Revoking 370 was a long-standing dream of the BJP party and many of the same ideology. It won’t be wrong to say that a good chunk of BJP’s voter base, which is the good chunk of nation’s voice wanted this. BJP had these two items in their manifesto since long. So many from the opposition or the critic liberal class did not believe that BJP had the galls to do this. Many before this government have had a complete majority, but none took such decisive actions. But this BJP government “a complete majority government” has a different attitude. It doesn’t shy down from confrontation and bold decisions.
Where they have lacked is assuming responsibility of actions which have backfired. But that issue is not the one to be debated today. So revoking 370 was another bold decision. This decision has changed the entire staging of the situation with Pakistan and their proxy within India. This also is not a topic of today’s discussion. However, in my mind, in the grand scheme of things, India has changed its position in the past 5 years, with deep implications both nationally and internationally.
Coming back to the topic at hand. Why was this done now? Why not in the first term of the BJP government? Or why not a few months back, or a few months later? Why now?
This may be a naive opinion, but this was a well thought out action, with several entities to care for. Listing down different aspects.
1) International Aspect: Touching the international aspect, we first have to look at various key players. USA, Pakistan, and China are the three key entities that India had to keep an eye on.
If we look at Pakistan, Pakistan is deeply occupied with FATF, IMF and American eagerness to get out of Afghanistan. With CPEC activity slowed down, and Chinese not being very happy about American involvement with Pakistanis, Pakistan had its hands full.
China and America are at loggerheads for some time now. Trade wars have escalated and both the Chinese and the American governments have bigger items to sort out than to look at India’s action. With daily back and forth just like the recent devaluation of yuan, both these giants are not looking at India but their interests.
Pakistan is more or less in a state of volatility both internally (Pashtun’s and Baloch movement) and externally (FATF, IMF, CPEC, and Afghanistan).
So this was an opportune time for India to do this.
2) National Aspect: There isn’t much of opposition right now in India, not because BJP has done something draconic but because the opposition is clueless, they have no specific ideology that they are sticking to. Current Indian opposition is clueless as to how to tackle this new, bold and decisive government at the helm. No one expects an Indian government to be bold. Not the people of India, not the opposition, not the world, not even the government itself. But this Government is not only bold, but it’s also direct, it’s decisive. This government doesn’t back down. This sort of approach comes with its own risk. But India has broken character. And it’s hard for everyone to understand its traits. And thus it’s hard for everyone to predict the actions of this government. This government has broken its character over and over again, with acts like Demonetization, GST, Balakot and now 370.
The psychology of India has been rooted in “accepting meekness”. This has been inbred so much, that despite so many such bold moves, the people, the opposition and the enemy are yet to believe that the people at the helm in India don’t have any psychological baggage. They are fearless, bold and love to take risk. This fearlessness is now seeping into the people of India. When a party can connect with the people at that psychological level. Then it’s very hard to beat that party. And that is why there were no real issues for the government of India to tackle at the national level. They beefed up the security in JnK and that is all that was needed.
Ramifications of 370 are yet to be known, whether there will be lasting peace in the valley or further escalation to this endless cycle of terrorism. No one knows. Yet this action of making 2 UT’s is a game-changer. I hope it’s one that would bring lasting peace in the entire region. I do think, there will be some amount of fallout from this. But I believe this act was the only way to solve this decades-old issue.