Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2023 > Conspiracy ’Kaal’ Begins | L K Sharma

Mainstream, VOL 61 No 12, March 18, 2023

Conspiracy ’Kaal’ Begins | L K Sharma

Saturday 18 March 2023


by L K Sharma

“The clawing “foreign hand” is out to harm the Prime Minister and the nation”, Indians are warned. It caused a triple whammy, unleashing on India a foreign broadcasting company, a foreign corporation, and an old American.

The “foreign hand” reached out from the evil West that breeds human rights, activists, and anti-corruption crusaders. It appeared as a European NGO and an Australian journalist. It used a British university and a think tank. It made The New York Times and TheGuardian sully Modi’s image.

Modi’s ministers and the BJP’s army of trollers are out to crush the “foreign hand” that pushes even Indians such as Rahul Gandhi to talk of press freedom and democracy while visiting abroad. They are rapidly exposed by the paid trollers.

The US administration is a bit surprised by the anti-West rhetoric flowing out of India. Looking at Modi’s photo, it is mumbling: You too Brutus? And that is all that it can do in the present geopolitical situation.

The West had not faced such vulgar attacks from India even during the heyday of the nonaligned movement. After the movement’s decline, the end of the cold war, and a sharp spurt in India’s economic growth, the West got over its animosity against India. Now the US courts India to counter China. It needs India for economic as well as geo-strategic reasons. India has made the US its strategic partner.

This official line is ignored by the NGOs of Europe and America. Two American institutions — Hindenburg and George Soros — and one British — the BBC — strayed from the official line. The BBC released a documentary on the communal killings in Gujarat in 2002 when Narendra Modi was the chief minister. Hindenburg picked holes in the business of Modi’s friend Adani.

George Soros criticised Modi at the Munich Security Conference. He said the Indian Prime Minister would have to “answer questions” on the Adani controversy and the issue might weaken Modi’s stranglehold on the Government.

The pro-democracy sentiments expressed by Soros offended Modi’s devotees. Foreign minister Jaishankar launched a personal attack on Soros calling him an “old, rich opinionated person” sitting in New York.

Jaishankar’s pronouncements these day are suffused with a sharp anti-Western rhetoric. He has dusted off his inherited belief in nonalignment and understood Modi’s commitment to self-alignment. Modi taught him that muscular diplomacy is a critical need of domestic politics. It supplements muscular Hindutva. So, India unleashed what noted commentator Avay Shukla calls “new werewolf warrior diplomacy”. The foreign minister inducted into his English speeches the tone and tenor of the vernacular Hindu nationalists.

Union minister and ex-TV actress Smriti Irani thundered that Soros had launched a war on India. What stands between the war and India’s interest is Prime Minister Modi, she said. Irani assured the nation that India would defeat the foreign forces.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur slammed The New York Times and a few like-minded foreign media organs for spreading lies about India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Indians would not allow such an agenda on Indian soil, he announced.

As to the BBC documentary, even the genteel official spokesman described it as a conspiracy against India. Social media called the BBC names. The Government banned the documentary and the Income Tax officers conducted raids on the BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai.

The “foreign hand” enticed the Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi to do its bidding. He was invited to the UK where he gave lectures on the decline democracy in Modi’s India. For days, the BJP leaders have been calling for stringiest action against Rahul Gandhi for committing a crime on a foreign land!

During the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi, those belonging to the BJP’s parental organisation used to go abroad, to “defame” their nation and seek foreign help in fighting the Congress rule. This is forgotten when today’s BJP leaders attack Rahul Gandhi for talking ill of India on foreign soil. The Congress unearthed several old videos of Modi debunking the Congress-ruled India.

The BJP would have ignored the malevolent foreign forces but for the parliamentary elections in India coming after a few months. Modi is determined to be the Prime Minister for a third term and the “evil foreign hand” has been picked as a weapon of choice for his poll campaign. Modi must be seen as the knight in shining armour, out to defeat the Western conspiracy to destabilise India. So, Hindenburg, Soros, and the BBC served the ruling BJP’s purpose.

Modi is not afraid of bad publicity. A strong leader needs an enemy. Constant shadow boxing keeps the people impressed by performance politics. In 2002, the people of Gujarat saw Modi defeating an “internal enemy” and crowned him as the “Emperor of Hindu Hearts”, showering him with votes, more valuable than rose petals. The BJP then projected Modi as a target of the “anti-national forces” within the country. Now an external enemy has been found and it is here to stay till the 2024 elections.

Those defending the current use of the “foreign hand” in domestic politics say that Indira Gandhi also talked about it. They ignore that the West’s relationship with India was then openly hostile. It disapproved of the nonaligned moment and India’s close relations with the Soviet Union. Indira Gandhi’s independent foreign policy was an anathema to the West. An American President, who hated Indira Gandhi, used an expletive for her. Austria’s Chancellor Bruno Kreisky himself admitted to Indira Gandhi that he had helped his socialist friends in India agitating against her during the Emergency.

America’s anti-Indian role during the Bangladesh war was no secret. Britain denied help to India during the Indo-Pakistan war. In Britain, in the eighties, the Khalistani outfit and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front agitating against India, used to get a friendly signal from official agencies. When a Khalistani leader, appearing in a TV programme, threatened to kill the Indian Prime Minister, the British Government showed its helplessness.

During those years, alerts against the “foreign hand” made sense. Now the West is very friendly which has diminished the CIA’s role in India. After 9/11, the West sees the human rights issue differently. In India, Junaids get lynched or burnt without being noticed by any Western leader. Earlier, the killing of a single Kashmiri Muslim by the security forces used to shock British Parliament and the US Congress.

Modi was lucky to come to power when he did. After 9/11, anyone spreading Islamophobia is encouraged by the West that itself took to killing the people in the Islamic nations.

This hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed. The Western leaders’ silence over the killings of Muslims in India and the ban on the BBC documentary have been criticised by foreign journals. An Economist columnist said: “The next time Banyan hears a Western leader congratulating Mr. Modi on their countries’ “shared democratic values”, his stomach will turn.”

Modi’s electoral strategy using the “Foreign Hand” is now written in stone. It is needed to manufacture mass outrage and to portray the Opposition as “anti-national”. Modi, the master strategist, keeps refining his electoral strategy. He has picked this new weapon in case the hate-inspiring campaign to consolidate the Hindu votes does not work to the extent it worked the last time. The appeal of anti-Muslim hatred may have been lessened a bit by the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s march. So, 2024 requires the “Foreign Hand”.

Our Dear Leader thinks big and in terms of eras. The Conspiracy Kaal (era) has been ushered in. It will witness a flood of trollers’ tales, causing public fury against Modi’s opponents! 2023 will come to be called the Year of the Foreign Hand.

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy|
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.