It can be the natural tendency of a person, entity or state to dictate terms and be a hegemon. This tendency multiplies when it is backed by supporting factors. Consider the example of a state. A state tries to be a self-assumed and natural hegemon if it has a vast area, abundant resources, large population, powerful military or technological advancement.
However, the response and treatment of other states with that particular state either puts a check on it or helps it expand its hegemonic designs. The vested interests of other states towards that hegemonic state not only help it materialize its goals but also create problems for other states.
The vested interests of other states can be the result of several reasons. They could be strategic, political, economic or any other.
These unjust and imbalanced attitudes and undue favours over the course of time turn the hegemonic tendencies of a state into fanaticism. This fanaticism propels that state to dictate terms according to its will, promote its hegemony, and interfere in the internal matters of other states.
After independence, India in its bid to be a hegemon in South Asia started developing nuclear weapons. It was the first step towards the nuclearization of the South Asian region. It was rather an attempt to control the South Asian region and be the only nuclear power in South Asia.
India conducted a nuclear explosion in 1974. The response of the world was rather mute. It was called a “fait accompli”. Pakistan was advised not to embark on a journey of achieving nuclear capability, regardless of the fact that Pakistan had faced an existential threat from India since independence.
Similarly, there were indeed some internal factors responsible for the separation of East Pakistan but India’s negative and poisonous role in the creation of Bangladesh was there for everyone to see. India’s role in the separation of East Pakistan was not only a blatant violation of international law but also an attack on the sovereignty of an independent state. Pakistan was dismembered. But despite the Indian role in the separation of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), the world chose to remain silent.
Take the example of the United Kingdom. It became the first European country to recognise Bangladesh soon after its creation and paved the way for the other European and Western nations to recognize it. As a reaction, Pakistan left the Commonwealth, but when Pakistan tried to rejoin it, India blocked Pakistan’s entrance for several years before it was allowed to do so.
Biases, unjust attitude and profit-oriented approach of the World has not only resulted in the nuclearization of the South Asian region but also it has made the region vulnerable as Indian fanaticism and hegemonic tendencies will further pollute the environment of the region
Similarly, the world responded differently to the Siachen issue and the Kargil crisis. In 1984, India captured Siachen Glacier-a glaciated area that was under Pakistan’s control since Independence. It was a violation of the already existing LoC established as a result of the previous ceasefire agreements and the Shimla agreement.
The world showed a muted response. India still holds that captured area.
While Pakistan was blamed openly for the Kargil crisis and the world sided with India on that occasion. Pakistan had to cope with isolation after the Kargil crisis.
Even sports have been used as an instrument to exert influence and the world has helped her do so. The ICC, which is accused by many of being a defunct body playing in the hands of the BCCI, has played its part in helping India.
For example, IPL, a cricket League organised by India gets a full window in ICC schedules. No or very minimum amount of cricket is being scheduled in that period. No other league is allowed that privilege. Players from different countries except Pakistani players play in the Indian League while no Indian player plays in different leagues around the world. All this happens because of the economic interests that allow India to dictate terms.
Furthermore, how states react on certain matters also help India in doing what it desires.
For example, the USA designated Pakistan and several other countries including Russia and China as “countries of particular concern” and placed them on its blacklist for alleged religious freedom violations.
India however, was not blacklisted despite repeated recommendations by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom(USCIRF), a federal independent commission of the US that “uses international standards to monitor religious freedom violations globally, and makes policy recommendations to the president”.
USCIR also recommended India be placed on the blacklist last year, but it was exempted.
Furthermore, Pakistan has repeatedly asked for better and peaceful ties with India but the stern and hostile attitude of respective Indian governments has always blocked the peaceful ties between the two states.
The reason for this stern, aggressive and hostile attitude is the unjust attitude of the world and the self-proclaimed dominant nature of India to be the only hegemonic state in South Asia.
The nuclear weapons and arms race in South Asia owes much to the muted response of the world at the time of Indian aggression. Pakistan remains the only challenge to the Indian attempts of dictating the terms in the South Asian region as other regional states are either weak or cannot challenge India.
The statement of the Indian Foreign Minister that it was because of Indian efforts Pakistan was on the FATF grey list and it ensured Pakistan stays on the list depicts the inherent dominant tendencies of India and its attempt to control the region on its terms.
Biases, unjust attitude and profit-oriented approach of the World has not only resulted in the nuclearization of the South Asian region but also it has made the region vulnerable as Indian fanaticism and hegemonic tendencies will further pollute the environment of the region.