India-China conflict at the high-altitude Line of Actual Control (LAC) fixed by the British colonial rulers is a classic example of distraction tactics that the ruling classes adopt, from time to time, to ensure that the people don’t question the government’s incompetence in providing basics like food, shelter, clothing, employment, health and education to all and remain bamboozled with a dosage of jingoism.
The ulterior motive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which has failed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic through a disastrous lockdown and is now leaving the people astray when the pandemic is ravaging the country, is to ensure that a tension simmers between the two neighbouring countries at the Himalayas so that the press, the opposition and millions of chest-thumping self-styled “nationalists” can keep on distracting the people and vouch for a bloody war with the neighbouring nuclear power, spreading extreme xenophobia, while the government is saved from unkind and critical questions.
The soldiers are made a bait to stop any kind of logical argument with hullaballoo of jingoism. As the Modi regime faces a stringent challenge in meeting the demands of public healthcare in the country and after the facades of the prime minister’s much-hyped “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) fell ignominiously due to the raging economic crisis caused by the systematic failure of the global monopoly-finance capitalist system, which rules India through multiple threads pulled by its lackey crony-comprador capitalists, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has resorted to the old tactics of gagging critical voices by dangling the corpse of soldiers. But can the questions stop flowing? Can jingoism be justified in these circumstances when India’s cities are seeing a surge in COVID-19 deaths and the public healthcare is at tatters?
Modi’s economic failures have been prominently visible since 2017. The global crisis of monopoly-finance capital crippled the economic growth of India since 2009 and has triggered massive unemployment. A hot border works as a time-tested machine to distract the masses from the complex problems of the economy, which is now blamed on the COVID-19 globally to whitewash the crimes of capitalism, therefore, without a second thought, Modi is keen to pursue his bête noire Jawaharlal Nehru’s aggressive forward patrolling policy in the Himalayas to brew the India-China conflict until a favourable situation is created at home for the government.
Moreover, the press releases from the military headquarters regarding the killing of 20 Indian soldiers and the unverified news of the killing of 43 Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers will help Modi’s BJP during the forthcoming Bihar election, a state that sends a large number of unemployed youths to the military to work as cannon fodders for New Delhi’s mighty men.
While Modi’s intention behind aggravating the India-China conflict at the highest and toughest terrains can be understood from his political compulsions, the opposition’s incitement for an all-out war, the incessant peddling of fake news regarding Chinese aggression on Indian territory and the Congress party leaders’ cacophony demanding war with China are far more dangerous politically and diplomatically. Though historically any India-China conflict at the LAC is generally resolved through military leadership’s engagement, at times it’s imperative for top-level political engagement between New Delhi and Beijing to cool down the heat.
But now, as Modi fears a political backlash in case he retreats, the only option open for New Delhi is to open back-channel diplomatic dialogue with Beijing to resolve the India-China conflict at the Himalayas. The Frankenstein of “nationalism” that Modi’s BJP has used repeatedly to sweep elections by tantalising the gullible masses with war optics, won’t be sparing him now.
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