Book Review : Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“The India DoctrineĂ˘â‚¬Âť
Shah Mohammed Saifuddin, Canada
Monday October 30 2006
Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“ India will not tolerate any external intervention in a conflict situation in any South Asian country, if the intervention has any implicit or explicit anti-Indian implication. No South Asian government must, therefore, ask for external military assistance with an anti-Indian bias from any country.Ă˘â‚¬Âť (Bhabani Sen Gupta. Ă˘â‚¬ËśThe India DoctrineĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ India Today, 31 August 1983)
It is obvious from the above statement made by a renowned Indian strategic analyst that India perceives that all the smaller neighbours around fall within her security orbit and thinks these countries must sub-serve Indian interest, particularly in security and foreign policy matters.
Mr. MBI Munshi has eloquently described the far reaching Indian strategic vision in South Asia in his book titled Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“The India DoctrineĂ˘â‚¬Âť.
Inspired by the much talked about Ă˘â‚¬ËśNehru DoctrineĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ the current strategic planners in India have successfully tightened IndiaĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s grip on land-locked Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim as well as strategic Island of Sri-Lanka through various treaty obligations and carefully cultivated socio-political relations. Bangladesh being a close neighbour of India is also a prime target of IndiaĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s strategic planners to advance the strategic vision of India.
The writer has made a painstaking effort to elaborate the Indian attempt to reduce Bangladesh into a vessel state to be used to consolidate IndiaĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s grip on strategic North Eastern states and bolster Indian military preparation against any future Chinese invasion. The book has detail information on Indian involvement in different phases of BangladeshĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s history and how India advanced its strategic interest in this country. The writer has made commendable efforts to expose the nefarious activities of RAWĂ˘â‚¬â€ťthe prime Indian intelligence agency, inside Bangladesh.
RAW has targeted the following national sectors of Bangladesh to infiltrate its operatives to advance its strategic interest in Bangladesh:
Ă˘â‚¬Â˘ Armed forces
The writer has closely observed the ever increasing political violence in the country and the benefits India derives from it. The national leaders in India shamelessly support a particular political party in Bangladesh to create division and destabilize the political landscape of the country. The more volatile the political situation in Bangladesh will get, the less economic progress we will achieve and more dependent we will be on India for our economic survival. This is precisely the reason why RAW wants to see the political unrest to perpetuate in the country
India is aggressively pursuing a policy of maligning Bangladesh through clever manipulation of the local and international media. The objective is that to isolate Bangladesh from rest of the world and make it a pariah state. Our isolation from the international community would give India an upper hand in our domestic affairs. RAW has hand picked a few misguided people in Bangladesh, who believe in United India, to conduct subversive activities within the country These heinous activities are being conducted under the direct guidance and supervision of RAW. India wants to uproot the anti-India section from the Bangladesh politics or at least kill its political growth.
The author has also pointed out the fact that, Indian intelligence agency has picked up several highly ambitious intellectuals of the country to use them to defame Bangladesh and its culture. Bangladesh has been the land of people who are proud of their cultural heritage and tradition. It is the belief of RAW that Bangladesh will remain strong as long as this sense of pride in cultural heritage and tradition is there within the people. So, they have drawn up a clever plan to impose West Bengali Hindu culture in the name of Bengali culture upon the people of Bangladesh.
A handful of corrupt and ambitious cultural activists are being used to propagate West Bengali Hindu culture to destroy the uniqueness of the Bangladeshi culture. RAW has also infiltrated its agents into various cultural organizations such as Bangla academy, and Shilpakola academy to promote Indian culture within Bangladesh. The cultural ministry is just playing into the hands of the Indian intel agency.
The armed forces are the symbol of national strength and sovereignty. Bangladesh armed forces have played a glorious role in the liberation war and other national crises. India has been following an aggressive policy to weaken the armed forces of the country through spreading propaganda and cleverly designed treaties. Right after the independence of Bangladesh, India entered into a 25 year friendship agreement with Bangladesh to promote good relations between the two nations. As per the treaty, Bangladesh would not raise a standing army for national defence. Indian military forces would help in any national crisis to protect the people of Bangladesh.
To implement the treaty the Mujib govt. did not spend money on the modernization of the armed forces rather raised a militia force called rakkhi bahini to downgrade the role and prestige of the national armed forces. Though after the assassination of Mujib the subsequent govt. forged a deep defence relation with the govt. of China, but the treaty was an obstacle and deterred Bangladesh from signing any military agreement with China. This has caused enormous damage to our armed forces because in the absence of any military agreement with China we could not obtain a lot of sensitive military technology. As a result the required infrastructure and manpower for high tech weapons manufacturing could not be installed until 1997.
The disintegration of Bangladesh is in the interest of India and absorption of Chittagong Hill Tracts is the final plan of RAW. Recently the Indian notorious intel agency has extended its vision and included the creation of a Hindu state within Bangladesh as a priority plan.
The Indian interest in CHT generates mainly from its proximity to Bay of Bengal that can be used to provide the troubled north eastern region with a valuable access to the sea and also the natural resources of CHT can used to feed the north eastern states. Shanti Bahini is just a pawn and the greater Indian plan envisions amalgamation of the CHT region to pacify the troubled north eastern region through increased economic benefits and consolidation of security through weakening Bangladesh and reducing the space for the rebel groups such as ULFA to operate.
The inclusion of East Bengal in Pakistan was not liked by many Hindus at the time of the 1947 partition. This led a group of fanatical Hindus to propagate for the creation of a Hindu state within the East Pakistan. A movement was launched with that aim from a platform named Ă˘â‚¬ËśJono mukti AndolonĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ soon after 1947 from the Indian city of Calcutta. The Jonomukti was reconstituted in Dhaka in late 1969 under the lead of Mohindranath Bhartacharya. The choosing of the time to launch the platform in Dhaka could not be any better, for the people of Dhaka were at the peak of an anti Pakistan movement at the particular period of time.
It is reported that the fall of the Mujib regime in Dhaka in August 1975 prompted a former Awami League member of parliament, Chittoronjon Sutar, to move to Calcatta to give a fresh impetus to the movement in the changed circumstances. Unconfirmed reports also have it that the President of this movement, Sri Partha Samontha, is in fact Mr. SutarĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s pseudonym. This Chittaranjan Sutar, an ex-Awami League M.P, is at the helm of Bangabhumi movement. The Hindu state is planned to comprise of the districts of greater Khulna, Jessore, Kushtia, Faridpur, Barisal and Patuakhali of Bangladesh. An armed wing of the organisation named 'Bangasena' has also been formed. The Commander of this armed force is Mr Kalidas Vaidya. The main organiser and trainer of Bangasena is Arun Ghosh.
The author has expressed his grave concern about the formation of a strategic relation between India and America. The impact of such a relationship on the security of the other nations of South Asia could be far reaching. The American initiative to arm India to counter China will have an adverse impact on the regional military balance, which will ultimately contribute to regional instability.
The yawning military imbalance between India and other regional countries will be a source of future conflicts in the region. It is a known fact that America supplies arms to the regional powers to destabilize a region where they have strategic interest. Middle East is one such example.
I think South Asia will be made volatile to subserve America's ambition in South and South-East Asia. The dialogue among the neighbours is the best way to resolve regional disputes. Forging deep strategic and military relations with a super power may not serve India's best interest in the long run. India must not forget she has to live with the neighbours forever and she cannot choose neoghbours. The best security for India is the best relations with her neighbours.
The writer has also included some invaluable articles written by Bangladeshi, Nepali, and Sri-Lankan strategic analysts for the readers to know about IndiaĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s strategic game plan in the region and how it is affecting the smaller nations in South Asia.
In my opinion, Mr. M.B.I Munshi has done a commendable job in analyzing the entire gamut of the strategic relations between India and its smaller neighbours in the book. It is my understanding that the readers would get a good insight into the strategic vision of India and how it wants to reshape the political and even the geographical landscape of the region.
As for the price, the book is moderately priced and well within the reach of the readers from Bangladesh and abroad.
I wish a great success for Mr. M.B.I. Munshi and his book, Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“The India DoctrineĂ˘â‚¬Âť.
Name: Shah Mohammed Saifuddin
Bangladesh Strategic & development Forum