Kartarpur Corridor and India’s Fallacious Scavenger Hunt to Greatness
The concept of Instrumentalism in International Relations states that political leadership and politicians in general tend to use ideas, issues, and various matters of concern to the general public as useful tools in order to muster support for themselves and mobilize the public in pursuit of their vested political interests. This also might include mild or massive exaggeration of facts, incidents and ideas in order to make their arguments sound more appealing and effective without being concerned about their arguments’ truthfulness or factual accuracy.
Going by this explanation, if Instrumentalism was a religion, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have been its god. I say that because the way Narendra Modi has been fooling the Indian public with his exaggerated claims, fake bravado and hollow machismo, it is definitely an unprecedented feat never achieved by any leader before him. He can be so convincing in his act that it can actually put many professional actors to shame.
From shamelessly invading personal spaces of various heads of states and governments till performing yoga on Delhi streets, the Indian prime minister is full of capers and antics. But the most astonishing thing about this is the fact how the general Indian masses gobble up everything that is fed to them by the Indian state and media. This certainly raises a lot of questions about the intelligence of a nation that claims to be one of the oldest civilisations with rich history and tradition.
Amid the extremely polarised Indian society today, there still exist a few sane voices such as Ashok Swain and Arundhati Roy who still talk about peace in the region and strive for regional harmony in South Asia but their voices seem to be lost in the billion plus crowd of Hindutva-infected hyper nationalists in India.
The BJP-led government in India with the help of war-mongering, TRP-hungry media of the country have managed to create a Bollywood-style alter ego of the Indian public. This alter ego seems to have somehow blocked the areas of peoples’ minds in India which deals with logic and sound reasoning. Every claim and information disseminated by the government and the media is consumed by face-value by the Indian public without demanding any proof or evidences for the claims made or doing any primary research or investigation to make logical sense of matters.
From the farcical Uri strikes to Balakot air strikes in February 2019 and every other “operation” in between, the Indian public believes that their military successfully carried out such operations and was able to establish its superiority in the region. However, not even a single shred of evidence has been presented till date regarding the authenticity or reality of such operations.
Lies about thriving economy, space program and military superiority is still in high demand with the Indian public today. However on the flip side, the downing, arrest and ultimate return of Indian Air Force officer Abhinandan Varthaman, capture of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and the successful counter strikes by Pakistan Air Force in response to Balakot air strikes unveils the reality about India of which the Indian public seems to be incognizant of unconsciously or deliberately.
Indian leadership is hell-bent on claiming credit for everything and anything that will project it as the messiah for the disintegrating and polarized Indian society. In a recent display of feeding on leftovers, the Indian government embarked on a media campaign to take credit for the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor which was inaugurated on November 09, 2019.
The Kartarpur Corridor was first proposed in 1999 but due to increased tensions in Pakistan-India relations the project could not materialise. Then finally in 2018, the project became a reality after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan inaugurated the project and vowed to operationalize the corridor within a year.
Now that the Kartarpur Corridor has been inaugurated and opened for general public, the government of India, again with the help of its bigoted media is trying to claim the project to be its brainchild. The Indian public is being fed with the narrative that Kartarpur Corridor was an Indian initiative and that it was due to the amazing and strong leadership of Narendra Modi that this decades long project could be materialised. The truth however, is totally the opposite.
Taking credit for Kartarpur Corridor is yet another attempt by the BJP-led government to feed lies to the Indian public and blow sand into the eyes of the international community. It seems like India is on a fallacious scavenger hunt for greatness where its government and other institutions are making claims that are a far cry from reality. Rather than making false claims for political point-scoring, projects like Kartarpur Corridor should be executed for the welfare of the people and greater good of the region.
The Indian public should also learn to call spade a spade and stop believing each and everything that is being fed to them by their media. The world does not work according to the principles of Bollywood, it does so on the basis of objective truths.
About the Author: Mr. Muhammad Taimur Fahad Khan is a freelance journalist. He holds an M. Phil Degree in International Relations from National Defence University, Islamabad. He wrote many research articles, Policy Briefs, Issue Briefs, Book Reviews and Monographs on topics related to International Relations. He is currently serving as Research and Media Officer at Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI).
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The Reader’s Review.