India under Narendra Modi - Is Sri Lanka ready for its revolutionary transformation

  • By Senaka Weeraratna
  • February 2014

The  Indian general election scheduled for May 2014 would, if the  forecasts are proved to be correct, result in a sea change in India’s  relationship with the rest of the world as well as a revolutionary  transformation of her economy, industry and education if the changes  introduced in Gujarat by Chief Minister Narendra Modi are an  indication. It will also dramatically affect the ongoing ‘blow hot  blow cold’ relationship that India currently pursues with Sri  Lanka.

India  under Narendra Modi as Prime Minister will claim its rightful place  in Asia as one of its true leaders, politically, economically and  even militarily, and in order to demonstrate these credentials India  can be expected to abandon gleefully its current policy of servility  and unconditional subservience to the West. It will do so in the full  knowledge that continuing subservience to its former colonial masters  and their allies i.e. the new sponsors of colonialism, will severely  undercut any Indian claim to lead the once colonized but now  liberated nations of Asia.

India  will discard its junior partner status in any relationship with USA  and retaliate in a more effectual manner if the American gaffe we saw  in the recent past involving Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade were  to be repeated.

India  will reclaim its ancient spiritual and cultural heritage and take  pride in its civilisational achievements in a way that will put to  shame the negative attitudes being adopted currently by the Indian  establishment, including its mass media and burgeoning film industry,  lacking vision, sense of country’s purpose and more importantly,  pride in its own history and heroes.

The  upsurge of the view that India has nothing much to offer other that  material goods and services and entertainment in this modern age has  diminished India’s moral standing in a world long used,  particularly in the pre-colonial past, to be the beneficiary of  Indian philosophical thought, wisdom and outspokenness that had no  equal.

India  will mend any strains it has in its relationship with China and will  not allow interfering outsiders, particularly from the West, to  identify India’s friends and potential enemies and teach India how  to conduct itself vis-à-vis imagined foes. India will take comfort  from an historical fact that India and China despite being neighbours  on the Asian continent had never gone to war with each other for over  5000 years except on one dismal occasion in contemporary history  (1962) when it clashed over a border issue that has its roots in  British colonial mischief.

India  will set its own foreign policy agenda and goals from a central  government perspective, rather than from a regional government  perspective, which today has unfortunately contributed to India’s  almost total isolation from its immediate neighbours in South Asia.  This anticipated posture will contribute immensely to improvement of  India’s ties with Sri Lanka. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the  popular freedom fighter and nationalist leader that India never had  as its Prime Minister, will come alive in the form of Narendra Modi  and will revolutionise India’s national and international image.

India  will no longer be the country that the West, particularly USA, would  take for granted with contempt for both its leaders and people, but a  new India conscious of its place in the world and obligations to both  humanity and all other living beings. India’s Constitutional  provision that “it shall be the duty  of every citizen of India to protect  and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers  and wild life and to have compassion  for living creatures” (Article 51  A (g)) will gain a new lease of life. This is the vision that India’s  great son, Gautam Buddha, had for Bharat and its greatest Chakravarti  Emperor Asoka faithfully strove to establish in the form of a  compassionate society.

India’s  moral voice can be expected to be heard again in the far flung  corners of the world in a manner that the Buddha, Mahavira, Asoka,  Nagarjuna, Swami Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, and Mahatma Gandhi  and the like resounded to the serene joy and delight of humankind.  Idealism will return to India and in turn help to re-charge the  batteries of a largely spiritually weakened Asia, now increasingly  despoiled by unbridled crass materialism.

We  must gratefully acknowledge that it was India more than any other  country that originally provided the value system for the moral and  ethical foundations of Asia, through the spread of the influence of  Buddhism and Hinduism. Are we in Sri Lanka ready to meet the  challenge of foreseeable radical changes in our closest neighbour,  India?

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