The US House Foreign Affair’s Committee Hearing on South Asia Human Rights turned into an elaborate exercise on genocide denial. While the committee members and those invited to speak on the matter were more concerned with slandering India and the BJP-RSS than the threat of Radical Islamic Terrorism that India faces and its pervasiveness in Kashmiri Muslim society, it also turned into a spectacle where the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus was eloquently turned into a matter of mere “mass migration”.
The turn of events wasn’t surprising considering the fact that the House is controlled by Democrats who have been issuing remarkably dense and malicious comments on the abrogation of Article 370. From Presidential aspirant, Bernie Sanders to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, all of them have made comments that quite clearly toe the Radical Islamic line on the issue. Such comments have deeply affected the manner in which the Indian government has assessed the current political climate in the United States.
The stance of the Democratic party, undoubtedly, affected Prime Minister Modi’s address to the Indian American community during the Howdy Modi event at Houston, Texas. Though Narendra Modi had personal scores to settle with US President Donald Trump’s rival in the 2016 US Presidential Elections, Hillary Clinton, he has never allowed personal and an Indian Prime Minister cannot be expected to allow personal grudges to dictate foreign policy speeches during official tours.
Thus, it happened that Narendra Modi profusely praised Donald Trump and incorporated the slogans ‘Make America Great Again’ and ‘Abki Baar Trump Sarkar’ into his speech. In the context of current US politics, Narendra Modi shunned the Democrats’ pessimism with their President and showered Donald Trump with compliments. Numerous political observers noted that Narendra Modi went the extra mile in his speech and even Donald Trump’s campaign team asserted that “President Donald Trump received the endorsement of Indian Prime Minister Modi.”
Some might argue that the conduct of the Democrat Party in the hearing was motivated by Narendra Modi’s speech in Houston but that really isn’t the case. Regardless of the speech that was made, the Democrats would have engaged in the same despicable rhetoric anyway. Thus, battle lines appear to have been drawn. While the Democratic party is busy in its campaign against India, the Indian government appears to have concluded that ‘Trump Sarkaar’ is more conducive to its interests.
Apart from the Democratic Party’s approach towards Kashmir, Trump’s resolve to hurt China and the SinoAmerica Trade War he has initiated in only good news for India. At the same time, the Trump administration has endorsed India’s position on Kashmir and has not offered any sermons to India while the Modi government continues to deal with Pakistan as it deems fit. Four more years of Trump will indeed be very good for India.
Meanwhile, the Democrats currently are the party of warmongers and the CIA. Everything for them currently is a matter of partisan politics. They have no inhibition in escalating tensions with the Russians to frame Donald Trump in the Russia Collusion Delusion. The Democrats with the help of the CIA are actually trying to frame Trump in the Ukraine-corruption scandal in an effort to impeach the US President.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is busy smearing Tulsi Gabbard as a Russian asset, an allegation that has been made by people associated with Kamala Harris as well. The Democrat party is a mess right now. Therefore, the US Foreign Affair’s Committee Hearing and the whole series of remarks that have been made on the abrogation of Article 370 are consistent with the madness that has gripped the party.
People also need to remember the history of the Indo-US relationship. There was a time when the US openly backed Pakistan against India and helped them in every way while continuing to undermine Indian national interests. Then came a period of a certain level of cooperation between the two countries, first under George W. Bush which continued to improve under Barack Obama’s tenure as President. And it’s under POTUS Donald Trump that the relationship between the two countries has truly reached its best phase yet.
Donald Trump’s policies have been conducive to Indian interests. And there’s a reason for that. Amidst the SinoAmerica Trade War, the Trump Administration has to make certain concessions to India for us to cooperate with them. Narendra Modi’s overtures towards Xi Jinping during his visit to India made it clear that India won’t hesitate to cooperate with China as well if it serves our interests. MEA Jaishankar during his interviews and speeches at the US Think Tanks has made it clear that India will pursue a very hard bargain with the West in the near future and the global power balance that has existed till now will change in the coming years.
Under such circumstances, it begs the question, “How will the Democrat party’s disgraceful conduct during the House hearing on South Asia Human Rights affect the Indo-US relationship?” The answer is, it won’t; in any way whatsoever. In the US of A, foreign policy is not decided by public opinion on the subject, nor is it decided by the likes of Bernie Sanders or Ilhan Omar who are most definitely not part of the establishment. For instance, one only needs to take a look at the considerable resistance Donald Trump is facing while trying to withdraw US troops from Kurdish regions, which was one of his campaign promises.
The series of attempts at character assassination and smearing US Congresswoman and war veteran Tulsi Gabbard is also borne of her campaign promise of radically altering US foreign policy. Only under Joe Biden, former Vice-President, could US foreign policy change with regards to China and India should he manage to defeat Donald Trump in 2020. However, looking at how his presidential campaign is going, it seems unlikely that he will be the eventual Democratic nominee.
With regard to the question around China, the US establishment appears to be coming around to the same position as Donald Trump. And it is good news for India. Because the US cannot afford to antagonize China and India at the same time. If it chooses to confront China, then it must make peace with some core demands of the Indian government.
Thus, the hearing on South Asia Human Rights was of little more significance than political grandstanding and these hearings have been reduced to such in recent times in the US. They provide nothing apart from an opportunity for politicians to consolidate their voter base. It has very little scope to affect the Indo-US relationship.
The Indian government will likely issue a simple statement against it and then ignore the matter altogether. Meanwhile, the Republican party will no doubt see it as an opportunity to reach out to the Indian American community who have traditionally voted for Democrats. All in all, the hearing only has the potential to affect the internal politics of the USA.
While the Indian government recognizes the unique position it finds itself in and derives its confidence from it, the Indian ‘intellectual elite’ and those of Indian origin have failed to accurately assess the dynamics of current international politics. While MEA Jaishankar does not hesitate to call out western media for its conduct, the ‘intellectual elite’ continues to labour under the delusion that they have the capacity to influence the decisions of the Indian government.
The current ruling Indian disposition already knew the kind of reactions they would receive from the Western press and the Leftist political establishment when they decided to abrogate Article 370. And they did it anyway. Why? Because they were perfectly aware that under the prevailing scene of international politics they could afford to do so. In the same manner, they were also perfectly aware that should they conduct Surgical Strikes and Balakot Air Strikes, there will be little to no backlash against India because of our country’s current position in international politics.
Many ‘intellectuals’ have failed to grasp one essential thing. India’s position has changed massively in international politics in the past few years and in the years to come, it will continue to change radically until we occupy a position in the world as befits a country with a market as large as ours and a population as great ours. We are no longer at a stage where such hearings could affect Indian domestic policy on critical matters such as Article 370 should the government make up their minds on it.
All the Democrats can do is indulge in impotent rage to pacify their disgruntled constituents. In reality, even they are aware that they can’t do anything apart from offering harsh words. The world has changed forever but some people, quite obviously, haven’t come to terms with it.