India’s global power pursuit is driven by Hindu nationalism writes the Global Times, the Chinese government-controlled tabloid. The latest article comes after India banned 59 Chinese mobile apps stating they were prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security of the state and public order.
According to the report, this reflects the rise of Hindu nationalism and the prominence of India’s ambition and pursuit to become a major power.
India wants to compete with China militarily and economically to bolster its reputation as a global leader, writes Yuan Jirong. He goes on to argue that this is the first time India has not faced any threat of invasion or bullying by a foreign power and the core of this rising nationalism is to build a big country of Hinduism.
The author believes that anti-China posture has become one of the main means for certain individuals to forge social consensus and once pluralistic secular Indian society is being turned into one dominated by Hinduism.
Jirong blames the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for pushing the anti-China rhetoric not only with a new narrative but also with specific policies and national actions. He alleges that some Hindus believe they should take advantage of the situation and unite people.
The article goes on to say that India’s desire to take a greater role in international affairs has arisen from political needs and the demand of Indian people who deeply believe in Hindu mythology and that due to their unique culture, many Indians believe their country is a global power.
A former correspondent for GT in India, Jirong claims that elements of India’s politics and society are fertile for growing anti-China sentiments and uses the defeat at the Sino-India war of 1962 to back this ludicrous claim.
Blaming the West and the Indian media
In the second part of the article, Jirong changes tone and says that China has no intention to squeeze India’s strategic space and instead aims to explore ways for peaceful co-existence.
However, the author claims that this is threatened by the strategic objectives of some Indians who want to contain and surpass China with the help of the West.
He blames the Indian media for fanning the flames between New Delhi and Beijing. Tensions are exacerbated by this pressure and hence there is relentless support for India to join the US, Australia and Japan to contain China, writes Jirong.
Towards the end, he blames the United States for destabilizing the Sino-Indian relationship. He claims that the West has recklessly smeared and interfered in China-India ties, such as labelling India “the world’s biggest democracy,” talking up the “Mumbai model,” and unscrupulously showing partiality towards New Delhi amid China-India dispute.
The US, in particular, is seducing India to counterbalance China and the concept of the Indo-Pacific Strategy is turning into a reality. He says that Indian elites are more inclined towards working with the West because they believe that by joining the US camp to contain China, they are now a world power on equal footing.
Jirong concludes by saying that although some anti-China Indian elements will never be satisfied by a China-India relationship centred on economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, the Asiatic giants must engage in diplomacy, leadership exchanges and military security to reach a consensus on peace and stability as the basis for common development.