Friday, June 20, 2014

Iraq's Reverberations in India

Indian Shias worried

With holy Najaf and Karbala now in ISIS crosshairs, Indian Shias are an anxious lot. Some  protested against Shia persecution at Delhi's Jantar Mantar  and about 3000 have volunteered  to go to help Iraq. In Jammu and Kashmir, Kargil is strongly backing Iraqi Nation.

In Lucknow, Shia groups (alongwith many non-Shias) have also appealed to people of all religions to lend their moral support to people being massacred by ISIS. 
Interestingly, Shias found an unlikely ally in BJP's outspoken Hindutva activist,  Subramanian Swamy who urged Indian Government to offer military and economic support to Iraq and “stand with Shias in the emerging Shia-Sunni attrition war." because as per him, within India the Hindu-Shia amity had been cordial for decades and non-alignment was not an option here.
However, Given India's limited capacity (couldn't handle even Afghan and Sri lankan mess in her own backyard); heavy economic reliance on Gulf (Iran, Levant and Arabian Peninsula ) for jobs, remittance and Oil; and the likely domestic terror backlash; Is it really advisable for India to pick a side in what is now a full blown regional Proxy cum Civil war?  I doubt.


Closer Economic Ties with Iran

While any militaristic siding with Iran in Gulf region may be beyond India's capacity, the thaw in Iran-US relations (due to rise of ISIS), has meant India now able to pay some of pending oil payments. In past, US has been a big hurdle in India's economic ties with Iran. Perhaps one can look forward to closer Iran-India economic cooperation in future.


Stuck Nurses to Stay Put

After being promised wages by the rebels, the Indian Nurses stuck in Tikrit, have decided to stay back.  Some nurses who returned from Iraq also want to go back so that they can repay the loans. This does not come as a surprise to me-Indian workers in Gulf and East Europe (unlike US) are by and large, a poor lot, always ready to risk their lives for some quick cash.

Meanwhile, Twitter Jihadis are claiming some Kashmiris and mainland Indians are fighting for ISIS

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