Hegemony doesn’t work

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Living in today’s ‘mediatized’ societies, the physical and political boundaries have lost their significance, at least in the sense that within no time information travels from one part of the world to other places all over. When information moves, with it also move the influences and waves of its impact as well as the repercussions thereof. This is indeed one of the reasons that explain why the recession that originated in far West few of years back impacted the businesses everywhere in the world. And this is perhaps why the excessive greenhouse emissions from developed world are casting dangerous shadows everywhere in the world, threatening the environment even in the least developed parts of the globe. And the political debates and discussions that have ensued far and wide after what has happened in West Asia and North Africa — Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Syria — too should be viewed in this context. In such a scenario wherein everything is so intricately interlinked it makes little sense why political troubles or civil wars should be pictured within the narrow territorial compartments and left to be tackled by only the countries facing them.

Civil wars or insurgencies or public upheavals against the autocratic dictatorships or for that matter even some democracies are no longer a problem only for the countries facing them, but are simultaneously posing difficult challenges to the entire global system. Therefore, they need to be viewed as global phenomena and dealt with accordingly. It is here that the coordination and cooperation between various international actors can make a valuable contribution in freeing this globe from the scourge of wars or other political problems public unrest could result into and which, if left unattended and unaddressed, could ultimately prey upon the humankind in terms of people’s life and rights.

Having said this, no conflict, therefore, is exclusively and solely the problem of those involved in it. Instead given the ramifications of conflicts on the global safety and security, it is the problem that should be collectively tackled. Depending on various complexities of a particular conflict, third party mediation or intervention is always subservient to the likes and dislikes of the involved parties. However, at the same time, seen for its global impact or the spill-over effects, no conflict can be left to the involved parties’ exclusive choices to determine if others should intervene or not. No country could therefore hide behind its sovereignty, if the disputes within its political boundaries have a potential to cause disturbances in the neighbouring territories.

However, the way the global trade and economic concerns as well as geopolitical strategies have come to dominate the international political maneuverings, intervention into any conflict by international actors has become all the more murky business. International powers intervene when intervention suits their interests. Otherwise, they don’t mind being mute spectators even to the most gruesome and barbaric acts.

It goes without saying that India’s refusal to engage with Pakistan and its rhetorical belligerence, is one of the reasons for increased resonance of Kashmir dispute internationally – something that India had taken great pains to avoid thus far. The continued border skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani troops along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, as also Kashmir’s resurgence at the United Nations forums, are a fallout of India’s newly discovered hegemonic attitude in regional affairs, particularly vis-à-vis Pakistan. Irrespective of how BJP government at the Centre articulates its policy towards Pakistan in context of Kashmir for its domestic audiences, fact of the matter remains that the country has done itself no good by its current policy towards Pakistan. World has for long seen US acting as a big bully, taking unilateral decisions even in the matters which had far-reaching consequences for the entire world. This hegemonic politics did work for some time, but now it has started reaching its limits. Those who want India to behave like a regional bully, are certainly not doing any good – neither to their country nor to the South Asia region! If they can’t make the region any safe, they have no right to make it still more dangerous place.

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