For all the nattering about the Idea of India, most people born prior to Independence were attuned to a notion far more expansive than the one more recent generations have become accustomed to.
In fact, the previous version of the Indian establishment, usually of the Liberal Congress mindset, took that apathy further. In former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had been successful in his abortive quest for a Nobel Peace Prize, the Line of Control or LoC may today have mutated into an international boundary. That was a path he pursued seriously with governments in Islamabad, including that of Pervez Musharaff.
That he did not succeed in reducing the map citizens of Independent India know so well, was courtesy the public mood turning sour thanks to the series of state-sponsored terror attacks on India, undertaken by Pakistan’s Army through its proxies, including 26/11.
If not, the Sonia Gandhi-led UPA government would have ensured students today would have been studying a different atlas when it comes to the configuration of South Asia.
With the Narendra Modi Government that perspective has altered. Perhaps it’s because he was born in a post-Partition India, but this Prime Minister has been unwilling to cede territory even on paper.
That is why the crossborder raid by Indian jets went into actual Pakistani land, Khyber Pakhtunwa, and the symbolism in that strategy was great.
Not just in terms of territorial integrity, there’s a new language being spoken, almost literally, when it comes to Kashmir. While briefing the media, the Foreign Secretary was careful in using the terminology PoJK, rather than PoK.
That connects the dispute to a larger land, not only Muslim-majority Kashmir, but also Jammu and Ladakh, where a very different conversation prevails.
It also helps undermine the Pakistani whine of making the Kashmir issue appear like one of Islam. That that line has now also failed was evidenced by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s invitation to address the OIC.
Sans its most strident allies in the Islamic world, Pakistan grows increasingly isolated and much of this is due to another narrative that is being developed in New Delhi, that veers away from the erstwhile Lutyen’s consensus.
– Jay Vijay