West Asia policy hostage to ‘Muslim vote'

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by ajtr, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    West Asia policy hostage to ‘Muslim vote'


    The United Progressive Alliance government's policy towards West Asia is dictated by its anxiety to keep the “politically influential Muslim vote bloc” in good humour, thus forcing it to walk a “tight rope” and refrain from engaging “too deeply” with the region. This is the recurring assessment sent to headquarters by confidential U.S. Embassy cables, accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks. New Delhi's reactions to Hamas's election victory in 2006, to Israel's attacks on Lebanon later that year, and to its air strikes on Gaza in 2008 are all interpreted through this lens.

    ‘GUTLESS’

    Communications to Washington from senior American diplomats in the New Delhi Embassy constantly portray India's West Asia policy as being hostage to the Muslim factor in domestic politics. In its bid not to antagonise Muslim voters, the cables explained, the government was forced to play down its “strategic relationship” with Israel.

    In one raw cable dated March 31, 2006 (58913: confidential), Ambassador David Mulford characterised India's public position on its relations with Israel as “gutless” and lacking in “moral clarity.” “The underlying straddle of meek statements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict combined with full-steam-ahead engagement with Israel on practical and strategic matters,” he wrote scathingly, “is unlikely to change. We should not expect any public courage from India anytime soon when it comes to condemning Hamas or reacting on [Ehud] Olmert's recent victory. Pragmatism trumps moral clarity in Delhi's Middle East policy.”

    In Mr. Mulford's view, India had “chosen to remain silent” on Mr. Olmert's victory in order “to avoid ruffling Muslim sentiments.” He added: “India will wait until other nations voice their opinions and only then may decide to speak up, if forced or if advantageous to do so, a feature typical of the GOI when it comes to reacting particularly about Middle Eastern issues, given the importance of the Muslim vote bank to the ruling Congress party.”

    In a cable dated August 4, 2006 (73697: confidential), a senior U.S. diplomat, Geoff Pyatt, wrote that Indian condemnation of Israeli military actions in Lebanon and Gaza was an attempt to “manage” the Muslim anger over the issue, “conveniently overlooking the increasingly tight security and technology relationship between the two countries.” Another cable, dated December 29, 2008 (184997: confidential), attributed India's strong reaction to Israeli attacks in Gaza to “public consumption.” It was in keeping with “India's past practice of publicly condemning Israeli actions for public consumption, yet privately protecting healthy bilateral relations.”

    “The Government of India again walks a tightrope influenced by its election cycle,” the Embassy cable summed up. “It must convey to Israel that it understands Israel's current plight while doing its diplomatic duty to condemn what is seen by many here as oppressive tactics. From time to time Muslim leaders in India organize protests when they feel the GOI has not taken a strong enough stance against Israel during heightened periods of violence, and it is likely that by quickly condemning the air strikes, the Indian government felt it could preempt such demonstrations.”
     
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  3. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Rubbish article. Countless excuses can be made but real reason is that politicians are inept and lack foresight.

    Why not strengthen ties with vietnam ? I dont see muslims there!
     
  4. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    Sadly that's how most of our allies acted recently. But I think it was Muslim pressure as well as world lefti pressure (like BBC...). Hopeful India will be strong enough next time to stand up to the pressures. I look forward to that day.

    I'm think it has to do with American pressure.
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    That is different from what the article is talking about. It is talking about Indian muslim population! I dont see them demanding and protesting on the steets to cut all ties with israel! They are more interested in increasing there income and sending there children to school and then to college.

    India is strong enough but leaders at the top are wankers...plus the common man doesn't care about what happens outside India.
     
  6. kch

    kch Regular Member

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    Mulford's statement is stupid at best and divisive psy-ops at worst. He doesen't understand that India needs arab world because of basic economics - we rely too much on oil imports. India needs Israeli support because our defence needs. There's no need for India to be interfering in Israeli-Palestinian conflict because of the same reason that Israel doesen't interfere in Indo-Pak conflict. Israel and India are friends of convenience, not of ideology.

    It's not the same friendship as US-Israel.

    Mulford's statements are just frustration arising out of inability to bend India to meet US strategic aims.

    His attempts to link it with "vote bank" or whatever term he read from a newspaper is very immature. Our policy to Mid-east and Israel has been consistent through-out NDA-UPA and even Narsimha Rao's times.

    Indians need to ignore this stupid statement and make sure Hindu-Muslim unity is not affected by american Psy-Ops. We need Hindu-Muslim unity to survive against immediate threats from Pak-China.
     
  7. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    I disagree. The Muslim world's ideology is hostile to both India and Israel therefore the alliance has Ideological elements as well. That and the fact were both democracies who got our independence the same way at the same time.
    Also, our alliance is met with strong public opinions, unlike many other alliances worldwide, and that helps strengthen it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  8. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    We didn't get independence the same way and being in a democracy mean that one is holier than thou.

    You still haven't got it....this article is saying that Indian govt is not doing anything because of Indian muslims and not muslims from the middle east. Muslim ideology isn't evil unless your talking about wahabis and there ilk. Everyone will do what is in there interest.

    We have good relations with almost 90% of the countries and only 2 are hostile to us.
     
  9. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    government of India must care about the voice of our Muslim population shouldn't it, doesn't matter whether its UPA or NDA or whatever? Their opinion matters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  10. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    What you are saying is a different thing. Question is whether there is any real Muslim pressure regarding West Asia policy or not. Most of the Muslims in India are not in a position to spare time pondering about it. Our policy is to keep good relation with all countries and West Asian countries are included in it. And there is matter of energy security too.
     
  11. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    The only difference was that you didn't rebel as violently but the similarities are of the plenty. And I'm not saying democracy are better then others, I'm saying its a shared ideology so that's something we have in common. Again, I think there's an ideological part here as well as immediate interests.

    I got what the article is about and what you said i just chose to comment on a specific part of it. The "Sadly that's how most of our allies acted recently" wasn't off topic, what it means is that this happens in other countries too. And I'm not saying Islam is evil, but certain Muslim powers today are. Some others are just aggressive.
     
  12. kch

    kch Regular Member

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    Ok Nonynon, two people can be friends and perceive their friendship differently. Difference in ideology is a very small difference, and our friendship and common factors are much bigger than that small difference. Needless to say, in case any one of us needs help, the other one won't be found wanting.

    Probably next to US, India is the most staunch ally of Israel.

    However, most indians do not view the entire muslim world having a hostile ideology to Israel and India. There are extremists whom we detest but we think there's a large non-vocal majority of muslims who desire peace. Eg. Iran - we realize Ahmedinejad is a nutcase, but there are masses of Iranian people who want democracy and peace. That's why Indian policy is to never let Iran get nuclear power under this administration, but at the same time, we don't support blanket sanctions that'll affect common people.
     

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