THE Central Committee gave a call to observe September 1 as the world peace and anti-imperialist day. With the BJP led NDA government assuming power, Indian foreign policy witnessed a distinct shift. The surrender of the Modi government to US imperialism has reduced India into a junior strategic ally of US imperialism. This policy shift is detrimental to the interests of our country and should be resisted. The following points have been highlighted during the campaign.
· The BJP government has entangled India in a military alliance with the United States of America. India is accorded the status of a Major Defence Partner of the US. While the US government has placed the details of ‘Major Defense Partner’ designation for approval of the US Senate, the BJP government has not even made a statement in the parliament, forget about putting the document in public domain. According to this agreement, the BJP government has agreed to open Indian defence forces to American scrutiny, and place Indian defence production under the control of the US. This compromises our country’s sovereignty and strategic autonomy. The Agreement clearly mentions that this enhanced defense and security cooperation with India is to advance US’ interests in South Asia and Indo-Pacific region.
· This agreement follows the announcement of the signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) between the US and Indian defence ministries. This now commits India to provide logistic facilities to US air force. Along with this agreement, two other agreements are on the anvil, Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). These will integrate the Indian armed forces command and control structure with the US armed forces. Given US/NATO military interventions in West Asia, where there is a large NRI presence, this will have serious consequences both for Indian foreign policy as well as Indians working in these countries. As a result of all these agreements and entering into ‘strategic partnership’, US has become India’s largest supplier of arms in the past five years. This relationship is further strengthened by the BJP government which signed the US-India Defence Framework Agreement (DFA) for another ten years, i.e., till 2025. DFA enlists India for a long term military collaboration with the US. The US has had the largest number of military exercises with India compared to any other country.
· A set of new projects announced under the Defense Technology & Trade Initiative (DTTI), underscore that this relationship is heavily one-sided, favouring the US. India is not getting the expected dividends, either strategically or in terms of advanced technology. The BJP government was willing to sign agreements to share classified information and sensitive technology with the US. This was in fact agreed by the earlier BJP government led by Vajpayee, but could not materialise as it lost power before the nitty-gritties could be worked out. Despite the eagerness of the UPA government to move closer to the US, it was forced to shelve these agreements. Now that the BJP is back with a majority of its own, it is eager to activate them, unconcerned that world-over there is widespread resentment against the US spying and snooping on governments and citizens. Moreover, it precisely wants to hand over all such information on a platter, without 'troubling' the US with spying or snooping.
· The US is clear in its needs for ensnaring India into its embrace: “We want a friend in 2020 that will be capable of assisting the US military to deal with a Chinese threat. We cannot deny that India will create a countervailing force to China”. The US-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, drags India into the US design of controlling the trade and navigation routes in this region and hence contain China.
· Another feature is deepening of ties with Israel, which blatantly violates all the UN resolutions. India has now become the largest purchaser of Israeli armaments amongst all countries in the world and thus, the largest financier of Israeli military attacks on the Palestinians! The pellet guns used in Kashmir are supplied by Israel! Never has Indian foreign policy lost its face than at the time when Israel had launched its most brutal attack on Gaza, in July-August last year, killing 2200 Palestinians including 550 children. India that had historic relations with Palestine, right from our days of freedom struggle, for the first time failed to unreservedly condemn the Israeli aggression. The BJP government rejected a parliamentary resolution seeking to condemn Israel over the attack on Gaza. The pro-Israeli stance of the BJP can be traced to its Hindutva fundamentalist ideological roots, which see a favourable example of a religion based nation in Israel, akin to their own dream of a Hindu Rashtra, and are on the same wavelength with the Zionists in terms of fanaticism, ultra-nationalism and anti-Islamic feelings.
· The prime minister’s visit to Israel, signals the forging of a strategic alliance with Israel and the consequent downgrading of India’s commitment to the Palestinian cause. India has signed agreements with Israel on military and security collaboration. What is worse is that Prime Minister Modi did not even pay a visit to the Palestinian territories while he was on a state visit to Israel. Seven agreements were signed between India and Israel. This further cements the rightwing foreign policy shift under the Modi government. This visit has realised the RSS long-term eagerness to have a US-Israel-India axis for global domination. It is a shame that BJP government is moving closer to Israel, at a time when a report brought by a UN body had categorised Israel as pursuing ‘apartheid policies’ and advised all the countries to boycott it.
· A result of this shift in Indian foreign policy is negatively effecting our relations with countries like Iran, with which we have longstanding cultural and economic relations. Similarly our relations with Palestine and Palestinian people are effected. Palestinians are disappointed with India, whom they had earlier considered as a friend. BJP government has cut its economic ties with the DPRK at the instance of the US. Our country’s prestige as an ally of the developing and under-developed countries has taken a hit.
· The decision of the BJP government to move closer to the US is also effecting our economy. The strategic partnership with US entails not only defense partnership, but also placing our entire economy at the service of US imperialist interests. After the signing of the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, the government has further committed to open Indian economy to the exploitation of US corporates. Under the guise of this agreement, our money is being used to bail-out US corporates like Westinghouse that are under bankruptcy. The purchase of six Westinghouse nuclear reactors to be set up at Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh is being done only as a quid quo pro for the nuclear deal with the United States. The insurance risk and liability of these reactors are to be borne by the Indian public through the nationalised insurance companies.
· The decision of the government to demonitise our economy, for pushing towards a digital economy is also intended to serve the interests of international finance capital. The World Bank, United States Aid for International Development (USAID) have conducted surveys in our country and advised the government to shift from an economy that widely uses cash to a cashless economy, as they found that move will further open the economy. A shift to digital economy will not only benefit financial corporates like VISA and Mastercard, but also other corporates who will have the knowledge of how Indians are spending their money. This will help them to target their products accordingly. With the linking of Aadhar to bank accounts, and the push towards digital economy, multinational corporations will have all our data in their hands to customise their advertising strategies and products.
· Reform of tax structures is another demand of finance capital and the multinational corporations. This would ease their burden as the entire country will become ‘one uniform market’ for them. It is for this reason that all the big corporates have supported the GST and welcomed its introduction as an important reform in the Indian economy.
· The privatisation of various public sector units is done to handover them to international and big domestic capitalists at throwaway prices. In the present period of deep global economic crisis, such measures are intended to benefit the interests of international and national big bourgeoisie. The new FRDI legislation is intended to open our financial institutions that are until now, to an extent, secure from the impact of global financial meltdowns, for the exploitation of international finance capital.
· The pro-imperialist, communal and divisive policies pursued by the BJP government are preparing the ground for the growth of various kinds of terrorist forces inside the country. Al Qaeda, IS, which were created by the US, are slowly making their presence felt in our country by increasing their influence. This will be highly detrimental to our interests.
· Imperialism in order to come out of the nearly decade old global economic crisis, is flaring many regional conflicts around the world. The present conflicts in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Libya and other countries in the West Asia/North Africa region are all burning today because of the flame lit by the US and its allies like Israel. The expansion of NATO to our borders, carrying out provocative war games at the border of Russia, in the Korean peninsula, South China sea are all intended to destabilise these regions and push them into perennial conflicts. Imperialist intervention in the name of ensuring a regime change against popular opinion can be seen in its role in encouraging violent demonstrations in Venezuela and its role in destablising governments in Brazil, Honduras in Latin America. The US wants India to join and support all such imperialist machinations. BJP government is willingly joining the US in such nefarious designs that are threatening world peace.