Western powers are pleasant with New Delhi now, however what occurs after they start to see it as a rival?
By Timur Fomenkoa political analyst
Not too long ago, there was outrage throughout India over a BBC documentary.
Titled ‘The Modi Query’, the program shines a crucial gentle on what it alleges was the Indian prime minister’s function in anti-Muslim riots that shook the state of Gujarat in 2002.
Indian authorities reacted by banning the documentary and denouncing it as “colonial propaganda”. Such sensitivity is frequent in in the present day’s India, which beneath Narendra Modi’s management has steered onto a pathway of Hindu nationalism, which has led the nation to be extra liable to outrage over worldwide criticism and to become much less “liberal” in nature.
Some weeks after the documentary’s launch, the BBC in India got here beneath investigation for alleged tax violations. The broadcaster’s response emphasised its standing as a “trusted, impartial media group,” and protection of the tax probe has implied that it’s politically motivated. Nonetheless, this row comes at a crucial second in geopolitics the place Western international locations are actively courting New Delhi as a part of their Indo-Pacific initiatives. Extra particularly, their bid to make use of India and its large financial potential as a strategic bulwark to comprise China.
Nonetheless, the query is how lengthy the West’s honeymoon with New Delhi can final? Particularly when, in present circumstances, India could determine to pursue governance selections which aren’t in concord with the values the Western nations proclaim to uphold. In spite of everything, the lean in direction of India is seen with a sure romanticism in Western international locations, whose officers reward it because the “world’s largest democracy” and a companion with “shared values.”
The reality, although, is that they don’t really see India as an equal. They hope, given the foundations of its political system, that India will sooner or later be “the identical” as they’re, and anticipate a course of liberalization and political change beneath their steering, just like what was as soon as anticipated from Russia and China. However, if India fails to comply with that route, or continues to develop as an autonomous energy which doesn’t consent to Western dominance, the possibilities are that the West’s tolerance for the nation, and particularly for Modi’s authorities, will run out.
This brings us to the BBC. Indian authorities are proper in describing the BBC as a “post-colonial” establishment as a result of that’s what it’s. The BBC world service will not be neutral in any respect, however an establishment created with the imperialistic objective of projecting British affect abroad, paying particular consideration to the previous dominions of the British Empire. The BBC is ideologically biased, and has unsurprisingly drawn criticism in India for its condescending protection.
The UK appears at India with starry-eyed nostalgia. It doesn’t see its century-long historical past of colonial rule over the subcontinent as a time of exploitation, oppression, violence and inequality. As an alternative, it tends to imagine that it has performed the nation a favor by boosting its growth, and that this historical past affords it a “particular relationship” with New Delhi. Subsequently, despite the fact that Britain’s Brexit ideology seeks substantial commerce and monetary advantages from India, the UK nonetheless believes that it has a proper to intrude in its inner politics, with Modi’s nationalistic and centralized rule inserting them on a long-term collision course.
Issues are comparatively steady now, regardless of this “row” over the documentary, however this poses the query – what occurs when India turns into rich and highly effective and doesn’t eagerly settle for the Western-centric political world order? Additionally, what if it seeks to be a geopolitical energy in its personal phrases? What occurs when Western international locations start to understand India not as a companion in want of assist and help, however as a rival in the same vein to how they view China and, in fact, Russia? What occurs when the US-led Indo-Pacific initiative begins to look not as one thing that might incorporate and assist India, however one thing that might additionally doubtlessly comprise its army rise?
This BBC documentary is a reminder to India that the collective West seeks to not befriend it, however to make use of it, and in flip will not be more likely to settle for an India which doesn’t adhere to its political phrases and circumstances. India’s present overseas coverage is commonly described as “strategic autonomy,” however in recent times the nation has been overly pleasant with the US to take advantage of mutual anti-China sentiment in a bid to realize financial alternatives for itself. On the identical time, there was a home political shift in India which orients it away from westernization. The West’s good will for New Delhi, a superpower of the long run, will sooner or later run out, and the agenda will shift in direction of containment. India wants to have a look at what is going on now with China and be prepared when that day comes.
The statements, views and opinions expressed on this column are solely these of the writer and don’t essentially symbolize these of RT.