India and Honest Brokers
There is this Buddhist Jataka story which we have all heard.
Two cats go to a monkey for help in dividing some eatable equally. End result – the monkey gets everything. The cats, nothing. ‘Honest’ brokers are the monkey which leaves nothing for the cats.
Hillary Clinton assured a nervous gathering of Foreign Policy analysts that the world is counting on the USA today as it has in the past. When old adversaries need an honest broker or fundamental freedoms need a champion, people turn to us. When the earth shakes or rivers overflow their banks, when pandemics rage or simmering tensions burst into violence, the world looks to us. (via Remarks on United States Foreign Policy).
In real life
What is left of Pakistan after US finished with brokering Pakistan’s future? After the West carved up the Ottoman Empire, and divided the Turkish possessions among their puppets, what is left of the Middle East? With oil, Big Oil, oil politics, oil-dollar, oil prices at stake, can the US be a honest broker.
Tell that to the birds.
Can there be a ‘honest’ broker?
This idea that there cannot be ‘honest’ brokers, made Buddhism so popular all over the world. Not pretty statues and musical chants. In the last 200 years, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra has gone into regression. But, in this period, the world has also learnt more about the limitations of the Desert Bloc ideology.
People get ready!
- Foreign Policy: Clinton’s Wake Up Call On Mexico (npr.org)
- United States is ‘best hope’ in a troubled world: Clinton (alternet.org)
- The Hill Poll: Most voters say Arab unrest bodes ill for the US – The Hill (news.google.com)
- A Salient Fact About US-Israeli Relations (Several Billion, in Fact) (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Barack Obama agrees to form joint national security body with UK (guardian.co.uk)
- A call for change – Obama has ‘failed,’ Pawlenty says (politico.com)
On the other hand, Delhi believes that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is much more circumspect about Islamabad’s intentions and much more willing to keep India in Afghanistan, in the short as well as the long term. When Kayani, followed by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, reaches Washington in the coming days, they are likely to find that it is Clinton who takes the tough calls.Clinton understands that when the US forces get out of Afghanistan, sooner rather than later, India and to a certain extent, Russia, will be the only regional players — not Pakistan, China or Iran — that the US will be able to depend upon to settle the chaos that is likely to ensue. (via Jyoti Malhotra: Filling the post-US vacuum).
And quietly fade away …
Dylan Thomas wrote some interesting poetry – and one couplet that stays in my mind says,
“Do no go gentle into the good night, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Will the West quietly fade away. After all, Britain created the mischief of Pakistan and Kashmir, before leaving. And Jyoti Malhotra looks at Afghanistan, Pakistan through a Western prism.
This ability to light fires in the Indian backyard is a Western specialty – and that is what needs addressal. This means that India must take charge – and must have both objectives and means . India must enunciate its own Monroe Doctrine for South Asia, later for SE Asia and finally for Asia. Military intervention by ‘foreign powers’ in South Asia must become history. This is the objective that must occupy Indian minds. The recent Copenhagen Circus was an excellent demonstration of Western designs.
What the Afghans need
Coming to winning Afghan hearts. A few hospitals, sundry schools and some roads will take us, India and Afghanistan, nowhere. What Afghanistan needs, is a blueprint, a roadmap, to get out of the Desert Bloc quagmire, they are into. What the Afghans need is a fresh dose of भारत्तंत्र - Bharat-tantra, the Indic political system. It was भारत्तंत्र which made Buddhist priests a force in the entire SE Asia.
But then, that begs a question. Is भारत्तंत्र Bharat-tantra alive in India? Do Indian follow Bharat-tantra?