View from the right: Turmoil in west Asiahttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/view-from-the-right-turmoil-in-west-asia/

View from the right: Turmoil in west Asia

Till now, India has been sensitive towards its large Muslim population, taking ambiguous positions on strategic issues.

The turmoil in West Asia offers India an opportunity to reposition itself in the region, says an editorial in the Organiser. Pointing out that Yemen, Kenya, Pakistan and Afghanistan are facing internal crises, it says  that the global community at large and India in particular should take stock of these geopolitical transformations to form future strategy.

Till now, India has been sensitive towards its large Muslim population, taking ambiguous positions on strategic issues. It has the opportunity to engage with Iran with a fresh approach. India enjoys immense goodwill in Afghanistan. Most importantly, India has to take an aggressive stand along with the global community on jihadi terrorism: “…West Asia is in flux. The tussle for supremacy between Shia and Sunni Muslims is taking an ugly turn… The anarchy is further compounded by the US rapprochement with Iran…”

Flag fight

An article in the Organiser criticises the Jammu and Kashmir government on the issue of “hoisting of state flag vs national flag”, saying it was against the development agenda of the BJP-PDP alliance. According to the article, the state government issued a circular — No 13-GAD of 2015 — to hoist the state flag, saying, “As per the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the Delhi Agreement of 1952 and keeping in view the historical background, the state flag has the same sanctity and position as the Union flag has under the Indian Constitution and other statutory provisions… All the constitutional authorities are enjoined upon to maintain the sanctity of the state flag…”

The article, which criticises the government for the circular, claims that the state flag does not have the same constitutional status as the Union flag: “Delhi agreement says that state flag ‘would not be a rival of the Union flag’ and that the Union flag should have the same status and position in Jammu and Kashmir as in the rest of India, so using the phrase ‘same position’ in the circular of 12th March is surely not constitutionally wise,” it says. The articles notes the circular was withdrawn later. “But the agitating message that had been sent cannot be settled so easily,” it argues.

Basic tolerance

Noting out that by 2050, around 60 per cent of the world’s population would be either Christian or Muslim, a Panchjanya editorial says there will be conflict between the two communities on the basis of their holy books, and this will be bad news for Indians.

Advertising

According to the editorial, India’s high population and its vision based on Hinduism have made it a suitable ground for religious hardliners to sow the seeds of their ideologies. But the assaults on the country have been projected as golden eras. While it is being claimed that the Muslim invasion gave us a lot of good things, such as Mughlai cusine, Qawwali etc, the “era of deception” by Christians is said to have provided education, railways and bureaucracy for the country, it alleges. Yet, the media claims intolerance only when there are reports of attacks on Muslims or Christians. “If the basic character of this country was not tolerance, would these religions have been here?” it asks.

Compiled by Liz Mathew