Triveni Journal

1927 | 11,233,916 words

Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....

A Quick Survey World Events

Dr. Shantishree D.N.B. Pandit


Dr. Santishree. D.N.B. Pandit

The heralding of the millennium, though preponed by a year has not been easy for India’s foreign policy. The hijacking ofthe IC-814 and the flight of the Tibetan Buddhist Lama from Lhasa have created more complications. At a time when India wanted to ease her relations with China on several fronts, especially trade and commerce, the Tibetan issue has put the relations on a strain. The breaking up of Indonesia, in particular its ethnic framework has indeed put relations between the Muslims and Christians in bad shape. It is indeed a blow to the secular fabric in the region. The human bomb attack on Chandrika Kumartunga in Colombo by the LTTE has made South Asia rethink on the issue of terrorism.

Closer home, the problems in UP for the BJP with the expulsion of the ward class leader and chief minister Kalyan Singh will affect the image of the party. The Orissa cyclone was devastating and brought to the forefront the inadequate disaster management systems that India has.

The recent hijacking of the IC-814 from Kathmandu to New Delhi on its flight on 24 December was an event that did expose India as a soft state. In his classic two volume book, “Open Society and its enemies”, Karl Popper did discuss this issue. For that matter all democracies are soft states when compared to military totalitarian or Marxist authoritarian regimes. But this does not mean that democracies cannot be vigilant, for them, the only solace is that authoritarian ward looking theocracies like the Taliban also had to taste its medicine. The recent hijacking of Ariana plane to Kazakhistan, Moscow and finally to London has totally exposed the Taliban ruling junta. It is clear that the Taliban is not acceptable to the majority Afghans. This event has undermined the political legitimacy of the Taliban to rule and as well as their benefactors Pakistan and supporters UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Why are terrorists, especially foreign mercenaries who are caught, kept in jails for so long at the poor Indian taxpayer’s cost? Why this special treatment to these terrorists?

China-Pakistan nexus is threatening but not for the USA who is their fi’iend and ally. It is time that Indian decision-makers took a           serious view to tackling terrorism, rather than adopting an ad hoc and weak-kneed approach. Here we have a lot to learn from the Islamic world and China. India will have to tell these terrorists and their supporters that human rights cannot be given to those who do not practice them.

Following the hijacking crisis, before one could recover was the arrival after a long hard trek from across Tibet to Dharmashala was the fourteen year old Karmapa. His arrival is a big blow to China’s Tibet policy and all its attempts to subdue an independent people that refuse to accept Chinese sovereignty.

China has been resettling non-Tibetans especially Han Chinese in Tibet and Xingjiang making the local people a minority in their own state. Worse still is the instability on our borders. The case of Indonesia, where there the Multi-eth­nic fabric was maintained very well till the great economic crash of1997 which finally led to the downfall of the Suharto’s regime. His party, the Golkar party was in power till the elections. The elections gave a complex result with Megawati Sukarnoputri emerging as the strongest contender but Abdur Rehman Wahid became the President, who shrewdly took Megawati as his deputy. The clashes between the Christians and Muslims started in East Timor, which independence due to the in­terest of Australia. It was good that the Indonesian President’s recent visit to India can help revive good bilateral relations and India has also started looking east since the 1990’s.

The attempt on Chandrika Kumaratunga has been unfortunate by the LITE. This outfit was a Frankenstein helped by India, which has become such terror with its cannibalistic policies. What is unfortunate is that now India is a victim of terrorism and has a lot of embarrassment? Once a terrorist always a terrorist, he does not turn into a democrat any time. It is time that India took some positive steps in the region with the help of the smaller friendlier neighbours.

Terrorists with the arrival of globalization is enjoying the benefits of a borderless world. India’s neighbourhood has become the single largest genepool of terrorism in the world. What is needed is a collective global as well Asian initiative. Russia, China, Israel, USA and India are threatened by Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. These terrorists enjoy global  linkages. Afghanistan and Pakistan are the havens of Islamic terrorists. The current head of the Islamic radical group which assassinated Anwar Sadat, the former Egyptian President is believed to be taking refuge in Afghanistan after its crackdown in Egypt. Many of the Arab countries have not recognized the Taliban due to its complexity in sheltering, aiding and abet­ting narco-terrorism. The Chechen leaders who have run away from Grozny are the official guests of Islamabad and the Taliban.

The roots of this region having such a huge terrorist network, the credit goes to the USA, which in its short steadiness of opposing Soviet Russia was generous to these Islamic groups with weapons. It was a CIA financed jihad. For all the human rights, that USA silently accepted the killing of Najibullah in a brutal way by the Taliban. The killing was un-Islamic as well and was not condemned by this great defender of freedom and democracy USA. Russia has bluntly accused the USA of supporting terrorists and separatists, the first time since the end of the Cold war. It seems to be playing a double game in Kosovo, where the KLA was protected and the Serbs attacked. This has put the United States in a fix for they are having anti-terrorism squads and also have been the originators of the jihad groups in Afghanistan. It is like a Catch-22 situation.

The US President Bill Clinton’s visit is indeed an important event for it is during the tenure of Clinton that the relations took a round about turn. This favourable turn is due to International events as well as the Indian market. This indeed slowly did bring the relations on track. The Pakistani adventurism in Kargil and their support to Islamic terrorists who targeted the West as well as India, brought India and US even closer.

At present Indo-US relations is much broader and deeper than a single factor. It is a multi dimensional relationship, which should be strengthened to fight, Chinese nationalist imperialism and the Islamic terrorism that is transnational phenomena aimed at attacking all civilized non-Islamic democratic states. Even the Chechen rebel leader is in Pakistan to collect the jihadis. General Musharaf has pushed all these groups to the LOC saying it is a holy war. This bilateral relationship between India and the US transcended Pakistan.

The issue of Hindu right groups making an uproar on the filming of “Water” is indeed unfortunate. I am a proud Hindu but that cannot make me exclusivist. It goes against the grain of a pluralistic civilization that I am proud of. It is here where Hinduism’s uniqueness and strength lies.

The elections in Bihar has once again proved that violence has been a part of the Indian democracy and this has been so in this state which once was the birth place of the greatest Indian and the first rationalist, Gautama Buddha. But now it is so ward that the elections had proved that however corrupt Laloo is still popular in Bihar where there is a high rate of illiteracy and poverty.

It is interesting to note that a study done in Orissa by an institute on electoral participation has come up with statistics that clearly show that an educated public and those that are emancipated from all castes have voted for the BJP. The Congress has got its support from the illiterate, poor and the Muslims. This indeed brings in the argument that the larger the middle classes, the larger the support for the B.J.P.

The review of the Constitution, which is a simple straightforward exercise has got the most curious reaction. The Dalits think that it is sacred as their leader wrote it. The fact is Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was only the Chairman of the drafting Committee, but he did not write all. There were several legal luminaries who also worked. It is a collective document. It is not a religious book that is infallible. The Congress thinks that as it has nothing else this can be made into an issue. A review is not change and no party has the required strength. The hue and cry is just to distract rather than participate.

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