trade dispute with China and other countries. He had imposed the high tariff on the Chinese goods entering the USA to offset the huge trade gap America had with China. China in turn imposed its own tariff on the US goods Chinese had been buying from America. Whether such a trade dispute would ease the trade gap and would help to make both the countries prosperous was really a subject for the scholars to study.


America had stopped the trade concession given to India stating it has been the unequal trade that has caused disadvantage to the Americans. Thus, the differences between India and America had been bubbling to surface. Modi had not stated anything about the American actions so far even his foreign minister and trade minister had kept quiet on this trade matter.


Now, the three brothers: Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan had been born from a single parent of the British India. Pakistan was born in 1947, and then Pakistan gave birth to Bangladesh in January 1972. So, Bangladesh is the youngest among the three brothers.


When the brothers were split away they became enemies because of the property dispute in South Asia. Jammu and Kashmir has been the god example of such a notion that brothers fight for the property, as it has been the perennial dispute between India and Pakistan. Both the brothers claimed for it. Actually whom it belonged?


In 1947 when the British India gave birth to Pakistan, the then Indian States running under the umbrella of the British administration were given the choice of either joining the newborn Pakistan or India. However, they were not given the choice of being independent States.


The then Hindu ruler of Jammu and Kashmir opted to join India even though the majority of the citizens were Muslims. On the pretext of having the majority of the Muslim citizens, Pakistan walked in the territory that had been part of India. However, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru instead of sending the Indian army to recover the territory lost to Pakistan went to UN seeking the justice but the UN instead gave the verdict that had caused the never-ending dispute between India and Pakistan.


Pakistan has been trying to provoke the Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir to rise against the Indian administration there, and Pakistan even influenced the locals to boycott the peaceful elections held to the State assembly and so on. Pakistan gave shelter to the Kashmiri rebels, and even Pakistanis tried to inflame violence in India using the open border between India and Nepal.


The recent event had been that two Pakistani nationals with suitcases full of fake Indian banknotes flew in Nepal from Qatar. On the tip-off the Indian intelligent, the Nepalese police caught them at the Kathmandu airport. They had more than 70 million of fake Indian banknotes in the 2000 denominations. What Pakistan really wanted to do with such counterfeit banknotes was obvious.


Probably, this was not a first incident; many more must have happened in the past, and would happen in the future too indicating these two brothers were determined to fight to the finish. Surely, that was not the right thing to do. They needed to come to the common understanding and needed to reach an agreement on making the current line of control as the international border between India and Pakistan, and forget about fighting the never-ending cold and sometimes even hot war causing the loss of human lives and property.


Violent protests could not achieve any positive benefits rather would earn hatred as the world had seen what had happened in Sri-Lanka a few months ago. Some Muslim terrorists blow themselves up in church, and hotels causing heavy damages to the human lives and the properties apparently in retaliation to a terrorist killing Muslims while they were for the Friday prayers at Mosque in New Zealand.


What the Muslim terrorists earned was the hatred for those living Muslims in Sri-Lanka, and hard lives for their loved ones and for all those Muslims who had been living harmoniously with the multi-religious people so peaceful until these terrorists caused so much harm to the country and devastated their own lives and others.


No matter who indulge in violence would surely not be the winners. This truth is universal and the Kashmiri Muslims and the Pakistani leaders needed to appreciate it, and they needed to engage themselves in the peaceful movement to achieve whatever goals they have.


Modi surely would understand it and he would never send his Hindu cadres to kill anybody who kept beef in a freezer, and any dalits, who happened to marry high caste Hindu women, and Modi would surely make India more livable than what had been in the past for the dalits and other folks of different faiths. God bless Modi to this end.


May 26, 2019

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