Our school invariably had two sections across the board: Section A and Section B. Section A was reserved for students living in Vihars: Preet Vihar, Swasthya Vihar, Priyadarshini Vihar, Nirman Vihar, etc. Section B was reserved for Nagars: Laxmi Nagar, Shastri Nagar, Ganesh Nagar, Pandav Nagar, etc. I, though being in Section B, had developed friendship with Section A students. Of course, one fine day Section B students, who were also friends, beat me up. The school promptly changed my section. I was mobile enough to pick up my bag and move into the posh and élite Section A.
Similarly, the world is also divided into sections. Israel is surrounded by Arabs, Palestine, Syria and what not. But it, of course, belongs more to Europe and the US than to West Asia. If given a chance, it would also pack its bags and shift westward towards Europe along with Jerusalem. But of course it can’t, so it remains where it is and fights the Muslim world. That’s the only choice left when you can’t move residence lock, stock and barrel. I have never been to Israel so can’t say how ugly or beautiful the country is, but, from whatever I have read, it is, ironically, the biggest violator of Human Rights after Hitler’s Germany.
India has been better off. Nehru created Panchsheel — the best India has so far done on the diplomatic front. Though the principles were part of the treaty between India and China, they were nevertheless adopted later in the Non-Aligned Movement, which is thus to be acknowledged as the true identity of Panchsheel. Panchsheel allowed a positioning very similar to that of Finland, who, though being part of Europe, maintained good relationships with the USSR during Cold War. But, of course, Nehru did it at a much larger scale gathering all the left out countries within its fold. India ensured close relationship with Russia without riling the US, who for a good part kept thinking Russia was trying to acquire India after acquiring Afghanistan.
But, ironically, Panchsheel failed with China — though technically speaking the Sino-Indian war broke out after the 1954 Panchsheel agreement came to an end. Once again the situation between India and China has escalated in Sikkim. Ironically, China is invoking Panchsheel this time. It says Indian troops transgressed into the Chinese side. As an #AntiNationalHumanist, I have stopped taking sides, especially between the two warring nations. Whatever may be the truth, one thing is for sure that Panchsheel is hardly invocable in the current Indian regime. In fact, Modi’s Israel visit is a clear message to the world that India is no more non-aligned. It has moved clearly and decisively towards the Europe and the US. Interestingly, Russia seems to be indifferent, but China would, of course, have problems. It is the new and possibly the only challenger to the US. It has support from Pakistan, Iran, Russia, and the whole host of Asian countries, especially after the “Belt and Road” initiative. And it would not like any US proxy in Asia to challenge its new positioning. I have a feeling that the current Sino-Indian tension in Sikkim has its genesis in Modi’s US visit followed by the Israel visit, but this shouldn’t be construed to mean that China is the aggressor: India might have well transgressed into the Chinese occupation as declaration of its new friendship with the West.
However, India is different from Israel. First, India doesn’t have a culture of war mongering. It’s only lately that “Bhakts” have started shouting “Bharat Mata” slogans, but let me advice the Indian army that not one of them would go fight China if the situation comes to that — so, I do reiterate the question of some politician, “Was anyone martyred from Gujarat?” Secondly, India is not as close to the West as Israel is, and Indians are not as white as Israelis are — ok, I need to admit here that Section B students were all Black and Section A students were pretty White, which was attributed entirely to the fairness cream, and I did feel the need to buy one after a while. Thirdly, in spite of their White colour, Section A students were pretty abusive too. Ditto for the West. In my case, it worked because I had fundamental problems with the Section B students. But, in the present case of India, I don’t see any fundamental problem between India and China. There is a scope for co-existence especially when India shares skin color with both Pakistan and China. Last but not the least, if India is following Chanakya Niti, which says one should be hostile to the immediate neighbour and friendly to the neighbour next-to-next, let me inform India that the neighbour next-to-next is the Pacific Ocean, not the US. Moreover, Chanakya has died long ago along with all his misogynistic ideals. Let him RIP!
© 2017 Ankur Mutreja
Feature Image Credit: Narendra Modi (https://www.flickr.com/photos/narendramodiofficial/15282466671/sizes/l/)