Ramachandra Guha Is Wrong: India Should Be Proud of Its Principled Neutrality, Not Ashamed

Like many left- and liberal-leaning members of the Indian intelligentsia, he appears to have gotten carried away with his latest emotionally driven rant. What irritates him and his ideological ilk to no end is that India has flexed its strategic autonomy by practicing a policy of principled neutrality in line with its objective national interests.

Indian intellectual Ramachandra Guha published an op-ed at Telegraph India on Saturday titled “India’s Shame: New Delhi’s Silence On Ukraine Is Unacceptable”, in which he lambasts his government for not jumping on the US-led West’s anti-Russian bandwagon by condemning and sanctioning Moscow. He repeats the Mainstream Media’s (MSM) claims against the Kremlin but then imparts his own narrative twist to everything by comparing the Ukrainian Conflict to the American aggression against Vietnam as well as the 1971 war in the former East Pakistan in an attempt to maximally appeal to his targeted Indian audience. Guha’s text is also full of accusations that Russia is supposedly a modern-day colonial-imperial power, which is a reiteration of one of the MSM’s emerging information warfare narratives.

For these reasons, the writer believes that his country should be ashamed of not supporting America against Russia, which he speculates is attributable to a combination of domestic security concerns related to the fear of inadvertently emboldening subnational movements, economic interests connected to purchasing cheap fuel for controlling inflation, and incompetence at the leadership level. According to Guha, India is behaving just as hypocritically as the West is even though he also wants it to take that bloc’s side in this conflict. In his words, doing so would have supposedly been a game-changer by pressuring President Putin to negotiate his military’s withdrawal from Ukraine and thus end the conflict. With all due respect to the writer, that’s delusional and not even he himself probably believes that.

Like many left- and liberal-leaning members of the Indian intelligentsia, he appears to have gotten carried away with his latest emotionally driven rant. It’s one thing to share his views about each side’s morality or lack thereof and another entirely to fantasize that a few words from India could have changed global history. All that he’s trying to do is impugn the ruling party at all costs by spinning the false narrative that it could have saved countless lives if only it jumped on the US-led West’s anti-Russian bandwagon by condemning and sanctioning Moscow. What irritates him and his ideological ilk to no end is that India has flexed its strategic autonomy by practicing a policy of principled neutrality in line with its objective national interests.

Leftists-Liberals generally reject the interconnected concepts of national interests and state sovereignty for ideological reasons, believing them to be “fascist” and “right-wing”. Instead, they’re convinced that countries should do whatever certain opinionmakers consider to be the “morally right thing” regardless of the economic, political, and strategic consequences. In this case, that’s to unquestionably accept every anti-Russian claim spewed by the MSM’s perception managers and thus unilaterally break off India’s special and privileged strategic ties with that Great Power. The only party that would benefit from this completely counterproductive policy is the US, which would thenceforth be able to finally turn India into its “junior partner” exactly as it’s been trying to desperately do since the conflict began.

Despite its track record of neo-imperial aggression, modern-day America is still attractive to many of those same Leftists-Liberals who claim to be against those policies because its ruling Democrat Party simply repeats certain rhetoric from time to time that appeals to them. Guha regards the US as being on the right side of history in the Ukrainian Conflict, which is why he sees no ideological contradiction in India supporting its proxy cause against Russia in spite of having historically been suspicious of every war that America was somehow or another involved in. His targeted domestic audience is supposed to be so overwhelmed by emotions and ideology that he doesn’t expect them to ask such simple questions, which is an insult to their intelligence.

That’s par for the course when it comes to Leftist-Liberal Indian opposition intellectuals, though, which mostly consider their audience just to be physical means to their desired political end. People are only supposed to help them return to power, after which the opinionmakers’ clique will run the show behind the scenes even if their policies aren’t truly popular. The vast majority of society proudly supports their government’s principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict since they understand that it’s sincerely in their civilization-state’s objective national interests. This policy enabled India to become the leader of a new Non-Aligned Movement (“Neo-NAM”) and thus exert unprecedented influence across the Global South.

Not only that, but it also changed the course of the global systemic transition to multipolarity by preemptively averting Russia’s potentially disproportionate dependence on China after India unexpectedly became Moscow’s irreplaceable valve from Western pressure. This outcome, more so than the many other ones connected with India’s decisive geostrategic intervention in the New Cold War through its policy of principled neutrality, is what Indians should be proud of the most. Had it not happened, then Russia could have become China’s “junior partner” with time, which would have upset the balance of influence in Asia and most likely compelled India to become the US’ “junior partner” in response. This civilization-state would have thus lost its hard-earned strategic autonomy.

Instead, it’s since become one of the most sovereign countries in the world after showing that it could successfully rebuff Western pressure to turn against Russia while still being courted by that bloc all the same as evidenced by its participation in late June’s G7 meeting. Had Guha gotten his way, however, India would have been turned into the US’ largest vassal state in history by now and been forced to unilaterally concede on every issue of objective national interest, which he would have predictably portrayed as being the “morally right thing to do” in line with his Leftist-Liberal ideology. There’s a reason why these opposition intellectuals aren’t genuinely popular since they don’t embody the will of the people, but just a narrow clique of opinionmakers, the latter of whom give them artificial attention.

If it wasn’t for media machinations, few in India would even know who Guha and the rest of the gang are since they’re so out of touch with the Indian people that not many have any real interest in following whatever they have to say. The same goes for his latest op-ed, which was entirely predictable since it was cut from the same ideological cloth as pretty much every other anti-government information product that’s been published criticizing the authorities’ principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict. The common thread connecting them all is an overreliance on emotional and ideological appeals to disguise their rage at India refusing to unilaterally concede on issues of objective national interests, which they wish it would do since they’d prefer for it to be the West’s “junior partner”.


By Andrew Korybko
Source: OneWorld

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