Insurgent Movements in India -Kashmir Moves Centre Stage
0 comments | by Usman Khalid
India has been a home to many insurgent movements ever since it came into being in 1947. It is because India is not one nation; it is many nations too numerous to count. India was united under imperial rule – first in Asoka’s Buddhist Empire, then in Muslim Empires who ruled India for 800 years, which was followed by British rule who took a hundred years to conquer and consolidate India and then ruled it from 1857 to 1947. No Hindu Empire ever ruled the whole of the Indian sub-continent; Hindu Empires controlled only the Ganges Valley. In fact, the word Hindu was used by the Persians to describe peoples who lived beyond Sindh. They knew of Sindh; Hind was the space beyond; Hindu were the people who lived in that space. But the peoples we call Hindu today did not call themselves Hindu or their religion Hinduism; they called their religion Sanatan Dharm. The word Hindu had a denigrating connotation like the word ‘nigger’ used for the black people. It was the British who used the word Hindu to describe every one who was not a Muslim. The Hindus resented it in the beginning but then understood the merit of the term being used for all non-Muslims because it gave them an advantage of numbers and made them a majority in an era of ‘majority rule’.
The indigenous peoples of India, who had been outside the pail of Hinduism and treated as untouchables, were grateful at first that Mahatma Gandhi embraced them into the fold of Hinduism. However, they know better now. Their inclusion in the fold of Hinduism allowed the Congress Party to claim the support of the majority and eventually the legitimacy to take over the rule of India from the British. But the Gandhian inclusion did not change their life; social apartheid practised against the Untouchables became worse as the Brahmin replaced the British as rulers over areas which had never been ruled by Hindus before. Today, the non Hindu majority in India, which comprises 85% of the population, is treated like minorities because they are divided in myriad of castes. The caste division of the erstwhile outcastes, who are 65% of the population, allows 15% caste Hindus to maintain control over the non-Hindu. The caste Hindus also have better education and maintain mafia like unity among themselves. The indigenous peoples of India have since become aware of the non-existence of apartheid elsewhere and prevalence of egalitarianism in the whole world except India. The internet and electronic media has given confidence to the 85% non-Hindus that they can determine their destiny and chart their own course. Insurgent Movements in India have proliferated because of worldwide triumph of egalitarianism under the flag of faiths – Islam, Buddhism and Christianity – and non faiths like Communism.
Movements for Self-Determination
There are two types of insurgent movements in India. (Most of these are liberation not insurgent movements, but I use the term as used by official India.) One category is the movements of the oppressed for their rights; the other is movements for self-determination by peoples who were sovereign nations or were a part of a nation other than Hindu. There are three movements in the latter category:
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)
It is a Muslim majority state which should have been a part of Pakistan on the basis of the principle of partition – Muslim majority areas to be Pakistan and non-Muslim majority areas to be India. It had been a part of every Muslim empire in India until the Moghul hold over power grew weak and their empire disintegrated. The Punjab and Kashmir became a part of the Sikh Empire. By a quirk of History, this state ended up being sold to a Dogra Hindu ruler - Gulab Singh - as reward for his treachery to the Sikh rulers of the Punjab which resulted in the defeat of the Sikhs by the British in 1849. Dogra rule was sometimes benign but mostly repressive. The people rebelled against the tyrannical rule of Maharaja Hari Singh in 1931. The insurrection continued sporadically until 1947 when the people liberated the territory known as Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. India says that the ruler signed an instrument of accession to give the state to India but no such document has ever been made public. In any case, India went to the UN Security Council to get it to endorse its claim. But the UN refused and decided that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would decide their future in a UN supervised plebiscite. Both India and Pakistan agreed to a plebiscite to allow the Kashmiri people to decide which country they wanted to join – India or Pakistan. In 1957, India went back on its agreement using as an excuse Pakistan having signed a Mutual Defence Agreement with the United States. Pakistan and India have since fought three wars over Kashmir which were territorially inconclusive. In 1971 War, Pakistan lost East Pakistan to India. The Kashmiri people lost faith in Pakistan’s ability to secure their right of self-determination. They decided to change course and decided to take part in elections which they had boycotted insisting on a plebiscite instead. They formed an alliance of all Muslim parties to take part in the elections in 1987. Polls indicated that the ‘alliance’ would inflict a crushing defeat on the ruling ‘National Conference’. But the elections in 1987 were massively rigged by force and fraud to secure the victory of the National Conference. The people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) lost the little faith they had in India’s willingness to allow democracy in their state. They took to the gun in 1989 and the insurrection has continued ever since.
The insurgent movement has passed through several phases. The Kashmiris are much more optimistic about their success with the advent of ‘asymmetrical war’. They believe that if the erstwhile Soviet Union and the sole super power – USA – can be defeated in Afghanistan, why can’t India be defeated which is neither more powerful than them nor the Kashmiris as friendless as the Afghans. Clearly, the tactics for asymmetrical war are evolved and learnt over time. The Kashmiris are following in the footsteps of the Palestinians. The word Intifada has entered their vocabulary; they are evolving their own methods to fight and continue their war of liberation against India.
The Khalistan Movement
The Sikhs were the rulers of the Punjab until 1849. Unlike the Hindus who had enjoyed sovereignty only in epics and myths, the Sikhs have a clear memory of their rule. The Sikhs are one people who wear their identity; their beard and turban makes a Sikh identifiable in every corner of the globe. They were recognised by the British as separate nation and they were consulted in every scheme for self-rule. But they had a problem. They were too few in numbers and were not in majority in any part of the Punjab. The leader of the Muslim League – Muhammed Ali Jinnah – offered the Sikhs their separate sovereign state in the Punjab if they opposed the partition of the province. One cannot blame the Sikhs for not taking up that offer because it was far from certain if the Muslims would get Pakistan which included the whole of Punjab. The Akali leader of the time – Master Tara Singh – trusted the Congress leadership who made a similar but vague promise of a sovereign state for the Sikhs. When the Punjab was partitioned on the basis of Muslim and non-Muslim, the Sikhs ended up being included among the Hindus. The Sikhs who migrated from the Pakistani Punjab were spread all across India to deny them numerical majority in the Indian Punjab. The Sikhs felt betrayed and continue to feel betrayed that they have been denied their own sovereign state.
The Sikh struggle for self-determination has passed through several phases. When the provincial boundaries were being redrawn in India on ethnic lines, the Sikhs demanded a Punjabi Suba (province). But Punjabi speaking Hindus declared themselves to be ‘Hindi speakers’ in the census; the Punjabi identity was owned only by the Sikhs. In consequence, the Indian Punjab was split into three provinces – Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh thus restricting the Sikhs to majority status only in much smaller new Punjab. The Sikhs have been the victims of other excesses as well. They have been denied the right to buy farm land in other provinces but non-Sikhs can buy land in the Punjab. The Sikhs, most of who are farmers, resent not being allowed to buy land in Himachal or Haryana. The space for them to farm and flourish is being shrunk all the time. The Sikhs feel they have been betrayed and taken advantage of, and denied due reward for their industry and enterprise. What upsets them more is that the rulers of India impose collaborators on them as their leaders - religious as well as temporal. The rise of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was a response to the imposition of collaborators. That response made Delhi so nervous that it attacked the Durbar Sahib in June 1984. The Sikhs retaliated by assassinating Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in November the same year. Although the Hindu efforts at subversion of the Sikh faith and imposition of collaborators as leaders appear to be successful, the anger and resentment against Delhi continues to increase. As Dr Gurmit Singh Aulakh, the President of the Council of Khalistan has said, “The Sikh nation had been crushed twice before in its history but it emerged triumphant every time it was pronounced dead”. He is right. The appointment of a Sikh – Manmohan Singh- as the Prime Minister of India was an attempt to mollify the Sikhs. In reality, it is evidence of fear in Hindu ranks. There is no active insurgent movement in the Indian Punjab at the moment. But the Diaspora Sikhs, who lead the struggle for self-determination, now, are better aware of the importance of the ‘right time’ and of making friends. They wait because that is the dictate of wisdom.
Seven States of Assam
All the seven states of Assam were one province in British India. Muslim majority Sylhet District was also a part of Assam but it was given to Pakistan after the people decided in a referendum to join Pakistan. Most of its population was either tribal or Muslim; caste Hindus were a small minority. Caste apartheid, which is the chief characteristic of India’s social scene, did not exist in Assam. It was one of the most socio-economically advanced regions of British India. Since parts of it were captured by the Japanese during the Second World War, it had experienced war on the side of British India. The Assamese leaders put their weight behind the Congress Party hoping to be autonomous as that was dictated by its history and geography. Historically, Assam was never ruled from Delhi – not even by the Mughals – until the advent of the British rule. The British brought unprecedented prosperity by the introduction of tea cultivation and spread of education. Geographically, Assam has long international frontiers with China, Myanmar and Bangladesh but is linked with India through a 17 mile wide corridor called the Siligury gap. Since Pakistan also had a claim on Assam, the Assamese leaders had a tacit understanding with the Congress party. They were also taken in by the ‘secularism’ of the Congress Party. The Assamese were promised autonomy within India so that it benefited from the richness of its soil, abundance of water and wealth of minerals including oil. But India treated Assam as cash cow and resorted to the most vicious kind of divide and rule policy. India split Assam into seven states; each state is named either after the prominent tribe or a former princely state. But all the states have people from other tribes which allow India to play politics within each state and sow discord between states. This game has gone on too long to be able to maintain India’s stranglehold over the states of Assam. There is an insurgent movement in each of the seven states of Assam with the most prominent being ULFA – United Liberation Front of Assam. All of the states want sovereignty and freedom from control from Delhi.
Nagaland, the land of fierce fighters, was the first to declare independence; it did so even before the British left in August 1947. Assam – the largest of the seven states – has the best organised force which is fighting the Indian Army. Arunachal Pradesh - erstwhile NEFA- was a part of Tibet (China) and is now claimed by China. That claim was thought to be a gesture to indicate disapproval of India playing host to Dalai Lama. Now it appears that China wishes to pursue its claim as strongly as its claim over Taiwan. Myanmar is a Buddhist country with a history of conflict with Brahmanism that killed Buddhism in its birth place – India – in the worst genocide in history. Bangladesh is a Muslim country presently ruled by a collaborator – Hasina Wazed – leading to mounting resentment of India in that country. The fire fights between the Indian Army and tribes do not make news even in India. The forgotten backyard status notwithstanding, the longest ever military campaign by the Indian Army has been going on in Assam. In its North east, India does not only face an insurrection within the seven states of Assam, it also faces three hostile neighbours who all have scores to settle. Assam is and would continue to be out of the spotlight for a time but this is where India is most vulnerable. With its collaborators installed as the ruling party in Bangladesh that country has since arrested and handed over the entire ULFA leadership to India. This may appear like victory. But it has added Bangladesh in the list of countries to be liberated from Indian control. The people of Bangladesh and the Seven States of Assam are on the same side for the first time. All they need to do is to remove collaborators from power. To a great extent India’s own actions and policy have delivered a victory to the insurgent movements in the Seven States of Assam and Bangladesh. The war has been won; coup de grace haunts India the shadow of which looms large over the horizon.
Movements for Socio-Political and Economic Justice
India being an apartheid society and an imperial state, was bound to resort to oppression and military force to maintain its integrity. It followed in the footsteps of its predecessor imperial power – Great Britain – not only in retaining the laws and the constitution introduced by the British, but also the military system. The locally recruited armed forces were used by British to build and defend its colonial empire. Unlike the society, the armed forces of India are very professional; ethnic and religious diversity has been used very cleverly and effectively to keep military discipline and unit pride the focus of military life. This allows India to use Sikh soldiers to assault the Golden Temple of Amritsar and Muslim soldiers to fight against Pakistan. The parliamentary form of democracy as evolved in India rewards all sorts of vote banks to make it appear inclusive while the agenda of the state is decided by high caste Hindus and their collaborators. This system has worked well to keep the armed forces under tight civil control and used freely for anti-people or colonial pursuits. But the system is under strain because of increasing awareness that the non-Hindus are a majority in India and they must have the right to decide its agenda.
There are many ethnic movements in India which either want their own separate state (province) or want the people from other states to be expelled. India has dealt with such movements usually by conceding their demands. But there are two movements that want a ‘revolution’ and change the state structure as well as the agenda of India. One of these is the ‘Maoist Movement’, which has different names and somewhat different objectives in different areas but all of these are driven by a ‘revolutionary urge’. The other is the ‘Islamic Movement’, which also has many names and different objectives in different areas but it is also driven by revolutionary urges. Both movements have an international dimension but it is the internal dimension – the constituency and the methods employed by the two movements in India - which I intend to outline today.
The Maoist Movement
The Naxalites – named after a small village in West Bengal – have been in existence for more than fifty years. They want ownership of their land, which is not new; but that they were prepared to kill the outsiders who occupied (and owned) it, is new. It was their methods, not their objectives that drew attention. The police was often able to track and hunt Naxalites and the movement had died down after the Communist Party won elections in West Bengal and ruled it continuously for decades. It was the Maoist insurgents who had been fighting the monarchy in Nepal who gave a new lease of life to the Naxalite Movement which has been reborn as the Maoist Movement. Since many leaders of the Maoist Movement were Brahmins, it did not have much credibility among the untouchables in India. As the Indian Government supported the Maoists of Nepal, suspicion grew that it was a cover for India to annex Nepal as it had done in Sikkim. The jury is still out on Nepal; no one really knows if it was RAW led clandestine operation or a genuine revolution. However, it is the speed with which the Maoists in India have taken control of much of the countryside that has surprised many. Maoists control some 250 districts in the forest areas, covering West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. It is surely not a RAW clandestine operation. What really is happening?
While India has been celebrating its rapid economic growth, its strategic alliance with the USA and Israel, and its membership of G-20, the dispossessed of India have become impatient. The long Communist rule over West Bengal neither brought equality nor prosperity; it brought a torrent of speeches by Communist ideologues but destitution spread wide and quick. To turn on the Communists rulers as well as the fat cats of Bengal simultaneously was very liberating for the people and gave credibility to the Maoists. Real revolutions occur when the methodology is clear and certain even though the objectives are vague and sometimes even contradictory. As long as there are landowning classes and high castes, they argue, there cannot be equality or freedom. The Maoists do not demand reform or even power; they want freedom. This is truly revolutionary. The ruling classes and castes in India have dealt with demands for reform or a share in state power. They ask erstwhile rebels to organise a political party and take part in elections. If they win, they concede their demands readily operating the dictum that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. But the Maoists shun electoral politics. Maoism is founded on “all power flowing from the barrel of the gun”. The Indian Maoists follow the theory as well practice of Maoism as evolved in China. After the LONG MARCH, Chairman Mao scrupulously avoided cities and big battles. The Maoists in China controlled the countryside for decades before they took control of the whole of China striking with speed riding the crest of popular support.
It is too early to say if India would be able to draw the Maoists into the electoral net as they have done with the untouchables and the Communists. After experiencing the dragnet of electoral politics in Nepal, the Maoists of India are wary of electoral politics. At this time, they are focussed on changing the social structure of India because they realise that it is the social system that underpins a political system which furnishes a stable order to a state. Since the caste system is the social system of India and the Maoists are from the lowest strata of the caste hierarchy, they will inevitably make alliances with low castes in each state of India. These alliances would have to replace the alliances the Bahujan of India have with the two Brahmin parties of India – the Congress party and the BJP. The Brahmin parties might be liquidated in much of India in consequence of the Maoist revolution. What would follow is easy to guess but hard to forecast with any certainty.
The Islamic Movement
Islam flourished and gained more converts when it was a force for universalism and egalitarianism. Islam sees state power as an objective and an instrument to implement its egalitarian agenda. Capturing state power and to use it for the good of humanity has been the vehicle for becoming powerful. When Muslim states or rulers were defeated, it was attributed to: 1) the rulers being corrupt, incompetent, and deviant; 2) the society having abandoned true Islam. Since almost all Muslim majority states have been liberated and there are 56 Muslim majority sovereign states (called Darussalam in Muslim statecraft i.e. states where the Muslims enjoy political as well cultural sovereignty) in the world today. But there is unhappiness among all Muslims that: 1) Palestine and Kashmir are still under occupation of Israel and India respectively; and that 2) 150 million Muslims in India suffer persecution and oppression. The denial of justice to Palestinians and Kashmiris over such a long period of time has led to: 1) a rebellion against rulers, and) Jihad becoming an activity of the non-state, not the state.
The stirring among Muslims started in British India at the turn of the last century; its objective was to save the Caliphate in Istanbul. The Khilafat Movement, as it was called, failed because the Turks themselves had turned secular. Then the Islamic movement started in Egypt which attributed the defeat of Turks to embracing secularism. It matured in the time of President Nasser but it decided to oppose him when he was leading a powerful Arab Nationalist Movement against the West. The Arab Nationalist Movement as well as the Islamic Movement failed because they had drawn their weapons to oppose each other rather against their common enemy. But the land which had given birth to the Khilafat Movement gave rise to two further movements: 1) the Pakistan Movement aimed at creating a Muslim nation state in areas where the Muslims were in majority; 2) Deobandi Movement of reform and rebellion which drew inspirations from Wahabis of Saudi Arabia.
Theologically the Deobandis are identical to the Wahabi; they oppose secularism, Nationalism and the Nation State - even Muslim nation state. Ironically, they ended up being the allies of the Congress party which represented the Hindus but opposed the Pakistan Movement as well as the British Rule. They persist in that perverse logic even today. They identify America as the enemy and revile Muslim countries that are friendly to America as collaborators but they are supportive of ‘secular India’ which they declare Darulaman (house of peace) even though the lives, honour and livelihood of Muslims in India has come under increasing peril. However, the impact of the Wahabi Movement elsewhere in the Muslim world was different. They focussed on aqeeda (beliefs) and said that Muslims have begun to worship men instead of God (shirk) and embraced un-Islamic ideas like secularism and nationalism. Their stress on and interpretation of Tauheed (oneness of God) was deemed by most Muslims to be timely and reformist. But some of them began to require the state to punish people for sins, not just for crimes. Where the state hesitated to attribute to itself the role of God i.e. to punish the sinful for their sins, the Wahabis began to organise vigilantes to perform that role. The Red Mosque of Islamabad started a vigilante movement which was ruthlessly crushed by General Musharraf. The vigilantes became the Pakistani Taliban as the state indicted itself of an unjustified excess.
The Islamic Movements of all hues and form insist they want to restore the power and glory of Islam by establishing Khilafa (caliphate) and Sharia (Islamic Law) as the focal point of the society. In the world today organised as Nation States, their ideas are untenable. They ask Muslims to be disloyal to the state even where the state is Darussalam i.e. the Muslims enjoy political as well as cultural sovereignty. There are many shades of opinion but the most extreme are called the Takfiri, who hold the deviants to be worse than Kafir deserving of death. The Ikhwan al Muslimeen of Egypt and Jamaat i Islami of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh do not go to the extreme of prescribing death punishments for deviants and collaborators but they also wish to impose a view of sharia that is opposed to education for women, requires women to observe strict purdah, and gives a right to clerics to reform the sinful by severe punishments. The erstwhile Takfiris, called the Khwarji murdered the fourth Caliph - Ali RA. That enabled the rise of Empires in the Muslim World which denied the Muslims political maturity to deal with new crises. In the imperial era the Caliph alone could declare Jihad. Imperial war and Jihad became indistinguishable. Muslim Empires remained a vehicle for social egalitarianism and the Muslim Emperors extended patronage to creative activity among all their subjects whatever their religion, caste or creed. It was the superior weapons and military system developed in the West in the wake of the Industrial Revolution and Renaissance that eventually led to much of the Muslim lands being conquered and colonised by the West. It was during the 19th and the 20th Century that the Muslims began to wake up. Ironically, it was the Takfiri who challenged the status quo. In Egypt they opposed Arab Nationalism (calling it secular and un-Islamic) and were crushed. The Takfiri survive as Ikhwan al Muslimeen in Egypt. The other group of Takfiri oppose monarchies in the World of Islam. The most well known of such groups is Al-Qaeda, who could also have been crushed but for the Afghan Jihad.
In Afghanistan, Jihad emerged as ‘Peoples War against occupation’. It gained popularity and power and all liberation movements in the Muslim world are now accepted as legitimate Jihad. Unshackled from the need of a state to declare Jihad, call for Jihad is now made by the victims of occupation. It is the authority assumed by Jihadi groups - clerics or commanders - to declare Jihad which is the root cause of the instability and war in the Muslim countries today.
Paradoxically, clerics enjoy freedom to issue fatwas in Egypt and India where the state is secular. They do no fighting; they merely issue fatwas. The Deobandis of Pakistan who have organised themselves as a political party – Jamiat i Ulema i Islam (JUI) - have come to dominate the theological scene in Pakistan. The Deobandi fatwas underpinned the Pashtun uprising against the British during the Afghan Wars, against the Soviet Union after 1979, and now against the United States. Since Afghanistan has been under occupation, the Jihad was legitimate. The Takfiri streak came to the surface after the Taliban began to govern much of Afghanistan. The Taliban declared Jihad against sin. There was much sin in Afghanistan like tribal or ethnic wars; buying and selling of womenfolk; and homosexuality. The Taliban rule was accepted as benign face of fundamentalism for a while. But the State has to make many more decisions to interact with the world. The Taliban turned out to have little understanding of statecraft and ended up being isolated. Poverty spread and draconian punishments made them unpopular. Short of cash, they welcomed the Takfiri of Al-Qaeda whose ideology resembled their own Deobandi faith. It was the Takfiri who were responsible for 9/11 attack on the twin towers of New York. In consequence, the American invaded Afghanistan and have been in occupation of that country ever since. India was welcomed by the American and Karzai regime in Afghanistan and the Afghan Deobandis came in direct contact with Indian Deobandis. Under India’s influence, Pakistan was portrayed as a Muslim collaborator of the USA deserving of more sever punishment than the Americans. The Pakistani Taliban is the product of that perverse logic. They are at war in Pakistan against sin, against shirk, against subverted aqeeda, and against collaborators of the USA.
The Jihad in Afghanistan has become transformed from being Jihad against occupation to Jihad against sin and ‘wrong’ aqeeda, to Jihad against America’s collaborators. The war has spread to Pakistan and is killing more Pakistanis than Afghans. The war would soon reach India. When it reaches India, the Deobandi Clerics would not be its guides or in control. Because of the overwhelming number of non-Muslims, the Jihad in India cannot be against sin, or subverted aqeeda; it has to be against collaborator of the USA and Israel, which the Indian state has become. The methods employed by the Islamic Resistance in Afghanistan and the Taliban of Pakistan are the same as that of Maoists of India and Nepal; they seek control of rural areas first. The objectives and targets of the Islamic Movement are different in every country. In India the objectives and methods of the Maoist Movement and the Islamic Movement converge; both operate as liberation movement. The Islamic Movement is in its infancy in India at the moment. But the intifada in Kashmir and the aggressiveness of the Indian State in demonising Pakistan and crushing Muslims is bound to invite powerful response. Would the Islamic Movement in India operate as allies of the Maoist Movement or as a stand alone movement confined to slums of Indian cities? Would India seek to pre-empt the Muslim response by invasion of Pakistan? It is hard to make any predictions. That South Asia is going to face instability and insurrection widely and intensely is beyond doubt.
India is making economic progress at a very fast rate. America and the West want India to become a model of Asian Capitalism which is preferred by other Asians as a source of education and inspiration. The shackles of caste apartheid and intense hate for Islam and Muslim would prevent the Indian society from being a model. Poverty and destitution may not actually spread but would be increasingly intolerable because of the affluence flaunted by the rich. Already the rich are buying companies and homes in Europe and USA. India’s industry and services would depend more and more on foreign capital. The result may be that the Indian entrepreneurs own as much abroad as foreign enterprises own in India. The poor in India would be sidelined; the Muslims and Maoists would promise the alternative; it is hard to predict when equilibrium would be established and what it would look like.
I believe that India could find stability despite the un-nerving crisis it faces if it allowed the right of self-determination to the people of J&K, the Sikhs and the peoples of Assam. The Islamic and the Maoist Movements want India to restructure the society and the state; what they want is good for India. China is better equipped to deal with the future because it had an egalitarian Communist revolution first. India would still be as well equipped to become a force for peace and prosperity if it had an egalitarian revolution in tandem with its economic revolution. But India would neither be a vehicle for peace nor prosperity if it continued to have imperial ambitions against the poor within or against its neighbours. Not many people are holding their breath awaiting a transformation in India that accommodates the Maoists and Muslims. India is more likely to remain an ally of America which wants to remain the sole super power, and of Israel still seeking to dominate the Middle East. In the immediate future India would gain from its strategic partnership with America and Israel but this course would inevitably lead to the Indian Army being committed in wars abroad. Already, India is facing enemy within which is using tactics of asymmetrical war; the collapse of India would be hastened by wars against neighbours or overseas. Regrettably, that is the course on which India has embarked. ++