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Is there a Modi-Doval doctrine?

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The West matters, BJP understands this and so do their leaders in power. Learning from the West is critical, for two reasons. One, where states have failed and two, the successes of the West in improving the quality of life for ordinary people.

If there is a Modi-Doval doctrine, then it’s foundation is based on these two realities. It is a two-part doctrine; to prevent India from imploding from within and to lift the poorest out of desperate poverty.

Implosion from within

The disintegration of Soviet Union not only had a deep impact on Chinese Communist Party, but also on the thinking of the current leadership of India, the main thinker and philosopher here is the National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Doval while PM Modi concurs with Doval. Doval has stated this several times in his speeches, that more nation states have failed due to internal problems rather than external aggression. Doval narrates history since the Treaty of Westphalia from 1648 CE, so he knows the tragedy of continuous wars that destroyed people and states.

Modi-Doval understand that while China can exercise mass population surveillance and control, Indian state is incapable and as a democracy, unwilling to do this. Where China is still more homogenous with majority Han, India has far too many inimical forces within the country, many of these well-funded by foreign regimes.

So Modi-Doval doctrine understands that the threat to Bharat (the civilisational state, of which India is a smaller offshoot) is not really from any opposition parties but from disintegration and destruction due to constant internal issues. BJP is succeeding here and is permanently plugging the gaps in the dike that has the floods of destruction on the other side.

Lift the poorest out of desperate poverty

Second part of Modi-Doval doctrine is Antyodaya, which has been a long-standing BJP principle, literally this is the state focusing on the welfare of the last man (or bottom most) in the society. This is the second learning from the West, that unless the horrendous poverty that has been afflicting the Indian masses for decades was addressed quickly, the state would implode.

Today, someone like me can state a shocking opinion (based on detailed facts) that the poorest in United States of America are living a lower standard of life than the poorest in India! This is the biggest achievement of the BJP government. This has only happened since BJP came to power with their hardcore implementation of mass welfare policies in healthcare, direct cash transfers, subsidised essentials, electricity, drinking water, toilets, bank accounts, identity cards, digital infrastructure and so on. All this is funded by expansion of taxation, growth of the economy, huge infrastructure spending and structural reforms in several sectors. Here again, China was the forerunner is lifting the Chinese out of poverty decades back, but India is catching up fast.

India, an ungovernable state

India has been ungovernable since British suzerainty. British India (undivided) had 565 princely states and their predatory state structure was far removed from any notions of public welfare, hence the many famines under British rule. They made rudimentary state structures based on monopoly of state violence and a lot of violence at that! India inherited these structures and till date the Indian state has been using those structures to enforce the state’s writ rather than to actually deliver good governance. This direction of travel was bound to result in the Indian state failing or disintegrating. Mass evangelical conversions in several parts of India under UPA were just exploiting state condoned poverty. But even these would not stop the implosion of the Indian state. The predatory nature of the Indian state is so intertwined with the governing structures that the people who inhabit these from the politicians to judiciary, legislature, policing, bureaucracy, right down to the lowest state apparatchik, do not even notice them.

Since 1977, India has seen several coalition governments, including the UPA coalition for a decade under Manmohan Singh Coalitions. Coalitions are self-serving entities that cannot make much progress in matters of the state, they favour status-quo, compromise and indecisiveness. This policy paralysis has afflicted India for decades.
So you have a predatory state coupled with an indecisive one trying to deal with hellish poverty-driven human suffering of millions, such a state cannot last.

This was broken in 2014, although NDA on paper is a coalition, it is essentially BJP in power. And here comes Amit Shah, who would concur with Modi-Doval doctrine by winning them centre and state elections ensuring strong governments that can actually deliver. BJP knows that only winning elections can prevent the Indian state from failing because unless you are in power, you cannot look after the poorest – Antyodaya, the second integral part of the Modi-Doval doctrine.

Modi-Doval doctrine’s unpopular decisions

Actions that BJP government takes can at times seem against patriotic priorities or against the interests of Sanatan Dharma. But if one sees their decisions from the lens of this two-fold doctrine, then one can understand why they rolled back the excellent farm laws, did not touch Shaheen Bagh foreign funded protestors, did not act against post-election violence in Bengal and so on.

Unless the state is strong enough, it cannot endanger itself. All of the so called ‘colour’ revolutions from middle-eastern states (Arab Spring) to post-Soviet states like Ukraine toppled governments using just a few thousand protestors within very short time frames of weeks or months. It is a known fact that they were all orchestrated and funded by external forces while the protestors were easily manipulated into channelling their genuine employment or governance grievances to help regime change. Not all of them succeeded, but it’s worth noting the extent:
Georgia 2003, Ukraine 2004, Kyrgystan 2005, then they toppled Kyrgyz government in 2010, Lebanon 2005, Belarus 2006 then again in 2021, Myanmar 2007, Malaysia 2007 & 2016, Moldova 2009, Iran 2009-10, Tunisia 2010, Egypt 2011, Bahrain 2011-14, Russia 2011-13, Armenia 2018, Bolivia 2019, Kazakhstan 2022.

One can blame all sorts of foreign agencies or states for these regime changes or states failing. But the reality is that these states neither foresaw these upheavals nor could they deal with them. Except a few like Kazakhstan and Russia, the state structures just surrendered. Remember, no foreign military aggression caused these so-called colour revolutions, these were all internal problems.

So, if Modi-Doval act with extreme caution and succeed in downing the flames of such manufactured protests in India, then that is a success. They have learnt the right lessons. The second part of improving the lot of the poorest is still work in progress and it will be a while till the justified or unjustified grievances of the teeming masses are addressed. But this progress has been the fastest under BJP and most importantly, has been implemented well by the BJP government.

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