India Needs To Rethink Its America Alliance As South Asia Tilting Towards China

By Dr. Sawraj Singh

The growing closeness between America and India is giving the impression that India is moving away from its traditional policy of nonalignment and is tilting toward America. This also leads to an impression that India is joining America’s efforts to contain China and be a part of an anti-China and anti-Islamic alliance of America, Israel and India. Such an impression is extremely dangerous for India, and can also prove harmful for America and for the rest of the world. One Punjabi newspaper, on its front page, recently gave the news that President Obama will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations. The same newspaper, on its back page, gave the news that Afghanistan is tilting toward China and Pakistan.

All of India’s neighboring countries seem to be tilting toward China. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma and Maldives, all seem to be going in that direction. However, the worst may be yet to come. India’s one time best friend and biggest supplier of weapons, Russia, may start selling weapons to Pakistan. Putin has expressed feelings that Russia wants to improve its relations with Pakistan and may supply it with Russian weapons. This can be nothing short of a nightmare for India. If this happens, then instead of containing China, India will be encircled by all countries which will be less than friendly to India. Having a friend ten thousand miles away while being isolated among its neighbors, cannot be considered a wise move.

Russia cannot be too happy with the fact that America has replaced it as the biggest supplier of weapons to India. Similarly, Islamic countries will not take it too kindly when they find out that Israel has become a supplier of weapons to India.

India has worked very hard for the last sixty years to earn the reputation of being the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Being seen as an ally of America will not only hurt India’s credibility among its neighbors and the third world countries, but it will also end its status as the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement in the world. India may acquire unnatural allies, but at the risk of losing its natural allies.

A country which is isolated among its neighbors and from its natural allies can hardly be called wise. This is happening when the world is becoming increasingly polarized between the developing countries and the developed countries and between the East and the West. In both situations, relatively, the balance is tilting towards the developing countries and the East. Therefore, India seems to be tilting toward the wrong side. America is losing its position as the leading economic power, and is increasingly being seen as unable to control geo-political events. Just look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. A pattern of failed American policies becomes obvious.

In the game of Chess between Russia and America, and between Putin and Obama, it is clear which side is gaining. While America continues to lose influence, Russia seems to be gradually regaining its lost status after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Obama’s popularity among Americans continues to take a nosedive; it is now less than 40%. Even the black community cannot be very happy with Obama’s response to incidences of black youth being killed by the police. At the same time, Putin’s popularity among his countrymen keeps rising; it is more than 80%. Putin was declared as the most powerful leader in the world by Forbes Magazine, for the second consecutive year in 2014. We have to remember that Forbes is not a Russian magazine, but an American magazine.

If Putin sees that India is continuing to tilt away from Russia toward America, then he can also take certain countermeasures. He has already given some hints such as giving nuclear assistance to Iran and North Korea. North Korea has already threatened to sink three countries: Japan, South Korea, and America. While sinking all of the three countries can be considered an exaggerated claim, but such a scenario will effectively neutralize Japan, the most important American ally in Asia. Similarly, a nuclear Iran effectively neutralizes Israel, the closest American ally in the Middle East. A nuclear Pakistan has already taken away the military option of India in its conflict with Pakistan for all practical purposes.

If India is seen as aligned with America, then that increases the chance of a Third World War and of the Indian subcontinent becoming the arena for such a war. However, as long as Russia and China stick together, which seems most likely, they are an unbeatable team. America and the West will be unable to win such a war and it will hasten American and western decline. The grave consequences for the subcontinent of such a tragedy are obvious. It is quite clear that it is neither in the interest of America or India to be seen as allies. This can only aggravate the polarization and contradictions, and reduce the chances of a peaceful resolution of those.

A non-aligned India can serve American interests better than an India aligned with America. A non-aligned India can help to maintain balance of power, stability, and peace in the world. America should remember that unlike the other cyclic crises of western capitalism, the 2008 crisis is the terminal crisis. Western capitalism has entered a point of no return. Its demise before the middle of the century seems inevitable. A non-aligned India can help make the transition from the American Era to a post-American era smooth and peaceful. Therefore, a non-aligned India can be more useful to America than an India aligned with it.

Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at sawrajsingh@hotmail.com.

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