Prime Minister Modi released the genie of Indian jingoism after coming to power six years ago, irresponsibly hoping that the state-sponsored cultivation of hyper-nationalist sentiment would lead to the false domestic perception of the country as the “superpower” that it claims to be, which has actually been more successful than he planned since the indoctrinated masses are now becoming very disillusioned upon experiencing severe cognitive dissonance and are thus asking politically uncomfortable questions of his government after the disastrous aftermath of its brief border conflict with China last week.


The Genie Of Jingoism

The state-sponsored cultivation of hyper-nationalist sentiment is a dangerous tiger that few leaders in history have ever been able to tame, something that Indian Prime Minister Modi is quickly learning the hard way after he let the genie of Indian jingoism out of the bottle over the past six years as part of his irresponsible strategy of cultivating the false domestic perception that his country is truly the “superpower” that it claims to be. Nothing could have been further from the truth, but the indoctrinated masses were successfully conned after hearing this narrative multiple times a day in practically every media out in the country. Following the disastrous aftermath of India’s brief border conflict with China last week, however, many can’t help but feel disillusioned after the government itself was forced to acknowledge that it lost at least 20 soldiers and counted several times as many injuries as a result of non-firearm clashes with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi made an epic mistake when he told an all-party meeting on Friday that “no one has intruded into our territory“, which has been widely interpreted as ceding India’s claims to the recently disputed Galwan Valley and tacitly admitting to provoking the latest incident by invading Chinese territory, which essentially means that India’s servicemen were killed for no domestically justifiable reason.

Modi In Panic Mode

The author wrote more on this topic in his recent piece about how “Modi’s Major Himalayan Mistake Crushed The Indian Military’s Morale“, which explains that India expected to impress its new American ally by taking a high-profile lead in “containing” China at its behest. What it didn’t anticipate, however, was that the much more formidable PLA would so brutally expose India’s Bollywood dreams as nothing more than a dangerous self-delusion, which in turn prompted Modi to panic and instinctively try to “save face” in pretending that New Delhi had never laid claim to the Galwan Valley in the first place. That’s not factual true, but it goes to show just how much the Chinese have shaken the Indian leadership to its core that the country’s chief jingoist, Prime Minister Modi, was cowering in fear to such a degree that he conveniently forgot about his past six years of chest-thumping. A rapidly growing segment of Indian society is furious that their leader, who handily won re-election last year in a sweeping landslide largely due to his hyper-nationalist rhetoric, would behave in such a weak way that’s totally at odds with his strongman reputation and even arguably disrespects the recent losses that the Indian military recently experienced. The Prime Minister’s Office has since attempted to walk back his controversial statement by attacking its “mischievous” interpretation by many, but the damage is already done.

Cognitive Dissonance

Many Indians are experiencing severe cognitive dissonance after having been brainwashed into believing that their country was a “superpower” but then realizing that it’s really a “paper elephant” like the author described it in his previously cited analysis from last week. This is extremely dangerous for the country’s stability because the resultant psychological stress brought about by this revelation can provoke people into acting in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t, be it participating in violent protests or more peacefully disowning the ruling party that they used to sincerely look up to. Either way, the situation is untenable and Modi knows that he has to do something more to “save face” otherwise his, his party’s, and India’s reputations are all irreversibly ruined. There’s a chance that he might simply sit back and hope that the genie of jingoism that he unleashed over the past six years will go back into the bottle, but the likelihood of that happening is nil and some form or another of blowback is bound to occur in the coming future. For that reason, last week’s unconfirmed report by Nepal 24 Hours alleging the presence of “RAW And Indian Guard Commando Force With Weapons In Soaltee Crowne Plaza Nepal” deserves to be taken more seriously than it might initially seem.

India’s False Flag Plot

The report cites unnamed Nepalese security officials who allege that Indian intelligence agents and highly trained military forces are surreptitiously surveilling the capital from a safe house owned by the former King, who they claim is passively facilitating this treasonous activity out of hope that the conventional, unconventional, or false flag attack that these foreign forces might be planning could restore the monarchy. It’s unclear whether the details of Nepal 24 Hours’ report are true, but suspicions about Indian intentions towards Nepal are certainly warranted considering the recent thawing of their long-frozen border dispute that was caused by India’s jingoistic publication of a map last November that included the disputed Kalapani region as its own. The author analyzed the situation a month ago after Nepal’s tit-for-tat publication of its own map claiming Kalapani caused India to go into a tizzy. Titled “India’s Hybrid War On Nepal Backfired By Creating A Geopolitical Nightmare“, it explores the origins of this dispute and points out how the recent escalation might have been avoided had Indian leaders not been drunk with Bollywood-driven neo-imperial dreams of carving out “Akhand Bharat” (“Greater India”) in order to impose a “Hindu Rashtra” (Hindu fundamentalist state) in the region. The past month has seen relations between the two formerly “fraternal” countries deteriorate real drastically.

Hybrid War Blowback

Regarded as an Indian puppet state for decades, Nepal began liberating its foreign and military policies from de-facto Indian suzerainty following New Delhi’s disastrous unofficial blockade of the landlocked country in fall 2015 in response to the promulgation of a new federal constitution for ending the landlocked country’s long-running civil war. After India decontextualized, over-amplified, and propagated Nepal’s tit-for-tat cartographic response to New Delhi’s provocative publication of its jingoist map in November as “unprovoked aggression”, the tiny state realized that it was one of the next targets in India’s “Akhand Bharat” crosshairs. Accordingly, it began beefing up its border defenses, and some of its security forces even engaged in a lethal shootout with India two weeks ago. Shortly thereafter, the Nepalese Chief Of Army Staff visited the disputed Kalapani border area, following which it was revealed that Nepal will deploy its troops to that part of the frontier for the first time in India’s post-independence history. Quite clearly, Nepal perceives India to be a credible threat to its national security, which is a direct result of the larger state’s HybridWar on its much smaller neighbor. It’s for this reason why Nepal 24 Hours’ unconfirmed report should be taken seriously because it conforms with the expectations that an objective observer might have of the next phase in India’s Hybrid War on Nepal.

The Reverse-Donglang Scenario

That said, it remains to be seen whether Modi will go through with the scenario of launching some sort of attack (whether conventional, unconventional, or false flag) against Nepal in a desperate attempt to “save face” before India’s uncontrollably jingoistic population that his government is entirely responsible for provoking to this point. Perhaps the only thing causing him to think twice is his fear that China might undertake a “reverse-Donglang” in response. Just like Bhutan requested Indian assistance during the months-long summer 2017 border incident with China over the Donglang Plateau (referred to as “Doklam” by India and therefore most of the world’s media), so too might Nepal do the same in any forthcoming border incident over the disputed Kalapani region or any other part of their extensive frontier. The prospect of Chinese troops rushing to assist their Nepalese counterparts upon request, in spite of such a request being at odds with Nepal’s 1950 “Friendship Treaty” with India (but justified on the basis that India was the first to violate it by provoking whatever incident might eventually transpire), could worsen the nightmarish blowback from India’s Hybrid War on Nepal by possibly resulting in the PLA being deployed all along the Terai plains bordering India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh in the “worst-case” scenario.

Concluding Thoughts

Modi is visibly panicking after realizing that the genie of Indian jingoism can never be put back in the bottle after he irresponsibly unleashed it over the past six years as part of his party’s mistaken belief that it’ll unify the nation behind his Hindu nationalist leadership. The utter humiliation that the PLA inflicted on the Indian military last week without a single shot being fired, on top of Modi’s mistake in tacitly acknowledging Chinese sovereignty over the recently disputed Galwan Valley, is leading to tremendous pushback from his disillusioned population that’s now suffering in the throes of severe cognitive dissonance after having previously fallen for the lie that their country is truly the “superpower” that it professes to be. Faced with yet another looming disaster entirely of his own making, this time one which credibly runs the risk of further delegitimizing the ruling party and its ideology, Modi might desperately seek to “save face” by bullying what he wrongly regards as the weakest of his neighbors that India has some sort of dispute with. The unconfirmed report from Nepal 24 Hours suggests that some sort of operation might already be in the works, but that would be among the most epic mistakes that Modi ever made if he actually goes through with such a scheme because it could very easily result in the “reverse-Donglang” scenario of PLA troops being deployed all along India’s border with Nepal.

By Andrew Korybko
Source: One World

India’s Scapegoating Pakistan For Nepal Like The US Does For Afghanistan

By Andrew Korybko

Neither allied Great Power can admit that their own missteps are the reason for the two major strategic failures that they’re facing, with it being much easier to conveniently blame Pakistan as the regional bogeyman instead of taking responsibility for the blowback that they’re receiving.

It’s old news that the US regularly scapegoats Pakistan for its failings in Afghanistan, with Trump recently resorting to this rhetorical trope once again just the other day during a prerecorded interview that aired over the weekend, but this trend is now spreading throughout South Asia in an unusual direction. India, which has a habit of blaming Pakistan for the Kashmiri National Liberation Movement in spite of its own refusal to hold a UNSC-mandated referendum on the occupied region’s status, has now all of a sudden taken to blaming its Muslim rival for majority-Hindu Nepal’s recent anti-Indian protests. According to a report from DNA India, the country’s intelligence agencies attribute these manifestations to Pakistan’s ISI, which is allegedly operating out of the Pakistani Embassy in Nepal and funding all sorts of anti-Indian behavior in the Himalayan country. As could be expected whenever India brings up the specter of supposed Pakistani involvement anywhere, they also claim that Islamabad is supporting “terrorists” there, too.

What’s really happening, however, is much different than what India says. Pakistan is being used as a scapegoat for covering up New Delhi’s many failings towards its former satellite state just like Washington does in Afghanistan, interestingly representing yet another example of the American hegemon’s influence rubbing off on its new South Asian ally. Left out of the Indian media narrative about Nepal is that New Delhi de-facto blockaded the Himalayan country in 2015 as a form of indirect protest against its promulgated constitution at the time, which India feared would diminish the political influence of the Madhesi people who are considered to be under the sway of their much larger southern neighbor. This unexpectedly aggressive action prevented Nepal from receiving much-needed supplies from the outside world, thereby catalyzing a domestic crisis that dangerously veered on the edge of civil war before China urgently dispatched humanitarian aid to the beleaguered nation, setting into motion Kathmandu’s geopolitical recalibration.

Nepal is now “balancing” between its Indian and Chinese neighbors after finally liberating itself from the former’s neo-imperial grasp following the events of three years ago, though this has undoubtedly caused New Delhi to seethe with jealousy due to the “zero-sum” mentality that dominates its decision makers’ perspective on International Relations. Indian media is full of stories fearmongering about how Nepal is allegedly becoming a Chinese ‘forward-operating base’ that presents a latent threat to the country’s largest province of Uttar Pradesh, with pundits now describing the porous border between the two previously “fraternal” nations as a serious security issue. For as afraid as India is of what it claims is China’s “creeping influence” in Nepal, its leadership is still scratching its head over how this all happened, unable to countenance that their own policies are entirely responsible for this unprecedented pivot in one of the world’s most geostrategically significant states.

Seeing as how India and China are making a public show out of their supposed “rapprochement” with one another for what can be assumed is a mutually agreed-upon bid to increase their respective leverage with the US, New Delhi can no longer obsess over Beijing’s influence in Nepal and accordingly decided to drag China’s all-weather ally Pakistan into this infowar campaign. It’s important to keep in mind that India’s general election is next year and that the ruling BJP Hindutva ideologues plan to play the tried-and-tested card of communal politics in order to win reelection. That’s why the “ModiMobs” (the author’s neologism for BJP-backed rioters) are converging on Karnataka’s Sabarimala temple after the Supreme Court ruling that allowed women of all ages to enter the religious site, as well as why the authorities are preparing to provocatively construct a Hindu temple on the site of a mosque in Faizabad (now renamed to “Ayodhya”) that was destroyed by rioters in 1992.

A thought-provoking but little-noticed observation outside of South Asia is that constitutionally secular India is plagued by Hindutva mob violence much more often – and to a deadlier extent – than Pakistan (a constitutionally Islamic Republic) suffers the same from its Islamist variant, though people outside of the region could be forgiven for not knowing this due to the Mainstream Media’s double standards when it comes to reporting on these two countries’ domestic disturbances. India, by dint of its government’s propagandistic sloganeering about being the “world’s largest democracy” and its recent military-strategic alliance with the US, isn’t held to account for any of this while Pakistan is spit upon by the global press for comparatively more minor incidences. Knowing this, India expects that the anti-Pakistani narrative that it’s propagating in Nepal at this specific time will be picked up by international media to further smear its rival’s reputation, as well as contribute to fanning the flames of communal tension at home that the BJP expects will earn it reelection next year.

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