New York, June 3, 2016: So day after day Indians continue to hear of the good works of their Hindu nationalist government as far as the foreign policy goes. But they seldom realize that their Hindu nationalist government’s ‘sympathetic’ stance towards minorities of Pakistan and Bangladesh is also doing something else, i.e., giving it the clout of a country that understands its responsibility as the power of the ‘region.’
So we have India, ruled by a Hindu nationalist government, turning saviour for Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afghanistani Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, and Buddhists. We may not even need to include the Jews as they already enjoy a reputation that is impossible to tarnish.
Even Muslim activists from Rohingyas, Palestinians, Pakistani artists and Maldivian democratic forces, Uighurs and activists of Balochistan, Gilgit and Baltistan look to India as a power that can put balm on their wounds. Pakistani silence on the issue of Muslims in its own backyard itself is enough to show the world that it is unprepared for a larger role in even the Islamic politics, forget the rest.
It is true that India’s track record has been very good on several counts but it is wiser to state that it is the current Hindu nationalist government that has really turned the tables and brought the Gulf and the other Muslim nations closer to India.
In short, India under the Hindu nationalist government has effectively blunted the primary weapon of Pakistan, the Islamic nation card, and is now beating the ‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ or the ‘liberal Pakistan’ plank as well. How?
Through the ‘citizenship’ card. Yes, India’s opening its doors for the persecuted non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan has done the most damage to the reputation of Pakistan. Even Pakistan’s stunt of showing ‘Indian spies’ in Balochistan has done almost nothing to tarnish Indian image in the world politics.
What Pakistan needs to realise is that it cannot be the ‘saviour’ of the Muslim nations; there are already Gulf nations with Saudi Arabia and the Iran at the top, which enjoy a robust relationship with the Western nations. In short, they really don’t need Pakistan, but Pakistan is in dire need of them because of its economic fragility.
So the Islamic card has already expired, also Pakistan is considered an unreliable nation with large number of Pakistanis found involved in terrorism, human trafficking and sexual grooming in the Western nations. Due to the actions of its population, Pakistan is as much a liability for the Gulf nations as is the Nazi past for Germany, in short, it is there so it can’t be brushed off under the carpet, so embracing the guilt seems a better option.
The Hindu nationalist government of India stormed to power in the year 2014 but in a very short time, it has emerged as the voice of stability in the subcontinent. It is swiftly clearing up the pending cases of citizenships from Pakistan and its integrated efforts are making Pakistani minorities see India as the hope and will help India catapult itself to newer heights very soon.
It is also true that the problem is also rudderless Pakistani politicians who are overdoing the Islamic card despite knowing that India has already deflated the plank of Muslim persecution and whatever differences remain are part and parcel of everyday politics. All that these Pakistani politicians do is make India’s Hindu nationalist government seem more reasonable and pragmatic because it has never cared to respond to those allegations but is rather ‘seen’ being courted by Uighur and other Muslim activists who refuse to buy the ‘Indian Muslim persecution’ line that is used by Pakistan.
In short, not only the Hindu nationalist government has changed the way it deals with Pakistani politicians but it actually understands that they are a liability and are not really even liked by an average Pakistani due to their corrupt, inefficient, warlord and undemocratic party set-ups and to cover that up, they use alleged persecution of Indian Muslims to keep themselves alive in an atmosphere that is not conducive to ask for votes on the ‘dead bodies and roti, kapda and makan’ politics of Pakistan.
Many in Pakistan also find this weird that while Hindus and other minorities are crossing over from Pakistan to India and never come back, Indian Muslims would most likely turn down the chance of citizenship in an Islamic nation like Pakistan which actually got made on the principle that Muslims need a separate homeland. And that is India’s biggest win and especially for the Hindu nationalist government which has been under the scanner but hasn’t exactly missed the beat.
But of course, Pakistan can change the game and defeat India but for that it must be ready to open the option of giving citizenship to persecuted Muslims from India, Myanmar, Afghanistan and other nations, however, considering the ‘Mohajir’ problem and its problem with non-Urdu and non-Punjabi speaking Muslims, it is unlikely that it would ever be able to do it.
In short, Pakistan would continue to be seen as a loser and the Hindu nationalist government of India will continue to defeat ‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ over and over again.