The diverse nature of India as a multireligious and multi-ethnic society is not immune to the impact of radicalism which has been in her neighbourhood. Discuss along with the strategies to be adopted to counter this environment.
India is a secular nation that embraces multiple religions and ethnicities. Its neighbours, however, house radical elements within their boundaries, and this poses a challenge for India. Pakistan fosters radical Islamic elements within its territory, and the Pakistani branch of Taliban is also active. Not only have the radical elements wreaked havoc within Pakistan, they routinely infiltrate into Indian territory. China is battling separatist Islamic elements in the Xinjiang region. Bangladesh is also battling radical Islamic elements, and the recent Burdwan blast is an example of how such activities can have a spillover effect in India. Sri Lanka has lately seen the orthodox Buddhist elements targeting the Muslim population. Afghanistan is barely stable and is waging its own battles against radical Islam. Additionally, India has been declared a target area for Al-Qaeda to establish a new cell. With such widespread radicalism prevalent in almost all of India’s neighbours, it is bound have a domino effect and result in repercussions for India.
To counter such radicalism, India needs to protect its borders and itself from radical elements abroad. India needs to tighten its borders and curb illegal migration, so that radical elements cannot easily enter India. Also, when and where there is scope for such measures, India must play a proactive role in bringing stability to the region. Providing assistance to nations fighting radicalism will be mutually beneficial. Additionally, at the domestic level, India must strengthen its counter-terrorism measures. India’s intelligence gathering mechanism also needs to be reinvigorated and strengthened so that the activities of radical elements are tracked.