Foreign policy game changers – ICJ and OROB

Approaching International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case of Jadhav was a risky operation from Day 1; getting a stay is a breather today; a sigh of relief here, but if India loses the case in the wrong run, it would make India lose international face and would make the sarkar lose political moolah; moreover there is a risk of Pakistan taking all Indo-Pak disputes to the ICJ. 

In the past, the fear of internationalising the Kashmir dispute has been overbearing on Foreign Policy. It has been a considered decision of India to never approach the ICJ, even when its soldiers were dismembered or their bodies mutilated in blatant disregard of international law. We did’nt approach ICJ in case of Sarbjit or in pursuit of bringing the 56 POWs of 1971 back ever. We never ever did anything.

Yet, the very fact that the current government has staked its reputation by approaching the ICJ to save an Indian national is the first of its kind in India’s long history. All this, while the leftist Indian media is baying for Jadhav’s blood already, and has given up on Jadhav with reports like 

a) Kulbhushan Jadhav hearing at the ICJ: A fundamental reason why India will lose this case 

b) Why India going to ICJ over Kulbhushan Jadhav reeks of desperation

If today, ICJ had not stayed the execution of Jadhav and had set aside India’s case, a wide percentage of India’s population and almost the entire media would have been happier at losing Jadhav. “Didn’t we say so? India should have stayed away”. Even now, even today I have seen people saying, “it is not the final verdict, wait and see”. It is almost as if they are hoping that Jadhav dies, just to prove the government wrong.

Likewise, just the day before, we were up in arms against India’s decision to boycott China’s great game. The fear of losing to China or world opinion is so overwhelming that our media moguls and foreign policy mandarins have always erred on the side of caution, without any gain to show in fact. Yes, the sarkar is desperate, yes China and Pakistan are running roughshod over India’s interests, and India doesn’t have much leeway. Yes, China is gaining ground over India, especially since Trump had the summit with Xi Ping. So, does India sit and wait? 

The thing that I appreciate is that India’s fightback has begun in earnest to gain firm ground; that India has started building a pivot in the new axis of allies without being too diplomatic to countries that are known as adversaries. 

Be it in Nepal where Madhesis have now got a breathing space after kicking out Oli; or in Burma where Aung Su Ki is batting for India; or in Srilanka where a known Chinese stooge called Rajapakse has been kicked out; or in Maldives where Najib is waiting in the wings; or in Bangladesh who has joined hands with India in SAARC; or the crude oil storage deal with UAE; or in Vietnam where India now has a research centre (read missile launching pad) of ISRO; or the Africa-Japan corriodor with Japan; India has begun the fight back against our known adversary – China. The space ceeded over a decade of slumber is being taken back, brick by brick. The foreign policy has been a monumental work of progress and the media has persistently ignored the successes and amplified the bottlenecks and failures.

Licking China’s boots at OROB/CPEC meet was a no-brainer, no gainer. Everyone knows that India will lose either way, yet most media is propagating India’s boycott as a strategic blunder. What choice does India have? Do we take the conflict forward and draw firm lines of conflict; or do we obfuscate the truth and try to grovel at the feet of the Chinese dragon, seeking some time off its breath? What a futile idea! An adversary is just that, an adversary. Take him by its horns and then as well die fighting. 

The sarkar is damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t. The fact that it has decided to be damned after trying is heartening, to say the least. The fear of failure has not stopped this government from trying. And I salute the decision makers in this case for putting the life of a patriot above its own fears.

That India is full of dormant people since ages is a well known fact; how else did the British win half of India without fighting! The international conflict today is not of arms, but of strategic space and economic policies; the fact that mainstream Indian thought choses to lose the great game of world polity before even beginning to fight it, just illustrates that nothing has changed. 

We are still a nation of passive people who will live in false notions of our past glory rather than learning from true stories of our past blunders. 

Dar ke aage jeet hai; not just a 7 Up advertisement. Even Gabbar Singh said in Sholay. Jo dar gaya, so mar gaya. Trust Gabbar, let India play and cheer it for once.

Disclaimer: I have deliberately kept the word ‘Modi’ out of the write-up above; to underline that saying anything in support of government is not being saffronised. May I say, I hate RSS (just to qualify, lest one label me). Also, the issue is larger than Modi, the sarkar is not made of one person; Susma Swaraj’s silent diplomacy needs credit; and India’s survival as a proud nation is at stake. Read this after putting off the Modi blinkers; I dont have them on. But even God gave the devil his due.

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