Is India an oppressor to next-door nations?

India should change its image from a meanly tolerated neighbourhood bully into a true buddy and associate for peace and harmony.

Indians flying overseas are frequently struck by the immense friendliness extended by people in neighbourhood nations, a compassion born out of mutual culture – linguistic, spiritual and historic. A goodwill which, sadly, does not last within India as a nation. In truth, India as a nation has an entirely changed, rather less positive, status in neighbourhood countries. While foreign-born populace visualise India with magnificent religious institution or Bollywood songs, to citizens in places like Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, India is a neighbourhood oppressor – an intrusive kin at best, and a controlling bully at worst. But why such an image? Why should a country that can without doubt be the head rather be watched with distrust?

For example Sri Lanka- it has at least three communities, a number of alterations, a complex and violent civil war. What role has India played there? Sneaky nosiness, conspiracies to overthrow one government, to conquer one group, then another, sides changed, military stationing and ultimately a futile military activity. In reality, it is also an evidence of India’s catastrophic foreign strategy breakdown and a military fiasco, in which much blood and money was wasted.

All of this made matters worse for the residents of the island and ruined India’s standing in the hearts and minds of nearly the whole populace.

There is a choice. What if India looks at itself? See the mistakes it has committed but also see the legacy both the nations share. India is the origin of Buddhism. Around 7 million Buddhists still live in India and it is also home to Tamil uniqueness, language and customs. Tamils in both, India and Sri Lanka, not just share a history and heredity, but also see each other with immense love and friendship. Indeed, while Indian Tamils have demonstrated for decades on behalf of Sri Lankan fellows and raised funds and consciousness for their interests. Buddhists from Sri Lanka have been visiting India for pilgrimage, where the Buddha once lived and preached.

India has the chance to turn this inheritance and initiate a harmony and settlement process? Nevertheless, it is not in anybody’s interest that stress within the communities of Sri Lanka persist and aggravate, nor is it anyone’s that India emerge over the county like a dark shadow. India can do better than to bluff to being a far-away and unbiased party, which actually it has not been.

Doing so would need scrutinising itself first. Confessing that India has played a job more than that of a spectator, more than that of a worried neighbour: it has been a vigorous, a largely hopeless, stirrer in the affairs of Sri Lanka. As much as it would point out fingers at the political parties on the island, the fact of the matter is that India has made matters worse by being complicated and by making itself the monster. India needs to be recognized by the other India that is liked and even respected and appreciated.

There have been momentous initiatives to link dissimilarities through programs that celebrate and additionally improve cultural ties. Other steps could also engage people to people exchange on the lines of cultural missions to endorse understanding. In a neighbourhood, true greatness cannot be attained at the cost of others, when those around are weakening.

Being in a similar circumstance, India must change itself from a meanly tolerated neighbourhood oppressor into a true buddy and associate for peace and harmony.

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