Since the arrival of the Modi regime whose agenda truly revolves around the very concepts of Hindutva, fascism, jingoism, and ethnicity are believed to be at an all-time high in India. Be it Napoleon, Hitler, or Mussolini; it has been observed that individual leadership holds a colossal impact on societies. All of them were successful in captivating and taming the behavior of the masses of those societies. India under Modi is no exception.

The way BJP leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi has effectively brainwashed the Indian society in order to make an ordinary Indian believe that Muslims whether in India or living across the border are the root cause of every ill in their country; is quite unanticipated.

Modi being the right-wing hardliner proved that his political standing has more to do with anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim rhetoric than the much-acclaimed prospects of a developed or prospered country. Propagating the very political agenda of BJP Hindu-Muslim hatred, Hindu supremacy, ultra-nationalism, and dividing the country on religious polarization is a continuous threat to regional peace and stability along with inviting inevitable consequences.

With the rise of the BJP and Modi coming into power in India, the perversion of Indian democracy and its descent into authoritarianism has become all the more prominent. Mobilization of anti-Muslim and anti-minority sentiment, rejection of core democratic principles such as equality of all citizens, sectarian tensions, the rise of Hindutva ideology,  violence against Muslims, and the bending of India’s judicial system to the wishes of politicians, does put a big question mark on Indian claims of being the world’s largest democracy. Home to a complex mix of different ideologies, religions, and ethnic groups, India has historically been a segmented nation.

With the emergence of right-wing nationalist populism, the so-called claim of Indian democracy has been seriously challenged.

In recent times, India has been transforming its defense and foreign policy posture mostly in security and military dimensions. India is not just involved in several conflicts with its neighbors but also consistently increasing its defense budget. The country is also taking the lead in signing and finalizing defense deals with multiple countries, pursuing military exercises to project its military power, and conducting missile tests in order to prove its military muscle. PM Modi has also stepped up with modernization of the Indian military, by taking quantum leaps such as integrating artificial intelligence into the military. At the same time, there is an increasing interest and investment in the space sector.

This does not end here. Apart from igniting unrest, ethnic strife, and distorting the socio-political fabric of the state, the jingoistic policies of Modi also have a spillover effect on bordering countries. The revocation of Article 35 A and Article 370 to deprive Kashmiris of their very own existence is another episode of labeling India a “war monger”. PM Modi has frequently threatened the neighbors. He has categorically stated that India’s official policy is to hit her enemies inside their territories. The evil policies and pursuit of hegemonic ambitions against its neighbors are no more a secret as Modi, in a bid to re-elect, staged an airstrike in Pakistan’s Balakot region after a false flag operation in February 2019. On various occasions whether at its BRICS summit, or the G20 Summit, Modi has consistently blamed Pakistan for supporting terrorist activities and portrayed it as a destabilizing factor in the region. But India’s pursuit of conflicts and skirmishes with Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Srilanka, and China along with sharing a hot border with Pakistan depicts that India is actually the source of the problem.

The very bogus notion of surgical strikes was floated in the aftermath of the Uri attacks in 2016, where Modi tried to elevate his political standing. In order to boost his political stature and in his drive to win the elections, Modi claimed that the Balakot strikes had killed around 300 terrorists and wrecked the training centers of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), the terrorist organization associated with the attack on India’s Central Reserve Force (CPRF) on 15th February 2019 at Pulwama district. However, those claims were nullified later via international briefings and onsite verifications. Moreover, on the very day of 21st Apr 2019, during a rally in Rajasthan; the chest-thumping Modi threatened Pakistan by saying, “Our nuclear capabilities are not being kept for Diwali”.

The Indian missile misfire of 9 Mar 2022 is another example of India’s jingoistic mindset. India termed the incident as the accidental firing of the missile during routine maintenance and a technical malfunction. The 48-hour silence after the missile incident speaks volumes of the lack of depth and maturity of the Indian command and control system. Chest-thumping talk of using force against Pakistan in political speeches by India’s Hindu nationalist warmonger leaders cast doubts on India’s claims of exploring and maintaining diplomatic relations with its neighbors.

The above illustrations accentuate the fact that the extraordinarily aggressive and belligerent policies of Modi are dragging the region towards instability. Since the partition of the continent; anti-Muslim policies in India have been consistently implemented under the false banner of secularism. But since Modi took charge, the thin veneer of secularism has been scrapped and Hindu extremist policies and hatred against Muslims and minorities including even low-caste Hindus have come to force.

India’s hegemonic designs and war-mongering attitude under Modi are seriously impeding the efforts to achieve regional peace and stability.

Pakistan has always directed its efforts to establish peace with India. Considering the ever-increasing India’s longingness to perpetuate the war agenda and a quest to be a regional hegemon, Pakistan is being compelled to seek options to counter the Indian hegemonic ambitions which can better serve the national interests of the country. The consequences of non-resolution of long pending disputes specifically the core issue of Kashmir, may be disastrous and can prove catastrophic for not only South Asia but for the whole world. This is high time for the international community to hold the Indian leadership accountable for its continuing belligerent rhetoric and aggressive policies which pose a threat to regional and global peace and security. Moreover, the ever-increasing lust for economic benefits and vested strategic interests must not trump the genuine need of peace and prosperity in the region.

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