Reasserting Indian autonomy against foreign subversion

Reasserting Indian autonomy against foreign subversion

Weaker subaltern societies of the world are apparently condemned to remain perpetually in the thrall of ideological subterfuges that serve the interests and priorities of powerful foreign societies. Equally, Indian Left theorists pontificating about weak and subject subalterns are themselves beholden subalterns of foreign intelligence services, knowingly or unknowingly. Yet, there seemed to be a moment recent in Indian history when the ghastly spell that led many supposedly ‘educated’ Indians up the garden path of an utterly malformed Marxist ideology seemed to have been broken. It was too good to last. A new imported ideology has begun taking hold of an ascendant poorly educated and over confident pseudo elite in India, the so called Right. This Indian Right, apparently unfamiliar with the etymology of the term Right and its dismal contemporary Thatcherite and Reaganite connotations has injudiciously deemed themselves the new Right that, heaven forbid, is poised to take the Indian people towards a ‘New Jerusalem’. The idea of a Dharmic self-identity is evidently unwholesome to the Indian intellectual consciousness, even for nationalists, and like the sought after imported consumer goods of the 1950s and beyond the preferred label apparently has to be foreign.

Dominant nations, as one can see unvarnished daily before one’s eyes, use unrestrained brute force to impose their will on weaker societies regardless of the cost to victims. Millions of deaths count for nothing, usually unlamented and often barely recognised. How many of the presumably well informed are aware of the 6 million deaths in the Congo and a million in Uganda of recent decades though some may have heard of the Rwanda genocide. What the Middle East is undergoing at this very moment can only be ignored at peril because it illustrates the harsh proclivities of a world that the political philosopher of the bleakness of societal disorder, Thomas Hobbes, would immediately recognise. The point is that powerful Western nations would not hesitate to inflict on India a holocaust completely dwarfing partition, if it were feasible and something minimal might be gained from dealing with a fractured polity instead of a united India. The Northeast and J&K conflict over decades and the underlying threat of secession from some southern states are an indication that such options have never been altogether absent. Blithe ignorance and confident chatter about the greatness of India’s Vedic past, and its asserted prowess supposedly inventing air travel two thousand years ago, cannot substitute for thorough awareness of the huge existential dangers that forever stalk fragile societies, including India.

Historically, the Indian intelligentsia was essentially a product of colonial consciousness. Its self-understanding veered from acquiescence to crass British colonial misrepresentation of the Hindu past to strident assertion that class struggle, rather than nation building to survive in a hostile world, was the primal reality in India.  Its subsequent half-baked juvenile espousal of Marxism managed to readily adopt much of the hostile motifs of Protestant missionaries. India failed to produce a single Marxist of any originality, with M. N. Roy the only exception showing promise though eventually abandoning Marxism. Significantly, he was self-taught. By contrast, Jews have dominated Marxist intellectual life without losing a sense of their own history, producing extraordinary amounts of truly outstanding analysis of their past and traditions. The Hindu intelligentsia, paltry in numbers and hopelessly pedestrian, is obsessed with foreign recognition and desperately in search of academic positions abroad. Their insane determination to uncover the brutal class character of the Hindu past expunged India’s 1200-year history of foreign subjugation, in which any likely class strife between Hindus was severely disrupted. The intellectual reverie of India’s foreign manufactured intelligentsia has since ended with faux anguish about alleged endemic caste violence in Indian society and, more recently, its grotesque sexual sadism.

The foreign inspired Leftist Hindu intelligentsia, nurtured by the stupendously mediocre Nehru, went on to thrive in imperialist countries they once denounced. They left behind a local detritus, in the shape of places like JNU and assorted state universities, determined to dismantle the nation.  It is also surmised that Indian communist leaders had been compromised in British jails during the 1940s once Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. Many of them and their fellow travellers were to emerge from prisons as agents of the British Empire. They subsequently remained assets of foreign powers, though some were loyal to the Soviet Union. These vehement critics of Indian statehood were none-too-discreetly cultivated by foreign intelligence services for their own purposes. Why else would Washington officialdom appoint a supposedly hard left JNU pseudo historian to a prestigious position in the Congress library? Others have ended up in Columbia, Chicago, Oxbridge, LSE, etc. continuing slanderous assaults incessantly against their homeland’s supposed multifarious evils. What foreign governments have sought in independent India is a weak central authority and embedded assets that would promote their mundane commercial interests and bend the Indian government’s policies to suit their self-serving grandiose design for the world.

The key to grasping the vulnerable predicament of societies like India is the inherently diabolical character of international relations. It is associated with a devastatingly cynical use of ideology and public relations by powerful countries to supplement their unsparing and brutal violence to achieve goals. Nothing more need be said except draw attention to the near-total destruction lately of three Middle Eastern countries to effect regime change and for ultimate purposes that are neither unambiguous nor indeed even remotely worthwhile. The three countries at the forefront of imperial conquest are the US, the UK, a jackal awaiting leftovers once the US is done and France, which in particular never really gave up its colonial ambitions. Millions have died owing to the interventions of these powers across the world from Latin America to, more recently, in Africa (Rwanda and the Congo worst of all) and of course the grim unfinished business in the Middle East. Jihadi terrorists in all their sheer brutal awfulness have in fact shed less blood though their cruelties remind of the worst human instincts, especially when motivated by religious faith. It now also transpires that the murderous Jihadis of ISIS were instruments of NATO policy in Syria and remained so in Aleppo until its liberation.

The danger for India in the context of foreign intervention is the profoundly misguided policy that led to India being opened up precipitately to the West in the early 21st century. This was the period in which rapid implantation of foreign intelligence assets occurred in it. There can be little doubt about the mischief foreign consulates and information bureaus get up to, but there is less public awareness of the subversive activities of NGOs on behalf of foreign chancelleries. NGOs and especially religious organisations, as publicly available records emphatically confirm, are routinely used as fronts of foreign intelligence services. Even the world’s premier medical charity has been uncovered, thanks to WikiLeaks, as a national intelligence front. And if the renowned revolutionary comrade of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, Regis Debray, turned out to be a French intelligence officer can even one’s own father be trusted! A famous US feminist, who spent time in India decades ago has now been exposed as an intelligence operative. At least one other US academic, infamous for proximity to various Indian subversives and deeply hostile to Hindus, has been revealed by a New York-based analyst to have intimate connections to the CIA. It is also likely that several prominent Indian Leftist academics in the US and the UK were close to Western intelligence services, while also earning fame as creators of a pithy social science label for the downtrodden that has since become popular worldwide.

As a result of penetration, religious NGOs, once successful in suborning societies politically and socially, become established as legitimate local organisations, unashamedly echoing the policies of foreign powers. This is exactly what is happening in many African countries, like Rwanda and the Congo, where evangelists and their churches wield huge influence. It is now known that protest over India’s Kundakulam nuclear power plant was orchestrated by a foreign power though church groups were outwardly fronting it. The Republic of Korea too has been the subject to compelling foreign influence once religious conversion to Christianity had managed to subvert sixty percent of the population. The nefarious activities of Saudi and Middle East-funded subversion in India, often as surrogates of the Pakistani ISI, are better known and subject to domestic intelligence surveillance. It is hard to believe that during various phases of the Cold War and bitter US hostility towards India, they did not cooperate with each other since the ISI has legion assets across India. The Pakistani ISI also enjoys suspect relations with Indian politicians, major political parties and Bollywood. Indian intelligence services became aware that a major regional political outfit gave safe passage across the Delhi-UP border to the terrorists who bombed the capital in 2005, killing and maiming many. This is why the Modi government’s recent denial of FCRA status to 20,000 NGOs is of historic importance in the attempt to insulate India from the sedition they usually represent.

Political subversion and assassinations have long been routine for intelligence services, as the CIA operative Phillip Agee revealed in 1975. The most infamous murders instigated by Western intelligences agencies include that of Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Salvador Allende of Chile and the brutal disposal of Colonel Gaddafi recently. Hundreds of attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro failed and the unexpected demise of Indian Premier Lal Bahadur Shastri at Tashkent remains unexplained. The identity of the sponsors of Mrs Indira Gandhi’s murder by a bodyguard remains a matter of speculation too. She had been threatened retribution for refusing to acquiesce to genocide in East Pakistan and the consequent huge flood of millions of refugees into India during 1970-1971. There are grounds for suspecting that the frivolous charge of misusing official transport for election purposes and the subsequent court case disqualifying her from office were engineered by a foreign intelligence agency. Mrs Gandhi’s subsequent entrapment in the declaration of the ill-advised Emergency, events associated with it, the identity of those who advised it and their specific advice to her require thorough scrutiny. It is significant that the threatened national railway strike to bring India to a halt, before Mrs Gandhi declared the Emergency, bears a striking resemblance to the truckers strike that created economic chaos in Chile prior to the violent overthrow of the Salvador Allende government.

Another major episode in India that conforms to the modus operandi of Western intelligence intervention was the fratricidal civil war that took place in the late 1960s and early 1970s between the CPM-led government in West Bengal and Naxalite dissidents that denounced it as revisionist and split from it violently. An effective stratagem to undermine the established majority of an unwelcome political movement is to sponsor or aid a dissident faction within it that will distract the parent body and dissipate its strength in a civil war. This is unerringly what happened in West Bengal between the CPM and the Naxalite CPML. The CPM itself, from which the Naxalites broke away, suffered far greater losses in cadre, strength and its ideological zeal eventually perished. It might be wondered, if much of the Indian communist leadership had already been compromised by the British jailors before Indian independence, why did anti-communist Western intelligence services, mainly the CIA, seek to undermine their political party. There was a well-grounded fear that the CPM was not truly estranged from the Soviets, which their break with the openly pro-Soviet CPI seemed to suggest. West Bengal’s communists also led a mass movement that had a dynamic of its own and the CIA evidently feared a younger leadership might one day lead it in a radical anti-Western direction.  This would account for the interest of the CIA, which did not create the communist intra-party fissure, but saw in it an opportunity to achieve its aims. And that almost certainly occurred with some help from China, which was collaborating with the US against the USSR at the time.

The tragedy of contemporary Indian politics is that in trying to overcome the colonial consciousness of the Indian Left, which has outlived itself historically, the nationalists themselves are demonstrating immaturity and cupidity, combined with arrogant self-regard, because they imagine themselves to be wielding power. In fact they are not wielding power at all and much of the colonial intellectual and cultural legacy remains perfectly intact, for the present at least. The nationalists are also being seduced by the allure of wealth and seem quite enamoured by foreign adulation though it is invariably calculated to disarm. There is an unhealthy and dangerous desire for association with institutions in the West. It will only create a false sense of security in India’s nationalist constituency, which must remain alert to illusory familiarity! One grows hoarse repeating that the foreign media, universities and so called public intellectuals of the West operate in a seamless collaborative web of imperial quest. And they know the ‘natives’ better than the ‘natives’ know themselves. The most alarming spectacle is that of so many in India enthralled by moneyed fellow Indians resident abroad, many with little connection to the country since the early twentieth century. Those abroad truly committed to India and its future are in a very slim minority indeed. Others see India as a business opportunity to exploit for making money. Most significantly, they are mostly loyal to the countries of which they are citizens and frequently engaged in identifying vulnerable points for foreign intelligence services to infiltrate in India.

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Gautam Sen

Dr. Gautam Sen taught international political economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science for over two decades.