Shivshankar Menon, India’s former National Security Advisor under the Manmohan Singh government has written an article in Foreignaffairs.com, a USA-based publication, on the India-US relationship under the Modi and Trump administrations.
As NSA, Menon was cited as one of Manmohan Singh’s most trusted men and had also gained the confidence of many UPA ministers.
In the article, the former NSA has implied that India’s domestic policies should be made in a way that the USA, or rather, a particular set of politicians in the USA approve of.
In the article titled “League of Nationalists: How Trump and Modi Refashioned US-Indian Relationship” in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, Menon has written that Trump and Modi go along well because they both, like Israel’s Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad Bin Salman and Brazil’s Bolsonaro, view foreign policy as a ‘give and get favours’ relationship.
Menon also says that Modi and Trump go along well because, like Trump, Modi had “resorted to ultranationalism to compensate for his divisive domestic agenda”.
Fromer NSA peddles blatant lies against India
The former NSA’s article is mostly about how Trump (and his friends) are bad people who do bad things. He writes baout a number of changes in India’s policy and trade relationship with the USA, but fails to explain how exactly they have been ‘bad’ for either countries. Most of the issues he has mentioned, are discussed because they have been ‘changes’, steering away from old conventions and old dynamics of ‘strong USA and weak India’.
In order to make his point, Menon has resorted to blatant lies against India and the policies of the Modi government, to the extent of undermining India’s national interests and belittling India’s sovereignty to ‘appease’ a certain group of politicians.
In the same article, Menon has resorted to blatant lies. He has written that under Modi, India has “excluded Muslim immigrants from the path to citizenship”. This is in reference to the CAA, where India had shortened the number of years required for religiously persecuted minority refugees from its three Islamic neighbours, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to apply for an Indian citizenship.
The blatant lie that it takes away the ‘right of Muslims’ and endangers their citizenship, or even restricts Muslims from applying for Indian citizenship was peddled by a large group od ‘secular-liberals’ including the Congress, and other opposition parties in India, a number of leftist NGOs, Pakistan, UK’s Labour Party and a section of democrats in the USA.
The CAA neither concerns exiting Indian citizens, regardless of their religion, nor it affects the usual process of applying for citizenship for non-Indians, regardless of their religion. What Menon, a former NSA, has written, is a big, fat, shameless lie.
Menon’s lie on Kashmir
The second part of Menon’s lies concerns Jammu and Kashmir, where India had last year abrogated the discriminatory, misogynist, anti-Dalit and anti-minority Article 370 and brought all the residents of the erstwhile Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir under the ambit of the Indian constitution, with all the rights and benefits that the Indian constitution grants to its citizens, regardless of their gender, birth, religion and sexual orientation.
Why exactly a former NSA serving under the then UPA government harbours the views that an Indian state should be governed by a set of sectarian laws dictated by the Muslim majority of that region and its residents should not enjoy the rights and benefits granted by the constitution of India is a big mystery. May be Menon himself, or the people who appointed him as the NSA should answer that question.
Menon wants USA to interfere in India’s domestic policies?
The reason why he has written a long article on ‘Bad-Trump bad-Modi’ is explained on the later lines. Menon has explicitly mentioned that Trump has never ‘objected’ to Modi’s domestic policy. He has given a “free pass” to Modi’s divisive domestic agenda and it was only a few Democrat leaders, like Pramila Jayapal, and Ro Khanna who had spoken against Modi’s policy.
Why does a former NSA think that India’s democratically elected government should need the permission, evaluation and approval of the USA before deciding on its domestic policies is another large question mark.
Pramila Jayapal, and some other politicians, were among those who had tried to pressurise India through various channels against its domestic policy decisions of CAA and abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. India’s current foreign minister S Jaiashankar had refused to meet a delegation of USA politicians where Jayapal was a part, over the same issue.
India, under the Modi government, has steadfastly refused to bow down to foreign politicians. The UK Labour Party had also passed a resolution against India’s decisions in Kashmir. India, under Modi, has made it clear that it will not let foreign powers decide its policies. Perhaps a strong, independent India that refuses to bend to a certain group of lobbyists and their masters, is not a favourable idea for some.
Shivshankar Menon is the board member of a George Soros organisation
Shivshankar Menon, who served as the National Security Advisor (NSA) of India from January 2010 to May 2014 under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, currently sits on the Board of Trustees of Crisis Group along with George Soros.
For the uninitiated, George Soros, the so-called ‘progressive philanthropist’, who through his network of NGOs and funding agencies works to interfere in internal matters of other nations, influence elections and change governments, has stated that his organisation intends to fight ‘nationalism’ in India.
At Davos, in his speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Soros had committed $1 billion towards fighting nationalism and nationalists. George Soros claimed that the “biggest and most frightening setback” was in India and accused Narendra Modi of “creating a Hindu nationalist state.
In India, Soros’ organisation Open Society Foundation has been working through a number of NGOs and so-called ‘intellectuals’. These organizations are extensively involved in shaping the mainstream narrative and they often engage in ‘judicial activism’ that seeks to use the Courts in order to undermine Indian national interests. Harsh Mander is the Chairman of the OSF’s Human Rights Initiative Advisory Board.
Some of OSF-supported HRLN’s efforts have been involved in include the campaign against ISKCON’s Akshaya Patra, a campaign against Indian sedition laws, and it has been providing free legal aid to Rohingya Muslims in India. It has also been engaging in activism for the implementation of the RTE Act that works against Hindu-run institutions. Furthermore, it is also linked to a plethora of organizations across the country that seeks to undermine India’s territorial integrity.