Like it or not, India has to accept some ground realities. We do not doubt that India can be a great nation capable of more greatness. We do not doubt India is a nation rich in resources and human assets. But, India is lacking a key ingredient that demotes itself and its aspirations for greatness. That is India’s weakness to go behind the very nations that has brought India to its knees and is cunningly planning to as well. To aspire to be great, India must learn to act great. Tagging along like Mary’s lamb depicts India’s inability to stand on its own and this is what differentiates India from China. China has built its nation by its own, on its own and China dictates how China functions. Can India say the same of itself? Where will romancing with the West, land India?
Former diplomats & MPs like Shashi Tharoor delivers eloquent anti-colonialism speeches across the globe, lists out all of the atrocities committed during colonial rule but instead of slapping the very countries that indulged in murder and mayhem in India & to Indians, India is elated to be signing strategic & military partnerships with them. Bewildering.
When India is seen romancing with the very countries that colonized and have yet to apologize for over 500 years of sins – India has chosen not to seek justice where justice is deserved.
India’s greatness should have been shown in leading the colonized nations to demand accountability, acknowledgement & reparations that would have served as a great bargaining tool against the international loan/interest system, the third world is today subject to & crippling their development.
When India signs military/strategic partnerships with countries that draft the partnerships to prevent the rise of other nations and secure supremacy via preventing the growth of others, it doesn’t show any greatness in India. India is not seeking greatness; India is only going behind presumed to be great nations. These are no signs of a great nation.
We expect India to create its greatness, not to presume to be great because it sits by the side of self-declared great countries.
Since 2015 India is a key partner of QUAD. In other words, India has offered to become West’s poodle in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. The West freely showers India with plenty of hugs, pats and no shortage of glossy praises. India is brimming and blushing like a bride.
India is acting as a headless chicken. India cannot forget its soul remains culturally dharmic and Eastern yet India’s political leadership prefers to separate that by connecting with western ideals. This is why India can find no synergy.
The white man speaks with a forked tongue and while India is given pats for aligning with the West, the West spares no rod against India. In 2021, Freedom House declared India as ‘partly free’ democracy, while V-Dem Institute of Sweden declared India an ‘electoral autocracy’ Indians that voted BJP along the “Hindutva” theme are realizing that making India a Hindu state remains a political slogan only. Just like backtracking on 2014 ‘Made in India’ to increase exports & reduce imports. The irony is that inspite of India’s closeness to the West, India is gagging its media, silencing critics and shifting government personnel – all of the opposites that the West openly preaches, or is this just a canard for the general public!
While India remains a key strategic partner there is enough and more tomatoes getting thrown at the Indian government with each passing day. India has even withdrawn from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. India has even joined the anti-China bandwagon curbing Chinese products in India ignoring how China has been leveraging start-up Indian companies in India. Anti-China policy appears to be a noteworthy element in all of the nations where their leaders end up suddenly aligning with the West. Funnily enough. all of the nations that publicly degrade China, including India cannot do without China either!
India is not only going to be engaging with QUAD but also with G7 and the 5 Eyes (intelligence sharing alongside US-Canada, UK, Australia & New Zealand) Obviously India has forgotten that newly created India under Jawarhalal Nehru joined the British Commonwealth in 1947 ONLY AFTER the organization removed security aspect in its role & India under Nehru refused to join military alliances thus India’s policy of non-alignment. All that appears to have Gone with the Wind!
Nevertheless, to become a great nation, that nation must create and carve out its greatness. No nation is going to achieve greatness by tagging to the petticoat of other nations and expecting to be carried to the top. In such a scenario, India will only be playing second fiddle and functioning to the dictates of the matron that dictates to it. This is not the greatness we want for India.
In a world of over 7billion people, no one nation needs to be the greatest of close to 200 countries. The world needs nations that can lead the rest of the world. The world doesn’t need bullies and nations that plays role as cut throats. India can and should be a world leader but not by romancing with the West and holding on to West’s apron strings. India must inculcate its historical roots and rise on India’s terms and India’s glories, just as China has done which is what makes China & the Chinese so proud of how they have come to where they are. No nation that copies other nations or thinks that its greatness comes in its association with self-declared ‘great’ nations can ever be crowned a great nation. A majority of Indians too will agree.
Shenali D Waduge