Rise of Hindutva and Regional Security Dynamics

The rise of regional influence, populist regimes and right-wing extremism has changed the orientation of world politics. South Asia is not an exception where India’s quest for regional hegemon have fueled the ultra-nationalist and popular sentiments among the masses. The number and frequency of organized right-wing extremism has increased but western policy and scholarly discourse on extremism remains excessively focused on Islamic extremism. Contrary to this rise of saffron terrorism under the banner of Hindutva in India is conveniently ignored.

Nevertheless, with Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) ascend to power in 2014 and consecutive second triumph of Narendra Modi, a well known fanatic and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sang (RSS) propagator himself, the oppressive traits of Hindutva and its practical implementation by radical elements have raised the alarms and produced anxiety within India and beyond borders.

The term “Hindutva” broadly sums up the ideology that moved and unites the Hindu nationalism for decades before partition of subcontinent. The ideology unites people of India based on the belief that India is “Holy Land” that belongs to Hindus. It is the ideology of RSS- the electoral manifesto of BJP-the party in power and political wing militant extremist organization. Hindutva also provides ample warning for what is store for the future of India’s democracy and secularism. This ideology is extremely exclusivist, religiously extremist, oppressive and violent, which by no means comply with the Nehruvian idea of “unity in diversity” of pluralist and secular India. It splits Indian nation into ‘us’ and ‘them’ and discards Indian nationalism in favor of ultra-Hindu nationalism. It also of a huge concern both regionally, as well as internationally as anti-Pakistan sentiments are one of the detrimental factors of BJP government. India’s pursuit of regional Hegemone and the RSS idea of united Bharat (Akhand Bharat) under the radical ideology of Hindutva has profound implications for the security of Pakistan.

The ideology highlights the aims, real motivations, and aspirations of Sangh Pariwar. Which is what the ultra-nationalist Hindu called themselves.

The dream of Akhand Bharat continuous to spire generation after generation of far-right Hindu radicals to achieve their dreams through a combination of violent and political movements. The world should be mindful of the events taking place in the recent decade when the strong extremist ideology has damaged the very fabric of Indian society and destroyed the very edifice of secular face of India. Geographically Pakistan is a small country as compared to India which is huge with almost 33 nationalities and many sub nationalities in the folds. If India implodes, the repercussions on the neighboring countries will be extremely negative and tragic. As Anti Pakistan slogans are the detrimental factor in the victory of BJP government, therefore Pakistan will be the most adversely affected state of Hindutva’s rising hatred and extremism. Other neighboring states of India will because their size and strategic disposition does not allow them to involve in direct confrontation with India. The fact is whole South Asia is under India’s heavy handed, arm twisting and coercive tactics.

Modi regime have introduced multiple coercive techniques to achieve their nefarious agenda, in the name of combating infiltration, Modi regime is pushing population groups, specifically Assamese Muslims across the eastern border.  The abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A and 200 day long curfew imposed on the Muslim occupied Jammu & Kashmir, with complete denial of their basic and fundamental rights, leaves little space for accommodating and inclusive India that would seek amity and peaceful coexistence.

The growing Hindu chauvinism poses a serious threat to Pakistan’ security, because it alters the way Indian policymakers view Pakistan. This threat, stemming from innate hostility is further aggravated due to large Indian strategic ambitions. This leads to two obvious conclusions: it would be India’s enduring strategic aim to reduce Pakistan to the status of a satellite; secondly, as long as India continues to pursue that goal and as long as Pakistan resists India’s hegemonic ambitions in the region, there would be structural stresses and strains in relations between Pakistan and India.

In order to attain the desired goals of Hindutva , Modi regime has sought to strengthening of Indian armed forces, and equipping with modern techniques for offensive strike capability. Modi regime is largely implying coercive diplomacy on its neighboring countries; the operational and practical manifestation of this mindset was clearly made visible through the 2017 Joint Doctrine of Indian armed forces. The doctrine seeks to use coercive diplomacy as a tool for active coercive diplomacy. It allows Indian armed forces to use wide spectrum coercive strategy that includes strategic surgical strike to attain the ultimate Hindutva motives which leads towards the bigger goal of Akhand Bharat. India is actively using coercive diplomacy to achieve the principles given by Kautilyani in his famous book Arth Shastra based on diplomacy, destruction, disruption and constrain (of the enemy).

Pakistan has already observed its practical and operational manifestation through the orchestrated false flag operations, and surgical strikes saga, and the media attacks it has created to seek its goals. It has seen the orderly and well-organized repression and brutality in occupied Jammu and Kashmir by India. Modi has turned a blind eye and he had defied and making a mockery of international norms. The most crucial and controversial part of this systematic oppression is alteration in the map of South Asia and forcing the cartographic bodies to accept the Indian version. The redrawing of international boundaries and globally recognized borders is discarded, and any citizen of India can be imprisoned and charged for treason in case of violation of the so-called Indian constitution. This unilateral coercion will only contribute to increasing distrust and acrimony within India and it also presents a looming threat for the neighbors.

In dealing with Pakistan, the BJP government in India has taken a tough stance and used a muscular diplomacy style, as seen by its decision to annex Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K) by repealing Article 370 and 35(A) of the Indian Constitution, in defiance of United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions. As a result, there’s a chance that the tensions and strains in Pakistan-India ties could lead to sporadic low-intensity conflict. However, as long as both Pakistan and India maintain a credible nuclear deterrent, it is doubtful that the tensions between the two countries would escalate to an all-out war between them.

The BJP government was seeking an opportunity in illegal Indian occupied Kashmir to execute its long desired plan to execute its Kutaliyan philosophy of Hindutva. The unilateral defiance and revocation of special status of  IIOJ &K is a warning of its malfeasant intent towards Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Baluchistan as India has already referred its nasty designs in 2017 joint doctrine of armed forces. Under the National Register for Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) India can escalate a mass humanitarian crisis for Kashmiris as well as Indian Muslim population across the border into Pakistan and Bangladesh. India is trying its best to isolate Pakistan through domestic discontent, campaigning for Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and also effecting Pakistan labor markets in gulf and Middle East. Furthermore, as Pakistan is making economic progress through initiatives like China Pakistan economic Corridors (CPEC), India is largely actives in anti-China lobby, disinformation and defamation campaigns, economic and strategic problems to the extent of nuclearizing the seas. The Indian ambitions are globally appealing to western world and on regional level Indian lobby is active in Afghanistan to achieve its abhorrent plans. This is and it will add to the instability and chaos in the regional security apparatus and hinder the path of economic progress and prosperity.

Pakistan, therefore must be prepared for a prolonged period for border skirmishes, tension and strife with India because of India’s hegemonic designs, growing intolerance towards Muslims, Hindu bigotry, outstanding disputes such as water issues and especially Kashmir dispute. Pakistan needs skillful diplomacy as in foreseeable future BJP would not adopt consolatory approach in handling relations with Pakistan. while Pakistan must maintain a credible security deterrent and be prepared for any eventuality. Pakistan needs to develop a wholesome approach of diplomacy by using skillful, soft and smart power projection. Through all avenues possible Pakistan needs to keep its engagements with international community to highlight the genocidal actions and brutal atrocities of Indian forces in IIOJ&K.

It is pertinent to mention the global politics as world order is in transition, United States is leaving the region with Taliban’s rising to the power. Regional major powers are shying away to take the responsibility and in this time of uncertainty, possibility of Indian Nuclear program falling into radicals of RSS will be nightmare for regional peace international status quo.

Newsletter SignUp

About Sobia Khursheed 4 Articles
Writing enthusiast with strong insight on social and political issues. Accomplished various sustainable development projects and lecturer of international relations in NDU Islamabad.