Realism as an Ideology
A realist believes in an anarchic world order with power and war at its centrality. Realism as an ideology is most prominently followed by India and Pakistan. They have tried to achieve temporary peace through treaties, CBMs and agreements. When Cold war ended it was believed that it will lead towards a peaceful South-Asia and peaceful relationship between India and Pakistan. In the post-Cold War era, the relationship achieved stability in a start-stop way. Proxy-war and bleed India through thousand cuts has been used by Pakistan to destabilise the internal peace. Terrorism is actively used by Pakistan to hamper India’s growth. India is the biggest country in the South-Asian region and how its postures itself in this region will affect its world image.
The present regime policies have made the regional allies joining China and if India doesn’t shed off its big brother attitude and starts talks with Pakistan it will hamper its foreign policy in South Asia. India needs to realise that India’s attitude towards Pakistan is looked closely by its neighbours and strong posturing will create a negative image of India among the smaller states in the region. Gandhism as a narrative is an alternative post-modern philosophy which hasn’t been explored and can be applied in the world to achieve sustainable peace. Gandhi was a big critique of peace treaties as he believed that peace treaties were signed out of distrust and fear and can’t sustain long-term durable peace. According to him, these can never lead to permanent peace because there is a lack of sincerity and mutual trust in these mechanisms. Gandhi’s idea of peace is based on truth (Satya) and non-violence (Ahimsa).
Gandhi gave the weapon to fight violence using Satyagraha. Satyagraha is a form of resistance against the violence; not to seek power but to influence others. It is operated as a form of dialogue to achieve agreement between the contesting parties. The core reason for the violence is fear and distrust which can never be tackled by coercive force but cooperation. As per Gandhi, a dialogue is the best way to cultivate trust among the contesting party and trust is the central pillar for the achievement of sustainable peace. He believed in the goodliness of human nature and the road to permanent peace lies in trusting the goodliness human nature. The states have always trusted the weapons to achieve peace which is very paradoxical in itself. As Martin Luther King Junior said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Adding to that violence cannot bring peace, only love, trust and dialogue can do that. The two countries are engulfed in a vicious cycle of violence and to come out of it, it needs a new framework and Gandhigiri as a framework should be applied. India needs to reopen the Gujral doctrine of dialogue and helping the neighbours without expecting much in return.