Cover Story Related: Dialogue on New Islamic Regime
Intro:There are incidents of rioting between the Shia and Sunni, all around the globe. This has grave implications for the geo-politics of not only West Asia but also the world at large. India has immediate concerns to deal with this phenomenon.
A day long brainstorming session as an initiative by Organiser and Panchjanya was organised on ‘New Islamic Caliphate and Its Implications’ on July 14, 2014 at Madhya Pradesh Bhawan, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. The programme had a valuable dialogue which brought in light the various issues related to Jihad and Islam. The sessions marked the auspicious presence of academicians, researchers, former bureaucrats, defence personnel and social activists on the same platform. After formal welcome by Shri Hitesh Shankar, Editor Panchjanya, Shri Prafulla Ketkar, Editor- Organiser raised the concern on the sensitive issue of Iraq and new Caliphate in his introductory remarks.
Session I: Crisis in Iraq
Alok Bansal of India Foundation started the session by introducing the Shia-Sunni communities and said this is a psychological capitulation. The fact is despite of many flaws in Barthist regime, it was considered as a fairly secular. Even though when Syrian Bathiists disassociated from Michel Aflaq, he was considered as an ideologue of secular ideology. In the later half, anti-Shiia policies by the Saddam regime encapsulated all the different communities and groups together.
While presenting his views on the issue, Gen (Retd) Anil Chait said that there are two things which are very important to understand the psyche of the Muslim community. One, there is a general perception all across the globe there is a sense of denial is in this community. It’s not a question of right and wrong. They believe that they have been denied and this denial is by design. Second, the individuals are tought of a supposedly glorified history. The concept of Muslim Umma was to unite the communities is also perpetuated time and again. That is why something happens anywhere in the world all Muslims feel connected. The proactive diplomacy has to be there.
IAS ( Retd) Shakti Sinha said that there should be a tactical move by the Government of Iraq. There is an intelligence failure for sure. Also, American- Iranian relationship needs to be kept in view.
Adding value to this discussion, Vice Admiral (Retd) Shekhar Sinha added as a student of religion, I see this problem resolving the problem of Iraq lives within Iraq. The Prime Minister, Nouri-al-Maliki and President, Jalal Talabani are not seeing the problem. Until unless all the leaders come on a same platform this problem could not be solved. In history of Islam, whenever governance and religion confront each other have tended to become strong, either the governance has suffered or the tenants of religion has suffered and there are times when both suffered. Particularly in Sunni sect there has never been one leader. There would be only one caliphate whereas there are many in Sunni sect only. Instead of 44 nations, there would be only one.
Session 2: New Caliphate and Its implications in West-Asia
The second session was initiated by Prof Girijesh Pant, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The main issue he focussed was which should be catered is how West-Asia is going to emerge? The Islamic state is a centre point. The US completely miscalculated its moves in Iraq and the outcome is Arab’s internal explosion. West-Asia is the region which is penetrated by outside powers. Qualitative departure of West-Asia is visible now. Soudi Arabia and Iran will have to play important role in this departure. The regime of authenticity of Islam has been questioned. Russia-China and possibly India can also play a proactive role and the problem of Caliphate can be solved.
Session 3: Turmoil in the Islamic World and Its Impact on Global Politics
Besides apprising about the complexities within Islam, Alok Bansal of India Foundation, spoke about the possible instability in the whole Islamic space rather than just Muslim countries.
On the issue of how to get independent of ISIS in Iraq,
Maj Gen (Retd) Dhruv C Katoch added that there is a need of Military forces to get rid of ISIS. Now the question is who will do it? Neither, America will step in nor Russia in spite of being fully equipped with armed forces.
Here, India is out of question and poor Iraq doesn’t have the strength. So, this poor condition of Iraq has made a clear division for a state from the country.
Adding to the session Dr Meena Singh Roy said that, Whenever we speak to any person from Muslim community, they are settled their minds that there is a clear division in between the others and their community. They are so rigid that they don’t even thought of the pros and cons behind these terrorist activities, be it ISIS or any other.
Session 4: Implications for India
Lt Gen (Retd) SA Hasnain: On the political angle, now, world is changing in a positive and drastic manner. We have to see it from Indian point of view. It is a wrong perception that America is losing its interest in West-Asia. In Indian economy, 75-80 percent of energy is imported from West-Asia and, the Gulf Diaspora is one of the biggest one. India caanot neglect these concerns besides the possible implications for South Asia.
Besides strategic experts and West Asia experts, Shri Arun Kumar, Senior RSS Pracharak, Shri Ashutosh Bhatnagar, Director, J & K Study Center, journalists Sant Kumar and Debobrat Ghosh also participated in the discussion.
The concept of Muslim Umma was to unite the Islamic communities only. The proactive diplomacy has to be there to deal with this issue.
— Gen (Retd) Anil Chait
This is a matter of discussion that if the religious
The two important factors that need to be catered on priority basis are the Indian Judicial system and the Indian Education system.
We are watching the massacre
The brainstorming concluded with open and fruitful discussion. Considering the nature of the crisis the need to further deliberation was also highlighted. Both the editors thanked the participants and requested them to continue their association with the weeklies. – Monica Sangwan