India and History of Western Hypocrisy
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 24 May , 2024

One is not intrigued by the generally negative coverage of India in general and the current elections in particular, in the Western media. India has been put in the category of Russia or Turkey, where opposition is supressed and elections are deemed to be rigged. But the venom that is currently spewed is indeed a bit much and needs some analysis. By itself it of little consequence but it has a major impact when the WOGS (Westernized Oriental Gentlemen) amplify it and take it up. This in turn creates a narrative at local level that has the potential to influence elections.

This should come as no surprise to any Indian who is cognizant of past. Indira Gandhi and even Nehru, both strong leaders in their own right, were invariably dubbed as dictators. Nehru’s non alignment policy was called ‘immoral’ by US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles at the height of Cold War. Americans had forgotten their own ‘neutrality’ in Anglo French wars of 19th century, despite the French help in American War of Independence. 

The West has always opposed a strong nationalist leader in India and PM Modi is no exception.

But the ‘ownership’ of democracy that the West trumpets from the rooftop is a false narrative. India granted equal voting rights to all its citizens right at the outset on 15 August 1947. While the so called ‘original’ democracy, UK, granted full voting rights to Catholics of Northern Ireland only in 1968. The US of America gave full voting rights to Blacks only in 1963! With what face do these countries preach India about equality before law?

The high priests of liberalism like NYT (New York Times) pillory India on illegal migrants like Rohingyas or stranded Pakistanis of Bangladesh. The US itself has built a wall on Mexican border and regularly deports illegal migrants. On 22 April 2024, UK Parliament has approved a policy of deporting illegal migrants to Rwanda. The first flights are likely to begin in July. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

The deriding of Indian electoral system based on EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) is another strand of this narrative. The West is loath to acknowledge that India is far ahead in digital revolution. India records more digital financial transactions than the whole world put together. Some readers may remember an ex Finance Minister mocking the digital payment plans by asking the question as to how a street to fruit vendor is going to use it? In last 5 years Indians have given a resounding thumbs up for digitisation and it is a common sight to see ordinary folk using digital platforms.

I gave this example to show how Indian elites, Comprador variety mostly, take their cue from the West and undermine their own country!! The West obviously does not want another China like competitor to emerge in Asia. It fears that under Mr Narendra Modi, India may well emerge as a strong and confident country that is not a Western stooge.

The West naturally prefers India to elect a party or rulers who are grateful to the West and play the role of facilitators for Western Capital and cultural influence. We have one of our ex-Prime Minister having gone on record at Oxford University praising the British rule as beneficial to India, never mind the economic exploitation where a country that had 20% share in global trade and wealth till 18th century, was reduced to a beggar state by 20th century. Forgotten is also the 1942 Bengal (man-made or more specifically, Churchill made) famine that starved to death over 6 million people.   

Our generation, the immediate post -independence born, recall how we were brain washed by Hollywood movies. Cowboy ‘Westerns’ regularly portrayed the Red Indians as savage and villains. We gullibly applauded and clapped their massacres. The WWII movies showed the Germans and Japanese as bumbling fools or worse.

I recently saw a WWII movie with all star cast, the Judgement at Nuremburg. This movie showed the trial of  German judges for having supported the German cause. The question is, should the same yardstick not be applied to Churchill who began the bombing of German cities and caused Bengal famine by destroying rice stocks so as to prevent them from falling in Japanese hands? Or President Truman for Nagasaki bombing, even when he knew that after Hiroshima atomic bomb, Japanese were on the verge of surrender. The second atomic bombing was carried out to validate a different bomb design.

The current Western interference in Indian elections through built up of fake narrative through the compromised elite is last ditch attempt to prevent India’s rise on the world scene.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Col Anil Athale

Former infantry soldier who was head of War History division, Min of Def, Research fellowships including Fulbright, Kennedy Centre, IDSA, USI and Philosophical Society. 30 years research of conflicts in Kashmir, NE, Ireland, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Author of 7 books on military history.

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