Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York City last September. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo
June 8 (UPI) -- Northern India is a compression of land masses, religions, and governments. For 10 million years, the Indian tectonic plate had been pushing into the Eurasian plate, resulting in the formation of the Himalayan Mountains. Also pushing against each other within this very difficult terrain are the Hindu and Muslim religions and the governments of India, Pakistan and China.
Humanity always finds a way to endure and overcome the challenges of geography and nature. This region has become another example of humanity being the greatest threat to itself.
To ease the international land dispute and address concerns of the region's mixed population, Jammu and Kashmir were provided special state status. While India maintains control of foreign policy and defense matters, judicial rule and emergency powers are left to the state.
The relationship between India and Pakistan has always been strained, sometimes erupting into limited military conflict. Disagreements between India and China have primarily been political. There is merit in having two powerful countries separated by the Himalayas.
All three nations possess nuclear weapons that provide some reluctance to escalate pressure, but also creates a fear of the consequences of a government failing to use restraint. There is an expression in the region: "When in a position of weakness, how can I negotiate? When in a position of strength, why should I?"
Not coming from a position of weakness, but from a desire to decrease tension, Pakistan's recently elected Prime Minister Imran Khan reached out to India, offering to take "two steps toward peace" providing India would take one. Unfortunately, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to view Khan's offer much the same as Chancellor Adolf Hitler viewed British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's desire for "peace in our time."
Modi has become even more emboldened. He and his Bharatiye Janata Party have brought back the narrative of "cross border tensions." Instead of taking one step toward peace with Pakistan, Modi is increasing tension on the Line of Control with Pakistan.
Indian patrols have become more aggressive, as if pushing for a hostile exchange of gunfire. This is nothing more than a modern application of Shakespeare's "cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war."
Prior to Hitler's seizing of Czechoslovakia, civil unrest was created in the country by German agitators. Indian operatives have done the same in Jammu and Kashmir.
In August of 2019, Modi revoked constitutional state status, declaring the region "Union Territory" completely under the control of the central government. This action was the beginning of a siege. Last December, the government removed citizenship status from the Muslim population. Construction of concentration camps immediately commenced and are being filled with Muslims now stripped of their property and possessions.
The slander campaign against the Muslims received a major boost with the outbreak of coronavirus. Modi and his party commenced claiming the Muslim population was responsible for the virus' spread. In time of crisis, people will turn on each other, especially when encouraged by their governments. Subject to being attacked on the streets, Muslim victims were denied hospital access, despite the need for immediate attention in many cases.
Consolidating the Muslim population into concentration camps, without proper food, water and medical support, will ensure devastation. It will also provide Modi with the ability to claim the high number of deaths as retroactive justification of his actions. The pandemic has created a double lockdown. Military and police forces are preventing public response. Citizens cannot leave their homes to demonstrate against their oppressors.
Muslims are forced to wait in place until they are escorted to the concentration camps. As usual, the rest of the world offers words, but little else. The United Nations high commissioner of human rights calls the revocation of citizenship "fundamentally discriminatory," but says too little about the concentration camps. The United States and Western Europe are doing no better.
Beyond words, pressure needs to be brought against Modi and his government. Until his aggression and genocide are stopped, Albert Einstein's warning will prevail: "The world is a dangerous place, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who do nothing about it."
Ret. Col. Wes Martin of the U.S. Army Military Police has served in law enforcement positions around the world and holds a MBA in international politics and business.