Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, a rare orator and one of the few strong individuals ever produced in post-partition Bharat has expressed his displeasure with the way the Pakistan authorities are handling the cause of Balochistan. The alarming expressions were a part of his Independence Day speech. Subsequent to his speech, many Indian pundits have come out with their versions and generated a canal of crocodile tears for the victims of state suppression in Balochistan.
As many analysts have already pointed out, the Prime Minister of India maybe using the struggle in Balochistan as a pretext to counter Pakistan’s highly motivated and articulated propaganda on Indian-controlled Kashmir. The most recent unrest in the area turned into a blood bath where over four thousand children and youth were wounded in the pallet attacks by the law enforcement agencies. Dozens of civilians were killed and many others wounded within two months. The region has been locked up by the authority.
Nonetheless, the political crisis in Kashmir is neither subordinate nor equivalent to the prolonged struggle in Balochistan.
No doubt, people in Balochistan are having very socio-political issues due to the deliberate negligence and ignorance by the state. The struggle for a separate state or one could call it fighting for self-determination is a rooted idea in the area. History tells us that the nationhood of Balochistan was an existing geographical reality, whereas the crisis in Kashmir is much more complicated. Balochistan was refused legitimacy for its nationhood with the creation of Pakistan due to the geographical location and the rich natural resources. The story would have been completely different if this has been a barren land.
However, as many other chronical internal insurgencies, the armed struggle in Balochistan has disfigured the basic principles of freedom struggle as it turned into a “playground” of third party political rhetoric. The internal crisis within the groups has sabotaged the opportunities while creating unfathomable perplexity among communities.
It has given a golden opportunity to oppressor to suppress the very managing elements of the noble struggle which is now hanging on the pages of the history. The result is thousands of extrajudicial killings, numerous sexual assaults against women, maintaining torture chambers, and many other inhuman practices on Baloch people. In returned the oppressor can easily manipulate the natural resources in the area.
This is where one could examine the geopolitical issues in the region to understand why the Baloch struggle has thus far failed to achieve what the people in Balochistan have been demanding for decades. There was an interesting photograph that went viral a few months ago in which a couple riding a donkey cart on one of the highways of Balochistan, in which they were depicted to be passing a signboard that read “please fasten your seat belt”. It has characterized the struggle. Those roads were not for the people in the area but for the manipulator of the resources.
The words of Modi have nothing to do with the true aspects of the Baloch struggle but an attempt to kill two birds with one stone. The mentality of being the super power globally or regionally has contributed strongly to the development of very negative aspects to the political cohabitation the countries of the region than proving the capability of producing solutions that would meet the needs of the public.
By studying the true history of those so-called super powers, one could observe the pattern that when the main agenda included the internal issues of another country the local political affairs get ruined while creating utter frustration and disappointment in leaders elected locally. The rise of a decanting personality like Trump confirms this notion. Trump is a counter-product of the traditional political scheme. History has taught us that the idea of superpower is for a political maniac to design the art of control over other countries.
Sadly, the politics played in the region by India after the partition in 1947 are also indicating similar following. Weak analysis and fragile prevention mechanism in diplomatic strategic partnerships have created the vulnerable political culture in many countries including within the host nation. It is not a secret that every intervention by India in the last few decades has failed to generate positive impacts.
From the creation of Bangladesh to providing a helping hand for the armed struggle in Sri Lanka all went beyond control while damaging civil liberty as the daily casualty. The complexity of the policies has gone much as to kill India’s own leader by a group milked by India herself on her own soil.
In this context, Modi’s lamentation on Baloch struggle is not a blessing but cursing point to re-think and re-design the political struggle of Baloch people and mapping their own solid struggle. The most crucial part of any struggle is that one should not forget the true pages of the history. As Baloch saying goes, if you steal water you can’t hide the dampness.
How can you cry for others’ struggles when you are facilitating mayhem in your own land?
Nilantha Ilangamuwa edits the Sri Lanka Guardian, an online daily newspaper, and he also an editor of the Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives, bi-monthly print magazine. He is the author of the just released non-fictions, “Nagna Balaya” (The Naked Power), in Sinhalese and “The Conflation”, in English. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org