Thursday, May 22, 2014

Modi Government Part III: Foreign Policy




What BJP Manifesto says
“We will create a web of allies to mutually further our interests.”






What RSS says?

·         Bharat Maata must be restored to its Global-power status

·         Strict policy  on alleged Bangladeshi illegal migrants, Pakistan’s armed infiltators and PLA  incursions

·         India a natural homeland for Pak/Bangla Hindu refugees

·         Closer ties with Nepal, Bhutan & perhaps Indo-China (brotherly Dharmic Countries).




Brief thoughts on relations with selected few countries...



Afghanistan

Greater military assistance to Afghanistan Government to tackle Taliban perhaps?


Pakistan

Little hope for improvement. Though a BJP led Government does have greater leeway than Congress in constructively engaging with Pakistan (without being branded as too soft on terror); Pakistani Generals have reasserted their tight grip over the State by  expelling Indian Journos, repeated Ceasefire violations at LoC and closing down of Geo TV in recent days.  Another round of Jihad-e-Kashmir or Gazwa-e-Kabul and Modi’s hawkish Anti-Pakistan rhetoric can make matters worse. Also Pakistani media/politicians/diplomats/agencies, who have engaged in Anti-Modi rhetoric in near past, will find it difficult to  re-engage.  
   

Bangladesh

Likely to worsen. Since BJP has simple majority in Lower House, it can hammer out Teesta water sharing and Land enclave settlement without Mamta’s backing. But on BD, Modi and RSS rhetoric has been primarily focussed on Bangla immigrant issue & fencing the border. Also a Secularist Hasina may find it difficult to engage with Mr Modi.  Any major Anti-Bengali Muslim rioting or State sponsored repatriation effort on Indian side, can make matters worse.


Sri Lanka

Likely to get better- BJP doesn’t need support of Dravidian parties to stay in power and also has little (though no longer zilch) at stake in Tamil Nadu’s local politics. DMK, AIADMK may very well raise their Anti-Sri Lanka rhetoric but may not prove as effective as they were under UPA Government in shaping India’s foreign Policy w.r.t Sri Lanka.



Nepal

Greater assistance for ‘brotherly’ Hindu majority country. Only major danger is RSS tying itself in knots if it pushes Modi Government to take side of Nepal’s pro-Monarchy & Hindu Nationalist RPP-N . Nepali Maoists are another group that hold potential of derailing reapproachment India.


China

Business as usual. Perhaps Modi can bring some Chinese expertise for proposed mega-infrastructure projects.


Russia

No hiccups, should remain warm as ever.


Japan

Good days ahead. Modi as CM has good experience of working with Japan plus great chemistry b/w the two Modi and Abe.


USA & EU

Despite Visa ban on Modi in past, relations likely to get better with time.  Convergence of Geopolitical interests (containing China’s military rise), RSS’s American fanbase, Modi’s pro-business tilt and India’s huge market-should force both sides to bury the past and move on with business.


Israel

Will get a major boost. RSS has great admiration for the Jewish State. Under NDA regime, Jaswant Singh became the first Indian Foreign Minister to visit Israel in 2000 and in 2003, Ariel Sharon was the first Israeli PM to visit India. Mr Modi is already being touted as Israel’s best friend in South Asia


Arab States

Regular ‘pay as you go’ business likely to continue. For India’s economy, the Oil must flow; while given the long view (emergence of India as a major Asian Power), precarious stability situation within Arab nations; Arabs also in no position to annoy India.