Sri Lanka Easter Blasts: Who Benefited the Most?
With a 1.3 billion plus population and more than 3 million square kilometres, India is the largest country in the South Asian region; a fact that is bad news for the rest of the South Asian countries. Now this might sound like an introductory polemic punch at the purported "largest democracy" in the world but it's not.
With a 966 million Hindu population (majority) which makes up 79.8% of the total population, India as a state follows the Chankiyan School of statecraft. A policy that believes peace is a facade, war is inevitable & necessary, fear an effective tool and views every situation as a zero-sum game.
In order to satisfy the war-mongering appetites of its extremely incensed and extremist Hindu electorate, the Indian policy-makers had adopted the policy of strategic coercion vis-a-vis its relatively small neighbours from the very onset. The entire Chankiyan foreign policy is based on lies, deception, double-crossing and mercurial policy orientation. According to classical realists, there is no morality in politics and India's policy is subjecting to this principal to the dot.
The Raja Mandala theory of Chanakya or the six methods of foreign policy need to be understood in order to comprehend the Indian state's policy-making mechanism and course of action.
All the six methods of foreign policy by Chanakya have negative connotations including peace. Because the peace that Chanakya talks about is temporary. It is for the very purpose of gaining strength and waging war once the state is strong enough. As violence and extremism is overflowing in the Indian society today, it is evident that the hatred, extremism and violence was inherent in the Indian foreign policy since day one.
From what it seems from statements and narratives being propagated by the ruling elite in India such as Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Subramaniam Swami, it seems that India gained independence not to be free, but to avenge whatever that happened in the sub-continent at the hands of non-Hindus. This is evident from the policy posture and orientation of India towards its neighbours in South Asia.
As mentioned earlier, strategic coercion either though military pressure, proxy wars, diplomatic isolation tactics and economic suppression has been an old policy of the India state vis-a-vis its neighbours. India has problems with all of its immediate neighbours and these problems and issues have been lingering on for decades on end, case and point issue of Jammu & Kashmir. These problems are not pertaining to the policy differences between India and its neighbours or that the differences are beyond solution. The main problem is India's profound selfishness and the inherent habit of view foreign policy matters as zero-sum game.
This policy-thinking approach has led India to adopt a negative policy and strategic posture towards its neighbours and follow an approach that hampers the progress and development of the neighbouring states and the region plus creates a daunting security dilemma for everyone in South Asia. This situation in turn gives birth to other problems and adverse situations such as arms race, vertical nuclear proliferation, military escalations and even terrorism.
It should not come as a surprise that state-sponsored terrorism has been one of the most effective tools of the Indian policy makers. Be it the case of crushing the self determination movement in Jammu & Kashmir or support for LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka or using TTP terrorist and Baloch separatists to spread chaos and anarchy in Pakistan, India has been exporting terrorism long before state-terrorism was even mainstream.
The recent Sri Lankan Easter bombings on April 21, 2019, which left more than 250 people dead seems to be a part of the Indian-state sponsored terrorism. It might sound like a sweeping statement but not so if analyzed from the prism of "who stand to benefit from such an attack"? Not so surprisingly, the answer seems to be India.
Ever since its independence in 1948; India has always tried to make Sri Lanka its peripheral state. By using the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, the Indian state sponsored a civil war Sri Lanka which last for almost 35 years. This civil war resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. This protracted civil war not only resulted in political chaos, but also had long lasting consequences for Sri Lankan economy and society as well.
It is pertinent to mention here that the promulgation of the "Indira Doctrine" of India coincided with the launch of the deadly civil war in Sri Lanka, which turned this tourist paradise into a sweltering hell hole for more than three decades. Now, with the advent of "Doval Doctrine" (a doctrine enshrined in the principles of covert ops), noticeable increase in terrorist incidents have started to take place for the past several years.
In the recent past, there has been an increase in China's role in Sri Lanka. There is an evident tilt towards the adoption of pro-China stance in the current foreign policy stance of Sri Lanka. This tilt is probably due to the continued Chinese investments in Sri Lankan economy and the latter's support of the Chinese position in the Indo-Pacific region. Strategically, Sri Lanka is a significant country which can act as the linchpin for China's strategic initiative in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) known as Maritime Silk Route (MSR), which in turn is part of a bigger strategic and developmental Chinese project Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
With an emerging market economy and a uniformly growing GDP, Sri Lanka seems to be a matter of concern for India for obvious reasons. Plus, the China factor has exasperated the apprehensions of the Indo-Pacific Quad alliance (India, US, Australia and Japan) in general and India in particular.
Although IS (Islamic State) has claimed responsibility for the Easter Bombings, Indian media and its ruling party (BJP) elite are blaming the Muslim community for this horrific incident, forgetting the fact that the perpetrators of this incident was an ethnic Tamil and spent substantial amount of time in Tamil Nadu, southern India. It is also believed that it is in this place where Zahran Hashim (Eastern Bombings mastermind) not only planned the bombings but also received material and financial support as well.
This incident goes in line with Modi's anti-Muslim narrative before and during the election as well where he and BJP try to garner the support of the majority by creating fear and disgust against Muslims and other minorities in the country just for an election victory. Modi even went to the extent of using this tragic incident in his speeches to public rallies, using the terrorism bogeyman and portraying himself as the only strongman who can protect them against this evil.
This facade created by India and its ruling elite domestically and in the region might reap temporary dividends to the ruling elite, especially the far-right Hindu extremists, but it should be realized that such policies will have severe and far-reaching consequences not just for India but for the entire region. Just as in the past, India's premier intelligence agency RAW has been hatching evil designs in the reign by using ISIS Kerala and ISIS Bangladesh to spread religious terror in the name of Islam, even this time in the case of Sri Lankan Easter Bombings, the incident is reeking with the stench of Indian involvement. Because nobody in the entire region gets to gain anything from committing such horrific act except for India, that is not only unhappy with the current political discourse in Sri Lanka, its economic progress and last but not the least the improving ties with China (a move which India considers an encirclement move).